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Guide to Adventure Travel in South Africa

 
Adventure Travel Guide
Travel Writer: EcoTravel Africa  
 

South Africa is an adventure traveller's dream destination, offering from extreme adventures such as cage diving where you can come face-to-face with the legendary Great White Sharks of Gansbaai, or helping in the translocation of 5000kg African elephants -- to the more traditional adventures such as bungi jumping, gorge swings and rock climbing, and to the relatively benign, though highly strenuous, Mountain Biking Epics; and a whole lot more in between!

South Africa is the perfect destination for the sporting tourist. Extreme sports, which have taken off in the past decade all over the world, are particularly popular. We have the world's highest bungee-jump, off the Bloukrans Bridge in the Western Cape, between Plettenberg Bay and Uitenhage. Nothing beats our cliffs for rock climbing, from the Drakensberg to the Cederberg to the outcrops near Waterval Boven in Mpumalanga Province. Our rivers are perfect for all grades of rafting, and trips north to the legendary Zambezi River can be organised. Flying sports like paragliding and microlighting are extremely popular, and most of the country's provinces offer superb launch sites.

South Africa is a hiker's country. It's a growing sport here, and new trails are being cut everywhere. To walk the world-famous Otter Trail, which follows the rugged coastline from Storms River Mouth to Natures Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park, requires a booking made many months in advance. In Mpumalanga, the Blyde River Trail's beautiful location makes it ideal for nature lovers and impromptu river swimmers. In here visitors often find themselves wandering through deep gorges, past towering waterfalls and deep mountain pools. For those with little time, Cape Town offers a number of short trails up Table Mountain and Lion's Head.

 
 
Photographer: EcoTravel Africa 

South Africa has some of the best rock climbing in the world.

South Africa's two oceans -- the warm coral reef rich Indian Ocean and the cold and nutrient rich Benguella current -- offer fantastic diving, surfing, sea kayaking and fishing opportunities.

River rafting trips range from easy mostly scenic to grade five white water washing machines.

There are over a hundred listed paragliding or hang gliding launch sites.

South Africa has thousands of kilometres of excellent hiking trails which traverse desert, forest, mountain and coastal biames. Many of the hiking trails double up as mountain bike trails.

There are wonderful easy horse trails through vineyards, on the beach or in the mountains and, for the adventurous, horseback safaris in big game country.

Adrenaline junkies will find the extreme adventures they desire -- South Africa is home to the highest commercial bungy jump in the world, and offers some top abseiling and bridge / gorge swinging localities. For something combining adrenalin, peace, tranquility, and sheer beauty, you can try the tree-top canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma forest.

The art of canyoning, known as kloofing in South Africa, is a hot favourite with self-guided and escorted trips.

Your choices of experiences are essentially limitless, but a small taste of what you might choose to do include exploring the magnificent Cape wine routes on horseback, undertaking a walking safari in one of the many gorgeously endowed national parks or donning a life-jacket and traversing the river rapids in the Free State. You could opt to engage intimately with local culture by enjoying a home stay in a Zulu or Xhosa village or drinking an dancing in a township shebeen. If it's adrenalin you're after, try the highest bungi jump in the world (off the Bloukrans bridge in the Western Cape), shark diving in Gansbaai or scuba diving on the KwaZulu Natal coast.

You'll be spoilt for choice if you're looking for full-throttle outdoor adventure - all our provinces offer a huge range of such activities from abseiling and hiking to fishing, mountain biking, surfing and hangliding. All in some of the most majestic settings you're ever likely to experience.

If you're worried about the environment - be assured that we are too! Our conservationist ethic is well represented by our National Parks, and our tourism development inititatives are squarely focused on the protection of our natural habitat and the ongoing uplifment of local communities. There's something about this country that simply cannot be expressed. That's the something you need to discover yourself. So get packing!

 

Wilderness Activities
Join one of the many excellent camping safaris or overland tours into the wilderness areas of Kruger Park or Botswana.
The Kruger National Park’s outdoor activities offer the visitor short excursions into the African bush. Or experience a a close encounter with nature on the Wilderness Trails inside the Kruger Park.

Track the White Rhino between the white and black Umfolozi rivers on the Umfolozi 4-Day or 2-Day Wilderness Trails.

Rafting
White water rafting in the Blyde Canyon and Olifants Gorge or canoeing the Orange River are, arguably, some of the best experiences in Southern Africa. Or spend your days paddling the tranquil waters of the Breede River only about 2 hours from Cape Town.

Abseiling
In Cape Town you'll find 18 developed sites on the Peninsula Chain - big naturally protected multi-pitch routes to short, bolted sport crags.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
The Garden Route offers various reefs, shipwrecks and the Tsitsikamma Coast and the Wild Coast is renowned for its rugged scenery, good spear fishing and delicious seafood.

Bungi Jumping
Venture the Gouritz River Bridge for bungi jumping or bridge swinging and the Bloukrans River Bridge - the highest bridge to jump off in the world.

Shark Diving
White Shark Ecoventures offers daily shark diving tours (in steel cages) off Gansbaai.

Surfing
Surfing the Nahoon Reef in East London is fairly tough or move to the world-renowned Jeffreys Bay surfing spots.
The Cape Peninsula offers a large collection of surf spots in and around Cape Town.

4 x 4 Experience
The Off-Road Experience by Land Rover at Nelspruit has been developed and designed around the Camel Trophy.

Fishing
The South Western Cape with the tropical Agulhas current, as well as the nutrient-rich, cool Benguela current, is any fisherman's haven.

The Eastern Cape's Wild Coast is known for an abundance of rock Lobster, Prawn, Oyster and Abalone, regular catches include yellowfin Tuna, Kawakawa, Dorado, Wahoo, Marlin, king Mackerel and skipjack Tuna.

South Africa offers excellent fresh water and salt water flyfishing in very scenic surroundings and the trout-fishing is as good as it gets -- top spots can be found in the

Hiking
View some of the hiking tour options or explore the nature reserves and mountains and venture any of the many hiking trails. Explore the unique coastal scenery, tidal pools, thick forest and river mouths in the Tsitsikamma National Park on the exclusive Dolphin Trail. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a hiker`s paradise with a 240,000ha world of sheer cliffs, deeply incised valleys and crystal clear rivers. The Cedarberg Wilderness Area - close to Citrusdal and Clanwilliam - is renowned for its unique rock formations, bushman paintings, fynbos, birds, game and magnificent nature and views.

 

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South Africa has many top Game / Nature Reserves, and is home to many of the mammals of southern Africa. Numerous wildlife safari and tour companies operate guided tours to South Africa. Popular adventure travel activities in South Africa include: horse riding safaris, elephant back safaris, mountain biking, birding, wilderness walking trails, science safaris and volunteering especially for GAP year students.
 
 
 
South Africa Extreme / Adventure Travel
Abseiling / Climbing Horse Riding Trails
Adventure Racing Hot Air Ballooning
Bungee / Swinging Mountain Biking
Canoeing / Kayaking Paragliding / Hang
Diving / Snorkelling River Rafting (WW)
Flyfishing / Fishing Sailing / Wind Surfing
Flying / Gliding (FW) Tree Top Tours
Hiking / Trekking Wilderness Trails
Copyright Information: The travel information, images and, landscape, safari lodge and wildlife photographs on this South Africa Adventure Travel Guide page are the © of Eco Travel Africa and the Travel Writers / Photographers. Royalty Free Images and Photos of African wildlife, including South Africa's Adventure Travel Guide are available on this website.