Blyde River Canyon

South Africa really has it all. From beautiful mountain ranges and coastlines to steep canyons and exciting safaris. These natural wonders inspire many adventurers, both local and from abroad, to go outdoors and chase the adrenaline rush in various different ways.

This list contains adventures ranging from super casual family outings to the heart-pumping excitement of nonstop adrenaline-packed activities. Go Hiking, Surfing, Climbing, Caving, or go on a Safari ride. The choice is yours

Here are the 15 Best Adventure Activities to do in South Africa…

1. Book an Ocean Kayak Tour, Cape Town

An Adventure great for the family. Explore one of Cape Town’s most iconic shorelines on a kayak. You can look forward to seeing the seal sanctuary, marvelous marine life and Chapman’s Peak from shore. Marine life that you might encounter while kayaking: Seals, Penguins, Dolphins, Whales and Sunfish.

 

2. Go on a Safari Drive

South Africa is known worldwide for its diverse range of animals and fauna. Book a game drive in one of SA’s many safari parks and attempt to spot each of the Big 5 in their natural habitats. If you are feeling a bit more independent, you can also choose to brave the trails in your own car(4by4’s recommended). Many parks offer luxurious accommodations for you to retreat to after your long day of animal spotting. 

The best time to visit South Africa for a wildlife safari is from May to September. During these winter months, the east of the country (where the main parks are located) experiences its Dry season. Wildlife is easier to spot during the Dry season because vegetation thins, and animals gather around waterholes and rivers.

Some great parks to check out are Addo Elephant Park, Pilansberg, iSimongaliso Wetland Park, and the most well-known Kruger National Park. Kruger spans an astonishing 20000 square kilometers which makes it the biggest park in South Africa. An Adventure for the whole family.

3. Go Surfing

The waves in South Africa are famously known as being some of the best in the world. Many surf competitions are held here every year with competitors coming from all over to compete. South Africa has many great spots all along the east coastline. A fun adventure to do is to drive down the coast from Durban to Cape Town and hit all the best surf spots along the way. Some of the best waves you will encounter will be at Long Beach, Muizenberg, and surfing mecca Jeffrey’s Bay (J-Bay). For warmer waters head to Durban (Bay of Plenty) for consistent swell all year round.

South Africa offers great waves all year round but it has its peak between April till August when the big winter swells from the South Indian Ocean hit African shores.

If you are not a surfer and just want to test the waters a bit(see what I did there?) to see if surfing is the sport for you, you can book a couple lessons in Durban and Cape Town and  be shredding waves in no time.

4. Cage Diving with Great White Sharks

This next one is for the true thrill seekers among us. Gansbaai, a two-and-a-half drive from Cape Town, is considered to have one of the highest concentrations of Great White Sharks, so there are plenty of companies offering cage dive experiences here. The sharks are truly impressive beings that can grow up to 3m long on average(but some do get considerably bigger). You’ll be taught shark etiquette (yes, that’s a thing) before being sent down into the waters in your cage. Don’t worry, you’ll be totally safe in your cage as these majestic beasts swim around you.

For the more adventurous, how about diving with sharks minus the cage? It’s totally possible (and pretty safe) to dive with tiger & bull sharks in South Africa this way. Such a cool experience!

5. Do an extreme Canopy Tour, Ceres

Ceres is located in the heart of the Western Cape and is one of the country’s most picturesque towns with rocky mountains and citrus farms all around. Prepare yourself for the slide of a lifetime as you soar over the Koekedouw River and between the rocky Skurweberg mountain range.

You will be given training before you embark on your adventure and then strapped into a sturdy safety harness. Two highly trained guides will take you along 8 separate slides, together spanning just under 1 mile long.

The shortest slide is 97 meters(320 feet) and the longest is a whopping 290 meters(950 feet)! The highest point you will reach is 40 meters(130 feet) above the ground. Happy sliding!

6. Take Kitesurfing Lessons in Cape Town or Durban

If Surfing isn’t your thing why not see if Kitesurfing is. Kitesurfing is a wind-powered surface watersport using a kite and a board to move across the water. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind through a large parachute-type kite to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard.

Book a few lessons and harness the power of the wind!

7. Go Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Drakensberg mountains and I can honestly say it never gets old. Every time I go back, I am awestruck by the natural beauty all over again. The Drakensberg is vast and there are tons of quality hikes to do that range from casual day hikes to full-out multi-day treks. Check out my review of my most recent hiking adventure to the Marble Baths here.

The best time for hiking is in autumn (April and May) or spring (September and October). The days are warm at this time, but cooler than during the hotter summer months (November to March), when you’ll also experience daily thunderstorms.

If you want to check out some other amazing hikes in South Africa check this post out.

8. Go White Water Rafting on the Orange River

The Orange River, located in the Northern Cape, is the longest river in South Africa and has some pretty gnarly white water. You can do an adrenaline-pumping adventure along the river rapids. It’s extremely fun and is perfect for any of you people seeking a thrilling adventure.

There is also the option do to a guided kayak tour down the river that can take up to a few days.

9. Go Sandboarding on the Atlantis Dunes, Cape Town

Experience one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets at the Atlantis Dunes, just 45km from Cape Town. You can rent a sandboard and bomb the dunes and have a blast with the family. The Dunes go up to about 35 meters in height and if you don’t feel like trekking back up the way you came down then you can hop on an ATV, cruise it up to the top, and do it all over again. Easy sailing.

10. Bungee Jump from the Bloukrans Bridge

The highest bungee from a bridge in the whole world, what could be more adventurous than that? Just making your way to Bloukrans Bridge is an adventure in itself, with beautiful and tranquil views all around. Located on the border of the Western and Eastern Cape lies the tranquil and majestic Bloukrans River Valley.

However, once you’ve finished soaking up the majesty of your surroundings, it’s time to throw yourself off that 216-meter-high (650-foot) bridge. You can also pay a bit extra for a video of your experience, which you’ll definitely want to take home and show your family and friends.

Bloukrans is among the most popular South African tourist attractions, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is recommended.

11. Go Caving in Cango Caves

The impressive Cango Caves are located near Oudtshoorn, a small town popular for its ostrich farms. The caves, which were used as far back as the Stone Ages, have a number of rock paintings alongside impressive stalagmite formations. The underground network spans more than four kilometers, though a smaller section is available to tourists, who must be accompanied by a guide.

Two tours are offered daily every hour: the Heritage Tour – a standard one-hour tour that showcases the highlights of the caves – and the Adventure Tour – a 90-minute tour that goes deeper within the caves with more steps and narrower passages.

The highlight of the 90-minute adventure tour is passing through the famous “Devil’s Chimney”, measuring a tiny 45 cm… Sounds impossible but the average person can fit through fairly easily.

Cango Caves

12. Kayak with Hippos and Crocs in the St Lucia estuary

For this next adventure, we are gonna get up close and personal with some of SA’s most dangerous creatures.

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its diverse wildlife and swamp forests. The area is home to giant crocodiles, hippos, and even bull sharks.

Enjoy the few hours on the water taking in the views and experiencing the magnificent wildlife this part of South Africa has to offer.

13. Climb/Abseil Table Mountain

Most people go up on the top of Table Mountain to get a view of the city, but what about hanging off the side? 

With the Atlantic Ocean below you and breathtaking views of Robben Island and Camps Bay, this will be an experience you’ll remember for years to come.

It’s one of the best things to do in South Africa. The whole abseiling process only takes about an hour or so, leaving you with time to do a lot more exploring around the mountain.

And if you’re a climber already, there are some nice routes to try out on the mountain. Serving a whole host of routes, the mountain offers everything from easy short climbs to challenging multi-pitch routes. Whether a seasoned climber or a fresh-faced beginner, the wide variety of climbs means every type of climber will be covered.

14. Take to the skies in a Hot Air Balloon

Hot air ballooning in South Africa is arguably the best way to take in the landscapes of this beautiful country. Floating high above the ground, you have a spectacular, uninterrupted view of the gorgeous countryside below. Described as a somewhat magical experience, hot air ballooning is one of the oldest forms of flight known to man. Nowadays tailored to meet the needs of the public, hot air ballooning has become a highly sought-after activity.

There are a couple different companies that do these flights. They are spread out across the country, Cape Town, Drakensberg, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga, all with different landscapes to experience. 

Although Riding a Hot Air Balloon isn’t cheap it will certainly be an experience you will remember for life.

15. Go Skydiving over Cape Town

Feel like you’ve seen all that Cape Town has to offer? Think again! Why not take a look at it from up high? Skydiving is the ultimate adrenaline rush and there is no better place to do it than in Cape Town.

As you make your way through the sky, you’ll see most of the city’s famous sights, including Table Mountain, Table Bay harbour, and the city bowl sandwiched in between. You can tandem skydive if you have no experience; meaning you’ll have a pro strapped to your back, ensuring you stay safe. This is the ultimate adrenaline-induced activity you probably will ever do, so enjoy every second of it, a true adventure of a lifetime.

There you Have It

15 of the Best Adventure Activities to do in South Africa…

Have you done any of these adventures yourself? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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– Chase The Adventure –

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