Outdoor Activities in KwaZulu Natal
Outdoor Activities in South Africa
There are few countries in the world to rival South Africa when it comes to outdoor activities. The country has everything from rugged mountains to endless desert plains, rushing rivers and crashing waves, big five reserves and wetlands, lush forests and fynbos-covered hills that beg to be explored.
Large numbers of farms are now focusing on eco-tourism activities and the low population density, history of conservation and vast areas of inhospitable terrain has resulted in extensive areas of pristine, protected wilderness, where adventurous types can escape and sleep out under the stars.
The extensive coastline, with the cold Atlantic Ocean to the west and warm Indian Ocean to the east, is a haven for watersports enthusiasts. Scuba divers and snorkellers can enjoy tropical diving on some of the world’s most southerly coral reefs, while adrenalin junkies can get up close and personal with fearsome apex predators – including, from the safety of a cage - great white sharks.
Sea kayakers can marvel at the spectacular coastal landscapes in the company of whales, dolphins and seals, while the many rivers offer rafting from mild to wild. Kayakers can take guided tours of hippo- and crocodile-infested lakes and fly-fishermen can enjoy the grand mountain symphony being played around them as they cast into the many well-stocked rivers, dams and lakes.
Hiking, mountain-bike and 4x4 trails criss-cross the country, giving access to treasures such as rock art or to otherwise inaccessible beaches, mountain peaks and rivers. And it’s so easy to get away from it all here, even if you can’t leave town. All the cities have wonderful day walks and mountain-bike and 4x4 parks, where you can get some fresh air, grind your gears or improve your skills.
The sunny climate is ideal for enjoying the outdoors and while parts of the country suffer climatic extremes, the weather is predictable – so activity plans are rarely scuppered. Best of all, while the outdoor industry is well regulated, there is little of the nanny-state mentality you find elsewhere. In South Africa, the prevailing attitude is one of individual responsibility. There are few restrictions and even fewer crowds; permits and guides are easy to come by and if you want to go out and do your own thing, no-one is going to stop you.
Indeed there’s no room for any excuse, so get out there now!
Articles & Blogs
Madswimmer Shark Swim9:55pm 30 Jan
At sunrise on 2 December Madswimmer took the plunge to attempt the fastest 100km swim ever in one day. Twenty one swimmers and a 24 strong support team made their way to the mighty Agulhas Current about 20km offshore from Park Rynie - to swim to Port Edward to raise awareness for sharks being on the verge of extinction.
Over the last several months Madswimmer involved numerous experts to contribute to the meticulous planning of this swim.
Founder Jean Craven explains...
The Rock of Ages8:19pm 31 May
Words Will Bendix, pics Greg Ewing
The wall lies in a crumpled heap on the sand, a blanket of brick and cement folded over the crushed words that used to adorn its surface: “If you don’t live here, don’t surf here.” A trail of rubble leaks down the beach on to the foot of the tidal pool that has framed the coveted waves of Cave Rock for decades.
You know Cave Rock. The Rock. South Africa’s answer to Backdoor Pipe. Its wide-open tubes and perfect backdrop made it the poster child for surfing magazines the world over. Lavish spreads were dedicated to its carnivorous barrels...
500 kilometre non-stop race on KZN's South Coast6:30am 23 May
500 kilometre non-stop race on KZN's South Coast
Adventure racing is a bit Survivor does Amazing Race; but no-one gets voted off the island, competitors participate in teams of four and they don't get to travel on planes or in cars. Feet, mountain bikes and kayaks will transport these rugged competitors over 500 kilometres of South Africa's South Coast during the 2014 edition of Expedition Africa, which starts on Sunday, 25 May 2014.
Adventure racing is an outdoor sport that sees teams navigating by means of map-and-compass to defined checkpoints and transition...
500 kilometre non-stop race on KZN's South Coast8:27pm 22 May
Adventure racing is a bit Survivor does Amazing Race; but no-one gets voted off the island, competitors participate in teams of four and they don't get to travel on planes or in cars. Feet, mountain bikes and kayaks will transport these rugged competitors over 500 kilometres of South Africa's South Coast terrain during the 2014 edition of Expedition Africa.
Next week, 40 teams of four from 17 countries arrive in South Africa and begin making their way to the Port Edward Holiday Resort on the South Coast. They're here for the 500-kilometre Expedition Africa multi-day adventure race,...
Tubing in the Midlands6:30am 2 Apr
Tubing in the Midlands
The Midlands presents the opportunity to go tubing in one of its many rivers. There are few things better than packing a picnic, road tripping with a car full of friends and hiring tubes for a day to peacefully explore and swim. The drive can be anything from an hour and a half to a three hour and beyond trip from central Durban, depending on the destination, but the outcomes of tubing are worth the drive. Consult guides at The Bushman’s river or Mooi River for their tubing courses, or alternatively, visit an accessible and charming camping...
Durban Segway5:55am 4 Sep
I loved experiencing Durban’s beachfront with Segway Gliding Tours. Based at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, regular tours depart daily, both of the Golden Mile which stretches up to uShaka Marine World, and of the stadium itself.
Guides Soyiso Qulu and Siyabonga Ntshiza ran me and my fellow adventurers through a brief training session where we learnt how to control the Segway. This two wheeled self-balancing cross between roller skates and quad bikes is surprisingly easy to get the hang of and soon we were off, pressing down on the balls of our feet to accelerate, and leaning back...
Palm Beach: Kwazulu Natal Kitesurfing at its Best11:27am 15 May
By Dean Bottcher
It is a far cry from some island paradise or speciality wave kitesurfing destination. Does it deliver on every visit? No, so what is all the fuss about then?
The Place: A Gentle Giant for Kitesurfing in South Africa
Palm Beach, also referred to as Mpenjati, named after the neighbouring river estuary, has had some big names in the wind sports lifestyle pass through...
Zack Buchan & Ross Walters2:12pm 5 Feb
- In a nutshell: A world first – a supported kitesurfing expedition from Ponto d’Ouro to Durban.
- Risk of death by misadventure: Reasonably high. The main risks were shark attacks, getting stranded miles off shore when the wind dropped, and getting stuck in big surf over rocks with erratic winds. If either had dropped a kite in those conditions and was unable to relaunch there was a...