You’re heading to South Africa, one of the world’s adventure capitals. From spotting the Big Seven on safari to seeing Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain, the country has something for everyone.
But with so much to see and do, one visit is barely enough to scratch the surface of this incredible country, so how are you going to make the most of your time there? We recommend adding these ten unusual sights and activities to your South African bucket list.
1. Sunbathe alongside penguins at Boulders Beach
Impressive mountain ranges and scenic landscapes surround Boulders Bay, where, amazingly, a colony of around 3,000 African penguins have made the beach their home. Calm (and dazzlingly blue) seas and shady coves mean this beach is a beautiful yet touristy one to visit, but it’s not every day you can mingle with penguins while you tan; Boulders Bay is not to be missed.
2. Abseil down Table Mountain
Table Mountain National Park covers around three quarters of the Cape Peninsula, with the 1,086 metre-high Table Mountain the main event. Nothing quite beats the panoramic views of Cape Town from the top of this incredible landmark, but if the aerial cableway to the top doesn’t fill your ‘thrill’ quota, why not don your walking boots and abseil your way back down for an added adrenaline boost? It’s the world’s highest commercial abseiling point!
3. Spot the Big Seven on the Eastern Cape
Why visit South Africa? Because it doesn’t just have the ‘Big Five’, it has the ‘Big Seven’, that’s why. You can spot lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo on safari at Addo Elephant National Park, and then embark on a boat trip to hunt for great white sharks and southern right whales. Will you be lucky enough to tick them all off your list?
4. Kayak with crocodiles in St. Lucia
Ever fancied rowing through crocodile-infested waters in a tiny boat? Not one for the faint hearted, head to the St. Lucia estuary for an unbeatable kayak safari adventure, where you can spot some of Africa’s most dangerous animals as you paddle. Hippos, crocodiles, and even sharks rule these waters, so make sure you have your wits about you!
5. Fly a microlight over Durban
Could there be a better way to see South Africa than from a tiny aircraft in the sky? Probably not. Flying in a microlight from Durban gives you spectacular aerial views of the Dolphin Coast and an unbeatable adrenaline rush to go with it. The notion of flying over the stunning coastline and lush, rolling fields of Natal Green Gold is enough to convince anyone to try microlighting, and as if that wasn’t enough, you might even see dolphins, whales or turtles as you fly over the Indian Ocean!
6. Take a Karkloof canopy tour
If you want to explore South Africa’s amazing forests, do so while suspended 30 metres in the air. Karkloof Nature Reserve boasts an amazing mist-belt indigenous forest, as well as mist-belt grassland and wetland, and is home to some of the most incredible African wildlife. Explore the forest on an exciting two hour tour, including platforms and ‘Foefi’ slides (the longest of which is 180 metres!), as you learn about the forest ecology. You’ll see a 20 metre-high waterfall and the expansive Karkloof valley too.