Well, there’s adventure and then there’s adventure. True adventure is sometimes a world away because the allure of discovery is integral to who we are. When you hear the call of true adventure, it’s safe to guess that South Africa tours will be on the other end of the line. South Africa consistently swoons visitors with natural splendor and friendly, organic faces that have fabricated the paramount business model for adventure travel. An entire continent’s worth of greatness is concentrated into a single, gorgeous package just waiting to be unwrapped. And your name is on the gift tag. South Africa adventures await!
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa tours and safaris take the cake with more types of terrain than photographers have memory cards for. Deciding where exactly to do your activities in South Africa is going to be an adventure in and of itself, but take a gander of these top choices to get off on the right foot.
Cape Town is affectionately known as the “Mother City,” and she will keep an eye out for you while you adventure within her walls. Commune with the abundant outdoor space by learning to surf or going hiking or mountain biking. In your Cape Town adventures, the sky’s not even the limit! You can get your head in the clouds and paraglide off Lion’s Head or abseil off the top of Table Mountain. Even the thrilling drives down the coast and over mountain passes are sure to get you psyched up for whatever adventure you’re chasing down.
Johannesburg sometimes gets an undeserved city slicker reputation for being all work and no play. But truth is, Jo’burg’s best kept secret is that there are adventures aplenty scattered all over the City of Gold like buried treasure. Adventures like sandboarding and quad biking should top your to-do list, but don’t count out water sports just because the city lacks ocean access. Sublime canoeing expeditions are a year round option with river routes to suit every level of paddler.
Durban doesn’t have to try hard to coax in visitors with the abundance of beaches fed by endless rays of summer sunshine, delicious food and wine on the cheap, and laid back vibes mimicking So Cal or Aus that waft through the clean streets like a warm breeze. Durbs is a hotspot for madcaps like you, with plenty of activities to suit just about every taste. Hardcore thrills such as shark diving and skydiving are ready to max out your adrenaline meter. Other “lighter” options like surfing, scuba diving, rock climbing, zip lining, and zorbing will also keep your adventure thirst quenched.
South Africa tours and travel offer adrenaline hungry adventurers countless exhilarating opportunities. It all depends on what revs your engine and where you sit on a scale of one to crazy. Consider some of these structured programs to pepper in some added meaning to your South Africa trips.
Water. Get your feet wet learning about marine conservation along with a variety of extreme watersports. Learn first-hand about the issues facing marine ecosystems while earning your PADI certification and going on eco dives! Like any sport in which you interact with the environment, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking are additional options that foster respect for the ocean and nature, as well as oxygenating you with some fresh air uncontaminated by the city smog.
Earth. If you prefer land to sea, opt for a wildlife awareness program. We’re talking about some serious safari time here. Grow your passion for conservation and discovering nature untouched by adventuring through national parks. Learn to survive in the wild and navigate by the stars in the protected areas of South Africa. During your free time you can join in on activities like horseback riding, backpacking, and rock climbing to name a few.
Wind. Share your passion for defying gravity (literally and figuratively) with the locals by being a model of fearlessness and blowing some wind in their sails. Paragliding, sailing, kiteboarding, and hang gliding serve as the backdrop for humanitarian programs that empower locals to pursue their dreams.
Costs & Affordability
South Africa tours are actually quite affordable. Though you may shed some tears over the cost of your flight, prices will be much more reasonable once you’ve landed.
South Africa still remains one of the most affordable countries in the world to spend some time trekking around in. The South African Rand is the nation’s currency and $1 USD is roughly equal to $13-15 ZAR. Needless to say, South Africa definitely gets you more bling for less cha-ching!
A big plus of adventure travel programs in South Africa is that program fees cover meals, housing, and excursions. However, these programs usually leave it up to you to sort out the airfare and scrape together a little spending money. But if your piggy bank is looking a little skinny, don’t let a lack of savings deter you from getting out there! There are many ways to get help covering the costs, such as sites like FundMyTravel.
Accommodation & Visas
When you’re done surfing for the day and you’ve polished off a plate of bunny chow (more delicious than it sounds), you’ll need somewhere to rest and recharge. Luckily, you won’t have to put too much thought into your lodging, which leaves more time for adventure planning.
Most programs for South Africa adventures organize housing for you, which is usually in an apartment-style dorm shared with other students or a homestay with a local family. These types of housing arrangements allow you to get to know fellow trailblazers and be fully immersed in the culture.
Citizens from many countries are able to travel take South Africa tours on a 90 day tourist visa. If South Africa steals your heart and you plan to exceed 90 days, you can apply for a volunteer visa. This takes a bit more documentation but lasts for three years! For more information, check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Bucket List. South Africa is a magical playground with everything you could ever want. A LOT of things can get crossed off your bucket list here. Shark diving, bungee jumping, seeing a lion roar…you name it and South Africa tours and safaris will show you the way!
Quasi-English. While English is widely spoken, South African English has a flavor all its own. For example, the phrase now now doesn’t actually mean now (that would make too much sense). It’s a good idea to acclimate yourself to some of the nuances and slang of the locals before you go so you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of a dwaal.
Safety. Just like any other foreigner traveling abroad, you will need to watch out for yourself and your personal belongings in the major cities. South Africa may be known as an idealistic place to live, but it is still burdened by petty theft. Don’t let this sway you, as most places around the world have similar concerns as well. By simply employing the buddy system and good old-fashioned common sense, you will be just fine.
Embrace Uncertainty. Participating in activities in South Africa raises your tolerance for uncertainty. Placing yourself in situation where things don’t always go as planned…such as an adventure trip…in Africa…helps you learn to cope with the uncertainties in life. Handling the inevitable challenges of life is a skill that almost always finds you later down the road in the form of an interview question. When you tell an interviewer a riveting story about a struggle you overcame while adventure traveling in South Africa, you will definitely knock their socks off.
Your soul craves adventure, and each time you feed it, you find yourself changing and growing. Upon returning from these quests of discovery, we’re bolder, stronger, and more adrenalized. Adventure builds confidence and brings you back to the roots of who you really are. Dig deep and let the profoundness of adventure envelop you when you have South Africa adventures!