Adventure Activities Along the South African Coast

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Adventure Along the South African Coast

South Africa is considered the adventure capital of the world and presents a veritable treasure trove of activities for the nine million tourists it attracts each year. In recent years, its numerous coastal adventure activities have taken off in a big way. If you’re visiting SA for the forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup, you might like to check out some of these superb adventure sports when you're not at a game.

Diving With Sharks – Without a Cage!

Sounds unbelievable, right? But you can have this once-in-a-lifetime experience in South Africa. The Shark Park in the Aliwal Marine Protected Area allows you to get up close and personal with Blacktip, Tiger and Dusky Sharks without a cage impeding your one-on-one! Several underwater expedition companies conduct cage less shark diving sessions for tourists – a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see shark species such as Hammerheads, Lemon Sharks, and Caribbean Reef Sharks. Cape Town and Mossel Bay are just some of the places where you can indulge in this breathtaking experience.


If a rendezvous with sharks is a little too ‘out there’ for you, why not try paragliding? This exhilarating experience does not really require any ‘experience’. You will be flown under the supervision of expert pilots who will prepare you for your flight. For a 40-minute flight from places such as Porterville and Franschhoek, you can expect to pay around R950 (US$ 135). A 4-hour cross country flight will cost around R1400 (US$ 200), not a bad deal for some stunning aerial views of South Africa. For a little extra, your tour operator will also arrange for a pick up and drop off at your hotel, with water, sunscreen and refreshments thrown in. For about R200 (US$ 28), your tour operator will also capture your views (and you in air!) through in-flight digital photography equipment. A typical paragliding flight starts from the mountains of Cape Town, takes you over areas like Table Mountain and Camps Bay and ends with a smooth landing in South Africa’s magnificent vineyards and beaches.


In recent years, kitesurfing has taken off in a big way across the world; South Africa’s hot summers and endless beaches make for ideal kitesurfing conditions. If you’re nervous but still want to have a go at it, you’re in luck. Many adventure activity companies in South Africa have beachfront kitesurfing schools that train beginners and provide all the necessary equipment.
Kayaking the Cape of Storms

Kayaking is a fine way to explore the stunning natural beauty of the country. You don’t need prior experience; in fact anyone older than 10 years can indulge in this sport. Under the guidance of expert professionals, kayaking in South Africa is an exhilarating experience. Your chances of spotting whales and penguins are pretty high!

4x4 Trails

4x4 trails in South Africa offer exciting opportunities to explore mountain ranges (Nuweveld Mountain Range), passes and national parks (Richtersveld National Park). It takes an average of four days to traverse South Africa’s 4x4 trails which can range from 240 km to 750 km. A popular trail is the Diamond Coast route from Dwarskersbos to Lambert's Bay and Hondeklipbaai, terminating at Port Nolloth. The trail is moderately difficult to cover but has a fascinating array of flora and fauna.


Want a bigger adrenalin rush? Skydiving is just the thing for you! Sure enough, South Africa has plenty of options on this front as well. An aircraft takes you up to around 10,000 ft (giving you awesome views of the cities, bays and peninsulas) above a drop zone from where you can jump out of the plane with or without an instructor at a dizzying 120 mph. During the 45 seconds or so until your parachute touches down, you can marvel at natural wonders such as the West Coast, Robben Island, Cape Town and Table Mountain.

Storms River

Storms River, a small hamlet tucked away north of Plettenberg Bay, near Tsitsikamma Forest is special in terms of the sheer number of adventure options it offers. Take the Canopy Tour where you glide through the forest from tree to tree, while being suspended from steel cables. Storms River is also your one-stop destination for a plethora of activities such as hiking, abseiling, bridge swing, and river rafting.

Other activities

The world’s highest point for bungi jumping is located in Tsitsikamma Forest Market, along the N2 Highway, about 40 km east of Plettenberg Bay. Strapped into a full body harness and guided by bungi experts, you plunge down 200 m to the Bloukrans River.

Mountain biking, always a popular adventure sport, is even more special in South Africa with innumerable challenging trails to explore. Some noteworthy trails are at Cape Peninsula National Park, Harkerville Forests, KwaZulu-Natal, Port Elizabeth, and the De Hoop National Park, close to Swellendam.

Gigantic waves and warm waters make for some unforgettable surfing in South Africa. With over 100 surf-spots scattered throughout the country, you are spoilt for choice!

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