Lion’s Head, Cape Town
Join Capetonian outdoor lovers as they wind their way up this city landmark and neighbouring Devil’s Peak every full moon. The 45-minute walk, though steep, is easy, just a little technical when you reach the peak, where it involves some ladder climbing. But the views of the city and the sight of the moon rising over it are well worth the effort. This is a great option if you’re pushed for time yet still crave an outdoor experience.
Cycling in Soweto, Johannesburg
Join local resident Busi Khambule and her well-versed team at Cycle in Soweto as she leads fascinating two-wheeled historical and cultural tours in and around the Johannesburg township of Soweto. Choose from two- to eight-hour tours that cover everything from the chequered history of Soweto to a Sunday gospel tour taking in a local church service with 7,000 congregants. There’s even a bike and bungee tour where participants swing between the 100m high Orlando Cooling Towers.
Take a leap on the world’s tallest bungee swing, Durban
The Big Rush Big Swing is officially the world’s tallest swing, according to the Guinness Book of Records, sending brave-hearted souls plunging into the stadium on an 80-metre freefall. Swingers then soar in a 220-metre arc over the centre of the Moses Mabhida stadium. If that sounds too terrifying for you, why not hop in the SkyCar, which whizzes you up the the stadium in just two minutes to a 360-degree viewing platform at the top
Shark cage dive, Gansbaai
A day trip to the Western Cape’s Gansbaai, the home of great white shark cage diving, is an absolute must-do for any adventurer worth their salt. The format at any of the operators is generally the same – depart on a boat for a morning or afternoon dive, head for the ocean, wait for these magnificent creatures to appear and hop into a cage for the thrill of a lifetime. All equipment is provided.
Swing over Oribi Gorge, Kwazulu Natal
The ultimate rush is stepping from the lip of Lehr’s Waterfall and swinging over the spectacular tree-clad chasm of Oribi Gorge. At 165m, the Wild Swing is the highest in the world, hurling you in a 100m arc and speeding you to 120km/h in a couple of seconds. Secure in a full-body harness, you can relish the adrenaline high in comfort and safety. You can also choose to abseil down the gorge, zip-line across it on a cable high above the tree canopy, or go white-water rafting in the churning river below
Cable car up Table Mountain, Cape Town
No visit to the “Mother City” is complete without whizzing up to the top of Table Mountains (one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature) via cable car. The five-minute ride takes you to the highest point in Cape Town where the 360-degree view of the city, Cape Peninsula and its oceans is nothing short of magnificent. And if it’s your birthday – bring your ID and you’ll get a free return trip. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could always abseil down.!
Free dive with ragged-tooth sharks, Sodwana Bay.
Every year, many keen divers head to northern Kwazulu-Natal’s Sodwana Bay. Here, docile, pregnant ragged-tooth sharks spend about two months of every summer biding their time during gestation before heading north to Mozambique. At Sodwana, you can scuba dive with these curious sharks at various sites while surrounded by other enchanting marine life, such as rays and dolphins, as well as the colourful, well-preserved corals on display.
Go geckoing in the Sabie River, Mpumalanga
For a watery adrenaline-rush, join Induana Adventures for a 2½-hour experience of white-water tubing down the Sabie river, near Hazyview. Each person is given a gecko – a steerable inflatable – and expert advice from an accompanying guide. Class 2 rapids provide thrills and the whirlpools mean that the spills aren’t too scary. There are waterfall jumps for adventurers and some chilled floating time, too. The experience ends with a picturesque walk up out of the Sabie gorge
Argus cycle tour, Cape Peninsula
The Argus as it is colloquially known is “the world’s largest timed cycle race” (up to 35,000 riders at a time) and it is certainly the most picturesque. The challenging 109km-long race (68 miles) is held in March every year and starts in Cape Town, circumnavigating the entire Cape Peninsula. Although it is a gruelling event, the awesome scenery and camaraderie among the cyclists is what makes it such a hit. It’s an unbeatable and unforgettable way to explore South Africa. Special ticket entries are available for international and charity riders
The highest bungee jump in the world, Eastern Cape
For those seeking a thrill like no other, a bungee jump off the Bloukrans bridge on the beautiful Garden Route will certainly tick that box. If your knees aren’t knocking at the sight of the 216m drop from bridge to valley floor and the Bloukrans river below, they certainly will be after you’ve experienced what it’s like to jump with nothing but a giant elastic band attached to your body.