Active Holidays For All, From The Gentle Explorer To The Adventure Seeker.

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There’s something very satisfying about keeping active while on holiday, pulling on those super cool well-designed Adidas Tracksuits and incorporating activities that will get you hiking, climbing, jumping off bridges and flying high over protected landscapes. Order your Adidas Tracksuits and make your next holiday active – be it as a Gentle Explorer or Extreme Adrenalin Enthusiast.

Spending time outdoors adds a glow to any adventure – leaving us happier and more fulfilled because of it. All the stresses of life just melt away as we embark on varied ways to explore some of the most stunning sceneries in the world. Whichever way new look at it, active holidays are here to stay, be it gentle meanders or adrenalin thrills.

I for one remember an experience on my last visit to Madagascar. A four-hour hike in the rain forest within the Andasibe National Park isn’t easy, humidity is high and a soft drizzle brought a mist to the air. Wet vegetation crunching underfoot as I moved slowly forward, increased anticipation pumping through my veins. ‘They’re close’ – I’m told. Deep in the wilderness of this naturalist’s promised land, I was there to see the Indri Indri, Madagascar’s largest and most elusive lemur. Then came the distinctive call that sets it apart. A family moving through the trees with long-armed agility, their black and white bulk matched by short chubby tails and curious faces, all within easy sight. A gift, and a reward for the effort.

These moments are a reminder of how in the quest to realize our travel dreams and see the sights, we’re drawn to the more remote and active options. There is a heightened reward in each step taken on a desolate beach, as we skydive from aeroplanes and hold conversations with the fascinating people we meet along the way. Not to mention pushing a mountain bike over the boulder and stretching my arms out to row a paddle. It’s healthy and honest.

There is of course an argument for time spent relaxing on a beach, for food-heavy itineraries and books read without interruption in shaded hammocks. Yet in between, the increased desire to feel the blood pumping through our veins should not be ignored. Our bodies may end weary, and the hike may deliver mosquito bites and blisters, but it also leaves us knowing more, having senses teased, feeling closer to nature and very much alive. These are some ways to have an active holiday in Southern Africa.

FOR THE GENTLE EXPLORER

That desire to walk the city or find an interesting cycle tour that won’t send your body into meltdown is easily met, allowing you to keep up your fitness whilst getting a fresh air perspective. For the whole family, Cape Town Free Walking Tours offers either a historical tour in the morning or a Bo-Kaap tour in the afternoon, starting across from St George’s Cathedral with the tour lasting an hour and a half and covers all the essential landmarks that bring the Mother City its character.

On your next visit to Zambia’s Victoria Falls, take an insider look at Livingstone with Local Cowboy Cycle Tours. Their guide will take you through Linda to Libuyu, Dwamba and Maramba, with a visit to a working quarry, where the mighty Zambezi River meets the road, the Cowboy pre-school and the Dambwa market. All part of a community project funding the school, this is a half-day out which offers engagement with the way of life, insight into the history and diversity of the area and is offered at a relaxed pace with many stops along the way. More fun than you can imagine, book a Segway tour of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which you can extend to Durban’s Golden Mile and ocean piers. They offer training and once you’ve got your balance and start zooming, it will be hard to stop.

FOR THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT 

The want for more, walking trails, aerial perspectives and time to master that skill you’ve always wanted. Flight by hot air balloon speaks of the adventures of a bygone era. It’s silent as you stand in the basket taking in the views below while regular bursts of hot air leave you at altitude. This should be on all travellers’ wish lists, especially over the Serengeti and Namid Desert, as well as with the legendary Bill Harrop’s ‘Original’ Balloon Safaris at the Cradle of Humankind.

Walk the 55 km five-day whale trail from Potberg to Koppie Alleen in the Western Cape with five overnight stops along the way. The first few days are strenuous with a mountain climb, but the salty air, marine protected area and opportunity to explore more of the unsurpassed natural beauty of the De Hoop Nature Reserve make up for the sore feet at the end of the day. Book a week in the world-famous Jeffrey’s Bay for surfing lessons with the legendary Andrew Moon of Wavecrest Surf School, a skilled and practised man. Or include a surf lesson or cold water swim while in Cape Town.

FOR THE EXTREME ENTHUSIAST

They’re out there chasing earth-shattering experiences that literally touch every part of their being. Wet, cold, rugged, suspended from the sky, nothing deters these enthusiasts. Take to the most extreme zip lining in South Africa with a visit to the new Cape Canopy Tours in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, where your adventure will have you flying above age-old protected Cape vegetation. Dive with Cape Fur Seals off Hout Bay’s Duiker Island with Animal Ocean. Wetsuits, goggles and snorkels are the only things that will be between you and these curious animals that will come in for a closer look. Don’t think shark, this is seal territory. Take to the rapids near the picturesque Free State town of Clarens with Clarensxtreme. Said to be the best white water rafting in the country, the Ash River provides year-round rafting with 9 rapids, including grade III and IV. While you’re there look into the other activities they offer.

For the Special Occasion

First Date Intentions. An invitation to spend an afternoon getting to know each other could include a plunge and an opportunity to show off your brave heart with a 3, 2, 1 … Bungy! Bloukrans in the Tsitsikamma region is the world’s highest commercial bungy jump and is sure to reveal both character and intentions. Honeymoon Cheer. Romance loves the great outdoors. Take a honeymoon of beach glamping at the Beach Camp in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve with sea kayaking and mountain bikes adding to your rustic and natural experience. Alternately book Canvas Collective Africa’s summer pop-up in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, or in the Cederberg later in the year.

Anniversary highs. Why not opt for an exhilarating, gravity-defying drop on The Sky Hi Ride from the 28th floor of the Hotel Sky in Cape Town, which reaches a free fall speed of up to 100km per hour and almost 4G’s? Towering 35 meters above the City bowl and giving you a bird’s eye view of one of the most beautiful cities in the World. Family bonding. Brave a couple of days off the grid with the family by booking the 28km Boesmanskloof McGregor to Greyton return hike. Before you know it all attention will be on chats, rock pools and making it out alive. You won’t even miss your cell phones. Highly recommended too are Wilderness Trails, including the Green and Blue Mountain Trail, Sanbona and Pafuri Wilderness Trails.

Read my post – A Look at my Recommended Cape Nature Trails.

Now let’s all get there and make our adventure holidays count.

** This post is made possible by Superbalist – who understands the needs of travellers. Mine in particular.

** Top pic courtesy of Helicopter Horizons, Botswana who I work with at AMADI and who offer an ultimate adventure. Connect with me for help with your travel arrangements.

 

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