SOUTH AFRICA, THE LAND OF ACTIVITIES (SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL GUIDE, part II)
South Africa has sooo many different sport and activity options. Whether you are into climbing, hiking, biking or more extreme sports such as sand boarding, wake boarding or parasailing, there is something for you to keep entertained EVERY DAY.
The diverse landscape makes it the perfect spot to try different activities. It’s also relatively cheap to do anything in South Africa, compared to Europe and the US so if you’ve been longing for trying out an expensive sport, why not try it here?
Managed to get a pink sand board, whoop!
Sand boarding This was probably one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had. I’m a snowboarder since a young age, so it felt very weird being in a bikini in the desert, feeling the sandy winds in your face instead of cold and snow. At first it was scary, as I thought I would go 100 km/hour (more or less..). But the fact is, you can adjust the speed yourself. Because you have to put this cream/wax under the board for it to glide. The more often you put it on, the faster you go. So in the beginning I didn’t put on the cream after every ride, which made me go slower (a lot slower!). When I got used to it, it wanted to go faster. It was so much fun!!
We went with THIS company (led by Dylan). It was organized really well and was beyond our expectations. The cost was R450 pp for 3 hours. I thought it was going to be very little time, but since you are out in the desert, I would not recommend booking more than 3 hours. It get VERY HOT! Bring lots of water and a hat. They do have a tent where you can sit down to cool off.
Hiking You don’t think this sounds hard, do you? Trust me, it is! The most famous mountains of Cape Town are Lions Head and Table mountain. There are different paths for more experienced climbers, and easier ones for grandmas (kidding, it still takes a lot to get to the top). The easiest way to get there is taking a taxi or an Uber and ask them to take you to the right path. Bring lots of water, sunscreen and comfy runners (shoes, not athletic people).
The mountain view from Camps Bay
Horseback riding safari
When in Cape Town we were sure that we wanted to do a safari. But most safaris are quite pricey and require you to go away from Cape Town for at least a couple of days. Instead we found the perfect option called Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, along the Garden Route, and was only a 3 hour tour. The safari was just enough to see what we wanted to see, and on a horseback you get very close to the nature and the animals. I’m a big nature person and I wouldn’t want to do the safari by car. It was so peaceful and you could stop wherever you wanted and enjoy the moment! We paid R590 pp for a 3 hour horse back safari tour.
My speedy horse “Rocket”!
I always though that rhinos were dangerous, but they were super calm and friendly
One of the first things you think about when hearing South Africa is wine. They make some of the best wines in the world (according to me)! So going on a wine tour was a mandatory thing for us. We researched some companies and found Wine Flies Cape Town to be a good option for us! Not only do they offer pickup and drop off in Cape Town, they also had chocolate and cheese tastings to the wine. It was a winner!
The tour took place in Stellenbosch, which is very known for it’s winelands. We started out early morning and got picked up from right outside our Airbnb. The tour included 5 different vineyards, fairly close to each other with amazing views over the mountains. I had been to some wine tastings before and thought I knew what to expect. But it was nothing like it. First of all, we got a tour of the estate and saw some wild zebras (!) and other wildlife. When we sat down we were offered 5 (!) different wines in each place, which adds up to a total of 25 glasses of wine! And we are not talking “wine tasting 1/5 of a glass”, we got full glasses of wine. So by the end of the 3rd vinyard, we actually decided to go back to Cape Town. Not because we didn’t like it, but because it was already 5 pm (we started at 9 am) and we had had a lot of wine.
I actually didn’t drink white wine before this tour. I think it’s too sour or too sweet. But after this tour, I realized I like white South African wines, so I will stick to that!
Overall, we had a great experience with amazing people (we were only 7 people on the tour), great cheese and pizza and the most important part; amazing wine that we got to bring back home!
For all of this we paid R820 pp. It includes transfer, lunch and lots of wine. Check out their website for more info!
One of the vinyards called “Uitkyk”, which means lookout
Cheese pairing to the amazing wines at Remhoogte
Surfing is a big thing in South Africa, and I was hoping to be able to surf here. But everyone that knows me, also knows that I absolutely hate the cold! And the water around Cape Town is freezing…! (because of the open Atlantic ocean). So I was waiting to get to Plettenberg Bay (which is protected by the cape and therefore slightly warmer waters). But since we didn’t get to Plettenberg Bay until the second last day, we didn’t have time to surf. But I would recommend that if you want to surf in Cape Town, bring a wet suit, you will be cold! Or if you are like me, wait until you are on the other side of the cape where the water is warmer.
Read part III for destination and food tips! (coming soon!)