The 10 Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

The essence of an adventure is an experience that involves a little risk, that has you facing some sort of challenge and usually unfolds in a remote location. It is also an experience that changes you in some tiny way because you are taken out of your comfort zone and yet returned safely home. We have selected 10 of South Africa’s best adventure holidays that epitomises the true quality of adventure. We have also used criteria such as; uniqueness, quality, value for money, location and the professionality and experience of the operator offering the activity. Including any of these multi-day adventures in your South African holiday will ensure a remarkable and memorable trip.

1. Orange River Wilderness Rafting Expedition
Explore the arid but strikingly beautiful Northern Cape section of the mighty orange river on a multi-day rafting trip. Gravity Adventures and their highly professional team, have been offering this iconic journey since 1997, giving South Africans and visitors the chance to attune their senses to the wonders of water flowing through a desert environment. An Orange River trip can easily be placed at the top of the list for a family-friendly South African adventure.

Orange River Wilderness Rafting with Gravity Adventures - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

2. A Kruger Back Packing Trail
This is a bucket-list worthy adventure and absolutely the best way to experience South Africa’s most treasured game reserve; Kruger National Park. With two world-class safari guides leading you, you will leave behind your creature comforts and embrace the wilds of Africa. This is an experience that facilitates deep engagement with nature. You will hike through an evocative landscape, constantly on the alert for birds and animals, sleeping in a tent and perhaps waking to listen to the strange and unfamiliar night sounds much as our early ancestors did.

Kruger Backpacking Trail - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

3. Drakensberg Mini-Traverse Trail
The mighty old dragon of Africa, home to South Africa’s highest peak- Mount Ntlenyana at 3482-meters, is one of South Africa’s best hiking destinations. The Drakensberg Mini-Traverse Trail is a multi-day exploration of some of the Drakensberg’s most beautiful and iconic features like the 948-meter Tugela Falls and the spire-like Cathedral Peak. With qualified hiking guides keeping you safe you can immerse yourself in this South African mountain experience and have one of the best outdoor adventures of your life. 

Drakensberg Mini Traverse - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

4. Kosi Bay Adventure Trail
With 50% of the world’s wetlands gone and many more under threat, this must-do South African adventure, is a unique opportunity to explore a pristine example of an unbelievably beautiful but disappearing eco-system. Kosi Bay Adventure Trail with Active Escapes is a multi-day slackpacking excursion circumnavigating the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the beautiful Kwazulu-Natal North Coast. With experienced local guides you will walk, paddle canoes and motorboat through this wonderland of azure waters, white dunes and forest. Sightings of hippo, rare loggerhead turtles and endangered palm nut vultures will add to treasured memories.

Kosi Bay Adventure Trail - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

5. Tailor-made Mountain Biking Holiday
Day Trippers, a well-established adventure outfit specialising in cycling tours, put together some of the most exciting outdoor activity itineraries on offer in South Africa. If you’re looking for an unforgettable biking holiday you’ve come to the right place. Day Tripper’s will get you onto some of South Africa’s most epic mountain biking trails and back roads where you’ll experience stunning parts of the country seldom seen by tourists.

Tailor-made Mountain Biking Holidays - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

6. Six Day Lesotho Pony Trek
The stunning mountains of Lesotho call to the adventurous, drawing all who love wild high places to come and explore their peaks and valleys. What better way to do that then on the back of a robust Basotho pony and in company of locals who can share their Basotho culture while guiding you to all the most beautiful areas. Revel in the peaceful rhythm of your pony’s gait, enjoy the simplicity of your day trekking through the mountains and sleeping in Basotho huts. A quintessential adventure with Malealea Lodge.

Lesotho Pony Trekking - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

7. A Wild Coast Walking Holiday
The evocative wild coast is a top South African adventure destination and one of the best places for a walking holiday. The sea mist smudged coastline stretches on forever. Endless beautiful beaches, lagoons, green hump-backed hills and forest- wild one moment and bucolic the next-makes for a hiker’s paradise. A Wild Coast Walking Holiday takes advantage of the many small family run hotels that are tucked away at beauty spots, so that all you need to carry is a light day pack.

Wild Coast Walking Holiday - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

8. Tailor-made Motorcycle Tour
Whether you’re a beginner or serious long-term biker consider a bespoke motorcycle tour with Adventure Bike Safaris. Our in-depth knowledge of South Africa’s most exciting and beautiful motorcycle routes and our extensive experience of all things motorbike will ensure you have the adventure holiday of your wildest dreams. Multi-day tours traverse desert landscapes and lush green mountains passes, stopping at comfortable establishments with warm hospitality, way off the beaten track.

Tailor-made Motorcycle Tours - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

9. A Garden Route Slackpacking Trail
There’s just no way around it, the best way to explore a beautiful area is on your own two feet. The Garden Route encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in South Africa and some of the best accommodation options. There are many stunning trails through forests, along beaches and through game parks and a slackpacking multi-day adventure should be at the top of your list of South African must-do’s!

Garden Route Slackpacking Trail - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa

10. Tailor-made Safari
If you are a little overwhelmed by the vast array of magnificent holidays on offer, let African Travel Gateway’s professional travel consultants use their many years of experience and expertise in South Africa’s adventure industry to put together an itinerary that will inspire and excite you, as well as fit your budget and timing.

Tailor-made Safaris - The Best Adventure Holidays in South Africa