If you’re someone who can’t stay still, or you love to get out and about whilst on your travels, then you’re likely itching for a chance to ditch your beach book for something a bit more adventurous.

Fortunately, South Africa is the perfect place to venture beyond the ordinary. Home to gorgeous landscapes and bright cultures, the country invites you on electrifying sporting adventures that promise to add a touch of adrenaline to your travel experience. From canyoning to sand boarding, a holiday here will give you plenty to write home about.

In this post, we share four unique sporting activities for you to try when you’re on holiday in South Africa.

Read on!


Known locally as ‘kloofing’, this high-thrill sport will see you abseiling down waterfalls, scrambling across rocks, swimming in rivers and jumping into icy pools. It’s an obstacle course on steroids, testing your fitness and bravery at every turn.

You’ll start at the top of the valley and follow the path of the river downstream, equipped with life jackets and helmets to ensure that nothing can get in your way. This is typically done in groups with an experienced guide, so it’s perfect if you’re traveling with a group of friends or family.

If this all sounds a bit too extreme, don’t worry: most canyoning guides offer different levels of difficulty so that you’re not pushed too far. If in doubt, opt for a slightly easier course so that you can be sure you’ll enjoy it.

Horseback Tour

Want to see more of South Africa, but don’t fancy trekking on foot? Why not saddle up and go on a horseback tour instead?

An equestrian escapade along the beach or through the mountains could be just the type of unique experience you’re looking for—it’s certainly different to riding around the local sand school back home.

Confident riders can embark on a horse riding safari, looking out for some of South Africa’s native wildlife near the Kruger National Park. Or, if simply getting on a horse is enough, take a canter along one of the country’s beautiful beaches, splashing in the waves to cool off. For the truly laid back, you can book onto a horseback wine tasting tour, consisting of a leisurely ride through the Cape Winelands, stopping for refreshments along the way in the form of South Africa’s finest vintages.


If you’re keen to crimp some rock, then bouldering should definitely be part of your South African itinerary. The Rocklands area has grown in popularity in recent years to become one of the world’s premier bouldering destinations, with stable weather conditions and top-quality sandstone. Some of the hardest boulder problems in the world are consistently climbed here every season, so if you want to push yourself to the next level, then make sure to pack your shoes.

Don’t think that this area is just for those climbing top level routes. There are plenty of easier routes too, and even if you don’t complete one, you should be able to at least start. It would be easy to spend several weeks here just climbing, and the popularity of the area means you should be able to find others to spot you if you’ve traveled solo.

Be aware that you will need a permit to climb in some areas here, and some farmers will charge for access if the rock is on their land. As with any crag, you’ll need to leave no trace and respect the area and the rock around you.

Sand Boarding

For those who are au fait with snowboarding or surfing and want to test their skills on a new surface, check out sand boarding. You’ll make your way to the top of a sand dune, then hop on your board, strap your feet in and slide down, picking up speed as you go. Fun for adults and kids alike, this is truly a unique experience that you can’t do in many places in the world.

If you’re not keen on hiking back up to go again, make sure to book on a luxury tour, where a Jeep will ferry you back up to the peak. Not only does this make life a little easier, it gives you a chance to experience an offroad 4×4 trip at the same time.

Make the Most of Your Time in South Africa

Booking in some sporting adventures can really enhance your trip to South Africa, giving you once-in-a-lifetime memories. Whether you’re super sporty or just want to try something new, there’s plenty of options to choose from.

Have you gone adventuring in South Africa? Share your stories and advice with the Frayed Passport community!

About the Author

A keen hiker, swimmer and cyclist, Bethany Collins is always on the lookout for her next adventure when she’s abroad. Her writing aims to spark that same enthusiasm in others, connecting a world of thrill-loving travelers across the globe.

Featured image by redcharlie on Unsplash

Frayed Passport is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to