KwaZulu-Natal – the part of South Africa endowed with a permanently temperate climate, the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Mountains, the Isimangaliso Wetland Park (Greater St Lucia Wetland Park), the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Park, the Elephant and Hibiscus Coasts, the Dlinza Forest and the Battlefields of the interior. There is enough adventure opportunity here for months of entertainment, never mind days.
This is the land of endless summer. The coastal heart of Ethekwini-Durban and the beaches of the north and south coasts offer endless playground material – extreme water sports, sea and wildlife adventures are two to a dime all the way to the most southern resort town of Port Edward and the far reaches of Kosi Bay and Lake Sibaya. KwaZulu-Natal is where the giant sardine shoal run occurs, and where man follows suite in rigorous events like the Comrades Marathon, the Amashovashova road race and the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Whether its boating, turtle spotting, canoeing, snorkelling, scub diving, hiking, quad biking, whale watching, rock climbing or mountain biking you’re after, KwaZulu-Natal has something for everyone seeking a thrill …
KwaZulu Natal Adventure – Adrenalin Junkie Activities in KwaZulu-Natal
Do the Dlinza Forest aerial boardwalk:
Alright, as far as thrill and fear factors are concerned this has a pretty low threshold, but you have to admit that the magical experience of walking through an indigenous forest canopy in amongst the birds 10 metres up is something worth adding to your itinerary, if only because for the incredible views (more here about Dlinza Forest)
Swing over Oribi Gorge:
This should make up for the lack of excitement in the above item. Beautiful Oribi Gorge, roughly 11 kilometres from Port Shepstone (you can spend the afternoon catching your breath on the beach), offers a swing to remember from the top of Lehrs Falls. And in case you’re thinking that a swing couldn’t pack half the punch of a bungi jump, this swing is the highest swing in the world!
You can choose to jump or step off the top of the waterfall and drop 33 storeys or 100 metres in an arc over the gorge. Whilst you’re here, you can also abseil or river raft through the gorge.
Contact Oribi X-Treme on +27 (0)39 687-0253
Quad bike over Sani Pass:
With a pit stop at the highest pub in Africa, ride a quad bike over 50 kilometres worth of incredible scenery. Described as the ‘roof of Africa’ Sani Pass is not only an entry point into Lesotho from South Africa but is probably South Africa’s most spectacular mountain road. The views of the Drakensberg are simply breathtaking.
The rugged mountains bear testament to the fact that most of the drive up here is only possible with a 4×4. This is the kingdom of the mountains, a remote beautiful world in which modern man has little bearing.
Contact Sani Pass Quad Tours on +27 (0)72 425-5230
Scuba dive at Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve:
Africa’s most southern coral reefs is one of the most beautiful places to snorkel and scuba dive. Best diving is between April and September, but really conditions are good throughout the year, as weather is subtropical and the water usually above 20°C.
To add to the thrill, if you head to Sodwana during the summer months, loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea at night to next on the beaches and night turtle tours are available during December/January, depending on the tide.
Contact Janice Dodkins on +27 (0)83 459-4222
Go surfing in Durban:
Durban is the place to surf (although the guys in Jeffreys bay might argue). In season Durban’s beaches are more than a little crowded, but with over 100 kilometres of coastline to explore, you’re sure to find a wave or two that isn’t jammed with bodies. Not only is the water beautifully warm but there are also some excellent spots that produce big, hollow waves – New Pier, Cave Rock, Ansteys, Vetch’s Pier, North Beach (although watch out for all of the body boarders) and the Bay of Plenty is a good spot to learn how to surf.
Shark Patrol Boat Adventure:
You’ll be excused for thinking that you are the only life force raised as you ascend before the sun and head for the horizon. This official Natal Sharks Board (NSB) water patrol departs with an entourage of seagulls at sunrise waking you before the wind and handing you over to choppy waters whose warm fresh spray keeps you awake and alert.
Epic views display Durban Harbour as you begin boating along Durban’s ‘Golden Mile’ of Indian Ocean coastline and beaches (see more about this at Shark Patrol Boat Adventure). Contact: +27 (0)82 403-9206
Tackle Ship’s Prow Pass in the Drakensberg:
Notorious for rock falls and usually not recommended, this is a particularly difficult pass – it’s very steep, and in good weather it is do-able but in bad weather, which occurs without warning, it can get tough. As you climb, the rather impressive ‘prow’ towers over you. It tops out at 3 300 metres, making it the highest summit of any pass in the Drakensberg, and not an easy climb. Alternatively, do the Sentinel to Monks Cowl via Gray’s Pass hike. It takes 8 days and the entire trip is spent on the escarpment of the Drakensberg. Or the beautiful Mehloding Adventure Trail, a more sedate but no less beautiful one-to-four day hike.
Kayak at St Lucia:
A real sense of freedom and incredible views are yours as you Kayak from Kosi Bay to the St Lucia Estuary. Anything from day trips to overnight packages can be catered for. Paddle around the mangrove-covered islands and spot basking crocodiles and fishing water-birds. Hear the cry of the fish eagle and view hippos resting in the waters or browsing on the grassy sandbanks.
A great trip for people keen to see wetland bird-life or just to enjoy being in nature; this trip is a fairly non-strenuous flat-water paddle suitable for both experienced and novice paddlers. They pick you up at your St Lucia accommmodation or meet at their offices in the town. The trip lasts around 3 hours.
Contact: +27 (0)35 590-1233
For more adventure options in KwaZulu Natal see the following:
Find a Place to Stay
And to save money to spend on activities, book your accommodation in KwaZulu Natal via the SA-Venues.com site – No service fees. You deal and book direct – saving you money!
Find Additional Activities
And if none of these suggestions get your adrenaline racing check out KwaZulu Natal Extreme Adventure or KwaZulu Natal Water Sports. For those who prefer less extreme activities browse through our growing selection of Things to Do in KwaZulu Natal – theres lots to do, from sports & leisure, sight seeing, cruises, wildlife encounters, fishing … and a whole lot more.