Fun, Easy and Affordable Weekend Adventures For This Long Weekend

Escape from the packed restaurants and malls with these easy-to-reach adventure options



Escape from the packed restaurants and malls with these easy-to-reach adventure options that should only take a few hours to complete. It’s a fun way to spend your long weekend and you will get a whole lot of thrill out of it.

Photo used as found on Flickr by Ivan Fourie (Shodan)
Photo used as found on Flickr by Ivan Fourie (Shodan)

Johannesburg

Try: Hiking Suikerbosrand.

You don’t need to stay on the foot of the Drakensberg, or have the fitness level of a Sherpa to go for a stroll on some breathtaking trails. The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. For an easy walk, try the 5 km Cheetah Trail (No actual Cheetah’s to be seen sadly). The trail shouldn’t take longer than two hours to complete. Feeling fit? Try running the more challenging 10km or 15km options. Relax afterwards at one of the Suikerbosrand’s braai and picnic spots. Call 011 904 3930/3/7 for more information.

Related: How Hiking Can Make You Just As Strong As Those Dudes Pumping Iron

Try: Hiking Henops Hiking Trail.

It’s only 60km from Johannesburg and pretty close to Pretoria as well. There are two day-trails. A 6km route that traverses a fenced game camp and an 11km that makes it’s way around a more mountainous area. Day hikers can contact Hennops Hiking on 082 825 9205.

Try: White Water Rafting in Parys.

Here’s the plan. Drive to Parys, it’s around 90 minutes from Johannesburg. Leave the missus to explore the many antique and coffee shops in the old farming/tourist town while you proceed to raft down the Vaal River, or take her with, if it’s her thing. The Vaal makes its way through exquisite fauna and flora, as it cuts through the hills of the Vreedefort Dome World Heritage Site.

There are a number of river rafting operators. You will want to book in advance. Check out Dimalachite White-Water Rafting or Parys River Rafting.

Try: Rent a mountain bike.

Johannesburg has a variety of mountain bike routes. If you’re interested in getting started, check out the Johannesburg Mountain Biking Club . They organise rides and can teach you what you need to know in order to have fun while keeping your collarbones intact.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Mountain Biking: From Buying Bikes To Finding Trails

Starting out? Why not rent a bike before deciding to spend more money than a car deposit. Check out Linden Cycles 011 782 7313

Cape Town

The view from the top of Plattekloof Gorge as found on Flickr, taken by George M. Groutas
The view from the top of Plattekloof Gorge as found on Flickr, taken by George M. Groutas

Try: Hiking Table Mountain via Plattekloof Gorge.

It’s best to hit this adventure to the top one of one of the Seven Wonders of the World early in the morning (6am), else you’re likely to be surrounded by tourists and families with whiny children. The route starts a few hundred meters beyond the cable car station. The climb is steep, but it’s possible to walk up in anything from one to two and a half hours.

Feeling fit? The pros run up the gorge in less than 30 minutes. See how close you can get. Make sure to check the weather before and always bring something warm with, sweltering heat in Cape Town can easily turn into mist and rain by the time you’ve made it to the top. Crime is sometimes a problem, so don’t hike  alone or in the dark.

Related: These Are The Best Trail Runs And Ultramarathons You Can Do In South Africa

Durban

Try: Hiking at Vernon Crookes.

The reserve has a 4.2km trail. Although it’s a bit short, the chance to see Martial eagles, 350 other types of bird species and 56 mammal species, as well as spectacular views of the landscape make the short hike worth it. Check out the KZN Parks website or call 039 974 2222.

Take to the ocean: If you’re already staying in a city that’s a holiday destination, why not make use what’s in your backyard.

Related: Lessons From An Expedition Kayaker

Try: Sea Kayaking by joining a day tour group.

Cape Town: Contact Sea Kayak Trips, 082 501 8930, or Coastal Kayak Guided Trips 021 439 1134
Durban: Contact Ushaka Kayak Lessons 031 332 9949

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