It’s difficult to count the many ways you can tackle the outdoors in South Africa. For those that want to move at a slower pace and drink it all in, from Table Mountain to the Otter Trail, there are thousands of kilometres of track to trek. Looking to cover more ground? South Africa offers a bounty of excellent long-distance cycling, and for those that want to wind in a little wining and dining, opt for the phenomenal Bikes n Wines tour in the Western Cape.

Perhaps you’d like to experience something a little more gripping? South Africa boasts some of the world’s finest sports climbing. Or, head for the subterranean with a trip to the Cango Caves. And if you’d like to explore the country’s many rivers, there are plenty of outfits guiding white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking expeditions too.

Deep blue sea

The surf in South Africa is world-renowned for its enormous swells coming northwards from Antarctica, which have produced some of the finest big wave riders in the world. Similarly, many of the top names in kitesurfing and windsurfing descend from all corners of the globe to make use of South Africa’s beaches, which provide a whole raft of conditions for those looking to harness the power of the wind.

For explorers who prefer to plumb the depths under the surface of the water, South Africa offers incredible diving and freediving, taking in everything from the forests of bamboo kelp made famous in My Octopus Teacher to the white knuckle experience of being surrounded by a shoal of enormous sharks.

Surfers at Maiden's Cove in Cape Town, South Africa

Take to the skies

When only the most thrill seeking means of experiencing a country will do, head out into the great blue yonder to get a bird’s eye view. One of the most hair-raising means of seeing the South African veld is looking down at it as you leap from an aeroplane. Share airspace with eagles at one of South Africa’s established skydiving centres. Looking for something slightly less insane? A helicopter tour is still a bucket-list experience, and South Africa offers some of the world’s best ziplines.

Get your motor running

There’s plenty of wild country in South Africa, and sometimes you can only get so far on the power of your own two legs. Luckily, there are a number of ways to explore the bush, and see more of it. Quad biking is a stirring way to get to know South Africa’s terrain, whether in the gorges and waterfalls of Drakensberg or the majestic plains of Mpumalanga.

For those that would rather let someone else do the driving, a jeep tour is a great option, whether along the rutted trails and amongst the wildlife of a game reserve or on lofty mountain passes with heroic vistas. And, for those that prefer to stay in urban environments, there’s alway the option of a Segway tour.