11 adventures you should have in Durban this summer

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If you find yourself in Durban – the city of the sun – this summer, then make sure you make the most of it. A glittering coastline with tumbling warm water, lush vegetation and spectacular indigenous wildlife makes Durban a hotspot for adventure tourism. Experience the city from the sky, dive into the sparkling water or embark on an adventure that includes the whole family – whatever you choose to do, make your time in Durban count.

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1. The Big Rush Big Swing, Moses Mabhida Stadium

Calling all adrenaline junkies who are out to conquer the greatest heights – the Big Rush Big Swing is waiting for you to take on the challenge. Located 106 metres above the ground, this swing holds a Guinness World Record as the “world’s tallest swing” and is the only stadium swing in the world. Get fitted with a body harness, go to the practice area for a quick demo and you’ll be ready to go. A 60 metre free-fall will have you soaring downwards at a speed of over 120kph, then as the rope begins to tighten, you’ll swing out into a 220 metre arc over the stadium. Equipment and instruction is provided by a team of experienced safety experts. Booking is essential.

Cost: R695 per person.

photo credit: bigrush.co.za
photo credit: bigrush.co.za

2. Karkloof Canopy Tour, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

The whizzing sound of the zip-line, the whistling of the air as it rushes pass your ears and the earthy smell of the second largest indigenous forest in southern Africa. Experience nature like you never have before, with a Karkloof Canopy Tour. A trained expert will take you on a tour that includes 10 zip-line slides and 12 platforms that will provide a towering view of the majestic foliage and wildlife below. Look closely – you may spot an emerald cuckoo, a Knysna loerie or the distinctive Samango monkey. The experience lasts for about 2 hours and includes refreshments and a light meal afterwards. Anyone from 5 – 80 years old can take part in this exhilarating adventure.

Cost: R595 per person.

photo credit: karkloofcanopytour.co.za
photo credit: karkloofcanopytour.co.za

3. Horseback beach adventure, Reunion Beach

If you find yourself in Durban, you’ll undoubtedly be heading to the beach but how about experiencing the sparkling expanse of sand and surf on horseback? Head to Reunion Beach for an unforgettable experience that’s suitable for everyone from 7 years old and upwards. You can choose from afternoon, sunset and evening trails that range from 2 to 7 hours long. Swimming with the horses is a great way to end the adventure. Many participants find the experience both entertaining and soothing – there’s nothing like some equine therapy to help you feel relaxed and connected with the beauty of nature.

Cost: From R450 per person.

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4. Tandem paragliding, Bulwer

If you’ve ever had a dream that you were flying, here’s your chance to make it a reality. Bulwer is an internationally renowned paragliding site with consistent flying conditions, so if soaring through the clouds, thousands of metres off the ground is your idea of heart-pumping fun – this adventure is made for you. Join a seasoned veteran of the sky and get hooked up to a harness that will require you to do nothing more than enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Bulwer grassland. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a Cape vulture, jackal buzzard or a long crested eagle. It’s a wildlife watching experience from the sky.

Cost: R950 per person.

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5. Aerial Boardwalk Adventure, Dlinza Forest

For an adventure with a more casual spin, why not spend the day enjoying the sights and sounds that surround the Aerial Boardwalk in the Dlinza Forest? Suspended 10 metres above ground, the walkway runs for 127 metres through the indigenous forest canopy. It’s a bird-watcher’s dream with 65 species of birds to be spotted along the way, including the rare spotted ground thrush and eastern bronze-naped pigeon. Stop along the way and breathe in the forest air on the 20 metre high viewing platform. The view is breath-taking. This adventure provides the perfect way to wind down or enjoy a laidback experience that still provides its fair share of amusement and entertainment.

Cost: R25 per person.

photo credit: Deepak Sarda via Flickr
photo credit: Deepak Sarda via Flickr

6. Zorbing adventure, Groovy Balls Adventure Park

If you have not yet heard about zorbing and you’re someone with an appetite for adrenaline, then you’re in for a treat. Zorbing, also known as globe-riding or sphereing, involves rolling downhill at top speed inside an orb, made of hard-wearing transparent plastic. At the Groovy Balls Adventure Park you have a choice of a few different runs. The 150 metre kamikaze run will have you rolling straight downhill – it’s the run of choice if you have a need for speed. There is a 120 metre run with twists and turns, and the Tornado – a run that combines both courses. Take it up a notch and add water to the experience with an aqua ball. It’s not every day you get to try something this wild.

Cost: Between R100 – R200 per person.

photo credit: einalem via Flickr
photo credit: einalem via Flickr

7. Oceanwalker Experience, uShaka Marine World

Ever wondered what it must be like to take a walk along the ocean floor? The Oceanwalker Experience, presented by uShaka Marine World opens up a whole new underwater world for those who are keen to dive in and get acquainted with the marine life. You’ll have the opportunity to walk along the bottom of the Open Ocean exhibit where rays, sand sharks, tuna and pompano swim around freely. You don’t even need a diving qualification to take on this adventure. The gear provided includes a professional breathing helmet – which adds a cosmic-explorer-esque spin to the experience. All participants 12 years and above are welcome to participate in this activity.

Cost: R160 per person.

photo credit: ushakamarineworld.co.za
photo credit: ushakamarineworld.co.za

8. Mountain Biking, Northern Drakensberg

The trails in the heart of the majestic Northern Drakensberg mountains are ideal for mountain biking. From those who haven’t been on a bike in years to those who are ready and able to take on a few hills, there is a trail to suit any fitness level. When you arrive, you’ll be given a trail map and a pass and that’s it – off you go. If you don’t have your own bike, don’t sweat it. Bikes are available for hire as well as spares and repairs along the way. There are four main trails to discover: the 14km long Gypsy’s Bend trail for an easy ride, Montusi Gorge for a 20km more challenging adventure, Grotto Trail (30km) and Berghouse Trail (35km), the latter of which are suited for experienced riders.

Cost: Between R110 – R300 per person, depending on duration of stay.

photo credit: Hefin Owen via Flickr
photo credit: Hefin Owen via Flickr

9. Microlight flying, Umvoti Airfield

The sky is no longer the limit – not when it comes to a microlight adventure. Just north of Ballito, at the Umvoti Airfield you can take off with an experienced pilot and sit tight for an adventure that will have you flying with the birds. Two sorts of microlight are used – the Aquilla open cockpit where the passenger sits in tandem with the instructor and the sports plane, where the passenger sits next to the instructor. No experience is needed to participate and the flights will take you overland or along the coastline where you’ll be able to spot whales, rays, turtles and other marine life from above. See the world from a new perspective.

Cost: From R490 per person.

photo credit: skyadventures.co.za
photo credit: skyadventures.co.za

10. River rafting trip, Umkomaas River

Take on the rapids on a half-day to three-day rafting trip that will take you along the exhilarating Umkomaas River. The water is pleasantly warm with high volumes in most places, interspersed with short pools that allow you to appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounds. An experienced river guide will ensure that the trip is both safe and memorable for all. Half day participants need not have any previous rafting experience but for full day courses and longer, a moderate fitness level is advisable. Along the way you may even spot some indigenous bird life or some zebra, blue wildebeest or giraffes.

Cost: From R550 per person.

photo credit: outrageousadventures.co.za
photo credit: outrageousadventures.co.za

11. Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure, uShaka Marine World

An elevated obstacle course interconnected by high balancing beams, zip lines and spider nets is what awaits you if you choose to embark on this thrilling adventure. Taking you on a journey over and through Sea World and through 34 themed obstacles, the Rope Adventure is a great way to entertain the whole family. Each course is designed to use a particular set of skills so be prepared for a mild cardio workout – getting some good exercise is half of the adventure. These outdoor courses are perfect for summer so roll up your sleeves and enjoy the climb.

Cost: R150 per person.

photo credit: ushakamarineworld.co.za
photo credit: ushakamarineworld.co.za
11 adventures you should have in Durban this summer was last modified: April 10th, 2019 by Renee Fortune