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Extreme Outdoor Adventures in South Africa


At Merrell, we believe that the best way to experience the world is by immersing yourself in the great outdoors and embracing the wild. We often advocate for small ways to include some outdoor time in your daily routine, as this is highly recommended for mental and physical wellness.

However, this month, we decided to take it up a notch. South Africa is arguably one of the best countries for tourists and locals to explore the great, untamed outdoors. The rugged terrain, the assortment of wildlife, and the breathtaking views are like no other!

So, this month we did our research, and we bring to you, some of the most unique and thrilling outdoor adventures to try in South Africa. Whether you are a tourist exploring this diverse country, or a local looking to try your hand at something new and exciting - we know this list is bound to impress you!

1. Shark Cage Diving

Beginning with a bang! Shark cage diving is quite a popularly advertised adventure in South Africa, offering divers the chance to witness these magnificent creatures up close, in their natural habitat.

It is primarily conducted around the coastline of Gansbaai and Mossel Bay, operating under strict safety protocols. That being said, the safety and security protocols do not diminish the exhilarating feeling of being near one of nature's most dangerous predators.

Shark Cage

2. Canyoning

In South Africa, the locals refer to canyoning as ‘Kloofing’ and this unique activity involves abseiling in and around waterfalls. Typically, this activity allows people to jump, dive, boulder, walk, or swim through natural rock pools.

While hiking down a kloof is sometimes considered kloofing, this activity is generally a bit more technical. It involves other critical outdoor skills such as navigating and finding routes – which ultimately adds to the adventure of it all!

This activity first began in the Western Cape. Although the rest of South Africa has joined in on this adventure, the Western Cape remains the ideal location to participate in kloofing.

3. Acrobranch

If you enjoy being surrounded by the lush green forest, and partaking in fun physical activity, then acrobranch is certainly something for you to try out!

This activity combines the elements of tree climbing, zip lining, and navigating obstacle courses, and is often catered to all ages. Courses are set up in different difficulty levels and will involve participants manoeuvring through the tree-tops, whilst suspended via a zip line.

Typical obstacle courses include Tarzan swings, crossing suspended bridges, walking on tightropes - and all sorts of other acrobatic elements. But, what truly adds to that adrenaline rush, is the feeling of conquering a challenging obstacle that is high above the ground!

This exciting, aerial adventure is offered in various regions in South Africa and is certainly an item to tick off on the bucket list.

4. Blackwater Tubing

Black Water

Blackwater Tubing is quite similar to kloofing in the sense that it involves following a river stream and exploring caves. However, switch out the rope activities and mandatory cliff jumps, with inflatable river tubes, and you’ve got a completely new way to enjoy these gorgeous natural wonders of nature.

It is called blackwater tubing because you are floating on the river and often venturing into dark caves. This activity is most popular in Tsitsikamma, where participants will float on the Storms River, and explore the exclusive, remote areas of Tsitsikamma.

5. Spelunking

While most of the activities we have mentioned so far, involve the exhilarating thrill of being suspended in the air or encountering dangerous predators, spelunking takes you on a thrilling adventure underground.

Spelunking is also sometimes referred to as caving, and it involves exploring the unique caves that nature has to offer. You will be expected to crawl, climb, and squeeze through narrow passages, allowing you to make your way deep into the caves.

One of the most popular spelunking sites in South Africa is The Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, as it is Africa’s largest show caves and one of the Seven Wonders of Southern Africa.

Now that you have this list of unique and exciting outdoor adventures to try, ensure you're equipped with the right gear so you can fully enjoy every moment!


Merrell provides a wide selection of footwear tailored for every outdoor enthusiast! Whether your adventure entails a brisk trail run, a rugged hike, or navigating through water, there's a pair of Merrells to accompany you every step of the way.

So, if you decide to take on one of the unique activities we mentioned, then don’t forget to tag us on social media when you share your experience!

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