We as South Africans are super lucky in that we have so much to do, see and experience right here within our own borders. Here are some things you HAVE to add to your Mzansi bucket list:
GO ON SAFARI
I fully understand how expensive it is to stay at a Game Reserve as overnight prices seem to cater purely for tourists. But there are more affordable options like camping and self-driving through the reserve. But if you want to do it right, go to the Kruger National Park and head through the gates as early as possible and also in the evening before it closes. Rangers take guests out before sunrise and again before sunset when animals are most active and it’s not as hot. Being in the bush is a very magical experience and each sighting of a wild animal in their natural habitat is special. If you can save, do it as there’s nothing quite like a game drive with a ranger…
LEARN TO SURF
With so many great breaks and waves along our shores, why not try. Surfing is one of those activities you can do until you’re grey and it’s always fun. Rent a board, wetsuit and try get a few lessons before you give it a go yourself. That way you can start with good habits and work out a stance that fits you best. As a beginner, never go out in waters without lifeguards on duty or without people who know the water and the currents. Chat to friends and locals about the best breaks in Durban and Cape Town for beginners and don’t go out alone. And most of all enjoy- Nothing quite like standing up for the first time.
DO A HIKE THAT CHALLENGES YOU
I’m no hiker, but over the last two months I’ve tried my luck in the Drakensberg and up Table Mountain. Both times were tough and I struggled on the steep inclines, but at the end of the day I can say I’ve done it and conquered it. Plus the views from Sentinel Peak are breathtaking and can’t be enjoyed from below. Make sure you hike in groups of over four people and try taking someone who knows the mountain or is an experience hiker. Take warm clothes in case the weather turns and enough water and energy snacks to keep you going. Do not go alone and tell someone where you’re hiking and when you expect to return.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A RURAL AREA
Take time out one holiday and go stay in the truly off track places along the Wild Coast. Places where there are more cows, goats and pigs than humans, where people still live in huts and where there’s no signal. For city-slickers, to experience this simple, peaceful way of life is just beautiful and will do you the world of good. You can switch off and enjoy the things in life which don’t cost a thing.
GO BUNGY JUMPING
Whilst I’ve only done a variation of this, bridge swinging, it was scary and exhilarating enough. Somehow my family persuaded me to do it twice on two different occasions so we get a video of it. At some point, we all need to experience the weightlessness of a free fall through the air. It was the most terrifying feeling but makes you feel alive. If you have any heart complications- check with your doctor first as it’s probably not advisable.