When you pause, drift, saunter and ponder under a blue sky, you tap into a more restful way of being. These immersive moments will help you tune out daily life. By Magriet Kruger
The Mountain Lover
Sentinel Peak Chain Ladder Trail, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
When you’re climbing to the top of a mountain, it’s a good idea to pace yourself. And when your hike involves chain ladders, you have no choice but to take it a step at a time. All the better for taking in the scenery. The western end of the Amphitheatre is where Tugela Falls, the world’s second-highest waterfall, plummets to the valley below. A mountainscape of chiselled buttresses stretches before you. Even though this 12km day hike is the essence of slow tourism, you’re guaranteed to feel a rush.
Rate: R75 hiking fee
Good to know: It’s a 2½ hour drive from Royal Natal. For a qualified guide, contact Elijah Mbonane on +27 (0)73 137 4690.
The Big Cat Fan
Cheetah tracking, Mountain Zebra National Park
#LiveYourWild If you have missed our previous 6 ideas that will inspire you to start a new holiday tradition exploring the unforgettable places across South African National Parks, scroll down our page to check them out😉 #LiveYourWild 7. Track a #cheetah at #mountainzebranationalpark Game viewing as never before. An opportunity to track the elusive Mountain Zebra National Park cheetahs on foot. Drive out with your guide to search for them. When signal from a collared cheetah is found, you will have the opportunity to get closer on foot. An unforgettable experience that will bring you up closer to nature than ever before. Have you done this activity before and how long did it take to track the cheetah?
The open plains of the Great Karoo are happy hunting grounds for the fastest animal on land. Since being reintroduced in 2007, Mountain Zebra’s cheetahs have thrived. You can take advantage of the radio collars fitted for research and track these big cats on foot. In the company of an armed field guide, you’ll scan for a signal from a safari vehicle, then approach cautiously. There’s nothing like walking through the bush with the promise of a predator nearby to sharpen all the senses.
Rate: R400 per person, no under 12s, minimum of 2 guests and a maximum of 8.
Contact: +27 (0)48 801 5700
The Water Baby
Whisky Creek Canoe Trail, Keurbooms River Nature Reserve
#KeurboomsRiver #NatureReserve is an exquisite, small reserve of just 740 hectares located in the lush #GardenRoute region just outside #PlettenbergBay. The #Keurbooms #River passes through the reserve, bringing an abundance of water from further up in the #Tsitsikamma Mountains to enter the ocean through the stunning estuary. Promising an undiluted nature experience of indigenous forests, unspoiled river gorge, and protected kloofs, this reserve is a favourite destination for both local and international travellers. The #WhiskeyCreek #Cabin, located 7km upstream from the main entrance to the reserve, is exclusively available for those undertaking the Whiskey Creek overnight #canoe #trail. The adventure begins with a four-hour paddle, stopping along the way at picnic sites or for a leisurely swim. A chorus of bird calls accompanies you on your paddle up the river. Guests will spend the night in the Whiskey Creek Cabin before returning the next day. #capenature #conserve #explore #experience #ecotourism #conservation #nature
There’s no need to hurry when you embark on this 7km overnight canoe trail. A leisurely four-hour paddle will bring you to the secluded cabin at the trail’s end. There’s more than enough time to stop along the way and have a swim and picnic lunch at one of the little beaches. It’s when you slow right down that you’ll start to notice the jewel-coloured dragonflies skimming across the water. The trail finishes at Whisky Creek Cabin where you can relax around a large fire before turning in.
Rate: Off-peak – R1,520 for 2-4 people, R320 an extra person. Peak – R2,290 for 2-6, R365 thereafter. Maximum of 10 guests.
Contact: +27 (0)21 483 0190
The Culture Vulture
!Xaus Lodge, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
This luxury Kalahari lodge looks out over a seemingly empty landscape of red dunes and hardy shrubs. But for those who know what to look for, there are stories written in the sand. To learn how to identify animal spoor, you’ll set off on foot in the company of Bushmen trackers. These are people who live in sync with their surroundings, for whom the veld is both larder and medicine chest. They are artists, too, and at the cultural village you can see crafters at work, creating beautiful objects from beads and bone.
Rate: From R2,700 per person
Contact: +27 (0)21 701 7860