Escape from the packed restaurants and malls with these easy-to-reach adventure options that should only take a few hours to complete. It’s a fun way to spend your time and you will get a whole lot of thrill out of it. Best part? These affordable weekend activities won’t break the bank.
Try: Hiking Suikerbosrand
You don’t need to stay on the foot of the Drakensberg, or have the fitness level of a Sherpa to go for a stroll on some breathtaking trails. The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. For an easy walk, try the 5 km Cheetah Trail (No actual Cheetah’s to be seen sadly). The trail shouldn’t take longer than two hours to complete. Feeling fit? Try running the more challenging Bokmarie Trail. Relax afterwards at one of the Suikerbosrand’s braai and picnic spots.
Check out suikerbos.co.za for more information.
Try: Hiking Hennops Hiking Trail
It’s only 60km from Johannesburg and pretty close to Pretoria as well. There are four day-trails; a 1.5km trail, a 2.5km trail, a 5km trail and a 10km trail. The cost is R100 for adults and R50 for schoolchildren. There are no card facilities so bring cash.
Check out hennopstrails.co.za for more info
Try: White Water Rafting in Parys
Here’s the plan. Drive to Parys, it’s around 90 minutes from Johannesburg. Leave the missus to explore the many antique and coffee shops in the old farming/tourist town while you proceed to raft down the Vaal River, or take her with, if it’s her thing. The Vaal makes its way through exquisite fauna and flora, as it cuts through the hills of the Vreedefort Dome World Heritage Site.
There are a number of river rafting operators. You will want to book in advance.
Try: Rent A Mountain Bike
Johannesburg has a variety of mountain bike routes. If you’re interested in getting started, check out the Johannesburg Mountain Biking Club . They organise rides and can teach you what you need to know in order to have fun while keeping your collarbones intact.
Try: Hiking Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge
It’s best to hit this adventure to the top one of one of the Seven Wonders of the World early in the morning (6am), else you’re likely to be surrounded by tourists and families with whiny children. The route starts a few hundred metres beyond the cable car station. The climb is steep, but it’s possible to walk up in anything from one to two and a half hours.
Feeling fit? The pros run up the gorge in less than 30 minutes. See how close you can get. Make sure to check the weather before and always bring something warm with, sweltering heat in Cape Town can easily turn into mist and rain by the time you’ve made it to the top. Crime is sometimes a problem, so don’t hike alone or in the dark.
Check out this website for more information
Try: Hiking at Vernon Crookes
It’s true that hiking really is one of the best affordable weekend activities. The reserve has a 4.2km trail. Although it’s a bit short, the chance to see Martial eagles, 350 other types of bird species and 56 mammal species, as well as spectacular views of the landscape make the short hike worth it. Check out the KZN Parks website.
Try: Sea Kayaking By Joining A Day Tour Group
Take your affordable weekend activities to the ocean. If you’re already staying in a city that’s a holiday destination, why not make use what’s in your backyard. Brush up on your skills beforehand with these lessons from an expedition kayaker.