It’s easy to list off the 3 best things about South Africa and what makes this place so special – it’s the friendly people, the glorious weather and the great outdoors. So, when summer comes around, we are always looking for the next wave to surf, forest to hike, mountain to climb or botanical garden to walk in. Just so long as we can socialise while doing it and enjoy a cold beer after a good workout. That’s just who we are.
Here’s what active South African families can sign up for this summer while getting their feel-good endorphins on:
This hybrid sport – cross between tennis and squash – is loads of fun and growing in popularity. The game is fast and keeps you on your toes while batting a low-pressure ball off the walls. Padel has recently become more accessible since Virgin Active Padel Clubs started popping up, countrywide. Best of all, you don’t require a Virgin Active membership to play there.
Minimum requirements: Padel racket, padel ball, non-marking shoes, comfortable sportswear, and a basic fitness level.
Visit www.virginactive.co.za/padel for more about playing the sport at Virgin Active gyms.
Trail running has gained popularity in South Africa due to its accessibility and our country’s many stunning nature trails, which offer families a chance to explore diverse landscapes and get their hearts pumping in a natural setting.
Minimum requirements: Good quality, comfortable running shoes, form-fitting sportswear, and a basic level of fitness for short trails.
Visit https://trailrunning.co.za/ for a calendar of trail running events in your province.
Lucky for us there is no shortage of exciting hiking trails in South Africa. In fact, you’ll most likely find a trail to suit your family’s needs in every province of our beautiful country. So, whether you want to hike along the striking coastline or travail bush terrain, forests and mountains, there is something for everyone.
Minimum Requirements: Sturdy hiking boots, a backpack, weather-appropriate clothing, and a moderate fitness level for easy to moderate trails.
Visit https://www.hikingsouthafrica.co.za/ for all your hiking needs.
Visit https://www.trailsclub.co.za/ to join a hiking club.
Walking is a highly accessible activity for families wanting to get outdoors for regular exercise. It’s somewhat of a beloved pastime in South Africa, thanks to our natural inclination for the outdoors, our temperate climate and our lovely parks. Best of all, by forming your own walking group, the activity requires very little money if any at all.
Minimum Requirements: Comfortable walking shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, and a basic fitness level for short walks.
Visit https://www.meetup.com/topics/walkers/za/ to find out about walking groups and walking events.
Visit https://runwalkforlife.co.za/ to join a formal walking group that focuses on fitness.
Thanks to our ideal weather and diverse terrains, families can explore dedicated cycling routes and networks across the country, off the beaten track or on the open road. That’s the beauty of cycling. It’s a stimulating way to experience our cities and provinces because we’re able to cover greater distances as we grow fitter.
Minimum Requirements: A good quality bicycle, a helmet, and basic cycling attire. Fitness levels can vary, with beginner-friendly routes available.
Visit https://www.cyclingsa.com/ for info about the various cycling options and events in and around South Africa.
During the summer months, there is nothing more fun than playing volleyball at one of the popular beaches along South Africa’s extensive coastline. It’s the perfect summer vacation sport for competitive families, especially when it means cooling off in the ocean afterwards.
Minimum Requirements: Basic volleyball skills, appropriate beach attire and a good sunscreen. A reasonable level of fitness for agility and endurance.
Visit https://www.southafrica.net/gl/en/travel/article/volleyball-in-south-africa to find out more about volleyball.
Parkour’s popularity lies in its physicality and the freedom it offers to navigate urban environments creatively. South Africa’s urban (and even suburban) areas provide ample opportunities for adventure-seeking families to explore this unique sport.
Minimum Requirements: Comfortable athletic wear, supportive shoes, and basic parkour training. A moderate fitness level for safety and agility.
Visit http://www.parkoursa.co.za/groups/ to find a Parkour organisation in your city.
Our beautiful coastline is renowned for its world-class surf spots, attracting enthusiasts from around the globe. Families who live or vacation at the coast can take advantage of the consistent waves and professional surf schools to learn and enjoy the sport together.
Minimum Requirements: A surfboard, wetsuit, and beginner-friendly lessons. Good fitness and swimming ability are an absolute must.
Visit https://safacts.co.za/list-of-surf-schools-in-south-africa/ for a list of surfing schools and useful info about the sport.
For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live by the sea, let’s not forget about our well-maintained and safe (lifeguard-friendly) public swimming pools, especially in and around Gauteng. There is a nominal entrance fee so pack a picnic and head off with the kids to your closest public pool. Or dive into your own pool at home.
Minimum requirements: A swimming costume, towels, sunscreen, swimming aids for younger kids. Basic level of fitness. Understanding of safety measures.
Visit https://joburg.co.za/public-pools-in-joburg/ for public pools in Jozi.
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