This outdoor-pursuits mecca offers adrenaline opportunities that can quicken the pulse of even the most calloused traveler. The seriously brave should consider a nail-biting dive among great white sharks (dont worry; youre in a cage) with Apex Shark Expeditions, which has worked with the likes of Discovery Channel, Planet Earth and National Geographic. Spotting a shark is also possible during a sea kayaking tour, though youre probably more likely to see penguins. Overcome a fear of heights by rappelling down Table Mountain, a prominent landmark where youll work your way back down from 3,000 feet above sea level (Table Mountain has oodles of hiking options, too.). Visit our Cape Town Travel Guide for more trip-planning resources.
A quick plane flight from Cape Town, this charming city at the eastern end of the country is a hub for watersports, with sunny beaches and mild temperatures that let you play year round take your pick of surfing, kite-boarding, and sailing. Divers will salivate over the chance to cross paths with sharks, whales, penguins, and dolphins. The upcoming winter months are best to go in terms of visibility. PE is also making a name for itself with its safari parks, including the impressive Addo Elephant Park, just a short drive from the city.
When a city has a surf museum, you know it boasts some serious surf culture, and Durbs, as the locals call it, doesnt disappoint. The Bay of Plenty is appropriately named: During April, the section called New Pier along the citys famous Golden Mile, where most hotels are concentrated, is said to produce some of the finest beach-break waves in the world. Plus, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are mild enough that you dont need a wetsuit. Durban, which is also home to former world champ Shaun Tomson, is chock full of surf shops that offer rentals and lessons (check out Surf and Adventures for surfing, kayaking, and other activities).