The global surge in the popularity of mega sports events such as the Olympics Games and FIFA World Cup has resulted in sports becoming the primary industry in the leisure sector. In this context, sports have become inextricably linked to the tourism industry. The first World Conference on Sport and Tourism, organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Tourism Organization (WTO), which took place on 22 and 23 February 2001 in Barcelona, Spain explored the linkages between sports and tourism and highlighted that “Sport and tourism have similar objectives: to help us draw closer to and understand other cultures and lifestyles, and to promote peace among peoples. From that vantage point, they have brought together two complementary worlds that seek the betterment of humans as beings who need to have relationships with others”.
Thoughts on AdventureSports
Why when we are hardwired for survival do some of us strive to test ourselves to the limit both physically and mentally through the medium of adventure sports? Why do we thrive on a level of risk unacceptable to most people?
Is it chemical / biological?
There is scientific evidence which suggests that the propensity to take risks is heavily influenced by the individual’s brain chemistry. Early hunter gatherers are likely to have displayed these traits, required to make them successful in an unpredictable and often dangerous environment. It is likely that these genetic traits have endured through generations despite the fact that most modern societies strive to minimize risk. Adventure motor sports might be our only viable outlet for these risk taking instincts.
Do we all share similar traits?
Shared personality traits have been identified in participants of extreme sports. Mostly we try to avoid tedious activities, we easily get bored. This is why we don’t stay for long in relationships and jobs. We are never satisfied and happier when we encounter new and excitingchallenges, and this can vary from a presentation to a big crowd of people to climbing a huge mountain. Whether knowing it or not, a lot of us seek admiration and approval from others. We’re determined and tenacious (especially when learning a new adventure game!)
Is it spiritual thing?
Almost every sports athlete I have ever met (myself included) climbers, mountain bikers, snowboarders and BASE jumpers love the experience of being at one with the elements. People describe a feeling of calm when partaking in potentially dangerous activities. A mastery of ones emotions and the ability to manage fear and perform in difficult situations delivers a massive sense of satisfaction. Personally, when I have just completed a really difficult and testing climb or spent a morning blasting steep mountain runs on my snowboard or mountain bike I experience a sense of total calm, a feeling of completely happiness.
Favourite sports adventure activities in South Africa
When searching for some exiting adventure, South Africa is a hot spot to go. Below are some of the top adventurous activities you can do in South Africa.
See the Big Five
See the Big Five in their natural habitat at one of South Africa’s many game reserves. Catch a glimpse of the elusive Leopard, drive through a heard of Elephant, quietly observe a powerful Rhino, gently pass the dangerous Buffalo and watch a pride of Lions eat their kill. Nature has never been so exciting!
Bungee jump at the World’s Highest Bungee
If you are looking for a thrill like no other, then bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge, 30 km from Plettenberg Bay, on the border of the Eastern and Western Cape. This is the world’s Highest Commercial Bungee Jump at 216m, and an adrenalin junkie’s dream.
Swim with Great White Sharks
Get up close and personal with one of nature’s most feared predators, the Great White Shark. Shark-Cage Diving is not for the faint hearted, as you are lowered into a cage into the cold Atlantic Ocean to observe these magnificent creatures up close.
Dive with a Crocodile
You’ve done Shark Cage Diving, now try Crocodile Cage Diving; South Africa’s newest extreme activity! Located in the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, this adventure is for someone looking for something completely out of the ordinary. Experience the power of the Nile crocodile from the safety of your cage.
Ride an Ostrich
For an unforgettable adventure be sure to ride an Ostrich while in the quaint village of Oudtshoorn in the Karoo. These birds may seem tame to you, but riding an Ostrich is a fast paced exhilarating adventure. If you are a group you can actually do an ostrich race as a competition.
Take to the Skies Paragliding
Paragliding gives you a bird’s eye view of the spectacular scenery in South Africa, as well as a breath-taking adventure. Paraglide off Lion’s in Cape Town or get sky high over the lush vegetation of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Paragliding along the Garden Route is one of the best places to try this sport. Its many valleys, river’s, estuaries and beaches makes for an unparalleled Paragliding experience.
Kayak in the Ocean
Explore South Africa’s coastline in a Kayak. Get close to penguins while Sea Kayaking in Simonstown, explore the Knysna Estuary, or encounter whales while kayaking in Hermanus. Sea Kayaking is a fun and safe adventure for anyone comfortable on water.
Enjoy an Elephant Back Safari
Elephant Back Safaris are a once in a lifetime experience and a must do when visiting South Africa. Experience the thrill of riding on one of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. For those less daring, visit the Elephant sanctuaries where you can feed the elephants and learn more about these African giants.
Sand Boarding down Giant Dunes
Sand Boarding in South Africa is Africa’s answer to snowboarding. Sand Boarding has become very popular especially just outside Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Sand boarding trips are often on the dunes around Betty’s Bay while the Maitland’s area just outside Port Elizabeth also has fantastic dunes perfect for sand boarding. A unique sand boarding experience can also be found on the old mine dumps of Johannesburg which also offer excellent conditions.
Hike Majestic Mountains
Hiking is the purest form of adventure in South Africa. There are many wonderful Hiking Trails in South Africa. Hike to the top of Lions Head or Table Mountain in Cape Town, or explore the many hiking trails in the majestic Drakensberg Mountains,Abseil Africa or lush coastline of the Wild Coast. The world-famous Otter Trail is found along the Garden Route at Tsitsikamma.
Brief review by past visitors to the majestic places
Most of these activities people said are healthy and very good for the body and mind in a number of ways, as long as you don’t push yourself to your limits too hard. Ostrich racing and diving with crocodiles was a totally new experience for many adventure seekers. All in all most people found most activities exiting and exhilarating from sand boarding cape town, elephant extreme safari sports andflying up in the sky paragliding. If you are looking for your next sports adventure destination, South Africa is surely a place to consider. There are special offers for groups and family .So don’t waste your time get your passports and come to South Africa for the trip of your life.