25 May 2017
Valentine’s Day is a time often associated with chocolates, flowers and cheesy gifts that say “I love you but couldn’t really think of anything exciting so got this on the way home.” The truth is Valentine’s Day can be a lot more than this; it can be a shared experience, memory and adventure. It can be spontaneous and exciting!
In the name of trying to do something truly memorable this Valentine’s Day why not try something unique which gets you out of routine and away from technology, to create your own special space.
For my wife Tarryn and I (Team Tane), getting out and into nature together is often the best way we connect. It allows us a good period of time away from the stresses of life, to enjoy each other’s company and the majesty of South Africa’s natural beauty without distractions. It allows us time to just be… together.
The truth is getting out on these microventures is often easier than you think. It’s generally very affordable and nearby, particularly in South African cities, where we are often gifted with incredible natural areas just down the road.
Here are some ideas of things you could try out to sweep your adventuruous loved one off their feet with cupid in mind:
1. Primitive Trails Hike Zululand – Not the cheapest option on the list but one of the most unique and incredible. Hike through the incredible Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park where the Big Five roam and Shaka’s footsteps are still heard on silent nights. An account of our trip can be found here.
2. Kalk Bay Caving and Breakfast – Head to the quaint coastal village of Kalk Bay on the Cape Peninsula for breakfast, bagels are always a good choice, especially at Kalk Bay Cafe, followed by a walk through echo valley to the Kalk Bay caves. Take a map and some decent hiking shoes for a great morning out, the views from the top are breath taking;
3. Tandem Paragliding off Signal Hill (Cape Town) or Wilderness on the Garden Route – For those who have always dreamed of flying there is nothing better than soaring on nature’s engine alone at one of these scenic sites. There are lots of reputable operators including Birdmen and Icarus;
4. Morning Mountain Biking and Breakfast at Jonkershoek (Cape Town) or the Van Gaalens Cheese Factory (Gauteng) – Whether you are avid Mountain Biker or just trying something new, there is no better way to start the day than with a morning ride in these beautiful places. These are just two countless places which offer this opportunity. If you don’t own a bike, places like Meereendal offers rental options;
5. Morning Hike and Lunch in the Magaliesberg - Drive forty minutes from Joburg to the incredible Magaliesberg, one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, to the family farm of Rustig for beautiful hikes and delicious food. Choice of overnight and day hikes exist.
The list above is but a very small sample of the countless incredible active experiences you could share with your partner to say “I love you more than a box of chocolates.” Feel free to use our ideas or tailor your own but whatever you do, GET OUT THERE! The natural world awaits.
Check out our Facebook page here for more ideas and to follow our adventures.
*Images courtesy of Shane & Tarryn Quinnell.