12 December 2018
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the kids when you’re on holiday. Just when you want to relax and do nothing, their energy levels are through the roof. Here are some easy outdoors adventures to excite your kids, and with any luck, tire them out just a little. No special skills and no fancy equipment are required. But be warned – you may be tempted to try some of them yourself!
Tree top adventures
Swing, zip and sway through the tree-tops on an Acrobranch treetop obstacle course. Acrobranch Kids has treetop adventures designed especially for children in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and the Garden Route. Experienced guides harness the kids up and hook them into secure lines. They also watch over them as they enjoy clambering from tree to tree on obstacles ranging from ladders, tunnels, walkways and bridges to ziplines and tarzan swings. There are also more challenging courses for adults, should you decide to give it a go.
Let the kids zoom down Signal Hill and Table Mountain on a Monster Mountain Scooter with Scootours. The non-motorised off-road scooters originated in the Swiss Alps, where people use them to enjoy the ski slopes during summer. The jeep track and singletrack routes used in Cape Town aren’t very steep, so this isn’t an extreme sport. Kids from 10 years and up can ride their own scooter, while children between 4 and 9 can double up with a parent. The trips are accompanied by professional guides to make sure you stay safe while you focus on having fun.
No boat? That’s no reason you can’t take the kids water-skiing or wakeboarding. StokeCity Adventure Park in Midrand has two different cable systems for watersports, suitable for all ages and abilities. If your kids are beginners, they can learn on the easy straight 2-tower system, or take lessons with a professional coach. More advanced riders can try a lake full of rails and kickers. StokeCity also offers gear rental, so the only thing the kids need to bring are their swimsuits and towels. There’s also a Stand Up Paddling course and a fun floating obstacle course featuring slides, swings, ramps, jumps, ladders and wiggle bridges.
5 Rope courses
The Chimp and Zee Rope Adventure Park at uShaka Marine World in Durban combines oodles of fun and a good dose of exercise in a spectacular marine setting. There are two elevated rope courses, and kids of all ages are welcome. The Green Course is fairly low to the ground and great for younger children, who get to tackle 18 different obstacles including floating rafts, flying surfboards and a couple of short slides over the ray, turtle and shark pools. The Red Course includes 15 more obstacles, and ends with an exciting slide along a 75m double zip line over the park.
Just because South Africa doesn’t get much snow, it doesn’t mean the kids can’t experience one of the most fun ‘winter’ activities of all. Cool Runnings in Tygervalley, Cape Town, is Africa’s only toboggan track. An automatic pulley drags your sled to the top of a hill, then all you have to do is steer and regulate your speed with an easy hand-brake. Speed freaks can reach up to 40km an hour on the 1.25km downhill steel half-pipe. It’s a safe, fun thrill that’s suitable for the whole family (kids under 8 can ride tandem with an adult). There’s also a food kiosk, a bar and a covered deck where you can refuel for the next ride.