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38 everyday adventure ideas (with resources)

An adventure doesn't have to be an epic, multi-day event that requires copious planning and deep pockets to pull off. When it comes down to it, adventure is just doing things differently from your normal routine. There are plenty of easy ways to add adventure to your every day life.

Can't think of any adventure ideas? Sometimes, all you need is a bit of inspiration. From lunchtime treasure hunts to weekend jaunts... , here are some fun, easy and generally free adventure ideas you can have this weekend!

 

Adventure ideas around the house

1. Set up a tent and camp in your garden tonight.

What could be easier? And this is way more adventurous than you think. Lots goes on in your garden after dark and sleeping in a tent is a great way to break the cycle of your everyday routine.

 

2. Create an open-air cinema.

Set up a sheet, find a projector and invite your friends around for a movie night. Don't forget the popcorn!

 

3. Go birding in your garden.

Buy a bird guide (Roberts is a great book option, or download an app like Sasol eBirds) and see how many birds you can identify in your backyard. Maybe you could even try to call a Narina Trogon?

 

Adventure ideas around the neighbourhood

4. Do a Parkrun

Parkrun is a fun and easy way to get in some exercise and meet new people. Find the Parkrun events happening in your area online, and try a new one this weekend.

 

5. Brush up on the local history of your area, and visit one historical site this weekend.

If you really want to appreciate a place, find out about its history and visit its historical sites. Not only is this a great way to get out and about, but it will make you feel a lot more connected to where you live.

Here's historical site we love.

 

6. Find a place to watch the sunrise or sunset this weekend.

There something momentous about the sun rising and setting. More than just the colours, it's a natural milestone in the day, and finding a place to witness that is always an adventure.

adventure ideas for sunrise in kloof
An unexpected bonus - zebras at sunrise.
kosi bay lake in the evening
This bench out on the water at Kosi Bay is an epic sunset spot!

 

7. Go Geocaching over your next lunch break.

Geocaching is one of the best treasure hunting activities around. It takes out all of the hard part of coming up with adventure ideas. Simply open the app and find a few Geocaches near you. Find your local geocaches online here.

 

8. Contact your local nature conservancy office and sign up for their next educational activity

Many conservancies offer guided walks, exhibits or guest talks which make for epic days out. Our picks for the Cape Town area include Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden with their free walking tours, or the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

Cape Town adventure ideas: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden tour
Joining the group tour of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

 

9. Pull up a map of your area and drive a road you've never driven before.

Stuck for adventure ideas? Simply open Google Maps and go for a drive. You're not going to get lost, and who knows what you'll find? Alternatively, try a new route to your workplace, house or shops.

 

10. Try a different way to commute to work for a few days.

Commuting to work is one of the most regular things you do so shaking things up a bit can feel like a real adventure. A few simple adventure ideas include riding your bike, taking an Uber, or the bus, for starters. You may be surprised the people you meet and conversations you have.

 

11. Trail run, walk or cycle through your local nature conservancy.

Take in the views of your city, or surprise yourself with the wildlife you find right on your doorstep!

cape town view from table mountain
The view over Cape Town from the Platteklip hiking trail.
Megan Mackenzie running up Platteklip Gorge
Cape Town has plenty of outdoor trails.

 

Coastal adventure ideas

12. Sign up for surfing lessons (or another wave sport) on the weekend.

This is by far the best way to enjoy the coast!

adventure ideas for the coastal regions
Surfers get ready to paddle out for arguably the most beautiful session of their lives.

 

13. Rent some fat bikes with your friends and cycle a sandy stretch of coastline.

This is a great adventure idea whether you're big into cycling or not. Just get a team of friends together and let the fun begin. Check out this beach cycle adventure we did in Mozambique.
For ideas on which beaches to try, have a look at our list of the 40 best beaches in South Africa.

beach cycling adventure ideas
It's best to time your cycle with low tide.

 

14. Buy a mask and snorkel today and go explore a few tidal pools or shallow coastal reefs on the weekend.

The underwater world is one of the last frontiers of exploration on the planet and while snorkeling in a rock pool might not be very pioneering it's still a great way to experience a world you hardly ever see.

This is one of our South African favourites.

Underwater adventure ideas
Shallow reefs can teem with life.

 

Adventure ideas around rivers and lakes

15. Find a waterfall near you and get some friends together to hike to it.

There are thousands to choose from, here are just a few:

Hiking to Mnyameni Falls
Hiking down to Mnyameni Falls.
River and Lake adventure ideas
Getting a closer look at Lone Creek Falls near Sabie.

 

16. Rent a rowing boat at a nearby dam or lake and take along a lunch to enjoy on the riverbank.

Pretty self-explanatory.

 

17. Find some old tyre tubes and float down a river.

This one is always a blast! Just make sure the river you choose it suitable for tubing (not in flood, punctuated with giant waterfalls or home to dangerous animals).

 

18. Pick a stream nearby and follow it on foot to its confluence

Also known as river tracing, following the course of a river can be quite a journey. Even the local stream that runs through your neighbourhood can lead to some epic adventure. Here’s one we did in Taiwan.

 

19. Get some friends together and build a raft.

It's something we probably all did at some stage as a kid, why not reinvent the activity using some adult wisdom? 😉

 

20. Sign up for any watersport on offer near you.

There are loads of great watersports companies that offer water activities. The best way to decide what to try is to give them a call and ask them what their favourite one is and then go with that.

Here are a few options to start with:

  • Water skiing,
  • Wakeboarding,
  • White water rafting.

 

Mountain Adventure ideas

21. Get up early and hike to a viewpoint for sunrise.

Our favourite old local spot was Krantzkloof Nature Reserve near Durban. You just can't beat those gorge views! Plus this is a great way to sneak in some exercise.

Stopping for the view at Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, near Durban.

 

22. Contact your local mountain club and sign up to go abseiling or rock climbing this weekend.

Many mountain clubs offer outings into the mountains. It's a great way to learn from highly skilled and experienced folk as well as meet some adventurous people in your community.

 

23. Try out a new hiking or mountain biking trail.

Normally we pull out a map of our area and throw a dart at it - the nearest trail to where the dart lands is where we go. Easy. Here are eight useful tips for before you go.

Hitting the trails with Salomon
Hitting the trails with Salomon.

 

24. Drive a mountain pass and have lunch at the top.

Whilst there are plenty to choose from, Sani Pass and the Swartberg Pass are undoubtedly two of the best in South Africa!

Mountain pass adventure ideas
Steep drops and narrow gravel tracks have characterised the Sani Pass since it was first developed.
The Drakensberg escarpment near Sani Pass.
The Drakensberg escarpment near Sani Pass.

 

Ocean adventure ideas

25. Get some friends together and charter a yacht for a morning cruise.

This trip is too much fun. As with most ocean adventures though, it's weather dependent so take a look at your local ocean forecast and pick a day that looks calm.

sailing adventure ideas
Cruising the Knysna Heads. Picture credit: Garden Route & Klein Karoo tourism.

 

26. Sign up for lessons in a new ocean activity this weekend

Here are a few to try:

  • Scuba diving,
  • Snorkeling,
  • Surf skiing,
  • Kayak fishing.
Jill snorkeling in Mozambique
Jill snorkeling in Mozambique.
Bevan at the pool in Sodwana Bay
Pool sessions before hitting the open water in Sodwana Bay.

 

Outdoor activities

Invite some friends to do an outdoor scavenger hunt this weekend. They can take any shape, location or theme. Here is a printable nature-based scavenger hunt, or try out scavengerhunt.com for something a little different.

 

27. Pack some outdoor cooking gear and make a meal on a fire.

Here’s a delicious meat stew recipe for you to try.

wilderness trail kitchen
Dinner time in the bush kitchen.

 

28. Invite your friends to go on a photographic scavenger hunt this weekend.

Similar to the traditional scavenger hunt, this one incorporates doing actions and activities instead of simply finding items, and capturing them on camera. See how many interesting poses you can strike with these photo scavenger hunt ideas  from goodprints.com, or this song title-themed list from scavenger-hunt.org. The more serious photographer might like to check out the Photography Scavenger Hunt, too.

 

29. Pack a picnic bag and invite some friends over for lunch in the park this Saturday.

Picnic on the lawn at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Enjoying a picnic in the shade.

 

30. Go to your nearest game reserve and self-drive for the day

Or even better, sign up for a multi-day guided walking safari.

These are our favourite reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. The Kruger National Park is unbeatable for those lucky enough to live close to it, otherwise if you need any more convincing, here's our "best of" list for the national parks in South Africa.

Wildlife adventure ideas
Incredible sightings in the Kruger National Park.
Karoo Storm from Mountain Zebra National Park
Sometimes, its all about the views.

 

31. Get some friends together and explore a forest near you by car, on foot or by bicycle.

Be sure to find out what birds and animals are in the area and make a list of what you find. These are 3 of our favourite ones in southern Zululand.

Forest adventure ideas
Our 4x4 Thomas adventures through the Ongoye Forest Reserve in Zululand.

 

Night adventure ideas

32. Go on a night hike and take along a UV light to look for spiders, scorpions, and other night critters.

How often do you go outside at night? Exactly! It's a completely different world out there when the lights go out and learning about it is an amazing adventure. UV lights will help to illuminate difficult to see scorpions and spiders and give you an appreciation for just what's happening out there when the sun goes down.

The night yields some smaller gems
What a find - a chameleon!

 

33. Pack a torch and head to a nearby pond to do some frogging

Frogging (identifying different frogs) is loads of fun. You'll be blown away by just how many different species of frogs there are in your backyard and they mostly only come out at night. Check out iNaturalist for a free photographic guide to South African frogs, otherwise this is a great guide book.

Exploring the mangrove forest on the banks of the Umlalazi River
We figured the Umlalazi River's mangrove forest might be an interesting place to explore at night?

 

34. Download a star app and go star gazing tonight.

People have been staring at the night sky for as long as we've been on the planet. Download a star app (This is one we use all the time) and find a spot away from the city lights and start exploring...

 

Travel adventure ideas

35. Go to the airport early on Saturday morning and buy a plane ticket to a city you haven't been to yet (return Sunday evening).

Feeling brave...You literally have no idea what adventures await when you do this...

 

36. Take an overnight road trip to a town you've never been to.

Road trip adventure ideas
There's something about the road from Uiondale to George, Western Cape. Picture credit: Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism.

 

37. Find the nearest tourism route and take a slow drive (stop as much as you can along the way).

From food and artisan routes, to birding, history or nature, there are so many to choose from! Some highly recommended are the Midlands Meander or Battlefields region in KwaZulu-Natal, West Coast Way's curated Western Cape routes, the scenery of Mpumalanga's Long Tom Pass or Clarence Drive in the Western Cape, or the Barberton Geotrail for its fascinating geology.

 

38. Finally, why not start an Adventure Club?

Adventures are always better when they're shared. Team up with others so you can share your experiences and share the load of planning all those adventure ideas.

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