4 affordable destinations in SA for couples looking for an adventurous getaway

A couple kayaking through a small lagoon. Picture: Unsplash

A couple kayaking through a small lagoon. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jun 28, 2024


An increasing amount of couples are seeking fun and exciting ways to spend time together.

From backpacking, sky-diving to surfing and snowboarding, adventure travel offers anecdotes for pairs looking for adrenaline-pumping activities.

Adventure travel also offers the opportunity for cultural immersion, physical activity and getting down and dirty in nature, and many couples want in on that action.

South Africa, full of abundant opportunities, is a place to experience a plethora of different adventures.

The nation has mountains, oceans as well as plenty of sun and the occasional snowfall, making it ideal for travellers of all tastes.

With the variety of activities and experiences on offer, Mzansi is a place for couples to rekindle their connection by creating unforgettable memories together.

If you’re a couple for adventure destinations and fun activities, here are some local getaways to enjoy:

Conquer your fears and cross Storm’s River Suspension Bridge at Tsitsikamma National Park. Picture: Unsplash

Tsitsikamma National Park - Western Cape and Eastern Cape

An often underrated adventure destination, the Tsitsikamma National Park, part of the Garden Route National Park in South Africa, lies between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

The destination with dramatic coastal scenery, reefs, rivers, lush forest and delicate fynbos, is a hiking and water sports paradise. It is ideal for couples looking to experience the outdoors as they enjoy the stunning marine life on offer at this adventure-filled location.

There are plenty of exhilarating activities to immerse yourself in including diving, snorkelling, kayaking, hiking, swimming, climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, sailing and bungee jumping.

An added bonus is the destination’s marine life where dolphins are frequently spotted in the breakers, while Southern Right Whales also visits these waters in season as they come inshore to breed.

There are many hiking trails of varying lengths and nature walks, the most famous being the Otter Trail, which is regarded as one of the best in the world.

For those who prefer not to rough it there is a “slack packing” route, the Dolphin Trail, which is fully inclusive and includes portage.

Consider a stay at Tsitsikhaya Lodge near Storms River, which starts from R1 287 a night for two.

The Soweto Cooling Towers turned into an adventure site where travellers can face their fears and bungee jump. Picture: Unsplash

Soweto, Johannesburg - Gauteng

For couples looking for a cultural immersion experience, there is no place like Soweto.

This vibrant community, on the south-west of Joburg’s city centre, is South Africa's biggest and most famous township.

Soweto was the home of a several prominent Struggle icons, including the late Nelson Mandela, Mama Winnie Mandela as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

If you want to learn more about South Africa’s history and culture, there are several worthwhile historical sights and museums to visit in this township.

This includes the buzzing Vilakazi street, the Hector Pietersen Memorial and the Mandela House Museum.

You can also go bungee jumping at the Soweto Towers and enjoy local dishes at Sakhumzi Restuarant.

Consider a stay Emthonjeni Bed & Breakfast, which starts at R800 a night for two.

A daring couple summits Drakensberg Mountain. Picture: Unsplash

Drakensberg - KwaZulu-Natal

At the heart of Mzansi beckons the spirit of adventure at the Drakensberg Mountain region.

Acclaimed for its diverse adventure offerings, the Drakensberg is an invaluable feature on South Africa’s landscape.

It is home to some of the country’s highest peaks, which surge up to 3 482 metres above sea level and between and amongst these peaks are plateaus, valleys, slopes and incredible mountain passes that make for some of the best hiking, walking and cycling adventures in the country.

It is also home to a number of smaller foothills, stunning waterfalls, inviting rock pools, fresh mountain streams and mysterious caves.

Meanwhile, the crisp mountain air and the KZN sunshine also makes this area appealing for adventure enthusiasts who are looking to explore the region.

You can also explore South Africa’s unique history at the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park which has over 600 examples of San rock paintings.

Consider a stay at Premier Resort Sani Pass which starts from R1 780 a night for two.

Footprints from lovers on the shore in Plettenberg Bay. Picture: Unsplash

Plettenberg Bay - Western Cape

Plettenberg Bay is a premier holiday destination situated on the Southern Cape coast.

Plett, as it is popularly known, has sweeping golden beaches, the iconic Robberg Peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and unpolluted rivers.

It also home to renowned vineyards and wine estates. All these aspects make Plett ideal for couples looking for an ocean adventure.

With its moderate climate and beautiful vistas of the Indian Ocean, there are plenty of activities to enjoy here.

This includes hiking, mountain biking, abseiling, bungee jumping, sky diving, marine safaris, boutique shopping and wine tasting.

Plett also boasts some of South Africa’s award-winning restaurants, wine farms and other lifestyle experiences, perfect for unwinding after a full day of adventure.

The area is home to wildlife sanctuaries, game reserves, whale and dolphin watching, birding, canoeing and kayaking and sailing.

One experience to add to the adventure travel bucket list is swimming with seals.

Offshore Adventures offers this unique experience where you and your loved one can launch into the sea, followed by an amazing boat ride along the scenic coastline to the Cape fur seal colony.

There, you will get to snorkel and interact with the one of ocean’s most beloved creatures and see them playfully swimming in their natural environment.

Consider a stay at The Robberg Beach Lodge - Lion Roars Hotels & Lodges starting from R1516 a night for two.