For a few years the top destination for thrill seekers was South Africa
If you are a fan of water sports like surfing, more into urban sports like bmx and skateboarding, or just into any kind of adventure and you love the wild and amazing scenery, you need to book your ticket to South Africa.
You may ask, how did this country become the new place to be for extreme sports so quickly? Why do surfers and explorers always make time for a stop in south africa everytime they hit the road?
We’ve tried to give you some of the answers here so let’s find out a little bit more about why adventure junkies keep coming back and the spots you have to see!
Here are a few things we can tell you about our favorites sports, but of course, there is a lot more to see there, so once you’re there, keep your eyes open !
South Africa has a lot to offer and plenty for you to discover! The culture and the wildlife in itself will be an experience for your senses.
Durban is considered as much of a daring city as Cape Town, they are the most renowned surfing locations of the area, featuring the famous J-Bay, home spot of Jordy Smith (currently #4 in the world ranking).
Located in the eastern cape province, Jeffrey’s Bay also has become a staple spot for experienced surfers, also featuring as a much-anticipated stop on the WCT and never failing to be loaded with surprises and upsets, i’m sure you remember that one time surfer Mick Fanning got attacked by a shark in the middle of the final round.
Supertubes and Boneyards are also definitely worth checking out, but be careful with the sharks and other (not so) friendly wild animals. After a compulsory stop at Table mountain, head towards Umhlanga to find a few less crowded spots in the Indian ocean.
You might expect the sea to be warm..it certainly isn’t so remember so bring your wetsuit, also the nights are freezing so pack a couple of jumpers and thermals in your suitcase.
Surf schools in Cape Town will often offer to take you to Muizenberg which is located 27 km south of the city; it’s a perfect spot to learn surfing in the best conditions. There’s a reason why Muizenberg has been voted one of the best surf spots in the world by the National Geographic, this little village is really attractive for international travellers as the vibe is so laid back.
Muizenberg is a dream beach break, the waves there are clean and long with lefts and rights to keep both goofy and regular footers happy. It’s also Cape Peninsula longest break with a ride you can surf for almost 1.5km!
In summer, Bailey’s reef, (yes it’s a reef-break) is kinda flat but will allow beginners to practice easily. A good option to escape from all surfers and practice your technique.
More than just a sport, surfing becomes a lifestyle for the majority of surfers, so make sure you get the vibe and practice your “chilled attitude” it will do nothing but great things to your body and soul.
When it comes down to kitesurfing, South Africa has some of the best spots in the world.
It has to do with the advantageous winds that blow all year long (with constant winds from november til march).
for beginers or freestylers, best spots are on Langebaan lagoon ( or shark bay). It’s 1.5hours drive north of Cape Town. expect crystal clear water and a smooth water plan- just perfection!!
For advanced kitesurfer, keep in mind these spots ; Kitebeach, Blouberg, Table View, Dolphin Beach and Big Bay (for the waves)
Also, Kitebeach offers an amazing view on Table Mountain and Lion’s head, it’s THE place to be if you’re In Cape town
Now, if that’s not challenging enough for you, drive a couple of hours south, but carefull as these spots are for really good kitesurfers!! If you feeling it, try Kommetje, Misty Cliffs, Scarborough and Cape of Good Hope with its pretty big waves and pretty big sharks…
Just in case you happen to be there at that time,every year the Red Bull king of the Air takes place in Cape Town. The best in riders in the worlds meet for this competition which happens to be one of the most prestigious in kitesurfing.
Matthias Dandois ( 6x world champ in BMX flatland and worldwide traveller ) told us :“If heaven exists, it would look like cape town”. A few years ago, our frenchie went on a trip there with Red Bull and had a chance to check the south african BMX scene. We asked him a few questions then and here are his answers:
Have you already been to South Africa ?
Yes, we did a tour all over the country with Red Bull : BMXplore. I went to Johannesburg, Durban, and Pretoria to do some demos with Viki Gomez. I fell in love with the country so going back happened naturally.
What does Cape Town look like ?
If paradise exists, it would look like Cape Town, the City is stuck between the atlantic ocean and Table mountain. Everywhere you look, there is a hot girl. The weather is a dream and life isn’t expensive, also the parties are crazy! And our hotel was just above the latest club in the city… i’m telling you this place is heaven;
Cape Town has a reputation of being dangerous, what did you think of that while you were there ?
I have never felt unsafe – at any time. Of course, you don’t hang out in the back alleys in the middle of the night while taking photos with your ipad… but it’s something you wouldn’t do in any city in the worlds i think… everything was cool.
You did a demo in a school and the kids loved you, do you feel like bmx is perceived differently there compared to Europe ?
It was crazy, yes. But remember when you were a kid in school: if someone came to your class and told you some BMX riders from overseas were coming to see you and do tricks you would have gone ballistic too!!! The difference is in south africa was that, these kids in school had hardly ever seen BMX riding before… and that explains why they were super excited about it.
You have also been to the townships to do demos. How did that go?
I had already done demos in townships during my first visit at the end of the previous year and we did it again. Everything was organised by Red Bull and i think it’s cool they do things for the people who live inside the townships.
The first time you walk in a township, it feels a little weird because you are the only white guy. Everybody is staring at you. But once you start riding, people love it. Towards the end of the demo, there was many people coming to thank me or wanted to try tricks and some were even telling me they wanted to come back to France with me.
If i had had another bike on that trip i would have left it there so the kids could ride. I’m sure they would get good! Honestly it has been one of the most intense experience of my life. Not gonna go into details but in this type of situation, only sport can bring people together like this. Without BMX i would have never met these people and for that, i am really grateful
Is there a BMX scene in South Africa ?
Yes and it’s growing! It was a great idea to organise the Dub Jam in Cape Town this year! It’s a good thing to see the international rider competing here and exchange with the locals. Greg Illingworth does a great job in developing BMX in the country, this trip can only do good to the south african scene. They just need more BMX shops because they are super motivated!! I’m sure we will hear about this scene in the near future!
The prestigious Red Bulll X-Fighters had a stop in Pretoria in 2014 and 2015.
The Union Buildings, official seat of the government since 1910, were the background of a stop of the Red Bull X-Fighter world tour two years in a row
In 2014, in front of a massive crowd of 22.000 fans on fire , the créme de la creme of FMX riders fought for the title of the Red BUll X-fighters champion. the Aussie Josh Sheehan won his first world title, winning the stop after a tough battle.
In 2015, the level of the riders of the Red Bull X-fighter was impressive and for that 4th stop of the tour, which took place in Pretoria, it was the Frenchie Tom Pages who took the title home beating Clinton Moore with a very fresh run.
Beside sports, there are many reasons for you to head to this place.
Its creative and entrepreneurial juice
=> The artistic scene is growing, with many outdoor concerts, public outdoor viewing of films and local designers.
=> South Africa has a very entrepreneurial spirit, Cape town is about the digital world with many online businesses due to the populations love for digital technologies.
=> Friday night in Muizenberg ( between 6pm and 10pm) you have to go to the market. It’s a mix of food trucks and local craftsmen selling their products, with a band playing some music in the background – super chill
=> Le Old Biscuit Mill Market is a little market located in Woodstock, in the old industrial neighborhoods of CPT. open every saturday from 9am til 2pm. The atmosphere is really cruisy : food trucks, concert, local craftsmen, arty shops and so on…
=> The view from Lion’s head, or the one on top of Table Mountain… both will leave you speechless.
=> La plage de Noordhoek beach,one of the most beautiful white sand beach in the world, welcome to paradise ( the water is freezing but doesn’t take away the view).
=> Llandudno Beach – The color of the water is just crazy with super smooth rocks like in the Seychelles.
=> The Cape Point road ( which you can see in many commercials on TV) simply incredible
=> Misty Cliffs – is just mystical .
THE ONE THING THAT IS JUST CRAZY AWESOME :
Outdoors concerts at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, Picture this, you’re chilling in a botanical garden at the base of a mountain, a red sunset over the mountains, beer and music… can life get any better than this ?