The Most Unusual Sports to Try in South Africa

Sports to Try in South Africa
Bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge Bungy | © Katie Greenwood/@kt_greenwood

South Africa is one of Africa’s best travel destinations, a great country with much to offer for sporting enthusiasts and those who like to remain active while on holiday. Whether you’re looking to keep fit or pick up a new hobby, South Africa have plenty of sports to offer. From Nguni stick-fighting and bungee jumping to rugby and walking with the cheetahs, here are some of the most fun and unusual sports you can try in South Africa.

Cheetah walking

Cheetah walking south africa
Cheetah walking at the Tenikwa Wildlife Centre | © amar sesma/

Are you a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or an adrenaline junkie? Head to the Tenikwa Wildlife Centre, and have a safari walk with the wild cats – African cheetahs. Truly a cool and once in a lifetime experience, highly recommended whenever in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa.


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Rugby union

Springboks rugby_SA
Herschel Jantjies, South African rugby union player | © Springboks

South Africa has been a rugby union nation for many years. Next to football and cricket, rugby is one of the most popular mainstream sports in the country, a strong component of the local identity. Here’s how it all began. South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and also won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. With perfect playing conditions from April to September, you can do a few season trainings and playing this South African favourite sport with local players in a top club and established academy. 

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jeffrey's bay sandboarding
Sandboarding at Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa | © Mel Burczak/@mel_burczak

Jeffrey’s Bay isn’t just one of the best surfing destinations in South Africa, it’s also a prime destination for sandboarding. Here, both locals and tourists get to have a crack at sandboarding. Get strapped on a sandboard and throw yourself down the dunes. This bucket-list activity is a favourite among backpackers in South Africa, is every bit as epic as it sounds.


You will for sure feel the rush as you abseil off the iconic landmark, flat-topped Table Mountain. It’s an extreme sport in South Africa, and unique way to enjoy the incredible scenery of Cape Town and its surroundings. Abseiling down one of the most majestic natural wonders in Africa, is truly a thrill to experience.

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Crocodile-cage diving

If you want something with a heart-pounding action beyond the shark-cage diving, you’re in luck. Locked in a cage and lowered into floats of crocodiles is a heart-racing encounter. Check this toothy encounter off your adventure bucket-list by visiting Cango Wildlife Ranch in OudtshoornSouth Africa.


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Bungee jumping

Sports to Try in South Africa
Bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge Bungy | © Katie Greenwood/@kt_greenwood

There’s no shortage of adventurous activities in South Africaat 216 metres above the Bloukrans RiverBloukrans Bridge Bungy is one of the world’s highest commercial bridge bungyIt is one of the most exhilarating things to do in the country, a lights, camera, action, and adventure moment for avid thrill-seekers. If you’re looking for unforgettable adventures, then add bungee jumping in South Africa, to your bucket list. An epic experience!


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Nguni stick-fighting

Nguni stick-fighting is a top African traditional sporta local martial art practiced by Nguni people of South Africa. This genuine warrior battle features no body protection, just two long sticks – one for defense, and the other for offense. Nguni stick-fighting is a very sociable sport and a great way to meet and mix with the locals while doing something both physically challenging and fun. Both Shaka Zulu, and Nelson Mandela were lovers and practitioners of this South African sport.

Shark-cage diving

gansbaai shark diving
Shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa | © Marine Dynamics

Many visitors to South Africa make it to Cape Town, one of Africa’s most visited cities. A trip to this city could be an adventure with bite, for thrill-seekers. For the best shark diving in Cape Town, head to the Shark Zones in the Western Cape: Gansbaai and Seal Island in False Bay. Great place for viewing great white sharks, and indulging a thrilling underwater experience. There are several tour operators, but Dream Africa recommends the Marine Dynamics.


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