SA Adventure Trails

Hike or bike the best trails in South Africa, meander through the Midlands, walk on the wild side through the Wild Coast and hike the Heritage Trail in the Drakensberg.

Grade

Epic

Disabled Friendly

No

Accommodation

Nearby

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

  • Category
  • Location
  • Grade
  • Disabled Friendly
    No
  • Accommodation
    Nearby
  • Team Building Facilities
    Yes
  • Family Friendly
    Yes

SA Adventure Trails is a marketing association between Paul Colvin of Wild Coast Walks and Julia Colvin of Spekboom Tours. Together we offer the best selection of fully supported hiking and cycling tours in KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape Wild Coast. OUR ETHOS
Our ecological conscious tours endeavor to live up to the highest standards of sustainability. A percentage of the proceeds goes towards supporting worthwhile conservation projects in the area and we always try to choose to use family-based eco-friendly accommodation places that are involved in conservation or social upliftment programs. Most meals are in-season, vegetarian and ethically sourced. Where possible, we make use of local guides and support sustainable environmental and social initiatives in the area. Our tours also offer special ‘off the trail’ experiences to expose people to local history and cultures and a green way of living. These experiences include forest walks, tours of land rehabilitation and upliftment programs and excursions to local businesses and other community-minded initiatives

WHAT IS SLACKPACKING
Multi-day hiking in South Africa has been on the decline in the past decade or so, as there are fewer hardy hikers prepared to carry everything on their backs and sleep out in the open. With the aging process comes inevitable sore backs and less energy. As a result, many of the traditional long distances hikes have closed down

Luckily, for those of us who love the outdoors, a new concept in hiking has arisen, that of slack-packing. Defined by Fiona McIntosh as “hiking without the schlep” this type of trail is made for the hiker who doesn’t mind “dirty boots” but prefers to hike with basic comforts

At the very least on all slack-packing trails, your luggage is transported for you from point to point and you are normally provided with a packed lunch and meals at the start and end of the day with overnight accommodation at suitably chosen lodges. Often too you are provided with a guide who can interpret interesting features along the way. In other words “you walk at ease and stay in comfort”

Slack-packing strives to improve standards and to make the trails accessible. Slack-packing is a very popular and well-established concept in the USA, Australasia, and Europe but is still being developed here in South Africa. We hope to be part of that process of bringing South Africa’s wonderful wildlife and scenery to as many people as possible.

CYCLE TOURING
Having cycled the Himalayans, the Silk Road through Turkey and many remote parts of South Africa your local tour guide, Julia, believes that there is nothing more gratifying in life than exploring our country under your own steam. A KZN Natal girl at heart, she is very interested in KZN history and promoting local authentic tourism in her own backyard. Whilst some may enjoy the freedom on cycling self-sufficient with all your luggage on your bike, Spekboom bespoke cycle tours recognizes the value of carefree cycling with luggage transfers, between overnight stays, a cold beer, a home cooked meal with a glass of wine and a warm bed at the end of each day.

For this reason, all our cycle Tour offer homely accommodation, back-up support, and delicious meals. Using quite non-technical farm roads with very manageable daily distances these tours are designed to suit old and young, fit and less fit. The focus of each tour is about ‘discovering’ the rich history, wildlife and cultural offerings of the KZN Midlands, the Northern KZN Battlefields and the Ixopo/Creighton valley.

CUSTOMISING YOUR TOUR
One of the big advantages of slack-packing or going on an organized tour is that someone else takes care of all the logistics. Where to leave your vehicle, transfers to the trailhead each day and pick-up at the end, places to overnight, what food to bring and cook, trail planning and guiding etc are all pre-arranged so that you don’t have to worry about these matters.

The main factors you should give consideration to are: where to go, when to go and who to hike/ride with. There is a growing selection of hiking and cycling tours around the country but SA Trails focuses particularly on KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape with which we are most familiar. New trails are being opened up to allow anyone of reasonable fitness level to enjoy the great outdoors. Daily hiking distances are generally not more than 15km or 3-4 hours of comfortable hiking with breaks. Once you have chosen your tour , then the decision of when to book must be made.

Multi-day tours link together a chain of hotels and lodges so all be available on the day of arrival for one night stays. For this reason, it is often hard to secure accommodation at popular resorts during school holidays and long weekends. To get around this we have pre-scheduled tours where accommodation is booked long in advance or else we must check availability at the time. Pre-scheduled tours also introduce you to like-minded people enjoying the same outdoor fun, but if you would rather hike with your family and friends then form your own group and we can customize a slack-pack hike or cycle ride at the time of your choosing. Bear in mind though that costs will come down with more people in the group so parties of 6 to 10 generally get the best rate. Finally, for most outdoor activities in the eastern half of South Africa, the best time to tour is during the spring and autumn months when temperatures are ideal and there is generally less chance of rainstorms and cold weather.

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