South Africa is the land of complexities and diversity in every aspect. This applies to the landscape, where vast plains and massive mountain ranges come together to give rise to some of the most iconic views in the world. Being the meeting point of two oceans – Atlantic and Indian – has created various climate zones within the country, hence equally diverse vegetation. Considering this, it is no surprise that South Africa is so integrated with nature, but what does this mean for the people in South Africa. How does nature impact everyday life?


South Africa’s nature is one of the most well-preserved in Africa. The organization of South Africa National Parks (SAN Parks) does a perfect job of protecting the various national parks in the country. These national parks are excellent opportunities for hiking. Table Mountain National park is only a few minutes of drive from Cape Town Centre and is full of scenic hiking trails.

There are numerous multi-day hikes in Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga, near cities like Pretoria and Johannesburg. The Drakensberg escarpment stretching along the Lesotho border contains the highest peaks in the country. Two of the largest canyons of Africa – Fish River and Blyde River- are also in South Africa.

Given the proximity of these national parks to big cities, hiking is an important part of the lives of South Africans.


Another outcome of the abundant nature is the camping culture. When you visit a camping site, you will see as many locals as the tourists. South Africans know how to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city whenever they have the chance. The country is full of camping sites providing everything from barbeque facilities to communal bathrooms.

While some people do it old school, some people bring luxury with them. Their tents are bigger than a studio apartment, fully-furnished and filled enough to sustain the local family for a few weeks. South Africa is a pioneer when it comes to glamping.


The diverse landscape of South Africa is very suitable for outdoor activities from jogging to extreme sports. Extreme sports are particularly popular in the country.

The intersecting streams of the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean create rough waves along the entire coastline. That’s why; the country is home to some of the most famous surfing spots in the world, such as Muizenberg and Jeffrey’s Bay. Surfing is a huge part of the lives of those living in coastal towns and cities.

Extreme sports are also quite popular amongst South Africans. Who can blame them; they have the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world: Bloukrans (216 m).

Cage diving, skydiving, snorkeling, and paragliding are other sports that many people like to experience. This is a regular hobby for people living in the coastal towns. Besides, the increasing interest in extreme sports helps the growth of job opportunities in the tourism industry.

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