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April Adventures: Outdoor Autumn Activities in South Africa

April Adventures: Outdoor Autumn Activities in South Africa

A is for adventure, April, and the start of many fun autumn activities for South Africans. This is the one season where the weather across the entire country lends itself perfectly to several bucket-list outdoor activities. From adventure tours to safaris—there's so much to explore and do!

Here are our recommended South African Autumn activities for families and couples.

No April Fools! Why April Is the Perfect Month to Travel 

 There are five reasons why April is a fantastic time for your 4x4 and overland adventures.

  1. Pleasant weather: April marks the beginning of autumn, allowing you to enjoy pleasantly warm days and comfortably cool nights. 4X4 and overlanding is much more fun when the conditions are right.
  2. Less rain: Speaking of prime conditions. The country experiences the least rainfall in autumn. Most regions are dry, with sporadic showers in the east. Less rain means better visibility and less chance of getting stuck on muddy roads. But always keep Recovery Trax in the car, just in case!
  3. Shoulder season: With Easter taking place earlier this year, the school holidays have, too. That means the crowds have dissipated, and you can benefit from "off-peak" rates for accommodation, attractions and other autumn activities. It also means the roads will be relatively empty—less traffic, fewer obstacles and loads of open scenery.
  4. Safari sweet spot: The crowds and rain aren't all that wane in April. You'll find the bush thins out for optimal game viewing. Look out for wildlife around the watering holes, too.
  5. Regional variety: This is truly the season to enjoy the best of every corner of the country. You can create a diverse itinerary with the perfect beach, bush, mountain and valley balance.

See South Africa from A-Z

Here is all the proof you need: South Africa has the full spectrum of autumn activities.

Agulhas & Augrabies Falls National Parks

Let's start 200 kilometres southeast of Cape Town in the Agulhas Plain (southern Overberg). Stand at the Southernmost tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The area offers 4x4 trails, hikes and walks, fishing, and a rich cultural heritage! Explore archaeological deposits from the Khoisan era, national monuments and much more.

Heading north near the border of Namibia, you'll witness one of the country's great natural wonders. The Augrabies Falls is a waterfall on South Africa's largest river, the Orange River. The falls, around 56 metres high, plunge into a breathtaking gorge 240 meters deep and 18 kilometres long! With that, you'll find incredible hiking trails here, like the 3-day Klipspringer Hiking Trail.

Baviaanskloof Route: Road trip

The Baviaanskloof Route is a scenic and historic route that winds its way through the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area in the Eastern Cape. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also known as the Valley of Baboons—be on the lookout as you traverse the 203-kilometre gravel road from Patensie to Willowmore.

While a sedan might navigate the route in good conditions, a high-clearance vehicle, preferably a 4x4, is highly recommended, especially if you plan to explore off-road.

Insider-tip: Fill your 50L Pioneer cooler box which can keep ice cold or up to 4 days.

Cango Caves, Cederberg Mountains, Clarens Route: Road Trip

Beginning in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, the Cango Caves are a massive cave system that is one of South Africa's oldest tourist attractions and part of another UNESCO World Heritage Site—the Cape Floral Region.

After spending time in the estimated 20-million-year-old caves, you'll relish the spectacular scenic views as you make your way to the Cederberg Mountains, about 300 kilometres north of Cape Town. The Cederberg is known for its spectacular rock formations, wildflower displays in spring, and San rock art. A large portion of the mountain range called the Cederberg Wilderness Area is a World Heritage Site. This is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking being only a few of the activities on offer.

Then, make your way from the Western Cape to the Free State, where Clarens is waiting. The approximate 1300 km route from Cederberg to Clarens is mostly tar road, but if you want to make it more adventurous, consider incorporating the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area route or look at for ideas.

Insider-tip: make sure your fuel tanks and water tanks are full.

Delheim, Jukani, Kirstenbosch, Klein/Little Karoo

While alphabetical order might excite the A-type personality, your buttocks and wallet might prefer Karoo, Kirstenbosch, Delheim, and Jukani.

Starting in the famous semi-desert Klien Karoo, wind through the enormous Langeberg and Swartberg mountain ranges before heading to Cape Town. You'll enjoy treasure trove towns like Montagu, Worcester, and Paarl on the way.

Then, take some time through the highly acclaimed Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden before heading to The Delheim Estate in Stellenbosch for a unique mushroom-foraging tour! Experts guide you through Delheim's mountain pine forests, equipping you with the knowledge to identify edible and poisonous mushrooms safely.

From here, it's time to take in the beauty of the Garden Route, making your way to Plettenberg Bay to visit the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a forever home for rescued and re-homed apex predators such as lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, pumas, caracals, and spotted hyenas.

Robberg Nature Reserve, Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River Mouth

Just South of Plettenberg Bay lies the stunning Robberg Nature Reserve. It's a World Heritage Site and National Monument, known for its dramatic cliffs, caves, stretches of sandy beach, vibrant colony of Cape fur seals, and panoramic views across the bay to the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the open ocean.

It's worth your wild to head on over to the Tsitsikamma. The National Park is a jewel in the region's crown and home to the world-famous Otter Trail. This multi-day hiking trail is known for its stunning scenery and challenging hikes.

Storms River Mouth has more adrenaline adventures with dramatic cliffs, bungee jumping from the Bloukrans Bridge, and a restaurant with spectacular views.

uMngeni Footprint Route to Waterval Boven and Ziplining at Sodwala

The last leg of our A-Z autumn activities road trip commences in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Located in the "Gateway to the Midlands", the uMngeni Footprint Route is a scenic route that offers a diverse range of attractions. You'll find spectacular waterfalls, like the Howick Falls; Museums, like the Nelson Mandela Capture Site; beautiful gardens; local crafter; and the Midmar Dam, to name a few attractions. The route is known for its historical significance, so it's a great way to experience the beauty and history of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

From here, you'll set off towards Waterval Boven. For some off-road sections, you can take a route that includes the Giant's Castle Game Reserve and the Balmoral Pass. Be sure to inquire about road conditions before attempting the pass, especially after heavy rains.

When you reach Waterval Boven (aka Emgwenya), you'll find an adventure playground for outdoor enthusiasts!

Red sandstone cliffs surrounding the area provide the best rock climbing for every level. Ascend the cliffs hen descend with Adeline-packed abseiling to the 70-meter Elands River Waterfall. If Hiking and mountain biking don't whet your appetite for adventure, try horse riding in the fresh mountain air.

Finally, your epic overland trip ends in Mpumalanga's majestic Sudwala Caves and Zipline! Soar through the air on a 430-meter zipline across the Houtbosloop Valley in the Mankele mountain range. Once you've enjoyed the lush canopy tour, the caves offer some cooling relief with an all-year average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius.

Awesome Autumn Outdoor Adventures Await You

From adventure tours to road trips, autumn is the perfect time to see South Africa's diverse and beautiful landscapes. There’s no better season to plan 4x4 and overlanding trips filled with  breathtaking natural wonders, cultural heritage, and the great outdoors.

Grab the perfect outdoor adventure and 4X4 supplies from our camping and outdoor catalogue

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