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10 outdoor activities that are budget friendly and loads of fun

Explore your city with these 10 outdoor activities that are sure to bring a smile to your face without breaking the bank

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By Yashna Balwanth | January 6, 2023 | Travel Leisure

1. Beach days are the best days

While the sun is still out, spending our long summer days on the beach is what this season is made of. Not to mention, this will not cost you a cent, besides your fuel and snacks of course. If you live along the coast, you are really spoilt for choice with the beaches you can choose from. Just be aware of the swimming restrictions at some due to the rocks and dips, however there are plenty of other options available.

2. Hike the mountain tops

Similar to beaches, the mountains are free to explore if not visiting a SANS park area, however even the parks are relatively low in cost, making this a great outdoor activity. Hiking is always best done in groups as there is safety in numbers in case of any injuries. Also be sure to choose a hike that is best suited to your fitness level to avoid getting stuck half-way.

Try your hand at hiking, Image Unsplash

3. Picnic in the botanical gardens

Sometimes there is no better fun than spending it with family and friends lounging in the garden and snacking on delicacies and cocktails. If your back garden is not big enough, you can always pop by one of the national parks around the country, such as the Durban botanical garden or Kirstenbosch. There are plenty of shaded spots with beautiful flowers surrounding you.

4. A day at the market

There are fresh produce markets, night markets and craft markets available in almost every city. With great food, live music and a general summer buzz in the air, markets are a great day to be out and about. Check your local guide on which days they operate and be sure to pop in early for a full day of sun and fun.

5.Water sports are made for summer

From jet skiing to surfing, snorkelling and kayaking or deep sea diving, the ocean is such a beautiful space to explore. Many coastal towns offer great water sports for you to try, especially during these summer months. And if you are a little nervous, start with something small and it may become your new favourite hobby.

6. Pick your own fruit

Litchi farms, cherry orchards or even strawberry picking are very popular during the summer months in South Africa. Not only is it a great outing for the day, but you also walk away with a good amount of fresh produce for a great price, not forgetting to eat while you pick which is half of the fun!

Visit your nearest fruit farm for the freshest produce, Image: Unsplash

7. Chasing sunsets across the country

Whether you live in the Western Cape, KZN or Mpumalanga, one thing about South Africa is our gorgeous sunsets in every part of the country. Make it a date with some friends and watch the sunset from the beach, mountain top or even your backyard.

The skies appear beautifully painted with gorgeous sunset moments, Image: Unsplash

8. Visit the closest nature reserve

Instead of visiting a zoo, explore our big 5 in their natural habitat at your closest nature reserve. From elephants to lions, these reserves offer the animals a place of sanctuary while still allowing them to just be. Game reserves also offer sunset and sunrise game drives for the best chance to see these beautiful creatures up close and personal.

9. Take some time to fish

Spending some time besides the riverbed while catching a few fish and just enjoying the scenery might be the best way to spend your summer days outdoors. Finish the day of with a classic braai and you’re good to go. Just be reminded all fishing does require a license to ensure the correct size is caught and we keep our fishes from being endangered species.

10. Adrenaline sports for the adrenaline junkies

Get your blood pumping with some exhilarating activities that will push your comfort zone to the edge. While not all adrenaline sports are reasonably priced, try your hand at ziplining, paragliding or even abseiling. Many companies run specials during their off-peak season so if this is something that interests you, just be on the lookout for those.