Going on holiday is the best thing in the history of ever but we do also need to be mindful of the effects our travel has on the planet. If you’re looking to limited your footprint or do something to help the environment on your next holiday then check out this super handy list of the top 10 Eco-adventures in South Africa, courtesy of First Car Rental. All the spots on the list promote a positive nature experience while minimising impact on the environment and increasing environmental and cultural awareness so you get a much-needed break and peace of mind!

1. Monkeyland, Western Cape

Monkeyland, near Plettenberg Bay is the world’s first free-roaming primate sanctuary. The sanctuary provides previously caged animals with a natural environment in which to roam freely and is home to species including Capuchin, Saki, Howler and Squirrel Monkeys as well as Lemurs, Langurs and Gibbons.

Click here for more information on Monkeyland. 

2. Green Mountain Eco Route, Western Cape

Elgin valley

The Green Mountain Eco Route is the world’s first biodiversity wine route; located in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The ground-breaking initiative is aimed at encouraging the Western Cape wine-making industry to become active custodians of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site – the richest, but also the most vulnerable, biodiversity region in the world.

You can also experience the wine route via a walking trail. Click here for more information on the Green Mountain Trail. 

3. Karoo Off-road Cycle Tour, Eastern Cape

Journey off the beaten track and discover the beauty of the Karoo with Great Karoo Cycling. The company offers three bicycle tours catered to all fitness levels – from Middelburg to Graaff-Reinet via Nieu Bethesda; from Mt. Melsetter to Cradock following the Fish River; and from Colesberg to Bethulie via the Gariep Dam.

Click here for more information on Great Karoo Cycling. 

4. Inner-city Jozi Walking Tour, Gauteng

JHB walks

The Inner City Urban Hiking Tour reveals parts of inner-city Johannesburg that many people may be reluctant to visit on their own. The structured tour of the city’s best kept secrets includes visits to one of Joburg’s oldest markets – the Kwa Mai-Mai Traditional Healers Market, Little Addis Ethiopian Quarter and Newtown, as well as stops at the city’s renowned restaurants and cafés.

Click here for more information on Inner City Urban Hiking Tours.

5. Ocean Adventure, KwaZulu-Natal

Aliwal Shoal, KZN’s famous rocky reef, is one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. Learn to dive at the Aliwal Dive School or go on a snorkelling / diving tour to find a huge variety of ocean creatures including Ragged Tooth Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Manta Rays, dolphins and Whale Sharks. For thrill seekers, the shoal also offers shark cage diving.

Click here for more information on the Aliwal Shoal dive school.

6. Discover the Tsitsikamma, Western Cape


Blackwater Tubing will take you on a unique tubing, swimming and bouldering adventure through the world renowned Tsitsikamma National Park on the Garden Route in South Africa. The black waters of the Storms River can be intimidating, and even scary if you have watched too many ‘monster fish’ – type movies. But once you jump onto your inflatable river tube you are in for bucket loads of fun – a must try for adventurous, nature loving travellers.

Click here for more information on Black Water tubing.

7. Caving, Cradle of Humankind


Wild Cave Adventures is based in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and offers a unique combination of exhilarating and educational activities, both above and below the ground. Activities include learning about the flora and fauna of the Magaliesburg Mountains extreme hiking; kloofing; climbing and abseiling. The company caters for all levels of experience – from first-timer to pro.

Click here for more information on the Cradle of Humankind. 

8. Explore the uMgeni River Valley, KwaZulu-Natal

The Durban Green Corridor is a conservation initiative that focuses on protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the uMgeni River Valley. Experience a range of activities, including mountain biking, hiking and kayaking amidst lush green valleys and mesmerising waterfalls, as well as in-depth, cultural tours into the heart of the Valley of a 1000 Hills.

Click here for more information on the uMgeni River Valley.

9. Canopy Tour, Karkloof, KwaZulu-Natal

karkloof canopy tours

Adventurous nature lovers will absolutely love swooping over the magnificent Karkloof forest – the second-largest indigenous forest in Southern Africa. The two-hour guided Karkloof Canopy Tour follows eight secure zip lines ranging from 40m up to 180m long that weave above and in the spectacular forest. Enjoy the view from above while taking in waterfalls and spotting birdlife amongst the surrounding trees.

Click here for more information on the Karkloof canopy tours. 

10. Horse Riding Safari, Limpopo

The Ant Collection in Limpopo province offers a unique and eco-friendly safari experience through its property located inside the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. All the guided safaris take place on horseback, with horses carefully selected to suit each rider’s ability – whether beginner or experienced.

Click here for more information on the Ant Collection horse safaris.