Is it possible that you have, harbouring in your soul, the spirit of a thrill seeker? Maybe you wear your passion for perilous pursuits on your sleeve, or perhaps you have an adventurous side just waiting to be tapped into. Either way, there is always something thrilling on the go in the Midlands, and here we have assembled a list of a few of our favourites.
A bit of a precautionary word before we begin. Remember that all thrilling activities from the insane to the slightly more sedate, carry a certain amount of risk. Be smart, follow instructions, know your limits and wear a helmet!
That said, let's get down to the fun part…helping you plan your next grand adventure.
The varying terrain of the Natal Midlands is fast becoming a Mountain bike mecca. What you get in these hills is everything from technical, single track trails, to rolling farmlands. That means the landscape has something to offer all comers. From the advanced rider, serious about challenging themselves and indulging in a little adrenaline rush, to the more sedate trails for the whole family to enjoy through pleasant pasture land. Take a look at the Howick MTB Club or Karkloof MTB Club to find out more about their trails. From gentle beginner tracks to technical sections like Suicide Slide, The Face, Rushalot and Pedals Level there is a trail for you. Yeehaa! If you are quite taken with the idea of touring the Midlands from the saddle of a mountain bike, then there are tours that offer multi-day experiences. Research a few of the multi-day packages - like those from outfits such as Active Escape - and pick your perfect adventure.
There are a few adventure zip-lines to be found zig-zagging around the heights of the Midlands. There is the more immediate one drop variety, like the 120m installation over the vineyard at the Piggly Wiggly - which is a single ride affair but still packed with thrills. Or you can opt for a more extensive experience with multiple zip lines at the renowned Karkloof Canopy Tour. You’ll be suspended in the treetops of the indigenous Karkloof forest as you zip from platform to platform. With 12 platforms altogether and the longest line reaching 200 metres, the tour lasts around 2 hours and is sure to be a thrilling escapade for all ages.
Rising gradually into the crisp dawn sky is a thrilling experience of a lifetime - the hot air balloon flight. The whole event usually lasts 4 hours; however, the trip itself is of 1-hour duration. This means you’ll begin with a leisurely, but early start as you take in the experience of watching the pilot inflate the balloon while you sip on a warm cup of coffee. Then you are gently borne aloft to view the rolling hills of the Midlands from your epic, elevated position. Nothing like a bird’s eye view to get the adrenaline pumping and take the breath away. Depending on the operator, there is usually a yummy breakfast awaiting you on touch down, rounding off an awesome morning of adventure. If you are keen to view the Midlands from a unique perspective and heights make you happy-giddy, not woozy-giddy, then this aerial adventure is for you.
Ok, maybe for some of the more experienced horsemen and women, this doesn’t class itself as a “perilous pursuit”, but for those of us whose only exposure to our fleet four-hooved companions is our cherished My Little Ponies, then the real deal can induce a bolt of adrenaline. A host of enterprises offer tours through the Midlands - such as Midlands Meander Horse Trails, Karkloof Horse Adventures and Buffelsbosch Equestrian, to name a few. In any event, the Midlands has horses a-plenty and rides available for all skill levels. So make a plan to see the Natal Midlands as your ancestors might have - from the saddle of a horse and with a spirit of adventure. Ride ‘em, cowboy!
We were hard-pressed to select only a few of the activities available in the Midlands - there is so much more on offer: from gliding to mirco-lighting, abseiling to skydiving. There are water sports a-plenty at Midmar, hiking in the hills, clay pigeons to be shot and off-road trails to be run. Just dip your metaphorical toes into the region, and you won’t be sorry.
Our advice? Stay over, get out the car, and try something a little new. There’s always room for a bit more adventure in everyone's life, and you can find your kind of adventure right here among the hills of the Midlands Meander.