Adventure Tourism

Adventure Operators in Africa

Tourism Tattler is proud to announce the launch of a dedicated GeoDirectory locator website of adventure activity operators throughout the continent of Africa.

The new Africa Adventure Travel GeoDirectory website will ultimately become a one-stop resource for adventure tourism bookings throughout Africa, and will be renamed ‘Adventure(dot)Africa’, under the new dotAfrica (.Africa) gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain) registry, which aims to promote African business, people and culture on the Internet.

Understandably the Tattler’s adventure tourism GeoDirectory is a massive project that will take time to populate and geo-locate by country, and in this issue we are kicking off with South Africa in collaboration with Dirty Boots.

Dirty Boots is a South African based adventure holiday and activity guide book and website resource that has been published for over 10 years. Dirty Boots provides a complete list of credible adventure, activity, holiday, and team building companies, with over 100 outdoor activities in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, and the printed guide booklet is updated on an annual basis.

Dirty-boots-guidePublished by Johan and Esna Radcliffe, the Dirty Boots adventure guide prompted Johan to produce a survey on the adventure industry in South Africa back in 2014, and the report that he published revealed some interesting, and hitherto little known facts. For example, the top 10 activities with the biggest number of participants was revealed as being: 1. Boat Trips, 2. Zipline Tours (Canopy Tours, Aerial Cableway), Tours, 3. Horse Riding, 4. Whale Watching (Boat Based), 5. River Rafting, 6. Shark Cage Diving, 7. Ziplines, 8. Quad Biking, 9. Bungee Jumping, and 10. Segway Tours.

Surprisingly, the top activities that were provided by operators turned out to be Horse Riding, followed by Scuba Diving and Quad Biking. By contrast, the highest revenue generating activities were Shark Cage Diving, Zipline Tours, and Boat Trips.

Johan’s report estimated that adventure tourism operators generated in the region of R4.6 billion in 2014.

The average age of adventure customers was revealed as being 35 years, with an almost equal split in gender (51% male vs 49% female). Johan’s report is certainly an interesting read (view it here).

South Africa’s The National Department of Tourism (NDT) apparently published an Adventure Tourism Report back in 2012, but been unable to find it. What is encouraging though, is the self-regulation initiative for the Adventure Tourism Sector, which is being spearheaded by the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) and mandated by the NDT. This initiative will certainly build the credibility and profile of a reliable Adventure Tourism industry in South Africa.

NDT and SATSA hosted the first in a series of stakeholder workshops on self-regulation for the Adventure Tourism Sector on 19 March 2014 in Cape Town, followed by several workshops in other provinces during 2015. These workshops provided a platform for information sharing, exchange of best practices, and solicited input pertaining to the implementation of stakeholder consultative sessions.

For more information on the self-regulation initiative, email Hannelie du Toit at SATSA at [email protected] or call +27 (0)83 600 3555.

Already listed on the Africa Adventure Travel GeoDirectory are just a few of South Africa’s top adventure operators (click on the operator to view their listing):



Western Cape:





Eastern Cape:







Support them with client bookings.

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