Of course the healthy ritual of sport is a good one, and you should never give up on opportunities to exercise, but could it be time to add a jolt of zing into your chosen sport—by experiencing it in a new and different environment?
Whatever way you choose to sweat:
kitesurfing, mountain biking, surfing, trail running, diving or yoga, there are so many places to go and experience your sport in a whole new way.
While there are so many places to choose all over the world, sports tourism is flourishing in Africa (and surrounds) and there are teams of people just waiting to help you get involved. Of course you might be keen to go solo and find your own way, but as long as you plan it in advance, every coastline, jungle, and volcanic mountain top can be your playground.
Here are some top places in and around Africa to get your sweat on:
Kiteboarding in Zanzibar
Everyone should have a sport to jump into once the wind starts pumping. Kiteboarding is certainly one of the most rewarding disciplines to enjoy once you are familiar with the equipment, and being upside down metres above the water. The azure blues of the bays behind the reefs go on forever at high tide, perfect for pushing your kiteboarding love to the highest level. Zanzibar’s 85km long coastline seems to have a bay for every kilometre. The water is warm and uncrowded, and the locals are friendly. Find a hammock and a cold beverage (easily done) and wait for the wind to blow.
Trail Running in Mauritius
It’s not the first place that comes to mind when looking to take on some altitude, but with a range of volcanic mountains ringing the whole island, and a highest point of 828m, your hunger for trail running challenges will be more than satiated. The terrain varies from beach to dense jungle and there are extremely well-run events famous for the spectacular scenery. It’s a vibrant running culture and you can choose a race to match your aspirations. Visit www.marathons.ahotu.com/calendar/mauritius to see when the different runs take place.
Yoga in Seychelles
Leave your expectations at home and detach from your local yoga spot. The many yoga opportunities in the Seychelles are almost all linked to the hotels and retreats. These institutions include getting Zen on their daily schedules as group activities, and some offer private lessons with experienced practitioners. These are often accompanied with other complementary therapies of wellbeing and health, such as healing massages, bath rituals and chakra treatments. Be ready for a new experience of the versatile discipline of yoga, and fall in love with the essence of the spiritual activity all over again. It all seems so much lighter and authentic on a lush tropical island such as Mahe where you can experience everything from Hatha Yoga, Laughing Yoga, Yin Yoga, Power Yoga, and even Stand Up Paddle Yoga.
Mountain Biking in Kenya
Ever thought about cycling to the top of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent? Well, it’s been done before. Perhaps leave that to the crazies and take on a less vertical, but rather an extremely adventurous and beautiful, mountain biking tour in Mount Kenya National Park. Enjoy the unique wildlife and soulful scenery—when you are able to lift your eyes from the trail in front of you. There will be times to white knuckle your handle bars and times to contemplate your beautiful surroundings. The terrain varies between hair-raising fast downhill single track options, large rocky valleys with technical volcanic rock sections, and old service roads winding their way through lush green forests. The wild African continent comes alive in Kenya and provides spectacular memory-making opportunities.
Surfing in Mozambique
Tofu in Mozambique offers the quintessential surf holiday where you live on the beach right where you surf every day. When the waves are cooking, share the warm water with manta rays and whale sharks, but not the crowds of fellow surfers you have to deal with back home. There are lots of options to choose from to mix it up each day, though, and guides to take you out and share the precious local knowledge, which is especially helpful when it comes to navigating the point break at Tofinho. Tofu main beach, with no reefs nor intense currents to deal with, is protected from the south west winds and provides a great bay to cater for those still learning to surf.
Diving in Reunion Island
The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are a good place to start when booking a scuba diving holiday, and it doesn’t get much better than Reunion Island. Over 150 species of coral and 500 species of fish lie waiting in the bluest waters imaginable. Diving occurs mostly via boat rides in the north west of the island, where the water is calm. Between July and October you can even see whale sharks and dolphins sharing the water with so much other aquatic life. Diving conditions and options cater for all, from the adventure experienced diver to the complete novice, and there is a lot more to enjoy on the island once you are all-dived-out and back on terra firma.