While on a recent business trip to Pretoria I was looking for advice on a good spot for a 5km trail run one afternoon. I got in touch with Niel from Nature Travel Active and not only did he provide excellent advice on where to run but also offered to join me for the run. I was looking for a nice quiet nature reserve and he suggested Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve. We met at the designated time and enjoyed a great 5km run enjoying nice sightings of Bushbuck, Zebra, Impala, Springbok and a variety of birdlife (Niel is a keen birder as well). While running we chatted about his recent experience guiding the Southern Cross Trail Run and I was so impressed with their willingness to go out of their way to accommodate my request that I signed up to join Nature Travel Active for the Sandman Triathlon in Swakopmund, Namibia and the Skukuza 21km run next year in Kruger National Park.
I recently had the chance to go to the Etosha National Park in Namibia, after I had some work meetings in the capital city of Windhoek. I decided to stay on for a few days with some of my colleagues and even had my family join me in Namibia. We are all active and fit people and wanted to keep up our fitness levels while on safari. We decided to go with Nature Travel Namibia, as they also offered an “active option” to all of their Namibian safaris with their sister company Nature Travel Active.
Nature Travel asked us all the relevant fitness and health questions beforehand, and set up the perfect itinerary for us that included enough time for wildlife viewing in the wonderful Etosha but also had us doing something active at least once a day. Their expert guide even joined us for all the exercises!
On day 1 of the trip we started the day with a 5 mile run in the camp grounds in Etosha, followed by stunning views of a young male Leopard while out on safari in the park. Day 2 contained some core exercises and their gym-in-a-bag in the morning, this time “rewarded” with a huge herd of African Elephant at a waterhole. The final two days of the trip included another 5 mile run in the camp grounds on one of the days, while the last day saw us all swimming a mile in the huge camp swimming pool. This time we were rewarded with some superb Lion sightings on both the last two days of the trip.
I can highly recommend the Nature Travel group, not just the Namibia part for their expert short-notice organising of all our food and accommodation in the amazing Etosha National Park, but also the Active part of the company for setting up our exercise routine and providing us with some top quality, branded running tops. We thoroughly enjoyed our active time in one of the world’s great parks!
We can’t wait to go back to Namibia and join up with Nature Travel again!
Jason – February 2019
I was on business in South Africa recently and had a weekend off at the end of my trip, before I was due to fly back to the UK. I am an active person and I also love nature, so I contacted Nature Travel Active and asked them to arrange a short trip for me from their Safari Eventing catalogue.
They were more than happy to oblige! They organised a late entry for me into the Barberton Mountain Bike race in the Mpumalanga province on the Saturday, followed by a day trip with one of their expert guides into the famous nearby Kruger National Park on the Sunday.
They took care of ALL the arrangements, from getting me a loan bike for the race, booking accommodation on my behalf for the Saturday and even allowing me to borrow their guide’s binoculars for the short safari into the Kruger Park!
I just wish they had organised some stronger legs and lungs for me for the mountain bike race! It was a tough ride, but very enjoyable, and I even made some local friends along the way. The day trip into Kruger was also very memorable, with sightings of all of the “Big 5” as well as some fantastic other fauna and flora.
I once again thank Nature Travel Active for their friendly and expert help and can highly recommend them to all you active nature lovers out there.
NicoS – November 2018
I was recently lucky enough to combine my two favourite things in life (trail running and game viewing), in one trip!
I found a company, Nature Travel Active, that specialises in offering trail running (or mountain biking, if you’re that way inclined) and safari combinations all over the world. I have always wanted to go to South Africa, and one of the packages they offered, was a 3-day trail running race (the Southern Cross trail run) in the Garden Route area of the Western Cape province of South Africa, combined with a 5-day visit to a nearby Big 5 game reserve called Gondwana.
The trail running event, the Southern Cross (or SOX for short) was a stunning race over 3 days, with different options from beginner to expert each day. The race claims to go to completely different areas of the famed Garden Route each day, and this was certainly the case. Day 1 was the mountain stage, where we ran along a contour line high up in the Outeniqua mountains for most of the stage. Day 2 was a forest stage, where we were enveloped in the magical, fairytale-like Knysna forests all day, and Day 3 was a coastal stage, including some tough but beautiful beach running. While my own performance was strictly middle-of-the-pack, the organisation of the event was world-class, from registration to route marking to water tables to post-event massages. The Nature Travel Active team certainly made sure that I felt like a VIP!
After the race, with my medal proudly around my neck, I was transferred to the Gondwana Private Game Reserve, only an hour away by car. This 11,000-hectare (26,000 acre) offers a luxurious malaria-free safari destination with free-roaming Big 5 (lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino, and leopard). I didn’t get to see leopard, but the other 4 were seen many times! Herds of other wildlife including Eland, Giraffe, Hippo, Cheetah and Zebra also roam the majestic landscape, and I took hundreds of photos of the awe-inspiring Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains and indigenous Fynbos vegetation cloaking the undulating valleys. The food was superb and the service truly the best I have ever experienced anywhere in the world.
If you are an outdoors type of person doing the occasional run and you have always wanted to see some wildlife in Africa, I strongly recommend using the Nature Travel Active team to book your next running& safari combo!
Yvonne – September 2018
If you love running and the Kruger Park, be sure to book a safari event with Nature Travel Active for the Skukuza Half Marathon. The race is exceptional, but to combine it with the Kruger Park safari just takes it to another level. What an unforgettable experience! The Nature Travel team is great! Already booked for 2019.