Hiking is an adventure. There is no better way to get some clean air and exercise than taking a walk in nature. Why not joint the millions of hikers and backpackers who put our national parks to good use each year. Hiking allows you to opt for longer walks at a more moderate pace. In terms of energy costs, a day-long hike up hills and down winding paths is similar to running a marathon. But when it comes to taking in the sights, smells, and sounds as you go, hiking is tough to beat.

Where you choose to hike will depend, in part, on your interests. If you enjoy watching birds, for example, you may want to pack your binoculars and head for Nylsvlei, which is known for its rich birdlife.

South Africa offers a lot of scenic hiking trails. Trail maps are often available as well as estimated distances and the degree of difficulty of the trails. Start off with some easy and shorter hikes and gradually build it up to more difficult or longer hikes.

Even if you live in an urban area, you'll probably be able to find forest or wildlife preserves nearby that you can roam for a few hours. It's a healthy and inexpensive way to escape the noise and traffic of the city. It's also a good way to prepare your body for lengthier hikes across rougher terrain.