Africa may not be the first place you think of when you think of a sport you enjoy but actually sports in general play a huge part in day-to-day African life. Should you be lucky enough to visit Africa you will find that sport is a great unifier. No matter where you come from or what you do you will always find someone keen to talk and share their passion for sport.
Across Africa football is by far and away the number one sport. The African Cup of Nations has a huge following throughout the world and here in the UK we have many of the top African footballers such as Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure playing in our Premiere League. Football is played pretty much everywhere from the smallest village on the savannah to the largest cities. Everywhere you go you will see small kids playing barefoot in the dust with homemade footballs and goalposts. And you are usually invited to join in!
Africa is also home to many other types of sports from the obscure to the thrilling.
Golf is very popular in South Africa with some of the world’s top golf courses found around Cape Town, Sun City and Mpumalanga, Durban, The Garden Route and the Winelands. You can also catch major tournaments such as the South African Open, the SA Masters and the PGA Championship.
Rugby is also a huge game in South Africa with their immense national pride in their world beating Springboks. Watching a game in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban would be a truly exciting day out with an incredible atmosphere and top class rugby on display.
Sailing is another South African pastime and Cape Town is an excellent base for sailing anything from a laser to a full blown schooner. Or if you fancy a more mellow type of sailing trip then meandering on a felucca off the coast of Zanzibar takes some beating! Other fantastic sailing destinations include Lake Malawi and Mozambique.
Top surfers compete for the best breaks at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa whilst Essaouira in Morocco is fabulous for windsurfing. Scuba diving is amazing in Mozambique and deep water sport fishing can be done pretty much anywhere but is best in the teeming waters of the Indian Ocean. Rowing and kayaking hotspots include the Zambezi, the Okavango Delta and Lake Malawi.
Back on dry land horse-riding trips can be organised pretty much anywhere from trekking across the Namibian sand dunes to exploring the hill country of Lesotho. Hiking and mountain biking are equally popular. There are many mountain ranges to explore from the Atlas in Morocco to the Drakensburg Mountains in SA which provide some of the most stunning scenery as a backdrop. If you fancy a challenge you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, go on a walking safari or trek through the Sahara desert!
And lastly not forgetting those adventure sports for adrenalin junkies which are also to be found across Africa. You can bungee over Victoria Falls, dive with sharks off Cape Town, kite-surf in Morocco, camel race in Egypt, go white water rafting down the Zambezi and skiing in the Atlas Mountains. Skiing in Africa – now there’s an adventure to be had!