Enjoy the country's outdoors one activity at a time
Sports medicine physician, Phathokuhle Zondi, has always had a love for the outdoors. So when she decided to take a six month sabbatical, resigning from her role as the Chief Executive Officer at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, making the decision to dedicate some time exploring what the country has to offer was always going to be top of her list.
“I have always been very active and adventurous, and I yearn for more people to experience the awe, peace and thrill of being outdoors. It’s grounding, healing and inspiring – and everyone should experience it regularly,” she says.
Her passion sparked an idea which has culminated in the initiative, Colour Africa’s Outdoors (CAO), which seeks to showcase different outdoor activities with the aim of encouraging people to be healthy and active, and to enjoy the splendour of South Africa’s great outdoors.
Zondi says the vision is to diversity and grow the country’s community enjoying outdoor recreational activity. “We want to dispel stereotypes about race, gender and age-appropriate activity and show that the outdoors is accessible to all of us.”
Together with Phumla Shongwe and Khetha Cele, Zondi launched COA last year, initially with one goal: to showcase 100 different outdoor activities in 100 days, around Kwa-Zulu Natal.
However, the response from the public has inspired the team to expand their horizons. They now have plans of exploring other provinces and hosting unique CAO experiences once the current COVID circumstances allow them to safely do so.
A quick scroll through their Instagram (@colourafricasoutdoors) reveals a collection of the different experiences they have undertaken so far, ranging from hiking to surfing as well as acrobranching and stand up paddling. The activities they select include some family-friendly fun and are cognisant of the limitation of cost. Many of the activities they have done, such as hiking, are free and others cost as little as R80.
Zondi says the idea is to encourage a movement that allows people to reach new heights. “You’ll experience the most spectacular faith-affirming views and meet new people. In fact, you’ll meet yourself in a different way, and you’re guaranteed to be better for it.”
To learn more, visit: colourafricasoutdoors.com.