World Leader


Outward Bound is one of the worlds leading international non-profit experiential education organisations. Outward Bound programs are designed to positively affect change in the lives of young people through outdoor activities. The participants face challenges that teach them to draw on their inner resources. The objective is to develop leadership, communication, integration and both team and personal development skills.

Primary focus is on sustainability – through reflection and mediation the individual will be able to share these experiences and positively impact the lives of those around them. Youth empowerment and leadership programs in turn give youth at risk the opportunity to change paradigms in their communities by making the right choices.



Mission Statement


“To empower young South Africans with the character, will, values and self-belief to live their lives to the full and to consistently make the right choices.”

Outward Bound South Africa does this through adventure-based learning interventions, providing safe, transformational learning experiences that open the eyes, mind and souls of our participants. In so doing Outward Bound South Africa aims to set thousands of young people free from lives of poverty, mediocrity and destruction, and to contribute to the prosperity, pride and success of our country.We use outdoor and adventure activities as a profound metaphor through which to promote individual growth and community transformation.



Outward Bound started as a sea education school in Britain 1941. Kurt Hahn, the founder, felt that young people were not prepared for the hardships of life… He saw their lack of enthusiasm, lack of care and skill, lack of adventurous spirit and lack of motivation. He knew that qualities like perseverance, compassion, initiative, fitness and life experience were lacking He started a school for young people where they where they could experience adventure and hardships, learn to overcome challenges, and develop compassion through service to others.


Outward Bound International


We are part of a global network today, of more than 50 Outward Bound schools found in 35 different countries with access to cutting edge research and methodologies. For detailed information, OB International Web Site at We have 60 years of experience internationally, and all profit goes to youth development.


Outward Bound South Africa


Founded in the aftermath of Apartheid, as a result of the visionary efforts of Charles P Stetson, an American philanthropist from Connecticut, OBSA started in 1992. Today, OBSAs central focuses is to impact the lives of young people in South Africa who have been marginalised and disadvantaged by the political history and injustices of the past. It helps people develop life skills, compassion and a determined, positive attitude toward life and its many challenges.


The Activities


Safety is the backbone of our operation and is ingrained in the culture at Outward Bound. We use world class safety standards with regular international audits. On an Outward Bound course participants may find themselves hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, sailing and doing various other group activities. Time is allowed for discussion and reflection, monitoring and evaluation so that students can process their experiences and internalise their learning. Lessons learnt on Outward Bound South Africa can be transferred to their situations at home, in their schools, communities or workplace. Combining challenging activities with skilled facilitation we maximise the learning experience. We create learning opportunities and help participants to seize them. Our programs are challenging, but never overwhelming; they stretch but never break; they are memorable and life changing.Each program is designed to meet the specific needs of the group.


Youth Activities


  • Low & high ropes
  • Rafting Kayaking or canoeing
  • Sailing
  • Solo wilderness experience
  • Expedition hiking
  • Camping
  • Rock climbing or abseiling
  • Low and high ropes
  • Navigation and orienteering
  • Mental & physical challenges
  • Group dynamics & Team Challenge


Program Overview


Outward Bound offers holistic sustainable programmes, which focus on empowering youth at risk with constructive alternatives. It aims to transform communities through the influence of transformed individuals. It helps people develop life skills, compassion, and a determined, positive attitude. marginalised youth find themselves trapped in perpetuating cycle of unacceptable behaviour that negatively impact society. Through intervention and reflection Outward Bound provides the tools to break the cycles and heal the root cause of crime.


Leadership Courses



These courses focus on the experiencing of different leadership styles and situations, developing confidence and trust, time management, decision-making and teamwork.

Personal Development Courses

It encompasses such skills as learning how to learn, confidence, developing strengths, understanding others, self-awareness, self-management and interpersonal relations.

Youth and Schools Program

Our Outcomes Based outdoor training education programmes are designed to meet the contemporary needs of young people and the requirements of the curriculum. A specialist education advisor is available to design programmes that meet schools’ differing requirements.

Adult Challenge Programs

A variety of Adult Challenge programmes focus on self-development and relationship development. They provide an opportunity to participate in exciting and challenging outdoor activities aimed at discovering your true potential, facing your fears and defying your limits!

Corporate Programs

Your people are your competitive edge. Your success depends on their performance. At Outward Bound we specialise in superior performance. Sixty years of experience in developing people has given us the knowledge and skills to bring out the best in your staff. The learning on our programmes is real and profound and the transfer back to the workplace is measurable in its impact.



Outward Bound programmes have been used successfully in the areas of personal, professional, team and community development. Many participants arrive as ordinary people and leave as decision makers, problem solvers and leaders.


• Personal performance

• Interpersonal skills

• Leadership

• Managing Change & Diversity

• Communication &Negotiation Skills

• Stress Management

• Team effectiveness

• Problem solving

• Motivation Tenacity & Perseverance

• Initiative Assertiveness

• Self Concept

• Discipline & Self Control

• Integrity, Character & Values

Outward Bound is an ideal social responsibility partner as our programmes cover youth at risk, education, and people with disabilities, and high-level corporate training.

Outward Bound Staff




In order to enhance the quality of our school and our courses, and to underscore the importance of personal responsibility and self discipline, Outward Bound South Africa has a Code of Conduct: All trustees, staff and students shall act deliberately with all school policies, commit to honest and best efforts, respect and care for the natural environment and respect the rights and diversity of others. Our programmes are delivered by a unique, diverse and motivated team of highly trained professionals that we have put together from all over South Africa – They are the product of an intense and lengthy training programme, and make use of the natural challenges of nearby mountains, lakes and rivers, to guide participants through powerful learning activities. Please click here to view our staff page.


Geographical Areas Of Operation


One of our greatest strengths is mobility. We are able to facilitate programmes almost anywhere. Our highly trained team is able to assess an area and set up an Outward Bound expedition within weeks.


Current Operational Areas


    • Willow Point,Sedgefield – Western Cape


Surrounded by massive lakes, petrified sand dunes, endless beaches, and the magnificent Outeniqua mountain range.



  • Lapalala – Limpopo




Situated about 3.5 hours north of Pretoria in the Waterberg is the Lapalala Wilderness area. The Waterberg is one of the last remaining true wilderness areas in South Africa. Here OBSA participants surround themselves with endless vistas of mountains and bushveld, where at night the only light to be seen is starlight.

Lapalala is mainly used for short land-based journeys. Hiking, orienteering, an introduction to rock climbing, abseiling and a river crossing are usually included in a course. This is complemented by carefully facilitated low ropes elements and various group dynamics and team activities. This is an excellent site for corporate get-aways, as well as courses for school groups.

  • Grabouw – Western Cape


Situated in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, The picturesque mountains and rivers create the perfect setting for adventure education and team challenges. The variety of fauna and flora adds more beauty to this perfect wilderness setting.

    • Harrismith – Free State



Just 40km from Harrismith lies the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve. It is from here that OBSA participants explore the sandstone foothills of the majestic Drakensberg, discover the beauty of one of the largest dams in South Africa and experience the majesty and serenity of the Free State.

This site is mainly used for land-based expeditions. Hiking, including a summit of the area’s highest peak, an introduction to rock climbing and bouldering and a 50m abseil are usually included in a course. Other activities may include rafting and canoeing on the dam and a “solo” experience.


  • Venterskroon–North West


The site is located within the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, the world’s oldest and largest meteorite impact crater. Situated close to the mighty Vaalriver, halfway between Parys and Potchefstroom it is easily accessible, with Johannesburg being 1.5 hours away. Rafting on the Vaal, abseiling, rock climbing and hiking around the old goldmines are all activities that can be experienced at this site.

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