What is O?

About Orienteering

Introduction course at Joburg Zoo

Orienteering is a sport that combines both a physical and a mental element. The basic idea in orienteering is to proceed from course start to finish by visiting several control points in a numerical order with the help of map and compass. To choose the best possible route, orienteers look at the chose the best possible route by look at the features in the terrain. The winner is the person who completes the course in the fastest time.Orienteering is a low-cost sport suitable for both genders and all ages.  Competitors take part individually or as pairs or groups in competitions that allow such entries.

 Benefits of Orienteering

  • You can do it as a sport or a recreational activity to keep active.
  • It is a sport for life as it is suitable for all ages from six to eighty+
  • The events are held in a variety of outdoor venues, such as parks, plantations, nature reserves and schools and universities.

How do I get started?

 The easiest way to start is to come to a club event. An experienced orienteering will explain how the event works. It is best to start with the Explorer course in Urban Events and the short Orange course in Bush Events.

You can find the next event on the event calendar. We welcome at all events including Championships.

Here are more links to some articles to help you get started.


Orienteering has its roots in the forests of Scandinavia, where events were held at the end of the 19th century as part of military training. The International Orienteering Federation formalized the sport and it was introduced into South Africa in 1981.


Wikipedia has a lovely entry on the sport of orienteering.

Introductory Video

We made this short (5:50) video to show you the basics of orienteering and what to expect at an event.

This video of the World Champion Hubmann brothers is a treat. It shows them racing each other over technical forest terrain. The video is well edited and makes for exciting viewing.