If you think the best of South Africa is its diverse wildlife and exciting safaris, think again! There’s no place like the southernmost country in Africa to explore adventure sports. If you are an adrenaline junkie, a trip to South Africa has to be on your bucket list. From diving with sharks and riding an ostrich to quad biking and jumping off the highest bungee bridge in the world…the list of adventure sports available in this tourist hot spot is rather exhaustive.
Contrary to popular perception, the world’s highest commercial bungee jumping spot is not in New Zealand, but South Africa. At 216 metres, Bloukrans Bungy,located at the Bloukrans Bridge on the edge of the Tsisikama National Park, is among the most thrilling places to visit in South Africa.
The Bloukrans Bridge Bungee offers some serious views
The scariest part of the bungee jump is not the face-first rush towards the Bloukrans River, but the walk through the narrow metal bridge that takes you to the site of the jump. Once the ankle brace, complete with safety harness, is in place, you have nothing to worry about. Bloukrans has a 100% safety record. So, smile for the camera!
Shark cage diving
So you’re an Adrenaline Junkie, huh?
Fancy a personal rendezvous with white sharks? Sign up for cage diving in Gansbaai ,located west of Cape Town. Once you reach Dyer Island, you’ll need to climb into a steel cage and then, get ready for a one-on-one encounter with the ocean predators. Sounds scary? Well, it is! Although there’s no reason for safety concerns as stringent procedures are in place.
For the more seasoned adventure buffs, South Africa offers the incredible experience of free-water shark diving at Aliwal Shoal. The shoal, which lies about five km out to sea, is home to over 1200 species of fish, turtles, dolphins and sharks.
South Africa’s answer to snowboarding, sandboarding is counted among the most notable adventure sports of the country. Wondering what it entails? Imagine cascading down sand dunes and trying to maintain your balance on a slim board. It can be tricky for first-timers, though the adrenaline rush, once you get the technique, is worth the sweat!
Sandboarding is as fun as it sounds
Some of the best sandboarding sites can be found along the Western Cape. Jeffrey’s Bay is a popular choice, courtesythe varied sizes of dunes that suit everyone – from novices to advanced snowboarders.
Does the idea of an underground exploration of some of the most stunning caves in the world excite you? Well, that’s exactly what spelunking (or cave diving) involves.
Spelunking is a unique adventure sport
The Cango Caves in South Africa sees countless tourists making a beeline for the heritage tour. However, only the spunky few make it to the adventure tour that is known to be physically quite demanding. Imagine finding your way through tight twists and turns, crawling through ancient passageways that are barely 70 cm high and 30 cm wide…
Not many people are aware that the world’s highest abseiling spot is in South Africa. What’s abseiling, did you ask? Also known as rappelling, abseiling involves a controlled descent down the face of a rock with the help of a rope.
Abseiling is like climbing a rock – In Reverse!
Table Mountain, Cape Town’s tallest mountain, is the place to try your hand at abseiling. Picture the amazing views of the city, the gorgeous mountains and the azure ocean, as you dangle off a vertical cliff, over 100 metres above sea level!
Whitewater is one of the most exciting ways to explore South Africa’s Rivers
A South African adventure is incomplete without a journey into its exciting rivers. And what better way to do so than indulge in some whitewater rafting! Plunging through the rapids of the famous Zambezi River is a surreal experience – something that’s difficult to express wholly in words.
In South Africa, whitewater rafting is not just about the rapids, but also about the exciting company of (mostly harmless) crocodiles and hippos. If you are a novice, or prefer calmer waters, afternoons are the ideal time.
There are many ways to explore the lush forests, mighty mountains, and picturesque valleys of South Africa. And quad biking is, perhaps, the most adventurous choice. From the sands of Swakopmund to Drakensberg Mountains and the Kruger National Park, almost everywhere in South Africa, quad biking is in vogue.
Quad Biking is a wholesome way of exploring all the different terrains
The best part about the adventure is that whether you opt for an automatic or manual make, these all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are sure to see you through tricky topographies, without any hassles.
Simply put, it’s the art of following a mountain stream down its course by rappelling, rock-climbing and river-crossing. Kloofing, also known as canyoning, is a popular adventure sport that takes place in river gorges, deep in the mountains of South Africa. The Western Cape is considered Africa’s kloofing hotspot.
Kloofing is another unique South African Sport
For amateurs, Steenbras and Kaaimans Rivers offer the ideal kloofing choice, while seasoned adventure junkies can brace themselves for the awfully high jumpsat Suicide Gorge or the Mfongosi River. Also, note that kloofing happens only in the summer season, that is, November to April.
Skydiving is something you should try at least once in your life.
There’s nothing like the thrill of a freefall from 11,000 feet above the ground! In South Africa, the best places to try skydiving are Carletonville and Pretoria. The stunning landscapes are sure to be etched in your memory for life.
A short training session ensures that first-timers have no reason to fret before experiencing a momentous 60-second freefall. In the tandem jump, you are attached to an experienced skydiver. So, it’s not that terrifying, right?
When in South Africa, you have to try the ostrich ride. Known as the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoornis a quaint town that offers memorable ostrich rides. Fancy taking part in an ostrich derby?
Ostrich Riding in a must do in South Africa
Being comfortable on an ostrich is trickier than it may seem. But, that’s the fun of it! You get to be acquainted with these little-known creatures and, perhaps, learn to appreciate their fascinating quirks. Please note that ostrich rides are only available for those weighing less than 75 kg. For obvious reasons.