“Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.”
Africa is synonymous with adventure! Adventures in the water . . .in the air. . . on land. Adventures abound in Africa. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky or someone ‘not quite that crazy’, Ntaba African Safaris has compiled a list of 12 ‘Can’t Miss’ recommendations. So buckle up your boots, strap on your helmets, and check your gear because we’re heading out of our comfort zones!
1. White water rafting below Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Creating a border between the southern African nations of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Zambezi River is the most magnificent white water rafting corridor on earth! Victoria Falls is a mile-long curtain of water that erupts into spray and then thunders into the canyons below. Some of the best Grade 5 white water rafting in the world is right here below Victoria Falls, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
2. Swim in The Devil’s Pool, Zambia. On the Zambian side of Victoria Falls is The Devil’s Pool, something less physical, yet equally heart-racing. Between the months of September to December, when water levels are highest, the river reveals a naturally occurring infinity pool right at the edge of the largest waterfall in Africa. It’s considered to be one of the most thrilling and beautiful experiences you’ll ever experience in Africa.
3. Ride the source of the Nile River, Uganda. Head north to the nation of Uganda where you will find the source of the Nile River. Take Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, pull the plug and watch as millions of tons of water sluice through. That plughole is Jinja, popularly known as the East-African Adventure Capital. Considered one of the safest, yet wildest Grade 5 white water rapids globally, the Nile is perfect for adrenaline junkies and learners alike. Thanks to a warm tropical climate, it is perfect any time of the year and there’s time to relax and swim on calmer stretches. If rafting isn’t your thing, go solo and kayak through the raging river, take a more leisurely paddle on flat water, or try your hand at riverboarding.
4. Shark cage diving in South Africa. Ever wonder what it is like to come face-to-face with one of the world’s greatest predators on their own turf? Shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa offers you a great opportunity to face your fears. You can either stay up on the boat and watch the sharks swim in slow circles around the chum (bait). Or … get lowered into a cage just large enough for your body, submerged beneath the surface of the water and then wait suspended in water for a close-up encounter with a Great White Shark.
1. Microlight flight over the South Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Soaring over this remote region with a pilot guide is one of the most exhilarating things you can do. Flights give guests a bird’s eye view of the lay of the land, and insight into the fascinating river and the wildlife that it supports from the air.
2. Paraglide over the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Only a few hours’ drive from Marrakech, the High Atlas Mountains are one of the craziest paragliding spots in Morocco! Take advantage of the thermals to gain height and fly longer with your professional paragliding instructor at the wing levers! Fly over the Berber lands and catch a glimpse of some of the typical villages of the desert.
3. View the Great Migration on the Serengeti from a Hot Air Balloon. What better way to see the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth than from the soaring heights of a hot air balloon. Between July and October each year thousands of animals arrive in the Masai Mara in search of fresh grazing grounds. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will have you gliding over the sprawling grasslands of the Masai Mara while you catch thrilling glimpses of wildebeest, buffalo, lion, elephant, and more on the ground.
4. Paraglide in Madagascar: Off the East Coast of Africa lies the world’s 2nd largest island, Madagascar. Known for its biodiversity (90% of its’ wildlife is found nowhere else on earth), beaches, vanilla exports and tropical forests, there are many launching spots for a tandem paraglide over this incredible island. And if paragliding is your passion, don’t forget there are breathtaking flights available in the Drakensberg (Dragon) Mountains and around the spectacular city of Cape Town, South Africa.
1. Climb an active volcano, Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo. The world’s largest lava lake is not easily accessible. However, with the re-opening of Virunga National Park, those determined to make the journey can now be reached. Standing at 3,470 meters in rarely visited DRC, Mount Nyiragongo looks out across the Rwandan border to Lake Kivu. The hike to the rim takes six hours and there are huts for overnight stays at the top, where outside temperatures regularly drop below freezing. The tropical forests on the lower slopes are home to chimpanzees, various monkeys and bushbuck.
2. Sandboarding in Swakopmund, Namibia. Swakopmund’s enormous sand dunes offer the perfect terrains that let you enjoy sandboarding at its absolute best, with six different slopes and two unique styles to choose from. You can lie down on your board and plunge headfirst into the silky soft dunes or you can stand up on your board and surf your way down. Whichever option you choose, you will be touching the 80 km/ h mark with relative ease (again, yes, speeds of 80 km, almost 50 mp/h, on a simple sandboard!).
3. Climb Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. With its equatorial position and permanent snow cap, Africa’s highest mountain is not for the faint of heart. Summiting this dormant volcano after several days of hiking takes you to 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level and lets you take in the most spectacular sunrise you’re ever likely to witness. Hundreds of kilometres of flat savannah stretch away from your feet and add to the dizzying high of having conquered perhaps the most handsome of the ‘Seven Summits.’
4. Bungee Jump off the Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa. As far as adrenaline goes, this is the ultimate rush. The bungee jump takes place from the top of the arch of Africa’s biggest bridge. It was once the tallest in the world, but it still retains the title of highest bridge jump. A zipline gets you out to the jump point, and you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that Bloukrans has a 100% safety record. Walking along the bridge’s metal grill walkway to the platform, you’ll get an eyeful of what awaits: a 200-metre drop down to the river below.
While I’m not a fan of ‘checklist’ traveling, but prefer experiential traveling, these 12 suggestions are just a starting point for some heart-racing activities. There are so many options to take advantage of in Africa. Do your homework, talk to others with a shared wanderlust, and most of all HAVE FUN! Adventure is for everyone, not just the privileged few, the rich, or the extreme athletes out there. Find an adventure that’s right for YOU and push yourself to the limits!
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