For those who like to live on the wild side, Africa has it all – from heart stopping encounters with big game like elephant, rhino, lion, hippos and crocodiles, to unforgettable hot air balloon experiences, bungee jumping, white water rafting and much more! If you like to throw a little extra excitement into your holidays, then this magical continent offers endless opportunities for adrenaline junkies. Check out some of these suggestions.
GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA AND UGANDA
If you’re keen to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers of old, hiking through dense, humid and muddy jungles, then a gorilla trek experience is unbeatable. You will need to be quite fit and in excellent health to embark on one of these expeditions, but the reward of coming face to face with majestic mountain gorillas in their natural environment is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Because gorillas are an endangered species and are now carefully protected, you will be accompanied by an experienced tracker, who will guide you through the secret jungle pathways that lead to the gorilla’s favorite foraging spots. Once you’ve located a group, you will approach up to as close as 7 meters where you’ll be able to witness this remarkable species, and their sometimes eerily human gestures and expressions.
WITNESS THE GREAT WILDEBEEST MIGRATION IN KENYA & TANZANIA
A favorite amongst frequent safari-goers, the annual wildebeest and zebra migration is a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed. River crossings are especially breathtaking, as hungry predators lurking in the water wait for any animals that stumble or show weakness. The awesome reality of the life and death struggle of Nature will be something that you never forget, and perhaps a reminder of just how cushy our day-to-day lives are!
A popular Kenyan adventure route begins in the beautiful Masai Mara to witness the Mara River crossings, before heading south into the Serengeti to visit Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
BEST BUNGEE JUMPS IN AFRICA
Almost certainly the most beautiful bungee jump on the planet, Victoria Falls is a great option for adventurous couples who’d like to throw a bit of extra excitement into a romantic getaway, or families with a thirst for adventure! Jumps are available every day of the year, whether you are staying on the Zimbabwean or Zambian side of the bridge, and children of 14 and up are permitted to jump too, with parental consent. Make sure to ask for the DVD package so you can astound your friends later!
If you’d rather view the gorge in a slightly more placid manner, you can simply walk across the bridge, or try the zip line or the bridge swing instead.
If you’re really in the mood for excitement, then the Bloukrans Bridge bungee jump in South Africa’s Western Cape is almost double the height of the Victoria Falls bungee, at a staggering 216 meters! Because the jump is so high, you get a proper body harness as well as ties at the ankles, so despite the daring appearance of this jump, it’s actually very safe. Located on the ever-popular Garden Route, this is a great experience to build your holiday around even if you end up chickening out!
WHITE WATER RAFTING THE NILE
Jinja, Uganda offers some of the most heart-stopping, most terrifying rapids that an adventurer is likely to come across – including a dramatic 12 foot drop! Needless to say, prepare to get drenched and experience several boat flips. The rapids along this route range from grade three (exhilarating) to grade five (terrifying), so there are options for those who don’t want quite such an intense experience too, including more relaxed half day outings.
BECOME ONE WITH THE WILD HORSEBACK SAFARI
Approaching wildlife on horseback is a completely different experience from the typical land rover game drive. Antelope, zebra, and other grazers see you as one of them, and as a result you’re able to observe them behaving in a much more natural way, and get a lot closer too. Of course, if the local game sees you as one of them, there’s always that nagging sensation that a lion might too…
Some of the best locations for a horseback safari in Africa include the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the beaches of Mozambique, the Wild Coast of South Africa, and the desert rides of Namibia to name but a few. Most horseback safaris average about 7 days, but shorter and longer adventures are on offer too. However, you choose to get your thrills on your African safari, the majesty of the continent makes every memory extra special and sure to last a lifetime, whatever your adventure style!
JOURNEY THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA’S BUSHVELD ON FOOT
There are many ways to see and experience Africa which don’t include safari vans and game drives. One can enjoy Africa from a different angle and with a new perspective by venturing out into the bush, on foot. A walking safari allows visitors to become one with their surroundings and trot through the same terrain that some of the world’s biggest beasts, have journeyed through. Not only will you be able to indulge in the earthy smells that are emitted from the fauna and flora of the grasslands, but you’ll also catch sight of some of the most beautiful bird life in the world, as well as get up close and personal with the small mammals that call it home.
Walking safaris offer some educational elements too, so you’re sure to learn a thing or two about tracking from the expert guides who understand the bush and the wildlife better than anyone else! There’s much to see, experience, learn, (and photograph), while walking through the bushveld and it’s an adventure that shouldn’t be passed up, for anything!
SAFARI FROM THE SKY
There is no better experience than a safari with the exception of a safari that makes you feel like you can fly. A charter helicopter flight offers the most exhilarating way to travel around the beautiful Karoo Plains and see the majestic animals who inhabit it. This spectacular flight will not only gift you with wings, but with a new perspective of Africa, its beautiful rolling hills, and its primordial mountains. Watch the wildlife dart across grassy plains as you marvel at the zebra, wildebeest, gemsbok, and even the Big Five all behind a backdrop of the setting African sky as you fly.
After your 20 minute scenic flight, you will reset your wings on a mountain top to a private picnic spot overlooking 180km plains of Camdeboo. Indulge more than just your sight with a picnic prepared to dazzle even the toughest of taste buds as you marvel at the abundance of wilderness around you.
With this twist on an old safari classic, game drives will never be the same as your soar through the African sky, bewildered by its immense beauty and pulsating energy from the comfort of the open sky.
Have you ever been on an African Safari? Please share your own experiences with our readers in the comments below. Read Next > South African Safari in the Karoo, Eastern Cape