“What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited?”
It’s a question that so many people ask me. Before their mouth stops moving, my immediate answer is almost always “South Africa!” It’s wild, metropolitan, adventurous, cultured, historical, and breathtakingly beautiful. (Just look at these pictures. No, seriously!) In short: it’s a haven for adventurous travelers and I’ve partnered with Expedia on this post to reveal my top reasons why.
If you’ve never been, here are five reasons why you should drop everything and hop a plane to S.A. right the hell now …
#1: Shark Diving
Swimming with the ocean’s most apex predator ranks high on the bucket list for most adventure travelers. And South Africa is arguably home to the best shark diving in the world. The peak season in Cape Town is almost seven months long and sightings are all but guaranteed. Cape Adventure Zone offers half-day trips with zero previous diving experience necessary and a guarantee (if the sharks don’t play ball, your next dive is on them). The best part is that it only costs about 1,300 ZAR (approx. $100 USD as of April 2015)!
#2: Bungee Jumping
Situated along the Western Cape’s stunning Garden Route, Bloukrans Bridge is home to the “world’s highest bridge bungee jump” — a staggering 216 meters (roughly 709 feet). Face Adrenalin was Africa’s first commercial bungee provider and they’ve been jumping the bridge for almost three decades. If you’re having second thoughts, keep in mind that, in 2010, 96-year old Mohr Keet set the Guinness World Record as the oldest person ever to bungee. So, if he can do it …
#3: Abseil Table Mountain
And while we’re talking about the country’s biggest, baddest, tallest, highest adventures … Abseil Africa offers adrenalin-junkie travelers the opportunity of a vertical descent of South Africa’s famed Table Mountain. It’s among the world’s highest:
Step off the top, at 1000 metres above sea level, and abseil into pure vertical space. This is the world’s original highest commercial abseil. You are surrounded by awesome views and the deep blue Atlantic at your feet.
Their Hike and Abseil Combo includes a hike up Table Mountain and all the equipment and guidance necessary to abseil down. All for just 895 ZAR (approx. $75 USD dollars per person).
#4: Paraglide Off Lion’s Head Mountain
Minutes from Table Mountain sits Cape Town’s other most well-known landmark: Lion’s Head. If you fancy throwing yourself off yet another perfectly good rock formation, this South African land mass is another great place to do it. Cape Town Tandem Paragliding offers travelers the opportunity of paragliding either Lion’s Head or Signal Hill — both just minutes from downtown. 1,150 ZAR secures up to 30 minutes of flight time.
#5: Bear Grylls Survival Academy
A few hours north of South Africa, Bear Grylls Survival Academy hosts one of the world’s most extreme outdoor academies. Set among the backdrop of Victoria Falls, this intense five-day course trains would-be survivalists to, well, survive in some of the world’s harshest conditions. The school culminates in a single, 36-hour expedition that tests the limits of each student and their grasp of tracking skills, skinning technique, and general outdoor-worthiness.