For most people, seeing majestic creatures like elephants and rhinos in the South African bush is plenty of adventure for one vacation. But for adrenaline junkies, a safari is the appetizer on an action-packed vacation menu loaded with adventure tours. We travel to collect experiences, but adventure travelers are in search of a feeling: a heart-racing adrenaline rush that makes them feel joyful, present, and alive. These activities are guaranteed to deliver a thrill.
The Best Activities for Thrill-Seekers in South Africa
1. Night Game Viewing Drive
What’s more exciting than seeing sleepy lions lounging in the sun during a safari? Catching a glimpse of these agile hunters at night, when they’re awake, alert, and on the prowl. Your chances of seeing these magnificent hunters increases in the dark. After the sun goes down in South Africa, the temperature drops. Predators like lions, leopards, and wild dogs take advantage of the cooler climate to run down their prey. A drive through the bush in the dark will deliver enough action for a National Geographic documentary. Many of the safaris arranged by South Africa Travel & Tours offer evening game drives.
2. Incredible Shipwreck Dives
Scuba diving is a known “gateway drug” for adventure travel. While scuba diving sounds tame — and is indeed very relaxing — your first dive in open water, at depths unfathomable, is sure to raise your heart rate and expand your mind. The ocean is another kind of wilderness altogether, which you will soon discover as the sun drifts away and transforms into tiny pinhole of light at the ocean’s sparkling surface. Many divers opt for shipwreck reef dives where they spot clusters of colorful fish, eels, stingrays, sea turtles, whales, and sharks. With 98 species of shark in South Africa, your odds of spotting one are relatively high. The haunting beauty of these wrecks will stay with you long after you return to the surface.
3. Bloukrans Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is so angsty-1990s-thrill-seeker, right? Wrong. Bungee jumping isn’t just for an 18th birthday or a midlife crisis anymore. South Africa has earned a global reputation for a number of activities, including bungee jumping. The infamous Bloukrans Bridge jump on the gorgeous Garden Route is a must for adrenaline junkies. Bloukrans will send you plummeting headfirst down 216 meters (708 feet!) into a beautiful lush green gorge, giving you a unique view of the stunning vistas that the Garden Route is known for.
4. Climb the World’s Second Tallest Waterfall
If you are looking for incredible views, South Africa delivers at every turn. Outside of Angel Falls in Venezuela, Tugela Falls in South Africa is the highest waterfall in the world at 948 meters (3,110 feet). Some even argue that it is in fact taller than Angel Falls! To catch the best view, experienced hikers will make the steep trek up the stunning Drakensberg Mountains. Some of the hikes allow you to peer over the edge of the falls, but be warned: the climbs will have you scaling the mountains on ropes, chains, and ladders. The unforgettable views are well worth the effort and you’ll create a memory of an adventure that will last a lifetime.
5. Spelunking Inside Table Mountain
Not into climbing up? How about diving down? Into caves, that is. Spelunking or “caving” in South Africa is a popular choice for adventure veterans and caving novices alike. There are over a hundred caves just within the Cape Peninsula of South Africa, ranging from shallow overhangs to deep and winding tunnels that burrow into Table Mountain for more than a kilometer. Just like hiking, there are commercialized guided tours that provide a set route, handrails, and lights. However, you can opt for ‘adventure trails’ if you’re up for a challenge. These options will have you dropping into caves on ropes or shimmying down narrow crevices with footholds wearing hardhats and protective gear. Fantastic exercise and a truly unique experience.
6. Cage Diving with Great White Sharks
Arguably South Africa’s most unique and epic adrenaline rush is the rare opportunity to swim beside nature’s most lethal predator: the great white shark. At times you will find yourself mere inches from these beautiful, powerful creatures safe within a fully enclosed steel cage. Three of the best locations for great white shark cage dive tours are Cape Town, Gansbaai, and Mossel Bay. If great whites aren’t enough, you also have the opportunity to dive with hammerheads, tiger sharks, and whale sharks!
For more tips, ideas, and advice for creating incredible experiences in South Africa, visit us at vacationtosouthafrica.com.