South Africa is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and what better way to explore SA than through extreme activities? There are plenty of places that provide experiences for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. These are not only activities but a life changing experience, which comes in a package with great memories. As a thrill seeker, all 10 of these activities are definitely on my bucket list.
You can’t do anything more extreme than skydiving. Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape is one of the most popular places in South Africa to sky dive. There is a jump site only 25 – 30 minutes north of Cape Town. You’ll have a mesmerising view of the ocean and land, as you jump from 9 500 feet in the air. You will experience a very exciting 30 second free fall, and will be allowed to operate the parachute. To end this thrilling trip, the landing will be soft and comforting. There are also additional charges if you want to capture the jump through a video, and up to 90 pictures will also be taken.
2. Bungee jumping
Astonishing 216 meters above sea level, with the highest commercial bungee bridge, is the Bloukrans Bridge in Plettenberg Bay. The bridge is situated on the border between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, in the Tsitsikamma area of South Africa Garden Route. The minimum age for bungee jumping is only 10 years. If you have an adventurous family, this is a great family activity. Please note to inform the guides of any medical conditions like pregnancy, high blood pressure, epilepsy, back disorders etc. Remember to dress appropriately, with comfortable clothes (suitable for any weather conditions). Sunscreen, water and snacks are also important for any outdoor activity.
3. Cliff jumping
Cliff jumping is also known as “kloofing”. This is definitely an extreme activity. South Africa has the most beautiful cliffs, waterfalls and nature reserves. Normally safe places to do cliff jumping are situated inside of nature reserves; therefore a medium fitness level is required. The Kogelberg’s Biosphere Reserve hiking trail leads to the Crystal pools (in Gordons Bay), which is an adrenaline packed experience. The hike is a 5 – 6 hour walk, so it is very important to remember a lot of water and food. The Suicide Gorge in Cape Town is also famous for its 14 m cliff jump. This activity is definitely for the fearless. Do NOT attempt to dive, and be sure to be safe during this activity.
4. Shark Diving
Yes, shark diving, not shark cage diving. There is no cage involved in this activity. Situated in Durban is the Aliwal Shoal Diving activity. This extreme activity allows you to scuba dive with sharks. You will be seeing the “Aliwal Big 5” which includes Tiger sharks, Ragged Tooth sharks, Black Tip sharks, Humpback whales & the Brindle Bass. There are packages that include accommodation which includes 6 days of diving. If you are a swimmer and love to dive or scuba, this is the extreme activity for you.
What an amazing activity! Paragliding flights usually last 7 – 20 minutes, depending on weather conditions. You can experience this great adventure in Vredehoek in Cape Town, where you can paraglide within the Table Mountain National Park. The paragliding usually takes off on top of the Lions Head (hill) or Signal Hill. You will have a paraglide pilot, who can also record the trip on a video. Not only will the nature scenes be captured, but you also get to be in the picture.
This is a relatively new extreme adventure, which allows you to explore the coast line of South Africa. A wetsuit, helmet and climbing shoes will be provided for safety reasons. You will climb rocks and jump from cliffs into the ocean. There are some sections of rock climbing where there is only a straight drop into the ocean. This activity usually lasts about 2 hours. There are tons of places to explore around the coast line through coasteering, like Simon’s town, Plettenberg Bay, and Cape Town.
Windsurfing is a combination of surfing and sailing. This activity is not difficult to master; unfortunately you will need strong summer wind to windsurf. But when the wind is on your side, you can reach remarkable speeds. This activity is thrilling with the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and the ocean as your friend. A place with suitable wind conditions are places like Langebaan, Cape Town, and also Bloubergstrand. There are 2 hour lessons provided with equipment for a reasonable price.
8. Bridge swinging
The beautiful Orlando Towers, Soweto, are painted to tell the history of the township. The creative edge to this historic landmark makes it unique and definitely a place to visit. Bridge swinging is a popular activity at the towers. You will swing in a harness between the two gigantic towers. The Powerswing provides enough adrenaline with the 40 meters free fall before the cable kicks in. Luckily there is a viewing platform provided for the slightly less adrenaline driven people.
Rocklands situated in the Cederberg Mountains (Western Cape), have a bouldering activity that they offer. This is any passionate climber’s dream. No cables or ropes are attached, but there will be a guide who is prepared to catch you if you fall. This will surely satisfy any dare devil. Make sure to be prepared for any weather, like intense sun, wind and even rain. This activity is fun to do with the whole family and can be done in 3 days or more, which then contains a mix of camping and or lodging.
10. River Rafting
River rafting is a fun family activity. River raft on the Breede River, in Worcester or in Swellendam. Breede camp also offers packages which include breakfast, lunch, river rafting equipment, and a cheese and wine tasting (optional). River Rafting is a fun outdoor activity. In Swellendam you can stay at the Fish Eagle River Camp, with great wooden houses.
Many of these extreme activity sites are located close to Cape Town. Cape Town is the best location for thrills and excitement, and has beautiful nature reserves, beaches and landscapes in South Africa.
Please note that all of these activities need to be done safely, with a tour guide. Remember that all outdoor activities require sunscreen, appropriate clothes (comfortable clothes and shoes), lots of water and food. These 10 extreme activities are especially amazing in South Africa, due to its beautiful nature scenes, satisfying climate and wonderful culture. What are you waiting for? Experience the exotic South Africa through extreme activities!