The vast and varied continent of Africa boasts natural landscapes on an epic scale. For those seeking a heavy dose of adventure and adrenaline beyond the safari vehicle, there are spectacular peaks and towering dunes to climb, rugged rivers and raging rapids to navigate, pristine coral reefs and glorious marine reserves to dive in, and everything in between.
When you find yourself somewhere as awe-inspiring as Africa, it is hard to resist the call of adventure and to step out of your comfort zone. From hiking, diving, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, bungee jumping, or even skiing – let us show you some of the best ways to add some spice and adventure to your next safari.
Scenic helicopter flightsFew can beat the exhilaration and extravagance that scenic helicopter flights offer. Doors-off for maximum pleasure, explore remote places accessible by no other modes of travel. Some of our favourite chopper adventures include: Kenya’s wild north and its Great Rift Valley lakes dotted with flamingos; South Africa’s Cape Peninsula and its gorgeous mountain and ocean landscapes; and one of the hottest places on Earth – Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression – and its bubbling sulphur ponds and endless salt pans in lurid shades of green, red and yellow.
Microlighting and paraglidingFor adrenaline junkies, microlighting and paragliding might be the closest feeling to a bird you could possibly get. One of the most iconic microlight flights takes off over majestic Victoria Falls, where you will fly above its dramatic Batoka Gorge and often times feel the spray from the mighty falls. Paragliding, on the other hand, can be experienced from various scenic spots in South Africa but our favourite is taking off from Cape Town's Lion's Head for unrivalled views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.
Whitewater raftingHead over to Africa’s premier adventure playground and conquer some seriously exhilarating rapids. The Zambezi River tumbles over the thundering Victoria Falls and makes for a wild ride over more than thirty Class IV and V rapids through Batoka Gorge. Over in Uganda, prepare for some head-dunking and body-buffeting on Class III to V rapids down the White Nile from Jinja. A jaunt along Ethiopia's Omo River takes you through a section filled with hippos.
CanoeingIf you prefer a quiet paddle, Zamba's Lower Zambezi and Zimbabwe's Mana Pools are the ultimate canoeing havens where you share the river with hippos, elephants and crocodiles. In Botswana's Okavango Delta, enjoy the reed frogs and spectacular birdlife, or view lions and wild dogs lapping at the water’s edge from the safety of your dugout canoe.
Bungee jumping3-2-1-BUNGEE! At 216 metres high, the Bloukrans Bridge holds the title of the world’s highest bridge jump right in the heart of South Africa’s picturesque Garden Route. Rivalling Bloukran’s thrill is the Victoria Falls Bungee Jump. With the epic falls as the backdrop and the mighty Zambezi River gushing below, it is definitely one of the most scenic jumps in the world.
Zip-liningStrap on a harness, step off the platform and zip through some of South Africa’s most pristine kloofs and canyons. Our favourite spots to swing cable to cable include the rugged Hottentots Holland mountains, the indigenous rainforests of Tsitsikamma and Drakensberg and the remote Letaba River gorge. With short breaks at each platform, your guide will point out the rich diversity of flora and fauna around, adding more colour to your zipline adventure.
Scuba divingFantastic diving experiences can be found in the Seychelles which boasts phenomenal underwater topography, towering fan corals, pelagic fish, spellbinding wrecks and encounters with whale sharks. Off Tanzania’s coast, the aquarium-like waters of Mnemba Island, Pemba Island and Mafia Island always offer something dramatic. From shallow coral gardens to advanced drift dives, divers of every level enjoy the ribbon eels, fire dartfish, giant groupers, and playful rays, sharks and dolphins in deeper waters. Mozambique’s warm waters offers the perfect habitat for marine megafauna and Africa’s largest population of endangered dugong.
Beginners can hone their techniques with PADI courses and training pools often available at our selection of laid-back island retreats and exquisite luxury resorts. Being tropical island destinations, non-divers are welcome to enjoy other water sports like sailing, fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, waterskiing and surfing.
Free-divingExperience a well-preserved pristine ocean ecosystem by free-diving among kelp forests off Cape Town. There are short courses we can arrange for you to learn the sport’s essential skills to help you uncover the secrets to swimming alongside friendly dolphins, whales and other amazing marine creatures without heavy scuba gear.
Inspiring multi-day treksIn East Africa, making it to the top of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895 metres above sea level) is on every avid trekker’s bucket list. The popular expedition requires an arduous week-long hike through mystical rainforest and moorland to stark alpine desert and glittering ice caps near the summit; rewarding those who complete the trek with arresting views and an undeniable sense of accomplishment. Easily overlooked, Mount Kenya (Africa’s second-highest mountain at 5,199 metres above sea level) is an excellent alternative just across the border with less crowds, more wildlife and arguably better views.
Scenic day hikesNumerous day hikes of varying levels of difficulty can be arranged in many beautiful locations across the continent; up Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain; the impressive Drakensberg which extends across South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini; the jagged peaks of the Simien Mountains which rare animals like the gelada monkey, the Ethiopian wolf and the walia ibex call home; or parts of the 56-kilometre Whale Trail that weave through South Africa's De Hoop Nature Reserve, introducing you to the colourful fynbos and marine wildlife (southern right whales during their calving season) along the way.
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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.