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Southern Africa for the Adventurous

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Rent a 4x4 and hit the open road. Surf next to the pros in Cape Town. Glide silently in a mokoro canoe past a herd of elephants in Botswana. Get up before sunrise to climb a towering sand dune in Namibia. Bungee jump off a bridge at the border of two countries at Victoria Falls. If you want to feel your pulse rate quicken in Southern Africa, here is how to do it.
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Victoria Falls
That's me there hanging on for dear life! This was the most exciting and terrifying experience of my life. The guide recognized a certain adventurous spirit in our group based on the fact that we were all serving in Peace Corps in various...
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Livingstone, Zambia
Talk about travel balls. This hang-glider with an engine propels you 300 feet above one of the world's seven natural wonders, Victoria Falls, for a view unlike another other. While you may want to sh*t your pants (I did) this is one of the most...
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310 Parkway Avenue, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Flying Fox is a straightaway line that leads out over the massive Victoria Falls Gorge. After I strapped into the harness, the instructor told me to run and jump off the edge of the cliff. Easy in theory, hard in practice. That last moment as...
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Livingstone
What more exotic place to bungee jump than off the Victoria Falls Bridge, over the turbulent waters of the Zambezi, just below Vic Falls itself? Though I was at first determined to have my first bungee experience here, I'm not really that much of...
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Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
Quad biking in the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana is available from the Uncharted Africa camps - Jack's Camp, San Camp and Camp Kalahari. I stayed at Camp Kalahari (the most affordable of the three) and really enjoyed it's simplicity and charm. Fly...
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Swakopmund, Namibia
Something I never expected to do during five weeks of tent camping in Africa: Ride around endless golden sand dunes for hours on an ATV! Some of these dunes just outside Swakopmund are really high, and for much of the ride we saw nothing except...
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Swakopmund, Namibia
It was our last day in Namibia and we decided to sign up for a sandboarding lesson in Swakopmund. Our two guides took us out to the desert where, after a strenuous hike up the dune, we strapped on snowboards and helmets and rode down the orange...
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We almost missed this gem of a canyon, being so enraptured with the Sossusvlei Dunes and Vleis 40km West. Offering respite from the sun, these canyons faintly reminded me of the walk into Petra. 30m high and at points only 2m wide, we found lots...
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It's as if the earth has sprung a leak. So much of Namibia is dry and dusty as if water there is a secret -- hidden away somewhere in the landscape where people seldom go. Just at the Angola border, the Kunene River, a thick vein running through...
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Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa
South Africa is surf country. Durban and Cape Town produces many world-class surfers and the waves here are world class. I lived in Los Angeles for over 22 years and never had a surf lesson. It is not until I moved across the continent, away from...
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Zimbabwe
Stay at one of the lodges along the shores of Mana Pools National Park to combine your wildlife safari experience (it's one of the best parks to spot wild dogs) with fly fishing and canoeing excursions along the Zambezi River. At Vundu Tented Camp...
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While riding along the Mashatu Wilderness Trail, you might feel a little bit like a meal on wheels. Then again, isn't that the kind of thrill you're seeking when you sign up for a bicycle tour through the bush? From March through November, a Cycle...
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Namibia
Camping in the wild is a unique and thrilling experience. It's not a spontaneous adventure, rather, it's something you must plan and prepare for. First, you'll check-in at the park's headquarters or border office and notify them of your arrival...
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Atlantic Street, Walvis Bay, Namibia
I clung to the bar on the seat in front of me as we bobbed in all directions, like a bouey in open seas, over the sand dunes. Our driver, Hennie, looked back at me and smirked. He skillfully drove up to the top of a tall dune, high above of the...
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Atlantic Street, Walvis Bay, Namibia
Namibia's shoreline is teeming with wildlife. Pink flamingos graze for tiny shrimps on the beach. Cape Fur seals and bottlenose dolphins swim out in the ocean. Gulls and terns cry out from above. The best way to see these creatures is by kayak...
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Kitesurfing in Cape Town is not for the faint of heart. In the battle to stay upright you're up against strong currents, big gusts of wind, and the icy waters of the southern Atlantic. Did I mention the great white sharks? Anxiety aside, it's a...
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5 Geelbek St, Van Dyks Bay, Gansbaai, 7220, South Africa
The small town of Gansbaai, about an hour and a half from Cape Town, South Africa, is the Great White Shark capital of the world. Every winter scores of these ocean giants descend on the small channel between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock known...
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Chris Hani Rd, Klipspruit 318-Iq, Johannesburg, 1809, South Africa
100m up, where the wind catches your hair and you suddenly get this uneasy feeling at the bottom of your stomach... this is where you'll get one of the craziest views out over Soweto and Johannesburg. A few deep breaths and a couple of safety...
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Wilderness, South Africa
While traveling through Zambia, I met a fellow adventurer who had shipped his paragliding equipment from London to Tanzania to participate in a charity fundraising launch from the summit of Kilimanjaro. While those plans were derailed due to...
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Signal Hill, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
If you're an adrenaline junkie, Cape Town has many adventures to test your metal- one of the most popular and enjoyable ones is paragliding. I have tried many companies and Icarus is by far the best. Operated by Jaques, a local pilot with over ten...
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Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa
This is the ultimate adrenalin rush. I leaped off the side of the bridge and felt like I was floating. Then came the free fall. You have no idea when the cord is going to pull you back up so you look around and take it in. Make sure you get the...
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Table Mountain, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town, South Africa
It's a must-do, but wear comfortable shoes, bring bottles of water, and pack sunscreen. We finished climbing to the top in an hour and a half, thankful that they've made it easy for the non-experienced hikers with a rugged-rock staircase from...
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Hermanus, 7200, South Africa
Observe, don't disturb. That's Southern Right Charter's motto when it comes to operating their whale watching expeditions just off the coast of Hermanus. Each year, Southern Right Whales (June - November) and Humpbacks (May - December) travel...
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First of all, I'll just say that I love golf. I love golf so much that I dragged my wife to the only public course in Kruger National Park on our Honeymoon - she was a great sport about it. Dubbed as the most dangerous golf course in the world,...