The Best Outdoor Pursuits in South Africa
Paragliding Off Lion's Head and Landing on Camps Bay Beach (Cape Town): It's a breathtaking ride hovering high above Cape Town's ever-changing cityscape, the slopes of Table Mountain folded beneath your weightless feet. As you glide toward the white sands of Camps Bay, lapped by an endless expanse of ocean, you'll have time to admire the craggy cliffs of the Twelve Apostles.
Kayaking to Cape Point (Cape Town): Kayaking is the most impressive way to view this towering outcrop, the southwestern-most point of Africa. It's also the ideal opportunity to explore the rugged cliffs that line the coastline, with numerous crevices and private coves on which to beach yourself.
Mountain Biking through the Knysna Forests (Garden Route, Western Cape): Starting at the Garden of Eden, the 22km (14-mile) Harkerville Red Route is considered the most challenging in the country. Its steep, single-track slip paths take you past indigenous forests, silent plantations, and magnificent coastal fynbos.
Bungee Jumping off Bloukrans River Bridge (Garden Route, Western Cape): The real daredevils do the highest bungee jump in the world in just their birthday suits, leaping 216m (708 ft.) and free-falling (not to mention screaming) for close to 7 seconds.
Surfing Bruce's Beauties (Cape St. Francis, Eastern Cape): Bruce's Beauties, the waves featured in the 1960s cult classic Endless Summer, form an awesome right-point break. They need a massive swell, however, and don't work very often; the same goes for Supertubes, hailed the perfect wave, in nearby Jeffrey's Bay.
Surfing the Mighty Zambezi River (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe): Not content to merely raft down the Zambezi, adrenaline-seekers can plunge into the churning waters attached to a boogie board and ride the 2m- to 3m-high (6 1/2-9 3/4-ft.) waves.
Riding an Elephant through the African Wilderness (Mpumalanga, Victoria Falls, and Botswana): This is a great way to explore the bush, not only because of the elevated view and the proximity with which you can approach animals, but because you can't feel any safer -- no one in the jungle messes with an elephant.
Tracking Big Game on Horseback (Mashatu and Okavango Delta, Botswana): You haven't lived until you've outraced a charging elephant on the back of your trusty steed. Experience Africa as a pioneer by taking a 3- to 10-day horse safari in the Mashatu Game Reserve, or explore the western delta bordering the Moremi Game Reserve.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.