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Posted on: Thursday, 20 August 2009
Adventures in South Africa

Garden Route Adventure – Adrenalin Junkie Activities in the Garden Route

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Paragliding in Wilderness

Paragliding in Wilderness

The Garden Route is treated as a province in its own right there is so much to do and see. It is not only one of the most scenic and possibly most visited parts of South Africa, but the Garden Route is also high on the adventure seeker’s list of places to visit because of the immediate access to incredible, seldom over-explored nooks and crannies on beaches, forests and mountains.

The Garden Route is described as a ‘secret place’ and for many it is just that. This slender stretch of coast manages to remain wild and something of a garden of Eden with infinite forested areas, rivers that tumble from mountains to wild rocky beaches that refuse to conform to the ‘expected’ sedate, to-be-tanned-on expanses so many prefer.

From extreme adventure day trips to mildly adventurous, pursuing an adrenaline rush takes on new proportions in the Garden Route … Garden Route Adventure – Adrenalin Junkie Activities in the Garden Route

Lying between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (that’s the rough version anyhow, actually its official boundaries keep swelling as more and more of the little towns situated along this route add themselves and their undiscovered secrets) the Garden Route offers spectacular natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Bloukrans Bridge

Bloukrans Bridge

Bungy jump off the highest jump in the world:
You’re spoilt for choice here as you can choose between the Bloukrans bridge – the highest commercially operated bungy jump in the world – and the Gouritz bridge. The 216 metre jump from Bloukrans bridge lies about 40 kilometres east of Plettenberg Bay on the N2 highway off a span arch bridge.

This is the ultimate thrill for those after adrenaline highs off the top of the arch above the Bloukrans River. For those after something slightly different, the newest gizmo is a 200 metre cable slide (foefie slides for South Africans), known as the ‘flying fox’, for those not up to the bungy jump or those wanting to do something as part of a group.

The Gouritz Bungy jump is tame by comparison at 65 metres, but no less of a fall for those seeking adventure. It is a great introduction for those who haven’t done this before. The bridge lies over the Gouritz River about 35 kilometres west of Mossel Bay along the N2.

Contact Face Adrenaline for Bloukrans Bungy on +27 (0)42 281-1458 or Gouritz Bungy & Bridgeswing on +27 (0)44 697-7001. Both are open daily from 09h00 to 17h00.

Storms River Tubing

Storms River Tubing

Abseiling and blackwater tubing at Storms River:
Storms River mouth is one of the most beautiful parts of the Garden Route. You are surrounded by natural forest with some of the world’s biggest trees, some of them thousands of years old, mountains and magnificent fynbos – all wrapped in one.  It’s also one of the ultiimate kloofing experiences and abseiling here is an all time high. Abseiling here is a combination of rope ladders and rappelling down over 30 metres of solid cliff face – you can’t do much better, and there is incredible scenery to boot!

The Tsitsikamma, which means ‘place of many waters’ aptly describes the exhilaration of floating down Storms River on rubber rings, called black water tubing (the ‘black’ describes the colour of the water rather than the black rings) all the way to the river mouth. While this might seem chilled, there are sections where you float down the gorge surrounded by 100 foot cliffs, and there are a couple of jumps into the gorge along the way that take a bit of nerve to carry out. But the worst part is the beginning when you climb down to the starting point.

Contact Djembe Backpackers on +27 (0) 42 281-1842
or Mild2Wild Adventure Centre on +27 (0)42 281-1051 or +27 (0) 84 877 7100

Quad-biking

Quad-biking

Quad bike the Garden Route:
You need no experience to wind through mountain terrain on a quad bike and tours can range from 3 kilometres to two day quad adventures that cross all types of terrain – flat, hilly, grassy, rocky, muddy and rough. There are even quad rides at night for the nocturnally adventurous!

Contact: Quad Garden Route on +27 (0)72 303-9011.

Paraglide in the Wilderness:
Lying between Kaaimans River and the Goukamma Nature Reserve, the Wilderness is a beautiful area with vast stretches of beach, a huge placid lagoon and incredible tranquillity. Paragliding here is an experience, and there are around 24 different flying sites easily within an hour’s drive of the little Wilderness village.

Contact Cloudbase Paragliding on +27 (0)44 877-1414 or +27 (0)82 777-8474.

Skydive in Mossel Bay

Skydive in Mossel Bay

Skydive in Mossel Bay:
Skydive Mossel Bay offers you the experience of a lifetime! Do a tandem skydive from 10 000ft strapped to an experienced tandem instructor and enjoy the thrill of free fall on your 1st jump! No experience required.

After a short briefing we strap you into a tandem harness and you are ready start your adventure. 1st, we ascent to altitude in the aircraft and for 20 minutes you get a fantastic scenic flight over the bay area. Then it’s time to jump out!

Before you know it, the tandem master has you out of the aircraft and in free fall. We’ll free fall at 200 – 290 kph for up to 40 seconds. While we “Body Surf” the wind, we can do controlled turns, speed diving, and burn up the sky.

Contact Skydive Mossel Bay on +27 (0)82 824-8599.

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

Go caving in the Cango Caves:
Set in the heart of the Little Karoo, just over the Outeniqua Mountains from George, might sound like a tame visit and admittedly they are one of the best known and most visited tourist caves. However, there is an extensive system of tunnels and chambers that go on for four kilometres or more, even if only a quarter of this is open to visitors. The ‘Adventure Tour’ will have your crawling through narrow passages and climbing steep rock formations with only a few small lights to guide you – trust me, adrenaline pumps when you’re in a passage just under 30 cm high!

Contact: There are various operators (See Cango Caves Tours for an operator to assist you) or you can call the Caves directly on +27 (0)44 272-7410.

Get close and personal with whales at Plett:
If first-hand encounters with whales from the side of a boat doesn’t do it for you, then kayaking out in the ocean with nothing between you and a whale but your, um, kayak, most certainly will!

Contact: Ocean Adventures on +27 (0)44 533-4897.

Destination Info:
For more adventure options in the Garden Route  see the following:
Extreme Sports in the Garden Route
Sports & Leisure in the Garden Route
Garden Route Hiking Trails

If the above options are too extreme or don’t appeal to you, see Things to Do in the Garden Route where you will find many options ranging from sight seeing, water sports, hikes and walks, horse riding, cruises, scenic flights … and plenty more options to keep you entertained … Enjoy! And don’t forget, book your Garden Route accommodation via SA-Venues.com – No commissions, no service fees – you Deal Direct and Save!

Wanda Coustas

About 

Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.