If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for heart-stopping, jaw-dropping thrills and spills, check out these daring activities offered around the world:
The Zambezi Swing, in the quaint town of Livingstone, Zambia, offers up an extreme activity similar to bungee jumping. Adventurers are outfitted in gear, secured to a wire and led to a platform from which they free fall 50 metres — and then finish with a pendulum swing at 120 kilometres per hour across the Batoka Gorge.
Zambia is one of the only places in the world that offers a gorge swing experience. It’s perfect for adventure seekers keen on testing their nerves and bladder control. The full day program is the best value and includes lunch, beverages, a Zambian visa and transfers. You can swing as many times as you like (on average of three to five jumps) and, at no additional charge, you can try abseiling, high-wiring and rap jumping. Visit www.thezambeziswing.com.
At the ski resort of La Plagne, located opposite the Mont-Blanc and Beaufortain ranges in France, visitors can experience the mono-bob, a single-seater, self-steering bobsled. This “sports car of the ice” can reach up to speeds over 90 kilometres per hour, weaving downhill along an outdoor track with sharp turns. Visit www.la-plagne.com for more information.
Incredible Adventures, a company offering once-in-a-lifetime specialized tours, offers wannabe astronauts the chance to experience the sensation of space travel. Just head to the tour’s home base at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, hop aboard a NASA-approved Boeing 727 and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness as the pilots go through a series of manoeuvres that counter the forces of gravity. You’ll flip and float through the cabin, just like the real deal. The two hour program is $5,197 US per person. Check out www.incredible-adventures.com.
Macau Tower jump
Those who are brave enough to take on the world’s highest bungee jump should head to Macau, a casino-clad city just a short trip from Hong Kong.
From the 61st floor of the Macau Tower platform, jumpers will plummet 233 metres towards the earth at 200 kilometres per hour in a wicked, gut-wrenching free fall. This operation is owned by A.J. Hackett, dubbed the “father of bungee jumping,” who manages adrenaline-based activities all over the world. But it’s the height and the views that make this particular location special. While you’re preparing for one of the most terrifying drops imaginable, try and remember to check out the cityscape with its lotus-shaped casinos and massive bridges extending over a glistening river. See www.macauworld.com.
Rotorua, the adventure capital of New Zealand’s North Island, is a dream for adventure seekers. Locally run companies offer bungee jumping, skydiving, abseiling, mountain biking and a unique phenomenon called Zorbing. Originating in New Zealand in the 1990s, Zorbing has people strapped into enormous clear plastic balls, rolling down a grass-covered slope at speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour. Throw a few buckets of water inside the hamster-like ball and you have what is known as liquid Zorbing. For around $50, you can tumble downhill and understand what it must feel like to be a loose sock trapped in a washing machine. See zorb.co.nz.
– Julia Dimon is co-host of Word Travels, airing on OLN; www.juliadimon.com.
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