Travel Ten: Top Ten Adrenaline Adventures around the World

Most of us begin the new year with resolutions – endless lists that promise “to lose weight”, “to spend more time with family”, “to exercise more” and often on many of those lists will feature one that says, “travel more.” And like resolutions, most of us have another thing in common – a bucket list of places across the world we would like to see before we, well, kick the bucket.

We say, chuck the bucket list, and, like us, get yourself a “f*%k it” list – a list of all the adventurous things you would like to do across the world, hand on heart, heart in throat, wind in your hair, screaming out loud, “F*%k it; if we will all some day go, I want to have fun if and when I do.”

If each new year is a challenge to widen our horizons, let’s make the most of 2014 by losing our safety nets and having a leap of faith. Here are our top ten adrenaline inducing adventures around the world. So cast your safety net aside, tighten up your harness, and let’s make this year one of adventure.


Swing at the End of the World in Ecuador


Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness is a seismic monitoring station known as Casa del Arbol or "The Treehouse" – a small house built in a tree used for observing Mt. Tungurahua, the active volcano in the near distance. And right here, hanging from one of the tree’s slender brances is the swing at the end of the world. No net, no harness, just you and a mere stick suspended by two ropes. One single push will have you swinging out over the canyon. Let’s just say, this is no child’s play. Go on, we dare you.




Bungee Jump over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia


If you’re going to fling yourself from the edge of bridge wearing only a harness and a rope tied to your ankles, you might as well do it in a scenic way. And it really doesn’t get more scenic than World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls. The blue skies above you, the rumbling rapids of the River Zambezi below you and 111m of pure adrenaline. Don’t mind if we do.


Leap into the Devil’s Pool, Zambia


Swimming with the devil? Don’t know about the devil, but this is the closest you’re likely to get to a daredevil dip. If you are going all the way to Victoria Falls, you might as well tick off another adrenaline adventure, of the damper kind, over on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls: getting up close and personal with the waters of the Zambezi plummeting 108m down. How on earth, you ask?  When the river flow is at a certain level, usually between September and December, a rock barrier forms an eddy with minimal current, where thrill seekers can splash around in relative safety a few feet away from the edge.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


Another African adventure for adrenaline junkies possibly has an element of accomplishment far greater than the above – climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the world's tallest freestanding mountain at 5,985m. Be warned: while trekking or hiking up one of the four main routes over 7-8 days may not sound too daredevil, this is not for the faint-hearted or the weak-jointed. Not only is the ascent trying for both the body and mind, you will also need months of training for the expedition. But the view from the top, at Uhuru Peak, we are told, is well worth it.

Paraglide over Ölüdeniz, Turkey


Granted you can paraglide in quite a few places around the world, but if you’re hurling yourself off a 1969m mountain on a wing (pun intended) and a prayer, you may as well enjoy the view as you glide through the air. The seawater of Ölüdeniz, a small village and resort in southwester Turkey, is famous for its shades of turquoise and aquamarine, while its beach is an official Blue Flag beach, frequently rated among the top five beaches in the world.


Cliff Dive in Negril, Jamaica


No gadget, no chutes, no harnesses. This one may look fuss-free and easy, but the other name for the daredevil sport, “tombstoning” should just about give you an idea it is anything but. Cliff diving is an art form of precision and timing perfected so as to avoid injuries as your bosy plummets down reaching speeds up to 50km/h. As for amateurs, it is best to practice caution and stick to lower jumps. Rick’s Café in Negril, Jamaica is the perfect spot for pros and amateurs alike, and if you can’t brave the cliffs, you can simply settle down with a drink and watch the other divers.


Swim with the Sharks in Cape Town, South Africa


Once you’ve taken the dizzy heights of mountains, cliffs and paraglides, you can surely take on the deep blue sea. In a cage. In the company of sharks. Yeas, we will give you a second to digest this. In Cape Town, you can do just that, and live to tell the tale, all thanks to the metal cage between you and the razor sharp teeth of The Great Whites you’re swimming with.

Skydive at Mount Everest


If you’re going to skydive, you might as well do it from the highest Drop Zone in the world in the Himalayas and join the crème de la crème of skydivers, right? Freefalling past some of the world’s highest mountain peak is the ultimate bonus for daredevils who take on this adrenaline inducing adventure. If at $25,000 it proves out of your league though, for more breathtaking views, you can opt for skydiving in Interlaken, Switzerland.


Climb (at you own risk) the Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii


If one can swing at the end of the world surely then they can take on the Stairway to Heaven also known as Haiku Stairs–3,922 steps crawling up Oahu’s Koolau Mountain Range. Although if you chose to, not only will you be heading on an adrenaline adventure but also an illegal one, thrill seeking in more ways than one.

Built in 1942 by the U.S. Navy, the scenic journey upwards proved an instant attraction but was closed to public in 1987 because of disrepair. Despite a $875,000 revamp, due to complaints from the locals, it is shut, with security guards to stand at the base of the stairs and prohibit entrance. However each year, height and law defying tourists trespass to make the journey up the tiny stairs to the Puu Keahiakahoe summit to take in the breathtaking vista over the island. Enter at your own risk.


Base-jump in Idaho


And finally back in the skies. The Perrine Bridge in Idaho is the only bridge in the US where base-jumping is allowed year round without a permit. Up to 5000 jumps per year take place here, making it the most jumped spot on the planet.

If you’ve done the highest bungee jumps and the fastest paraglides in the world and are still not satisfied, in quest of even bigger thrills, base-jumping may be for you. Not for the faint hearted, base-jumping involves using a wing suit, offering lift and steerage as you glide horizontally and plummet toward earth and deploy your parachute at the last possible moment.


By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo