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Travel Guide: Get your adrenaline sports fix in Cape Town, South Africa

16th Aug 2016 12:00am | By Editor

Get your adrenaline fix with extreme sports in Cape Town, South Africa.

With the adrenalin now well and truly pumped, all sights are set on the world’s highest commercial bungee jump – a gravity defying 216-metre drop– a few hours drive from the city along the tourist-clogged Garden Route.

The Garden Route credit: iStock

With this in mind, my friends and I decide to hire a car and set out along this spectacular drive, and it’s not long before I discover why South Africa’s answer to Route 66 is so popular: it’s the sheer number of sights and activities on offer, including dune boarding at De Hoop, black-water tubing down Storms River, zip-wiring though the forests of Tsitsikamma, ostrich racing in Oudtshoorn and whale-watching at Hermanus.

I summon up the courage to go zip-wiring, and spend an unforgettable afternoon whizzing through the forest canopy like a crack-SAS soldier.

My trip along the coast takes me as far as Addo Elephant National Park – home to one of the largest concentrations of elephants on the planet – where I book a guided night-safari to witness Africa’s big game in their eerie nocturnal world.

Driving through the bush, the driver scans the darkness with his industrial-strength torch, wisely ignoring the incandescent eye-shine of the antelope and kudu standing agape by the side of the road.

Suddenly, he cuts the engine. After a tense few minutes a pride of lions emerges from the shadows, encircling our jeep. As the rest of the passengers and I watch in awe, gripped by the same rush of adrenaline and fear as a scary movie in a blackened cinema, a crackled message comes over the radio. Before I understand what’s happening, we’re off in hot pursuit of something else. After a few twists and turns, the driver slams on the brakes once more and out of the darkness appear a herd of more than 60 elephant marching trunk to tail. It is the perfect end to my jaunt up-country.

Back in Cape Town, I spend my last few days flitting between Long Street and the beach, before deciding that it’s only polite to drop by some vineyards – “when in Rome”.

Vineyard in Franschhoek credit: iStock

I make a beeline for the Boschendal estate near the picturesque town of Franschhoek and while away a blissful couple of hours sipping wine under a spanning oak tree, before continuing the “vineyard crawl” with a visit to Spier, near the historic town of Stellenbosch.

My friends and I stock up on vino and head back into the city to watch the sunset from Lion’s Head, the sphinx-shaped hill that flanks Table Mountain.

After an hour-or-so climb, we finally make it to the top and crack open a bottle of Boschendal just as the setting African sun dips into the Atlantic.

The others start reminiscing about the best part of their adrenaline-fuelled holiday, while I slip into my own little world and start planning my next action-packed visit. I just hope I’ll have discovered my inner daredevil come this time next year.