It is adventure-land, quite literally. The land of rustic charm and the land where flora and fauna thrive in their untouched natural environment, South Africa is surely a place worth visiting over and over again. While it might be the obvious choice of destination for wildlife enthusiasts, the adventure lovers are not left far behind. The choice of adventures sports and activities offered is quite huge. Adrenalin pumping activities with the mind-blowing backdrop of Africa is surely something else.
The idea dates back to the Aztecs: throwing yourself from a great height with nothing but a cord strapped about your ankles to suspend your fall.
Comparatively, commercial bungee-jumping is an extreme sport still in its infancy. This hair-raising activity is so popular today largely thanks to New Zealander AJ Hackett, who has been bungee-jumping from famous landmarks the world over since 1986 – including the Eiffel Tower, the Macau Tower in China, and an almost 1500m jump from a helicopter.
To the Bushmen it was known as “eGariep,” the Great River. Early adventurers called it “die Grootrivier.” Contrary to popular belief, its name has nothing to do with its colour… In 1777, at a time when the Dutch were laying claim to the Cape, Robert Jacob Gordon, a Dutchman of Scottish descent named it “Oranjerivier” in honour of Prince William of the Royal Dutch House of Orange (Oranje).
The Orange River is certainly South Africa’s greatest river.Rising in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho and following some 2250km to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, it is the 39th longest river in the world. The great bulk of its water comes from its source, the Caledon River and its tributary, the Vaal. It has been dammed in two places.
Without a doubt, South Africa’s most well-told ghost tale is that of the Flying Dutchmen, or better known as Der Fliegende Hollander. It’s a story as old as the seas: in 1641 a Dutch trade ship is said to have sank just off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope after sailing into a fierce storm, it’s cargo-hold packed full of treasures from the Far East. Legend has it that whoever spots the phantom Flying Dutchman at sea will die a horrible death quite soon. And there have been sightings throughout history: by the crew of the Royal Navy in the late 1880s, by a German submarine during WWII and many holidaymakers claim to have spotted her tattered sails (or is it just an optical illusion?).
With almost 2800km of often lush, windswept coastline that runs along both the Atlantic and Indian oceans, the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Drakensberg mountain range, and the stark, barren beauty of the Karoo desert lands – the hundreds of scenic drives that slice and meander across South Africa are a traveller’s delight.
So get your road-maps out, pack some padkos (that’s Afrikaans for snacks) and hit the road! Here are some of the more popular routes you can explore.
After digging to a depth of 100 meters last year, Russian scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years, and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network one thousand years ago.