Thrilling Traveller Trips: Heart Pounding Activities While Backpacking
Finding truly thrilling activities to do while backpacking is not always easy, especially while you’re on the tourist trail and everybody is doing the same thing. If you feel the need to strike out and try something exciting, and even a bit dangerous, then here are a few ideas for you!
Devil’s Pool, Zambia
Perched at the top of Victoria Falls in Zambia, the appropriately named Devil’s Pool is becoming a favourite spot for bathers visiting the world’s largest waterfall. This seem fairly tame, until you look over the side of the pool and see the 100 meter drop into the frothing plunge pool and raging rapids below. Despite this, still people get their swim gear on and take a nervous dip in the shallow natural pool above the waterfall. Often they lean over the edge to get a glimpse of the extreme power the water has as it tumbles over the cliff edge. The pool resembles an infinity pool, with the backdrop of the green African country side. The only thing is, that it’s just a small wall of rock that separates the bathers from sliding down into the deadly explosion of water below. Definitely an activity that could bring on an uncontrollable bout of the shakes, but great for photo opportunities!
The small town of Vang Vieng in the Laos jungle is home to one of the most dangerous and hedonistic activities on the traveller trail. Tubing is its name, but it’s much more than just floating down a river in an inflated inner tube. First of all let’s bring the rope-swings, jumps, slides, and flying foxes into the mix. Just these by themselves are dangerous enough, with people launching themselves high into air before landing in the rocky river below. By themselves the swings and jumps are exhilarating, but once you bring the crazy hedonism into the equation, it’s really becomes something that can leave you trembling, laughing, and even crying, and that’s just when you watch! Tubing in Vang Vieng is one activities that has to ticked off every travellers list, just be careful.
Cage Diving with Great White Sharks, South Africa
Off the coast of South Africa are a lot of big and dangerous sharks, the type of beasts that most people would not survive an encounter with if they got close enough to see it. All this has changed with special cage diving operators that give you the opportunity to come face to face with one of the world’s most brutal predators. Having a 6 metre Great White Shark swimming straight towards you is sure to bring on a feeling of dread, but luckily the cage is there to protect you. Can you bring yourself to getting into a metal cage and dangled in front of a man eating shark as if you where its next meal? If you can’t, there is always the option to check them out from the boat as they propel out of the water to snatch away an unfortunate seal. Be prepared to be scared.
Fly By Wire, New Zealand
So everybody’s heard of skydives and bungee jumps, but what about the Fly by Wire? Well it is a little more complicated than throwing yourself out of a plane or jumping off a bridge. The Fly by Wire ride involves strapping yourself to a rocket with a sixty horsepower airplane engine, which is attached to a wire, before being dropped into a canyon. Once the engine is started the rocket is propelled forward at speeds exceeding 170 kilometres per hour in just a few seconds. As crazy as it sounds, the rocket stays attached to the wire and you can enjoy the feeling of flying as you soar through the air, or perhaps scream until it finally comes to a stop. If you want to try the Fly by Wire ride, head to Queenstown on the South Island.
Which Will You Try?
So, it’s time to suck in your fear and try something scary. Now you have some ideas, it is up to you to decide which exhilarating to try, or perhaps you will give them all a go. Just remember it is supposed to be fun, even if you are completely terrified!
Jenny Harrison is a freelance writer from England who writes on behalf of a number of good causes including how to help an alcoholic family member or relative.