5 must-experience destinations for fans of extreme sports

If you’re an adrenaline junky these are the places for you...

For most Brits, a summer holiday is the perfect opportunity for a spot of rest and recuperation. Whether by the beach or the pool, the majority of us are content doing as little as possible while on vacation, so long as we’ve got access to a constant flow of Pina Coladas…

For others however, a couple of weeks off work means one thing – thrill seeking. From bungee jumping to sky diving, shark fishing to whitewater rafting; if you’re an adrenaline junky who likes to get their fix doing all manner of crazy things then Quidco Discover has five destinations just for you.

South Atlantic Ocean, Namibian coast / Shark Fishing

If you’re after a fishing experience, which doesn’t involve sitting in the rain on the banks of the Thames then you may well be interested by what Namibia has to offer. If carp don’t cut it anymore, how about a spot of shark fishing off the south-west coast of Africa?

In temperatures regularly over 30 degrees you’ll certainly work up a sweat taking on some of nature’s fiercest creatures. Spotted Sharks, Bronze Whaler Sharks and Sand Sharks are all likely to pose serious tests, but it is the challenge of capturing a 190kg Copper Shark which lures the hardiest of hunters.

For those concerned for the safety of the sharks, it’s worth noting that Namibia has strict catch-and-release laws protecting sharks, so while the catch is temporary the experience is not only yours to keep, but also guilt free.

Victoria Bridge, Zambia / Bungee Jumping

Victoria Falls Bridge may not offer the highest bungee jump in the world – that honour is held by Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa – but it is regarded by many as the best. Sitting in the no-man’s-land between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the structure which dates back to 1905, offers breath-taking views of the Zambezi River an gorge below…and also a 111 metre drop from which to free-fall into adrenaline heaven.

As with any adventure sport, the dangers are obvious. While the number of people killed bungee jumping, compared to the number of jumps which take place, is small when something does go wrong it obviously garners significant media attention.

A couple of years ago you may have seen a video of an Australian woman whose bungee snapped moments after she leapt from Victoria Bridge. Amazingly, after falling into the water below, she managed to swim through crocodile infested waters to reach safety before retelling her survival tale to the world’s media.

Great Lake Taupo, New Zealand / Skydiving

When it comes to jumping out of aeroplanes with a parachute, few do it better than the Kiwis. Indeed, Great Lake Taupo in New Zealand’s North Island could easily claim to be the adventure sports capital of the world. In addition to whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, climbing, skiing, fishing and snowboarding it also hosts 30,000 skydives every summer.

With great weather and gorgeous scenery which includes, not just the lake, but waterfalls and dramatic volcanic mountains it’s the perfect backdrop for those crazy folk content on falling from 15,000 feet in search of the ultimate high.

Madrid, Spain / BASE Jumping

If you’ve completed over 200 sky dives and are looking to take your thrill seeking to new heights, you may well be thinking about BASE jumping. What exactly does that entail you ask? Well it’s the art of hurling yourself from a fixed object, usually 60-600 metres high, and using a parachute to break the fall. Given the dangers and logistics involved its not exactly the type of sport you teach yourself, so it’s just as well Madrid has it’s own BASE jumping course at the Freefall University.

In a two-day course you’ll learn all about the equipment and how to pack it properly in what effectively amounts to a 48-hour safety brief. If you actually want to undertake a jump with Freefall you need to enrol (and be accepted) on the 6-day one-on-one course before being eased in to the BASE fraternity with a jump off a local bridge.

Colorado, USA / Whitewater rafting

When it comes to trying adventure water sports, there are few places better in the world to head than Colorado, USA. Whether you’re into jet skiing, tubing, waterskiing or kayaking, its lakes and rivers lend themselves majestically to all manner of thrills and spills.

It is though whitewater rafting which really thrives in the area with the Colorado, Arkansas and Cache La Poudre Rivers each offering great conditions for beginners while the Grand Lake, Lake Dillon and Blue Mesa Reservoir further cater for those experienced rafters looking to go that bit faster.

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Andrew Allen / Editor

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