Seeking adventure? You're in the right place

25 November 2015 - 02:25 By Nivashni Nair

South Africa is the place to be for adventure in 2016. The 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report has rated the country as the top destination for active travel. The annual survey of Virtuoso elite travel advisers revealed that adventure travellers, searching for "one-of-a-kind experiences" next year, chose South Africa as their top destination, followed by Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand and Peru."Advisers report requests as diverse as gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda, mountain climbing in Iceland, and swimming with whale sharks in Mexico and pigs in the Bahamas," Virtuoso, the international network of luxury travel agencies, said.It also listed South Africa as the eighth most popular family destination.Russell Jarvis of Travelstart, South Africa's largest travel booking site, said there was an increasing preference for active, experiential travel over relaxation-focused holidays.He said all provinces boasted unique activities for thrill-seeking tourists, but Cape Town was the forerunner in adventure tourism, offering budget adventures such as independent or guided hikes, trail running, climbing and kloofing."Options for guests with a bigger budget are plentiful, with paragliding, microlighting, scenic helicopter flips and one-of-a-kind, ocean-based activities, such as whale watching and shark cage diving."Opportunities for adventure extend up the coast of the Western Cape to the Garden Route and beyond, which has become a hub for adventure."Canopy tours, bungee jumping, kayaking, tubing, canyoning at The Crags and the renowned Otter Trail are just some of the activities offered in this region."Jarvis said many cities were doing more to cater for thrill-seekers by diversifying their structures."Examples of this include Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban with its Big Swing and the adventure centre at the Orlando Towers in Soweto."Thompsons Holidays spokesman John Ridler said that for many an adventure is "anything besides lying on a beach at a resort hotel, but not necessarily jumping off a bridge with a bungee rope attached".

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