The cooler winter months invite long evenings in front of log fires and big bowls of hearty food. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors or settle for months of sluggish bingeing on TV series. Travel aficionados suggest the following activities to get the heart pumping and make you feel like you’ve earned your oxtail stew, red wine and firelight.
CHILL ON THE EDGE
Relaxing in a pool isn’t usually an adrenaline-fuelled pastime, but the Devil’s Pool is at the very edge of the Victoria Falls, on the Zambian side. It’s only accessible during the dry winter months. You’ll be guided to the pool, where you can enjoy the cool waters of the mighty Zambezi River while the falls thunder into space a few metres away. It’s an infinity pool in Africa’s primal heart.
SLIDE IN THE SKY
If you remember “foefie-slides” as a kid, you’ll be familiar with the idea of zip-lines, a pulley mounted on a tightly-strung steel cable. Operations like Cape Town Zipline Tours scale up that idea with harnesses and scenery, allowing you glide through the sky safely. One of their new rides, around 500 metres long, takes you 150 metres above the tree canopy of Constantia Nek and Cape Town’s famed views of mountains and seas.
SPEED ON SAND
You might have seen Namibia’s famed reddish dunes first-hand, or seen pictures of them. Apart from being natural wonders, they offer excellent sandboarding, which is easy to learn. You may choose to lie prone or stand, and see whether you can beat Henrik May, a German living in Namibia, who set a Guinness World Record in speed sand-skiing in 2010, reaching 92.12 km/h.
Mauritius is renowned for its water-sports and its clear warm seas invite year-round play. A couple of innovations enable you to take your watersport faster, higher, deeper and more serene than before. For example, the flyboard uses pressurised water supplied through a long hose, which uses the pressure to hold you aloft on a small platform. It’s a bit like hovering on a skateboard on a waterspout. Alternatively, if you preferto explore the underwater world without having to do a scuba course then The Scuba-do sub-scooter is for you. It is an electric, underwater scooter on which you sit and cruise under the surface, with air supplied through a helmet that looks a little like an astronaut’s.