Words by Dominique van de Klundert
If the key to adventure is exposing ourselves to the unknown, then it stands to reason that what we seek could be hiding in the most unexpected places. We’ve searched far and wide across the globe for a mixture of some of the best — not necessarily the most extreme — adventures out there.
The clear, deep waters of Villefranche-sur-Mer, just outside Nice, provide the ideal setting for freediving. The area is a mecca for renowned freedivers, hosting international competitions and claiming world record holders as residents. But the calm bay is an equal opportunity destination — full training is available for newbies too.
Walking With Wolves
Although winter wolf hunting is common in nearby Canada, we prefer to take our shots by camera in snowbound Yellowstone National Park. After a day of speeding around on snowmobiles getting to know this wild ancestor of our domesticated dog, the Mammoth Hot Springs provide a perfect way to relax and recuperate.
Lauded by famed sea adventurer Jacques Cousteau, a Sipadan diving safari is consistently near the top of any serious diver’s bucket list. As well as revealing striking coral walls and hawksbill and green turtles, the sought-after ‘barracuda tornado’ is a highlight of the Celebes Sea – one sea body that still teems with a diversity of ocean life.
A dense collection of Native American pueblo ruins, Chaco Culture National Historical Park is ideal for hiking, biking and camping. But don’t go to sleep too early. An internationally-recognised Dark Sky Park, visitors have the rare opportunity to experience the night sky as the region’s original inhabitants would have.
Costa Rican Race
Covering all adventure bases from jungles to beaches, a Costa Rican getaway has it all. Hike through the mysterious cloud forests of Santa Elena to a smoking volcano, raft the white water of the Pacuare River, then surf the legendary Pavones breaks (or just chill out on the beach).
High Above Everest
The dream of many a skydiver, mountaineer or all-round adventure junkie, the Everest skydive has been an annual event since the first jump in 2008. All it takes is a short trek along the main Everest trail followed by a helicopter lift to the highest drop zone in the world. Spectacular.
Tracking Gorillas In Rwanda
Follow in the footsteps of Dian Fossey’s adventurous life and track ‘gorillas in the mist’ in the foothills of Rwanda, where playful golden monkeys and noisy chimps are also to be found among the clouds of butterflies in Africa’s largest protected high altitude rainforest.
January 19, 2015