Skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting…boring! Most people have done some extreme sports on their travels, but that’s small fry compared to the unique extreme sports on this list.
For the most insane adrenalin rushes you’ll need to seek out the most OTT extreme sport experiences from around the world. This isn’t a list of Redbull sponsored stunts. It’s a random collection of the planet’s most mental. All of the following are extreme sport experiences that you can try for yourself. You’re going to need big balls, patience, and a huge sense of adventure. Check these out…
1) Kayaking Down the Amazon
Amazon River experiences aren’t anything new, but for a real immersion in the jungle try a three week kayaking trip. You’ll need to learn how to create camps in the trees, as well as hunt and forage for food in the jungle. Kayaking through the nether reaches of the Amazon isn’t heart in your mouth extreme. But it’s a serious test of endurance and determination as few experiences on the planet are as raw or remote.
2) Skydiving over Mount Everest
There’s skydives, and then there’s skydiving alongside the world’s highest mountain. You literally fall next to Everest, descending between rings of Himalayan peaks before landing on the world’s highest drop zone. When you eventually touch down you’re still 17,000ft above sea level. Most world skydives only jump from 11,000ft. So you’ll be needing enriched oxygen for this one…
3) Riding Snowmobiles Across the Arctic Circle
The residents of northern Sweden and Finland used to have teams of husky dogs to get around. Cute, but slow. Now they have snowmobiles with one liter engines. Accelerate too aggressively and the front end lifts up until you’ve done a back flip. Which isn’t good. Better to weave through the forests and then push the snowmobile’s limits on the vast frozen lakes of the Arctic Circle. As long as you avoid the reindeer, there’s nothing but mile after mile of white brilliance to race across.
4) Ostrich Racing in the Karoo
The small South African town of Outdshoorn has been offering ostrich racing for decades. Jump on the flightless bird and use your legs to steer it down the course; but grab the neck and the ostrich is likely to swivel round and peck your eyes out. Animal activists tried to spoil the fun by petitioning for ostrich riding to be banned. But there’s lots of ostrich farms in Outdshoorn and they all said no. For just a $5 fee you can be racing them through the desert. Falling off is inevitable. The question is not who’s fastest over 50 meters. It’s who will make it to the finish line.
5) Chasing Cheese Down a Hill
For over 300 years people having been chasing cheese down a hill in Southern England. It sounds tame. But nobody has ever caught the rolling cheese. The hill is so precipitous that almost every contestant also starts to roll, eventually coming to a halt beside the army of ambulances at the bottom. If you like mud and broken bones this is the extreme sport for you.
6) An Uzbek Parachute Jump
Uzbek military officials make a bit of discreet cash by getting tourists to jump out of their plane. You ascend in a Soviet bomber then get thrown out of the door with a parachute…solo. There’s no tandem pilot, it’s just you descending onto the Uzbek landscape. A lack of confidence in seventies Soviet parachutes should increase the adrenalin and you’ll need to hope and pray for a soft landing. Like a haystack. Not the minaret of an Uzbek mosque.
7) Surfing with hippos in Gabon
Take your short board to Gabon and the waves aren’t anything special. But rather than avoid other surfers in the water, you’ll need to pick a path between pods of splashing hippos. That’s right, hippos; Africa’s most dangerous animal. So you really don’t want to cut one up. When a hippo nods at a wave you best wait for the next one. Take your own equipment because there isn’t a surf school here. And try to avoid surfing too close to any mothers with babies.
8) Climbing the Karakoram
The competition to scale new altitudes has people clambering up mountains around the world. For anything of a decent size you need permits and a lot of cash. Head to Pakistan and it’s not even called a mountain until it’s 6,000 meters high. There’s scores of 20,000 ft peaks that can be scaled with the help of a few local mountain guides. Hundreds die every year; from avalanches, falling rocks, and overestimating their ability…But you like to live life on the edge right?
9) Bungee Jumping into a Volcano
Bungee jumping is pretty cool and it certainly gets the heart racing. But it’s no longer original. Even your friend’s mother has done a bungee. Head to Chile and you can jump from a helicopter suspended above an active volcano. It costs $10k and you’ll have to hike for six days just to reach the volcano base. And if the rope snaps, there’s really no coming back from bubbling lava. The world’s highest bungee jump changes every few years, new destinations always pushing the height limits. But it’s unlikely that anywhere else will replicate this madness.
10) Pole Sitting in the Netherlands
Now for a change of pace. Pole sitting. It’s a simple sport. You sit on a pole for as long as you can. Most battles last for a few days, making this the most extreme sport in terms of unstimulated endurance. Need a shit? Just do it off the side. Need to itch? Just rock onto one bum cheek. And the pain is going to last for weeks.
11) Trying to Tame the Zambezi
The Zambezi River warrants inclusion for its range of organized and unorganized extreme sports. The white water rafting is as commercially extreme as it’s possible to get and that’s just the start. Follow the Zambezi down to Victoria Falls and you can swim in pools on the very edge of the planet’s most powerful waterfall. People die every year, getting sucked in and spat out 118meters below.