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Adventure tourism in Africa is booming, according to industry experts across the continent.
Victoria Falls expects an 8% increase in tourism this year thanks to its growing reputation as an adventure tourism hot-spot.
Destination marketer GoToVicFalls.com spokesman, Ross Kennedy, says 5% more rooms were sold so far this year and hotels such as Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Hotel and The Elephant Camp are experiencing 70-80% occupancies.
Activities most popular with adrenalin junkies are Zambezi River white river rafting; high wire activities such as gorge swinging, Ziplining, Flying Fox (cable car) and abseiling; guided canoe safaris; Bungee jumping from Victoria Falls bridge; ‘Flight of the Angels’ helicopter tours of the falls, Batoka Gorge and Zambezi National Park; swimming in Devil’s Pool on the lip of the falls; elephant back safaris and walks with lions.
Namibia’s adventure tourism playground is Swakopmund, says Jean Haupt, spokesperson for the Namibia Tourism Board. Activities include offering quad biking, skydiving, dune boarding, sand skiing, paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, yachting, angling, motocross and 4×4 rallying. Walvis Bay, meanwhile, offers sand boarding, quad biking, parasailing and whale and dolphin cruises.
She says other popular adventure activities in Namibia include canoeing in the Caprivi; cave diving in the Arnhem Caves; rock climbing at Spitzkoppe; hiking in the Fish River Canyon; mountain biking in the Khomas Hochland; canoeing and rafting in the Orange, Kunene and Okavango rivers; and hot air ballooning at Sossusvlei.
Kenya Tourism Board spokesperson, Carolyn Riddick, says the country offers more than just wildlife safaris, but also endless opportunities for adventure, such as climbing Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro. The highest peak that can be ascended without rock climbing is Point Lenana at a height of 4 985m. White- water rafting, Bungee jumping, scuba diving and snorkeling also provide adrenaline packed fun.
Assistant Editor’s Note: For networking, education and professional development opportunities in Africa for tourism professionals, take a look at the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit, coming to Namibia in October.