8 epic bucket list adventures in southern Africa

Posted on 6 November 2023

The southern African countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia make up Africa’s Eden, and these destinations offer a smorgasbord of bucket list activities.

By Courtney Hoffman and Anita Froneman 

Here are eight of our favourites.

1.  Fly over the Sossusvlei dunes – Namibia

If you ever need to remind yourself how beautiful this world is, the best place to start is at the Sossusvlei dunes. Here on the Namibian coast, the Namib desert meets the Atlantic Ocean. Desert Air offers Cessna flights, starting from N$ 5 320 for two people.

READ: The 12 best things to do and places to explore in Namibia

2.  Sandboarding and Seafood – Namibia

The perfect combo does exist: sandboarding and seafood! Some of Africa’s best seafood restaurants are found in Swakopmund, where you can enjoy the ocean, the sunset and an extra-large portion of calamari. Alter Action offers sandboarding from N$ 600 per person. Grab a bite at The Tug restaurant after.

3. Horseback Safari – Maun, Livingstone or Victoria Falls

Picture: Teagan Cunniffe

Horse lovers are in luck in Africa’s Eden as there are ample choices that offer fantastic safaris on horseback. Check out Ride Botswana in Maun or Zambezi Horse Trails in Victoria Falls. In addition, Zambian Horseback Safaris offer new routes through the Simalaha Conservancy with a strong focus on wildlife viewing and engaging with the community to preserve the gorgeous natural vista. Try Simalaha’s three-night Zambian Horseback Safaris, rates from $1 350 per person sharing.

4. Bridge Swing – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Bridge swing

Picture: Shearwater Bridge Swing

If you need an adrenaline fix, test out the Bridge Swing at the Victoria Falls Bridge. Rates from USD 240 for two.

5.    White Water Rafting – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Livingstone, Zambia

People travel the world to experience the rapids of the Zambezi river first-hand. Try Shearwater for USD 140 per person.

6. Livingstone Island – Victoria Falls, Zambia

Apart from witnessing one of the world’s seven natural wonders, you can also swim on the lip of the Victoria falls in the Devils Pool. Take the most amazing photos, and feel your heart race while overlooking the 350-foot drop.

7. Zambezi Cruise – Zambezi River, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Zambezi cruise

Picture: Mike W. / Flickr commons

No trip to Africa is complete without stopping to watch the sunset with a gin and tonic in hand. The magical sunsets over the Zambezi River are an absolute bucket list item. Try the Sunset Cruise from USD 40 per person.

READ: A Zimbabwean houseboat adventure on Lake Kariba

8. High Tea with a View – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Vic Falls

Picture: Victoria Falls Hotel

Take it easy and treat yourself to a classy afternoon with High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel. Dress up, clink your teacups and enjoy finger sandwiches and cakes while reminiscing about your exhilarating escapes. From USD 30 per person.


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