English Corner

Whether it's three, six or eight seconds of free fall: anyone who dares to bungee jump has to show courage, as here on the Macau Tower in China. Picture: AJ Hackett

The 10 best bungee jumps in the world

Whether from a bridge, a dam wall or a tower, there is hardly a holiday destination that doesn't offer a bungee jump spot. But where can adrenaline junkies experience the most spectacular flight into the depths?

Macau Tower (China)

The 338-metre-high Macau Tower, which was officially opened on 19 December 2001, is located directly off the coast of Hong Kong. The tower has a total of five viewing decks and boasts a 360-degree restaurant. New Zealand bungee pioneer A.J. Hackett has been operating the world's highest bungee facility in Macau, China, since 2006 - it is 233 metres above the ground. The free fall lasts eight seconds. That may not sound like much, but during the flight phase, it seems like an eternity. With top speeds of up to 200 km/h, you are only hoicked back up again 30 metres before reaching the ground—the ultimate bungee jump thrill.

Verzasca Damm (Switzerland)

According to worldwide polls, it is the best stunt in film history: we are talking about Bond's jump from the 220-metre-high Verzasca dam in the film "Goldeneye". 007, played by Pierce Brosnan, plunged into the depths for 7.5 seconds with a rubber band parallel to the enormous Contra dam wall. With a length of 380 metres and a height of 220 metres, the Contra dam in the Verzasca Valley is the fourth highest in Switzerland. It can be reached from Gordola (TI) via a two-kilometre stretch of road. In the centre of the dam is the jump facility, the highest stationary bungee facility in the world. But why is this place so popular with bungee jumpers? It is the only known place in the world where you can jump from a bridge/dam wall even by moonlight.

With a length of 380 metres and a height of 220 metres, the Contra dam in the Verzasca Valley is the fourth highest in Switzerland. Picture: Ticino

Bloukrans Bridge (South Africa)

The Bloukrans Bridge, located around 40 kilometres east of Plettenberg Bay, is an arch bridge with a free span of 272 metres. Built in 1984, the bridge has a total length of 451 metres and a height of 257 metres above the valley and is still considered the highest bridge in Africa. It is located on the N2 national road along the Garden Route and crosses the Bloukrans River. In 1997, a bungee jump facility was opened below the carriageway on the reinforced concrete arch at a height of around 216 metres. The free fall lasts just under eight seconds. The only drawback is that there is usually a strong wind on the bridge, which is likely to get the adrenaline pumping even more for some bungee enthusiasts.

The Bloukrans Bridge is located on the N2 national road along the Garden Route and crosses the river of the same name. Picture: ADIG

Niouc-Brücke (Switzerland)

Located in the canton of Valais, the Niouc Bridge crosses the River Navisence between Saint-Luc and Vercorin. The bridge, which is also known as the Spider Bridge due to its structure and network of metal cables, was actually built to supply water to the village of Briey and consists of a water pipe and a pedestrian bridge. Bungee jumpers climb along the wobbly structure and balance their way to the centre. From there, they descend around 190 metres with a rope and safety device. Built in 1922, the Niouc Bridge was considered the highest bridge in the world between 1922 and 1929. It still holds the title of "Europe's highest bungee jump from a suspension bridge" to this day.

The Last Resort (Nepal)

Not many people think of Nepal as a holiday destination (unless you go mountaineering). Even fewer would think that there is a first-class bungee adventure hidden in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas. The Last Resort is located high up on the Bhote Koshi River, near the village of Dhumthang (100 kilometres east of Kathmandu). Situated on the sharp edges of the canyon, between the houses of locals, the hotel offers a spectacular bungee jump. The jump, which is considered quite scary, leads from a narrow pedestrian bridge 160 metres into the depths. In addition to daredevil jumps, mountain bike tours, hikes and white water rafting can also be organised.

The resort is located high up on the Bhote Koshi river, near the village of Dhumthang, and boasts a 160 metre bungee jump. Picture: The Last Resort

Nevis Highwire (New Zealand)

Another bungee jump is from the Nevis Highwire platform near Queenstown, New Zealand. The route to the facility runs along rough roads that wind through the mountains of the New Zealand Alps. At a height of 134 metres above ground, it is one of the highest bungee jumps in the world. In addition to the bungee platform, the jump facility also includes a small visitor building. The platform itself hangs immovably mounted on steel cables stretched across the Nevis Valley. It can only be reached via a small transport basket. The average free fall time is around 6.5 seconds.

The platform of the Nevis Highware bungee system can only be reached via a small transport cage. Picture: HO

Victoria Falls Bridge (Zambia/Zimbabwe)

Situated on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Victoria Falls Bridge spans the Zambezi River directly below the Victoria Falls. As the river forms the border between the two south-east African countries, there are border posts at both ends of the bridge, at the towns of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia. Built of steel in 1905, the bridge is 198 metres long, 128 metres high and has an arch span of 156 metres. The old railway bridge provides a spectacular backdrop. The jump itself takes around four seconds and goes 111 metres into the depths. You should also watch out for crocodiles, which can be found in the mighty Zambezi.

The old railway bridge provides a spectacular backdrop over the mighty Zambezi River. Picture: HO

Kawarau Hängebrücke (New Zealand)

This is the place where it all began. "The Pipline Bungee", as the facility is known, is the brainchild of bungee pioneer A.J. Hackett. The 43 metre high Kawarau Hang Bridge, which is located in the Otago region on the South Island of New Zealand, is considered to be the place where commercial bungee jumps were first offered worldwide. Almost 30 years have passed since then and it is still the most popular bungee jump in the world today. Over the years, Hackett has developed his business idea into a lucrative company. There are various ways to jump from the bridge: With a "touch down" into the water or as a tandem.

Royal Gorge Bridge (USA)

Since its completion in 1929, the bridge near the small town of Canon City in the US state of Colorado has remained one of the highest bridges in the world. With a length of 384 metres, the Royal Gorge Bridge crosses the white waters of the Arkansas River at a height of 291 metres. It is supported by four 45 metre high towers, which are also the highest points from which adrenaline junkies can plunge into the depths. Bungee jumping on the bridge is generally prohibited, but you can legally bungee jump for three days during the "Go Fast Games". Other extreme sports such as base jumping or a ride on the Royal Rush Skycoaster are also available.

Completed in 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge is still one of the highest bridges in the world today. Picture: Nixter

Zhangjiajie Glasbrücke (China)

In 2018, the world's highest bungee jump facility opened its doors to the public: at 260 metres, the bungee jump from the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge goes down in history and guarantees pure thrills. Even crossing the 300 metre high and 430 metre long bridge in Hunan province requires a head for heights. There are 99 glass panes built into the bridge floor, through which you can look into the deep canyon. The platform from which you jump is located underneath the bridge. A narrow lattice gate leads to the small footbridge from which you then jump down. The Skywalk itself is the longest and highest glass bridge in the world.

The world's highest bungee facility: the 260-metre-high Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in the Chinese province of Hunan. Image: VCG