When a video emerged of an Australian student whose bungee cord snapped, plunging her into the gushing waters of the Zambezi River, she could have vowed never to dive head-first toward the earth again.
But if the Zambian government has its way, Erin Langworthy, 22, will be back. They have invited her to take part in another fully funded jump in 2013 at the same spot.
Till then though, she could get psyched up for the plunge at any of these -- the world’s 15 highest bungee jumping pods.
321 meters: Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado, United States
The Colorado-based bridge was the highest suspension bridge in the world for nearly 75 years, until 2001 when the Liuguanghe Bridge in China surpassed it.
The Royal Gorge Bridge is by far the highest bungee jumping spot. A series of adrenaline-pumping activities are held daily.
The "thrilliest" are the “Go Fast! Games” -- highly competitive and fun games held in the last weekend of September.
233 meters: Macau Tower, Macau, China
Hear Macau, and you may think gambling and casinos. But Macau is not all about losing your inheritance over the slot machine.
It’s here where New Zealand entrepreneur Alan John "A. J." Hackett made a 233-meter jump earning him a Guinness world record as the “highest commercial bungee jump” in 2007. If you think you are bold enough to beat this record, The Macau Tower is surely a place to earn it.
US$319 for one bungee jump, official T-shirt, certificate and membership card; www.macautower.com; www.macau.ajhackett.com
220 meters: Verzasca Dam, Ticino, Switzerland
At 220 meters, the Verzasca Dam is the only bungee jumping site where you can test your jumping nerves in the wee hours of the night.
The dam is well lit with flood lights and sometimes the moon. It’s not only the third highest jump but also famous for a brief feature in James Bond’s “Goldeneye.”
Don’t consider jumping here if you are afraid of heights or the dark.
US$203-266 for a 007 classic, backward or night jump; www.trekking.ch
216 meters: Bloukrans Bridge, Western Cape, South Africa
Right in the heart of South Africa, the Bloukrans Bridge is the highest commercial natural bungee jump in the world.
Jumping from this spot gives a double dose of thrill -- a jump at the fourth highest jumping pod and bridge walks surrounded by South African wilderness.
US$82 for a single jump and US$12 bridge walk tour; www.faceadrenalin.com
192 meters: Europabrücke Bridge, Innsbruck, Austria
Nicely placed on an interlink bridge between Austria and Italy, bungee junkies enjoy a swing while taking pictures of the Alps in an upside down position.
Jumpers who are able to hold onto their lunch can attempt other adrenaline moving stunts like jumps from hot air balloons.
US$167 per person; www.rupert-hirner.at
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190 meters: Niouc Bridge, Val d'Anniviers, Switzerland
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Switzerland? Swiss watches and Toblerone, right?
Well Switzerland is also home to Europe’s highest bungee jump from a suspended bridge.
Jumpers from this spot need the courage to jump and swing in all directions at the same time. The knife-edge suspended bridged offers a shaky but thrilling experience.
US$215 for a jump and certificate; www.bungyniouc.com
175 meters: Altopiano di Asiago, Vicenza, Italy
We have heard our partners say they will do anything for us. Bring us the moon or cross the deepest oceans for us.
If your partner is one of those who are ready to plunge from the highest crane then a jump at Altopiano di Asiago is the place you want be to.
It is the only place where you can jump with your partner. The “tandem bungee" is good for newly weds or lovebirds intending to show off their bravery.
US$80 for a jump; www.sportestremo.com
169 meters: Kolnbrein Dam (Kölnbreinsperre), Carinthia, Austria
To have two of the world’s highest bungee jumping sites in Austria says a lot about its people.
We can only recommend that you if you can’t muster up your daredevil abilities at Europabrücke Bridge then a jump at Kolnbrein Dam would be a good alternative.
What is more breathtaking than a jump off a crane docked on the tip of a dam?
US$180 per jump; www.rupert-hirner.at
166 meters: Vidraru Dam, Curtea de Arges, Romania
This 166-meter jump located on the Transfagarasn Road and Arges River is Romania’s highest bungee jumping site.
At some point it was widely believed that the bungee jump before the opening credits of the James Bond film, “Goldeneye” was filmed here when in fact it was at the Verzasca Dam in Ticino, Switzerland.
160 meters: The Last Resort, Bhote Kosi River, Nepal
It may be called the Last Resort but it surely won't be the last time you want to jump from Nepal’s longest suspension bridge.
A plunge towards this scary tropical gorge will also give you an incredible (and upside down) view of the Bhote Kosi River.
US$90 for a jump or swing day trip and US$113 for a jump and swing; www.thelastresort.com.np
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152 meters: Ponte Colossus (Veglio-Pistolesa Bridge), Biella, Italy
People often like to try out a second jump here even before the feeling from their first is washed from their memory.
More than 2,000 jumpers converge here every year to challenge gravity.
US$125 for the first jump, US$100 for a second jump with a card or jump certificate; www.bungee.it
151.5 meters: Perrine Bridge, Idaho, United States
This 151.5-meter jumping slot is among several bridges that are only jumpable during specified periods.
Jumping from this bridge is limited to just one jump over the summer -- and it could be a day or night jump.
US$175 per jumper once the coast clears; www.bungee-expeditions.com
150 meters: Kaivopuisto (Sky Breakers), Helsinki, Finland
The Finns are not insane, they are just courageous daredevils who will do anything for entertainment.
Every year from the end of July to mid August, they organize a 150-meter high bungee alongside other beach activities.
Jumpers choose freefalls onto floating platforms in the sea or other tailored bungees like pub-bungee for those who mix cocktails and fun, snowboard bungee, hot air balloon jumps and skyvolter for jumpers who are able to show off their sky walking skills.
US$199 for a high bungee; www.skybreakers.com
134 meters: Nevis Highwire, Queenstown, New Zealand
Calm your nerves and hop onto a cable shuttle suspended 134 meters above the Nevis River.
Once set, get your ankles harnessed and down you go to New Zealand’s scariest bungee jumping pod. To get to the jumping hole, jumpers ride in a six-person cable car then leap off the cage-like structure to experience what “Fear Factor” producers warn you not do at home.
U$206 for a jump, certificate and bungee jumper T-shirt; www.bungy.co.nz
111 meters: Victoria Falls Bridge, Livingstone, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Daredevil Nik Wallenda recently nailed a high wire-walk over Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border.
You can do something similar, but different, over the Victoria Falls on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border. At 111 meters, jumpers can brag about doing the upside down opposite of Wallenda's high-wire walk.
Despite the cord snapping incident over New Year’s Eve, jumping over the Victoria Falls Bridge is probably the best dive into two different countries from one spot -- just remember to carry along your passport.