Zip-lining in South Africa has become a popular thrill ride. It is an adventurous and exciting outdoor activity; now found in most of the main areas of South Africa, and near most of the top tourist attractions. A zip-line consists of a cable, which is a specialised wire-rope that is attached to two opposite sides, and a moving pulley, which slides at top speed along the cable. The user is attached to a harness, which is attached to the pulley, allowing you to fly between mountains or tree canopies. Zip-lines are high above the ground; can stretch over long distances, and allow access to hidden gems that are otherwise impossible to reach, particularly within densely forested regions and between mountain ranges. Aside from the incredible, adrenaline-spiking rush, zip-lining in South Africa offers breathtaking views of the landscape – seen from above like a bird.
Where to go zip-lining in South Africa
If you are travelling in a popular South African destination, chances are you will find a zip-lining course in the region. Some of the best zip-lining in South Africa includes:
- The Zip 2000 at Sun City in Johannesburg, which may be the longest zip-line in the world. An incredible 2 kilometres long and going at an average of 120 kilometres per hour, this zip-line is the ultimate high for adrenaline junkies. Adventurers can fly solo or go tandem, which means that you can zip-line side by side a friend, and because the setup is at the Sun City resort, the fun doesn’t have to stop when your feet hit the ground.
- Adrenalin Addo Zip-line Tour in the Sundays River Valley near Port Elizabeth, and twenty minutes from the Addo Elephant National Park. This is the only double zip-line in Africa, and is 500 metres long, 65 metres high, and travels at 80 kilometres per hour. You will travel across the Sundays River on a short raft ride, and then hike through the bush for ten minutes before reaching the zip-line platform, from which you have views of the vast valley.
- SA Forest Adventures offers zip-line tours in Cape Town, Caledon, and Hermanus. On the Silvermist Estate of Cape Town’s Constantia Nek, the zip-line is an astounding 155 metres high, with an incredible view of the mountain, the tree canopy and the lush Cape vegetation. The tours in Caledon and Hermanus are not as high, but are every bit as beautiful, with the course in Hermanus travelling over a small waterfall, and that of Caledon surrounded by poplar, ivy, and old oak trees.
- Canopy Tours have zip-line courses in the Cape, in Magaliesberg, Tsitsikamma, Karkloof, Magoebaskloof, Drakensberg, and in Swaziland. The views do not get more spectacular than those chosen by Canopy Tours as their major zip-lining sites. Each is remote and magnificent, from the mountainous views of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve in the Cape, to the Blue Grotto Forest of the Drakensberg, and the rocky terrain in Magaliesberg. In Karkloof, you will be zip-lining amongst the Samango monkeys, and in Magoebaskloof you will overlook the waterfall of the Groot Letaba River.
Other popular destinations for zip-lining in South Africa include Ceres, in the Cape Winelands, and Mpumalanga. While it certainly takes some courage, zip-lining in South Africa is an extremely safe activity in the hands of experienced guides, and only those afraid of heights are warned against it!