So when it comes to being adventurous, the most exciting thing on my list was abseiling (and that was indoors). I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest thrill seeker out there. But, on my most recent trip to the Drakensberg with my family, I got the chance to soar through the air (literally!), and see the berg like I’ve never seen it before.
For those of you that have been zip lining, you’ll know how intense and adrenaline-charged the experience is. The Drakensberg Canopy Tour, which is located in the beautiful Blue Grotto Forest, has 12 slides and 14 platforms, with the longest slide being 180 metres, and the highest slide being 65 metres above the ground! Before the tour, you’re given a safety briefing at the reception area, where you can ask questions, and are introduced to your two guides.
After being kitted with your safety harness, gloves and helmet, you’re transported to the start of the tour by vehicle… and that’s where the fun really begins. The first zip line is always the hardest, but luckily, they start you off on an easy one here. After that, you get to zip line through trees and over valleys, and you even get to walk along a wobbly bridge.
The tour is about 2-3 hours long and ends off with a 20-minute hike to the pick-up spot (which felt more like a climb at times because you’re walking in an upward direction). You’re also provided with water and chocolate during the hike… the sugar definitely helps.
One of the highlights for me was learning about the different trees along the tour – you leave knowing something you didn’t before. I suppose that’s why one of the stops along the tour is known as ‘The Classroom’ (it’s easily the most beautiful classroom I’ve ever seen). I would also encourage you to take a camera with you, which your guide can keep; you’re guaranteed to capture one or three unforgettable moments.
After you’re driven back to the reception area, you get to enjoy a light meal and something tasty to drink. In winter, hot chocolate really hits the spot, trust me. As an added bonus, you get a Certificate of Achievement after you complete the tour – which I think is awesome (I’m going to buy a frame for it this week… don’t judge me).
The Drakensberg Canopy Tour is R595 per person and bookings are essential. Needless to say, its best to wear comfortable clothing, and a pair of sunglasses wouldn’t hurt either.
All in all, it was time incredibly well spent. By the end of the experience, I barely had a voice (I admit it… I screamed my lungs out on almost every zip line), but I was thrilled I did it. Oh, and if you’re brave enough, I definitely recommend you look around as you sail through the air – the view is nothing short of spectacular!
By Nicole Naidoo
Have you been on the Drakensberg Canopy Tour? How did you enjoy the experience? Let us know in the comments section below!