Zipline over the ocean, Mossel Bay
Drop off the top of a cliff, 90 metres above sea level and slide for over a kilometre, along what Mossel bay Zipline states is the ‘world’s longest single over-ocean zipline’.
You’ll feel the breeze tug at your body as you hang securely in your harness and zip down the line with a sheer cliff-face behind you and the wild ocean below.
Occasionally, zipliners get sprayed by a tempestuous wave on the lower reaches of the line, however, it’s more likely that you’ll slide past without getting baptised. After a speedy descent of about 90 seconds, you’ll pass over a sheltered tidal inlet before reaching the platform at the bottom, where you’ll be greeted with a high five. Whether you feel giddy with exhilaration or simply wowed by the views, you’ll quite likely want to do it all over again.
Trying to visually absorb as much as you can of Wilderness via fleeting glances from the window of your vehicle, as you whizz by on the N2, may be standard practice. However, abseiling provides the perfect opportunity for a more intimate exploration of one of South Africa’s most beautiful nooks.
After meeting at Eden Adventures' base at the Fairy Knowe Hotel, you’ll be driven five minutes to the Kaaimans River. Here you’ll get kitted up with harnesses, helmit and gloves and fortunately for you, one of the guys from Eden Adventures will carry the surprisingly heavy abseiling ropes on the short hike. Make your way along a forest path which climbs above the cliff that you’ll soon be abseiling down.
After a safety briefing and a demonstration of exactly what to do, you’ll get to practice a little before you commit to leaning back and descending the rock face. You’ll soon find yourself perpendicular to the wall before the rock disappears and you’re dangling in space, within a little canyon and with a rushing waterfall only metres away. Decide if you want to descend from here with a hasty yeeha, or inch-by-inch, to the boat waiting for you on the cool water below.
You wouldn’t be alone if you feel a little trepidatious about the idea of diving off a bridge, suspended 216 metres over a gorge, with elastic-like cords keeping you from plummeting all the way to the bottom.
However, there are multiple reasons that you should consider putting your fear aside and jumping anyway, particularly if you’ve never done it before.
New experiences are said to result in a release of dopamine to the brain and facing your fear and overcoming it can help build resilience, which enables you to successfully navigate other stressors and fears in life. Studies have also shown that your working memory and decision making ability improve directly after bungy jumping.
If that’s not enough to convince you, Face Adrenaline makes use of ‘pendulum bungee technology’ which prevents the jump from feeling jerky and the company, which has been running the operation since 1997, has a 100 percent safety track record.
What are you waiting for?
Five, four, three, two, one….bungy!
Zipline across a gorge, Knysna
This is among South Africa’s most beautiful zipline settings.
After putting on your harness, helmet and other safety equipment on the grassy patch at the Sanparks’ Kranshoek picnic site, you’ll take a short walk to the first platform. The view from here is heavenly and once a friendly guide has given you a safety briefing, you’ll begin criss-crossing the Kranshoek gorge. The length of the lines varies from 380 metres to just under 700 metres and as you move from one platform to the next, ziplining about 200 metres above the canopy of trees in the depths of the gorge, you’ll have ample time to take in the beautiful surroundings.
Expect to hear the sound of waterfalls below mingling with the roar of waves that spill onto rocks at the river mouth, gleeful laughter and the odd shrill (yet delighted) scream as your group slides across one by one.
If you’re looking for a little exhilaration, skydiving may just be the ticket. You’ll get to feel air rushing past your face as you freefall towards the Earth at 200 kilometres an hour, before your falling – or flying as some people like to think of it – is gently halted by the opening of your parachute. You don’t need any training for a tandem skydive, as you'll be strapped securely to an experienced tandem master who knows exactly what to do to make this a safe and fun-filled adventure.
You’ll get to enjoy a 20-minute flight to reach jumping altitude at 10,000 feet (just over 3,000 metres) and after exiting the plane there’s a 35-second freefall. Once your parachute opens, you’ll get to take in views over the Plettenberg Bay coastline and Robberg peninsula at a more leisurely pace. You may even be fortunate enough to spot whales and dolphins from the air and when the weather conditions are right, you can land on central beach.
Shark Cage Diving, Mossel Bay
Get up close to the awe-inspiring great white shark. A short boat ride from the harbour will take you to your shark rendevous. Here you’ll get to view this apex predator, which plays a vital role in the health of our oceans, from a cage in the ocean and get to enjoy a birds-eye-view from the boat.
Multiple rows of razor -sharp teeth, the iconic fin cutting through the surface of the water and the way such a large creature can disappear from sight and reappear (within seconds) will leave you speechless. White Shark Africa is committed to educating the general public about sharks and to the conservation of all species of shark. By witnessing these majestic marine creatures in their natural environment, you'll hopefully come away with an appreciation for this impressive species and with the understanding on why marine conservation is critical.
Along with the safe and informative experience, wetsuits, diving equipment, breakfast and lunch are all provided by White Shark Africa.
Tandem paraglide, Wilderness
Lift off near the Map of Africa in Wilderness and soar over this sublime section of the Garden Route’s coastline, where you may be fortunate enough to spot dolphins or whales, in season. You can relax and take in the magnificent views while your experienced instructor takes care of the flying.
Although Wilderness often offers perfect conditions for a tandem paragliding flight, Cloubase also takes flight in Mossel Bay, Sedgefield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Cloudbase will determine the flight location based on the wind speed and direction on a particular morning, ensuring that you have the best chance of getting into the air on the day of your booking.