Which is the Best Canopy Tour for You?
12 March 2019
12 March 2019
We’ve got a special guest post by Lauren Melnick of the Wanderlust Movement just in time for school holidays as this intrepid adventuress has ziplined all seven of our branches and is here to help you choose which location is best suited for you and your family:
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to anything that has to do with heights.
So when I arrived at my first ever canopy tour in Magoesbaskloof, I almost chickened out. Luckily, I found a pinch of bravery somewhere and managed to finish the whole tour without any tears.
Flash forward two years later, and I’ve done every single canopy tour! I’m what you would call a zip line connoisseur, and I know a thing or two about taking to the skies.
So if it’s your first time or you’re not sure where to go next, I’ve put together a quick guide detailing what you can expect. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a travelling family, there is a zip line that’s perfect for you!
Situated against the backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, the Cape Canopy Tour is one of the best day trips from Cape Town.
It’s also the perfect adventure for thrill seekers. If you want to go as fast as possible without having to worry about breaking – this is the tour for you!
The Cape location also boasts one of the longest zip lines – the last route will have you speeding through the air for up to 30 seconds!
But the thing that makes Cape Canopy Tour stand out from the rest of the branches is its unique experiences. Keep an eye out for their full moon zip line where you start the tour as the sun goes down.
By the 4th platform, you’re covered in a blanket of darkness with only the moon, fireflies and torches to light your way. It’s an adrenaline-inducing flight that you won’t find anywhere else!
Want to see the iconic Drakensberg mountains from a different angle? Take to the skies with the Drakensberg Canopy Tour!
Set within the beautiful Blue Grotto forest, the area is home to over 150 species of birds. While you make your way through each platform over the next two hours, keep an eye out for them and see how many you can spot.
If you’ve done ziplining before, you’ll want to abandon any notion of holding the ropes with your left hand. Instead, you’ll get to grab onto handlebars, and that means you won’t get to chicken out and “accidentally” hit the breaks.
Oh, if hiking is not your forte, you might want to give this branch a miss. There is a bit of a walk to the first platform and a thigh burner at the end. Pack decent shoes and maybe hit the gym before you arrive.
Karkloof is a location full of surprises. It doesn’t look as dramatic as Cape Town or the Drakensberg, but if it’s speed you’re after – Karkloof doesn’t disappoint!
Located inside the spectacular Karkloof Forest Reserve, the tour will take you past a 15-meter waterfall, and over and through the forest canopy.
If you really want to up the speed factor, plan your trip in May when there are frequent rains. The moisture on the slides means you’ll go flying from platform to platform, reaching speeds that you won’t find at the other locations.
But the adrenaline doesn’t stop there. Karkloof adds another dose of it with an abseil down to one of the platforms!
It’s not every day that you can say you’ve ziplined through one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.
Located in the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve, it’s an ideal activity for Johannesburg families looking to add a dash of adventure to the weekend.
It may not be as turbocharged as the Cape or Karkloof locations, but it’s the only one that comes with a mini game drive! As you drive up to the first platform, you’ll pass grazing zebra, kudu and if you’re lucky, you might even spot the elusive leopard!
With the majority of the slides being fairly chilled, Magaliesberg Canopy Tour the perfect zipline for young children or people scared of heights. It’s also one of the few locations that is wheelchair friendly!
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls” is terrible advice and should be avoided at all costs.
Otherwise, you’ll miss out on the epic views available at Magoesbaskloof Canopy Tour. Situated in a previously inaccessible part of Limpopo, thrill seekers can now explore the spectacular Groot Letaba River Gorge and all its beautiful waterfalls!
You’ll want to make sure your phone and camera is fully charged as there are loads of excellent photo ops at each platform.
There are also beautiful on-site wooden cottages, making it easy to turn your trip to Magoesbaskloof into the perfect weekend getaway. With hiking trails and other adventure activities nearby, there’s plenty to see and do.
Located in the secluded Malolotja Nature Reserve in Swaziland, it’s the only zip lining adventure that will require a passport.
Throughout the next two hours, you’ll zip line past the forest canopy, with dramatic views of the eSwatini mountains. It’s also the only branch where you are encouraged not to scream – unless you want to frighten away all the wildlife.
Inside the reserve, you’ll find a beautiful campsite and wooden chalets and carpets of wildflowers. There’s also a three-hour hike to a nearby waterfall, or you can put in some leave at work and attempt the seven-day trail around the reserve!
If you don’t have time for either, go up to the lookout point after your zipline for sunset. It’s the perfect way to end off a day of adventure and appreciate the dramatic scenery fo the reserve!
Planning a family trip up the Garden Route? Make a pit stop at the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour!
The platforms are built around beautiful Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that are over 700 years old!
For most of the tour, you’ll be deep within the forest, making it the perfect choice for families with children or grandparents. There isn’t a hectic walk to the platforms, and the slides themselves are short and sweet.
If you’re looking for a wee bit of a thrill, the Tsitsikamma branch is the only one where you can fly through the sky without holding onto the ropes.
Lauren wants to know how many of the Canopy Tours have you done and which one is your favourite? Share your experiences in the comments below.
If you want to try them all, be sure to get yourself a Frequent Flier card as you’ll get discounts every time you zipline and after your third Canopy Tour, the fourth one is FREE!
An adventuress of note: meet Stephanie Jacobs!
Last year, we discovered that one of our adventurous guests, Stephanie Jacobs, had ziplined with us a total of 16 (yes, sixteen!) times! Canopy Tours South Africa founder and owner, Mark Brown, got in touch to find out more about this intrepid traveller to find out a little more about this amazing woman: 63…
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