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Liesbeth van der Vossen

Sometimes, the best experiences are unplanned and unpredictable. If travelling has taught me anything it’s that going with the flow is the best mantra to live by. Going against my own advice, I pre-booked a ziplining canopy tour with some of the volunteers only to wake up on the day to a cloud covered sky and buckets of rain. I decided to cancel my trip and gave myself into trouble for deviating from spontaneity. The week flew by and by Friday afternoon, with the sun beaming through the hills, I quickly realised that I had no plans for the coming evening. I decided to chance my luck once more at ziplining and to my surprise there was one spot left for that afternoon. It wasn’t till I reached the magnificent views of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve that I realised I was doing this on my own. Suddenly I began doubting myself and questioned why I hadn’t waited to go with another group of volunteers. But on my arrival, I was greeted by the most amazing family who welcomed me into their group and made me feel at home. After a light-hearted safety briefing our tour guides drove us 30 minutes into the mountains on a bumpy, off-road track, giving us what they called a real ‘African massage’.

Once we arrived at the first platform, my adrenaline started to kick in. I relayed the safety briefing back to the tour guide several times just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Luckily, I didn’t go first and I got to watch as the young boy flew gracefully across the line, cheering and echoing before he landed with ease at the end. Now it was my turn. I took the plunge and hopped off the cliff edge and was amazed how quickly I caught speed! Within the blink of an eye I was careering towards the emergency stopper, legs flaring in the air and heart pounding. The first jump was definitely the most daunting, after a couple more hesitant jumps I started to get into the swing of things.

The tour lasted four and a half hours and consistent of 13 ziplines, some up to 320 metres long and lasting over 30 seconds. I was blown away by the views of the mountains. I passed double waterfalls, birds of prey and even got to tip toe on a suspension bridge true Indiana Jones style. The Lonely Planet Guide named the Cape Canopy Tour second on the list of the world’s hottest new tourism experiences and I have to say that I couldn’t agree more. This experience will not only get your blood pumping, but you will also meet some extraordinary people who are passionate about preserving the beautiful environment and do their upmost to make sure you come out the other end with a smile on your face and a new sense of achievement.

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