Canopy Tours in South Africa. What is a canopy tour and where can I do it in SA?
If you like zip line or hiking through the forest then you will love this new twist on an old favourite: treetop canopy tours are the hi-tech version of Tarzan’s vine-swinging and constitute a great way of getting a bird’s eye view of the forest. Like many adventure activities, this was originally a utilitarian skill that was just so much fun it became a recreational activity. The first treetop canopy rides were developed by biologists working in the upper storeys of tropical rain forests so they could study the inaccessible canopies.
The concept and technology of these tours are both relatively simple. A series of strong steel cables are set up between wooden platforms that have been built around the trees. The person partaking in this tour dons a standard climbing harness and is securely attached to the cable, with loads of backup systems as precautions in the unlikely event of the cable snapping. Next, you leap off the first platform and sail above the forest floor to the following tree. As you are able to control the speed at which you travel along the cable, you have the option of zipping along really quickly for a bit of an adrenaline rush, but that somewhat defeats the purpose.
Treetop canopy tours are really about the forest and scenery, so it makes much more sense to travel slowly and take in the captivating views. As well as the trees, you may see interesting birds and animals and you will certainly get a good look at some very beautiful trees, flowers, and ferns that proliferate in the lush forest areas.
The first South African treetop canopy tour took place in the beautiful Tsitsikamma Forest on the Western Cape’s Garden Route. Newer venues where these canopy tours are conducted include the Karkloof Forest in KwaZulu-Natal, the Magaliesberg in the North West Province, and one near the small town of Hazyview in Mpumalanga.
Whether you want to enjoy nature from a different angle or are simply looking for an adrenalin rush in a scenic area, a ride through the treetops is a breathtaking affair! For a South African adventure tour with a difference, climb into your harness and soar through the trees.