High up in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site between Stellenbosch and Grabouw, eleven steel cables spiral and zigzag down the Riviersonderendkloof (“river-without-end gorge”), forming a series of catenary for a thrilling, yet accessible, adventure. Conceived and operated by Cape Canopy Tours, the zipline ride has rapidly become one of the top adventure experiences in the Cape. Kevin and I decided that we needed the rush too. Our verdict: highly recommended and worth every cent.
The adventure lasts about 4.5 hours and offers thrill-seekers, who might never (be able to) do so, the chance to experience one of the Cape’s remote kloofs. Although all this may sound dangerous, careful attention is paid to participants’ safety. One always has a double tether to safety lines on the precarious platforms that cling to the cliff faces, while there is also a double backup to the pulley connection once on the zipline. The well-trained guides are meticulous and thoroughly drilled in safety procedure. All the ziplines are triple-anchored via bolts driven into the sandstone.
The company runs a slick operation. A fleet of 4x4s shuttles groups up the mountain from the base at Nuweberg, where participants are welcomed, briefed and outfitted, every couple of hours. Judging from the vehicle logistics and the quality and inaccessibility of the ziplines and platforms, the product required a not inconsiderable investment. Cape Canopy Tours has also obviously ensured that members of the local community have been trained and employed as adventure guides, and it was impressive to see the pride that they take in their responsibilities.
Those who have had the pleasure of hiking the Boland Trail will recognise the area: Landdroskop and Shamrock huts are located above and close by.
To book a zipline adventure contact Cape Canopy Tours.