The Cape Canopy Tour in the in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve was named by Lonely Planet as the second best new attraction in the world in 2015, I had been desperate to experience the high-flying adventure since they began operating in 2014. Suffice to say I was not disappointed.
I was given a chance to brave the heights and speeds of the canopy tour as part of an educational trip of Elgin. Despite some pretty dire weather – driving rain and gale-force winds – I was super keen to give it a go. True to form, the Cape Canopy Tour operators were happy to accommodate us, providing warm clothing to fight the chill, along with the standard safety equipment.
The Elgin valley – around 45 minutes outside of Cape Town – is jaw-droppingly beautiful. From above it is as close to heaven that you could get. The lure of the view and the spirit of adventure was more than enough to get us on the jeep for the 20-minute drive to the first platform. Granted, it’s a bit of a trek, but it doesn’t rob from the experience, but rather adds to it. Scrambling up some of the climbs in a jeep can at times be more hair-raising than the ziplines themselves.
By the time we go to the first platform, we were raring to go.
With 13 platforms and slides of up to 320m long, it’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is well worth taking the leap. Unfortunately for us on the day, the first half of the lines were into the wind, so we were often stopped short. At this point you needed to monkey crawl to the landing platform, which is a bit of a workout, but if you’re willing to embrace it, adds another element to the experience.
And glass half-full, while the wind slowed us down on the first six platforms, we got a tail-wind on the next seven, which more than made up for it. We picked up some serious speed on those last couple of lines and it capped an already incredible experience.
You will not find a more beautiful and rugged landscape and at just under an hour’s drive from Cape Town, it’s perfect for a day trip with the whole experience taking around five hours. It’s also perfect for families and if you’ve got some time, why not make a weekend of it? Elgin is packed with adventure, wine and foodie experiences – it’s a treasure trove of possibilities.