The idea dates back to the Aztecs: throwing yourself from a great height with nothing but a cord strapped about your ankles to suspend your fall.
Comparatively, commercial bungee-jumping is an extreme sport still in its infancy. This hair-raising activity is so popular today largely thanks to New Zealander AJ Hackett, who has been bungee-jumping from famous landmarks the world over since 1986 – including the Eiffel Tower, the Macau Tower in China, and an almost 1500m jump from a helicopter.
In South Africa, thrill-seekers can take in some of the most beautiful views in the country... upside-down.
The legendary Bloukrans jump
In the scenic Garden Route region, near Plettenberg Bay, you can jump off the Bloukrans Bridge joins the Western and Eastern Cape provinces. At 216m, it is the world’s highest commercial bungee-jump!
Recently an adventurous 96-year-old man made the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest bungee-jumper, launching himself off what is the highest single span arch bridge in the world in a full-body harness, over the sparkling Bloukrans River. More Guinness World Records set at Bloukrans include the most number of jumps in an hour at 19, and the most jumps in 24 hours – 101.
You can also experience the breathtaking Bloukrans bungee-jump. It’s operated by Face Adrenalin, who has a 100% safety record – visit the team at www.faceadrenalin.com and book your jump today. (Please note that jumps from the Gourits Bridge near Mossel Bay have been discontinued.)
Wild Swing at Oribi Gorge
Further up the coastline, on the Hibiscus Coast of the Kwa-Zulu Natal province is the world’s highest natural gorge swing. Jump from the top of the Lehrs waterfall, and plunge 33 storeys (100m) into the spectacular gorge below, travelling at speeds of 120km/h!
It’s an eight-minute trek up to the top of the gorge, but it’s the 25-second jump that’ll leave you breathless. The youngest person to do the Wild Swing at Oribi Gorge was only 5 years old. This adventure is hosted by the Wild 5, who you can call on 082 566 7424. However no prior booking is necessary.
Bungee Mogale in Krugersdorp
The town of Krugersdorp, just outside Johannesburg is home to a number of extreme attractions in ‘Mogale City’. While most come to do the 50m jump off Kings Kloof Bridge, the 320m slide across the valley is just as exciting.
There is also the Burma Bridge which consists of 120m of four cables suspended over the valley. You are securely strapped into a harness, with a safety helmet, and need to cautiously inch your way across it. Did we mention the bridge swing? It’s a 45m jump from a platform, from which you’ll swing back and forth suspended over the beautiful scenery below. What a great day out!
Visit www.bungeejumping.co.za to find out more.
Orlando Towers in Soweto
The two cooling towers in Orlando, Soweto stand side-by-side and have become a cultural icon in the area. The Orlando Towers are now a ‘vertical adventure facility’, and apart from bungee jumping, you can also swing, climb, abseil and rap jump from them.
For the 100m bungee jump, a bridge has been suspended between the two towers, where you leap from a platform that overlooks the majestic Soweto. It’s one of the most unique experiences in the bungee-jumping world and we highly recommend that you purchase the DVD of your jump to show your friends, with the colourfully painted cooling towers perfectly framing your leap of faith.
To find out more about the adventures available at the Orlando Towers, visit www.orlandotowers.co.za.