Treetop canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma
There are certain things in life you have to do at least once. Or in my case, I only have the guts to do it once. Although as safe as sleeping in your own bed, I have asked myself a few times “what type of a mother allows her children to do this…” before gliding to the next tree!
The Stewarts rewarded themselves with a Canopy Tour in the Tsitsikamma a while ago. What an amazing experience! Of course putting on the safety gear makes you feel very adventurous and extreme, but all in all, safety is number one, and the team really takes good care of you. The tours are only cancelled in extreme weather, but the forest is normally well protected.
The Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour is a unique eco-wilderness adventure that takes place in the magnificent Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest, and involves gliding from one tree to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor… “I believe I can fly….”
Most platforms are located in giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees. The scenery and bird life is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the 2½ to 3 hours. It is a breathtaking form of eco-tourism which allows people to enter and experience a previously inaccessible natural environment – and in all honesty, I think there are far less creatures (read snakes and spiders) 30m up in the air than on the forest floor!
The Tsistikamma Canopy Tour consists of 10 platforms and 10 ‘foefie’ slides, the longest of which is 100m. Don’t brake too early or you will stuck in the middle… and remember, there is no turning back either!
The tour begins with a detailed safety briefing followed by a ‘kitting up’ session where full body harnesses, pulleys and climbing equipment are issued and checked. A short drive takes you into the Tsitsikamma forest and it is time to monkey around! We were in a group of 7, so we had ample time to get ready and enjoy the slides – and to turn around and watch the faces of those gliding your way!
The platforms provide an unbelievable view of this new world – as you don’t see much while gliding (well, I didn’t!). Any fear of heights is soon lost as you gather in your new surroundings. In between glides the guides explain the ecology of the forest – pointing out different trees and the magnificent giant ferns way below. The bird life is incredible. We saw a Knysna Loerie, and sightings of the Narina Trogon and Vervet monkey are not uncommon.
About three hours later you exit the forest, having undertaken the journey of a lifetime. You have contributed to the creation of new jobs and are helping the forest regeneration project – and ticked off a bucket list item!
Guest Blog by Esti Stewart
042 281 1836 or [email protected]