SA's Big 5 adventures for adrenaline junkies

2017-06-22 17:27 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - Does the thought of sliding 18 metres at an almost perpendicular angle scare you? Or does the idea of moving at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour into an open mine shaft give you nightmares?

If not, then you’re one of SA’s adrenaline junkies and this ultimate bucket-list is certainly for you!

While many international visitors come to South Africa to see the Big Five and admire the abundance of natural beauty Mzansi has to offer, we have put together a “Big Five” of a different kind and challenge locals who love thrills to trek across SA and give it a try.

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Here are our top 5 longest, highest, fastest adventures in SA – and the beauty of it is that each one is located in a different corner of the country, giving you the ideal chance to tick those adrenaline rides off your bucket-list while exploring SA.

World’s longest zip slide, in North West

Adrenaline enthusiasts who visit the North West must slide The Pronutro Zip 2000. It’s 280 meters high, 2 kilometers long, reaches a speed of 140 kilometers per hour, and according to SA tourism, is the longest zip slide in the world, while lasting 4 minutes.

“Secured in a harness and suspended below a free running trolley that is attached to a steel cable, one experiences the feeling of flying and acceleration as you descend down the wire,” says SA Tourism.

The fastest and the highest zip line in the world!! I'd definitely do it back. ??? Fly like a shooting star.

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The cable runs from the top of the 280m high mountain, to the top of a mast 2km away. Towards the end of the ride, your decent is slowed as you go uphill, then roll back to the lowest point on the wire where you dismount the ride.

Open to users from as young as 12 years old, the zip line also makes a fun family activity, with a maximum of ten riders and six spectators being accommodated per tour.

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The start of the zip slide is just 5 minutes from Sun City Resort. Bookings can be made via the Sun City welcome centre information desk by calling 014 557 1544.

Highest water slide in Africa, in KZN

At uShaka Marine World in KwaZulu-Natal you can find Africa’s highest water slide.

With an 18 metre drop that is almost perpendicular, it is certainly not for those who fear heights – and remember, one who embraces this slide is not secured with any protective cables or seats!

Ooooooooo... barracuda! ?? ?? (??:@gijs_hardeman) #regram #uShaka #wetnwild

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uShaka Marine World says about the slide “Cross your legs, lean back and pray!” and also advises users on a “Wedgie alert”.

The slide is at the marine theme park’s Wet ‘n Wild section, situated in Durban, and tickets to enter can be bought on the website or the at the entrance gates.

If water slides tickle your fancy, then check out some of the world’s craziest slides here:

World's highest bridge bungee, in Western Cape

Take a leap of faith and hop off Bloukrans Bridge in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape.

At 216 metres high, Bloukrans Bridge Bungee is the world’s highest bungee jump off a bridge, at 216 metres with a 5 second freefall.

There have been a number of world records associated with Bloukrans bungee: in 2003 it was recognised as the world’s highest commercial bungee jump and in 2008 the bridge was part of two more world records.

Veronica Dean performed 19 bungy jumps in one hour and Bill Boshoff performed 101 jumps in a 24 hour period from the Bloukrans Bridge!

Boshoff’s world record was subsequently surpassed, but in 2011 Face Adrenaline facilitated Scott Huntley to regain the world record with 107 bungee jumps in the 24 hour period.

If you’d like to break these records, or simply book a single jump or enquire more, click here.

SEE: Checklist: The Ultimate Natural World Wonder list for adventure travellers

Africa’s fastest roller coaster, in Gauteng

The Tower of Terror lives up to its name. This sit-down roller coaster, located at Gold Reef City in Gauteng, currently holds the record for the highest g-force on a roller coaster at 6.3G.

If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to shoot off into space, this ride promises to give you double that experience, as the g-force “is nearly twice the amount that the average astronaut experiences when making their way through the atmosphere”, according to which listed the ride on its Top 7 Most Thrilling Roller Coasters in the World.

The force, however, is only sustained for a few seconds which makes it manageable for the “average” roller coaster rider.

Tower of Terror lifts the car up with an elevator lift and pushes the car forward into the vertical (90-degrees) drop - 50 meters at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour - which dives 14.9 metres underground into a former mine shaft. Thrilling!

Gold Reef City gave the ride a Fear Factor rating of 10 – meaning it can’t get worse than this!

There is a height restriction of 1.3 metres and above, and you may enjoy the ride once you pay to enter Gold Reef City … if you dare.

Guiness World Records tallest swing, in KZN

The Big Rush at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban is home to the world’s tallest swing.

After being fitted with a full body harness and taken to the practice area for a demonstration of correct technique, your Jump Master will attach you to the main jump line and count you down … "3-2-1, Big Step!”

View from the top #MosesMabhidaBigRushSwing #AdventureBros #SouthAfricaIsBeautiful

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You then leap off the top of the stadium and experience a 60 metre free-fall, accelerating to a speed of over 120kpm/h, then swing over the stadium’s pitch.

When the swinging stops a recovery winch will bring you smoothly back to the jump platform, where you will be re-attached to the safety line, and guided back down the arch.

The organisers advise to dress comfortably for this adventure – “avoid wearing dresses or skirts” they say! To book the Big Swing, click here.

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