Flying high on the Cape Canopy Tour
Situated in the picturesque Elgin Valley near Grabouw lies one of the world’s hottest new tourism experiences for 2015 – well according to Lonely Planet anyway. And having recently spent a Sunday afternoon flying through the Hottentots Holland mountains, we have to agree that the Cape Canopy Tour is pretty cool.
Conveniently located about an hours drive from Cape Town, or as we discovered half an hour from Franschhoek over the Pass, sits Cape Nature’s Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. The scenery here is simply fantastic and the aerial perspective of the Canopy Tour allows you to really appreciate this little-known part of the Cape from a rare vantage point.
Kitted out and ready to go!
Breathtaking mountain scenery as far as the eye can see
The tour has only been open since August 2014 after taking approximately 12 months to complete the build. You really have to admire such a highly engineered work of art; the team did not use any foundations in the construction of the platforms. If need be, they could remove the entire system of slides and platforms and there would be little sign it had ever been there.
The suspension bridge connecting two of the platforms
Yep - it's a long way down! Not so great if you have any kind of Acrophobia!
Eleven ziplines and one slightly hair-raising suspension bridge connect the thirteen wooden platforms. Aside from remembering to apply your handbrake (literally) before you get to the platform there is nothing to do apart from admiring the dramatic gorges, glistening waterfalls and take in nature at its best.
The walk out at the end of the tour - luckily there is a delicious lunch waiting as a reward!
Good to know:
Opening hours are Monday to Sunday. The first tour leaves at 8am and the last tour leaves at 2pm. Tours are roughly 4-5 hours in length depending on how competent your group is.
Safety is paramount - you are given a briefing at the start and there are always two experienced guides to look after you and impart their knowledge about the local flora and fauna.
You will be transferred to the start of the tour by 4x4 which takes approximately 30 minutes each way over some rocky terrain.
All ages are welcome, even as young as five years - as long as they fit comfortably into a harness. You just need to be able to manage the 1km climb out of the valley and back to the 4x4 at the end of the tour.
Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes that you can walk in. Flip-flops are not ideal as they will likely fall off when you are sliding! Also it can be chilly in the mountains, so a warm top is always a good idea.
The Cape Canopy Tour costs R595 per person, which includes a bottle of water and a tasty lunch upon your return as well as the park conservation fee of R40. (Wild Card holders get R40 discount - R555)
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