The thought of being suspended from a rope 280m above the ground is a daunting one. Add in speeds averaging 120 km/h (up to a whopping 160 km/h) and you get what is recognised as the world’s first ‘extreme’ zip slide, stretching no less than two kilometres. This tour, along with various other activities at the Sun City resort, has now also become a lot closer than the regular two hour drive from Jo’burg, thanks to SA Express’s new direct flight to Pilanesberg.
The zip slide tour starts with a few minutes drive up to the hill, with a beautiful panorama of Sun City and of course the view of the rest of the town over which the slide stretches. The zip slide has been operating since 2004 and the tour operators take great care in seeing that fliers are safely harnessed and ready to soar. At these speeds, for instance, sunglasses become useless and the operators instead provide eye-goggles.
I was extremely excited about having a chance to ‘fly’, even it was only for a couple of minutes. It’s not everyday that one gets to be suspended in the air without the sinking feeling of free-falling, but rather the elation of soaring. What is particularly appealing about this zip slide compared to others is that you lie on your stomach in a canvas bag of sorts instead of sitting in a harness. The slide starts with an easy but steep downward fall and levels out horizontally as it goes on. The joy is less in the unusual view of the surroundings and more in the real thrill of flying… and flying at an enormous speed. With the wind in your face and one arm ahead of you, you really can feel like Superman.
Fliers are advised to go in pairs in order to increase weight and therefore speed. There is the pricey option of having your zip slide tour recorded and photographed, but you are allowed to take your phone with you and take photos at your own risk of course. If you happen to have any other belongings on you, they are safely strapped to your back in a small bag.
Tips and advice:
- Children need to be at least 12 years old
- Due to the eye goggles, its best to leave your sunglasses behind.
- You will be weighed and advised to go as a pair if you are under 80kg.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Being harnessed makes difficult clothing uncomfortable.
- The guides might try to make you nervous. Don’t fall for it!