Extreme, thrill-filled, exhilarating fun!

BY GRAEME LUND - FEBRUARY 6, 2015

The Eastern Cape, fittingly dubbed ‘adventure province’, is a land of opportunities for the thrill seeker. There are plenty of things to do, see and experience - and, we have some of them below in our list of the top 5 adventures that should be on your bucket list.

  1. Face Adrenalin       

If you are looking for a truly adrenaline-fueled experience in the Eastern Cape, visit Face Adrenaline. Until recently, before the Macau Tower bungee, in China, overtook them, they ran the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee jump off the Bloukrans Bridge which connects the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape – nothing more needs to be said here.

What distinguishes Face adrenalin, though, is accessibility – you simply arrive, pay and jump, and the professionalism with which they run their business. Still, the fact that it is far safer to bungee jump from the Bloukrans Bridge than taking a road trip does not away the adventure factor. Launching yourself into a free-fall, with only a piece of rope as your security, is a sure way to get adrenaline rushing throughout your body! The music, enthusiasm and hype at the jump point adds to the exhilaration - not to mention the beating count down while you contemplate your fall and the end of oblivion - three, two, one JUMP! 

Duration:  1 hour  

  1. EP Skydiving  

Why free-fall from the sky? Because it is just pure intoxicating fun! Just visit EP Skydivers, near Grahamstown. Besides offering tandem jumps and static line courses, the EP Skydivers team also has VAST amounts of experience and thousands of jumps between them – so you will just have to hang on and enjoy the dive.

The build-up to the actual jump is awesome. Fitting the suit, tightening the harness and the parachute and climbing into the plane help build this adventure into a crescendo. As the plane takes off so do the butterflies in your stomach. Once you have reached the jump altitude and you stand at the door, you won’t stop the flow of adrenalin. The first part of the jump happens so quickly that it is sometimes hard to recall but as you fly through the air it’s OK to scream because nobody will hear you. 

Once your ‘chute opens, you find yourself adrift in an unnaturally quite environment. The view is amazing too but it’s not long before you reach the ground and your next shot adrenaline comes with the landing. Geronimo! 

Duration:  Static Line course is about a day and a half and Tandem Jump is a few hours. Cost: Static Line course from R1000; Tandem Jump from R2000

  1. Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures

Situated 8 kilometres from the Storms River Bridge on the N2, Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures offers spectacular zipline adventure across the Kruis River. If you do not know what a Zipline is, then think of a sophisticated ‘foefie slide’. Their zipline tours are well-managed and it’s a case of arrive, get kitted and go. 

Eight slides, totalling 822 metres of which the longest is 211 metres, zigzag along cables across the river gorge. Heights vary with the highest being 50 metres above the waters. The most spectacular time to zipline is after a heavy rainfall when the river is roaring below for an unforgettable adrenaline-filled experience. The fact that this can be a group activity makes it even more enjoyable. Wohoo!

Duration: 1.5 hours. Cost R350 per person

  1. Storms River Adventures’ Canopy Tour 

Also based in Storms River Village, the canopy tour involves traversing from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor. In addition to the adrenaline, this tree-top adventure is also very scenic and spectacularly beautiful.

Most platforms are located in giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees and the engineers who created this amazing adventure have ensured that not a single nail or bolt has pierced the bark of the trees. The scenery and bird life is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the 2½ to 3 hours.

Duration: 3 hours. Cost: R495 per person

  1. Addo Elephant National Park

Being placed on this list may come as a surprise for seasoned Addo visitors but, for a first time visitor, there is a good chance that you can get the adrenaline pumping in a big way. 

Addo is literally teaming with elephants and this National Park is one of the safest sanctuaries on the planet for this gentle giants.  No poaching, hunting or culling occurs in Addo and so the elephants have absolutely no fear of man (or the vehicles in which they sit).  Thus a first time visitor may find themselves parked on the side of the road watching some distant animal when, almost instantly, they may find themselves with in a meter of 5 ton, 3m high elephant as it steps out of the thick bush.  This experience is something you will never forget and will relate to your friends at every braai and diner party.

Duration: 1 day. Cost: From R25 per child and R50 per adult per day visit.