Home to 150 species of birds - the Blue Grotto Forest is probably my mother's worst nightmare.
Luckily for me, two birds didn't collide on my head as a little girl, and I just have issues with moths flying into my face.
The forest is also home to The Drakensberg Canopy Tour. An exciting two-hour adventure that sends you flying high past rivers and the thick forest canopy below. Out of the six canopy tour locations around South Africa, I have been able to tick off four, and I've started slowly ranking them in order of most thrilling.
The Drakensburg did not disappoint - how could it? It is one of the most picturesque places in South Africa with the peaks around the Blue Grotto Forest reaching an average height of 300 meters. So it comes to no surprise that it is currently tied for the number one spot with the Cape Town branch.
Ziplining under the full moon with slides up to 320m long is a tough act to follow - but the Drakensberg tour managed to pull it off.
If you're thinking about taking the plunge and explore the Berg from a different angle, here's everything you need to know:
- Prepare Yourself for a Mini Hike -
Compared to other tours at Tsitsikamma and Magoesbaskloof, the hike to the first platform and at the end requires a bit of stamina (The Cape Town one is a beast at the end and in its own league).
So if you are planning on going to the Drakensberg, make sure you can handle a light hike with a steep incline. It is less than one kilometre, but if you have a knee or some other leg injury, you might want to give this one a skip until you are all healed up.
- You Are Going To Slay at Tree General Knowledge Next Quiz Night -
The one thing I really enjoy about these tours (besides screaming like an insane person and having it encouraged) is just how knowledgeable the guides are about the area.
Most have grown up not too far from the tour and have a lot of information about the various flora and how it was used traditionally by the tribes in the area. You will even come across one that can be used to brush your teeth for you know if you ever find yourself stranded in nature without your toothbrush.
Oh, and prepare to have your mind blown while you casually stand on a tree that's pushing 100 years old.
- Embrace The Handlebars For A Bigger Rush -
Say goodbye to holding your ropes with your left hand and lightly resting your right hand behind you on the line.
The Drakensberg Canopy Tour asks you to throw all that familiar comfort out the window by adding handle bars into the mix. Gone are those times where you accidentally put on the breaks or chickened out to go slower. On this tour, you will be flying high and fast until your feet hit the platform.
Hey, at least this means you won't have to pull yourself to the end this time. WRONG. I managed to fail at this somehow, but at least my arms got a good workout.
Accommodation Near Drakensberg Canopy Tours
While I decided to stay at Amphitheatre Backpackers for nostalgia reasons and because it was a great halfway point between this tour and getting to the starting point of my Tugela Falls.
But if you are looking to keep your travel time to a minimum here are some budget accommodation options near the tour to check out:
- Essential Canopy Tour Information -
- Price: R 595.00
- Age Limit: 7 -70 years old
- Weight Limit: 120 kg
- Duration: 3 hours
- 4 x 4 trip.
- Fully guided tour with 12 different platforms.
- Complimentary light lunch (vegans pack your own for something more substantial).
Thank you so much for Drakensberg Canopy Tour for hosting me! I cannot wait to explore the remaining three branches and give you a complete ranking of my favourites and why.
Wanna see my expert zipline skills in action? Watch my Drakensberg Canopy Tours video!
Have you done any of the canopy tours?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hey, I'm Lauren! I'm passionate about inspiring young South Africans to travel for less and sharing my experiences and how to navigate the endless visa paperwork along the way. When I'm not busy preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, I'm having a travel fail somewhere and geeking out in countries all over the world. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!