Did you know?
The Blue Grotto forest shelters over 150 species of birds including the uncommon Bush Blackcap.
The Drakensberg Canopy Tour is South Africa's fifth treetop tour, and the second KwaZulu-Natal canopy tour (the other is in the Karkloof forest in the Midlands).
It's the longest in the Canopy Tour franchise, and an exciting activity in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, an area well known for its walks, hikes, outdoor pursuits and stunning mountain scenery.
The tour takes place in the indigenous Blue Grotto forest located on the property of the Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort in the Central Drakensberg's Cathkin Valley. Comprising 12 slides that zigzag above, below and even through the indigenous forest canopy, it's a breezy escapade for thrill-seekers aged seven to 70.
The tour's first slide – aptly named the Rabbit Hole – eases you into the activity via a short, easy ride. When you experience your first swift charge down the reinforced steel cable (capable of taking the weight of a small car) you'll be literally and metaphorically hooked.
From then on it's approximately three hours of sliding from platform to platform, whooping delightedly, yelling encouragement to your fellow speedsters, and pausing only to admire the lush beauty of the valley's waterfall, yellowwood, red pear, pink-foliaged Cape chestnut trees, and a variety of birdlife.
Every slide and platform on this treetop tour provides a different view and experience, from slide four, perched like an eagle's eyrie 60m above the forest floor, to slide five, a full-throttle 170m-long speedway.
You're never unharnessed at any point on the tour, and always under supervision by trained, qualified guides, so just relax and enjoy the ride. If you're nervous or afraid of heights, a guide will tandem slide with you. Your tour includes the option of a professional video and photos of your adventure, which will make you the envy of friends and family.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
From Johannesburg follow the N3 towards Ladysmith. Take the R600 to Winterton, and continue past Thokoziza until you reach the Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort.
Best time to visit
The Drakensberg Canopy Tour is available all year round excluding religious public holidays and rainy days.
Drive yourself to the Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort. From there, the tour operator will transport you to the start of the tour.
What will it cost
R450 per person, including all equipment (R495 from November 2013). A 25-minute DVD and photos of your adventure will cost R150 per person.
Length of stay
The tour takes around three hours, including the pre-tour briefing and post-tour lunch.
What to pack
Wear comfortable clothes and closed shoes. Plenty of sunscreen and a hat are also recommended.
Where to stay
The Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort.
What to eat
The tour includes a light lunch.