Did you know?
South Africa is one of the few commercial canopy tour destinations in the world.
Canopy tours in South Africa are one of the most amazing ways to see nature from a different perspective. Here you are up in the sky looking into the heart of the forest – it's very different and thrilling.
A canopy tour involves sliding from one high-level forest platform to another along steel cables suspended up to 30m above the forest floor. The idea originally came from biologists who used similar systems to access forest canopies in order to study the hard-to-get-at plants that live high up in the trees.
The first canopy tour to be developed in South Africa is the one still operating in the Tsitsikamma Forest near Stormsrivier on the Garden Route. The tour consists of 10 platforms and 10 slides, the longest of which is 100m.
The second canopy tour to be built in South Africa was in the Karkloof Forest, near Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal. This consists of eight slides; the longest one is 170m and can be quite fast. Like the first canopy tour, the emphasis is firmly on the forest plants, ecology and birds.
The third tour to be developed in South Africa can be found in the Magaliesberg mountains near Johannesburg. This one isn't really a tree top tour, but a canopy height tour with platforms set against spectacular cliffs offering amazing views of the Ysterhout Kloof. Here one is mostly above the trees, instead of within them, so the view is the key element as opposed to an up-close experience with forest life.
Two more additions include the Drakensberg and Magoebaskloof canopy tours. The Drakensberg Canopy Tour in Central Drakensberg includes the Dragon Mountain's spectacular scenery and Africa's first elevated rock-face walkway. The Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour is also interesting in that it has slides and viewpoints over three giant waterfalls among ancient cliffs and a stunning indigenous forest.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour
Tel: + 27 (0)42 2811 836
Karkloof Canopy Tour
Tel: +27 (033) 330 3415
Magaliesberg Canopy Tour
Tel: +27 (0)14 535 0150
Drakensberg Canopy Tour
Tel: +27 (0)83 661 5691
Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour
Tel: +27 (0)83 866 1546
How to get here
Canopy tour destinations are best reached by car, although in some cases tour buses do visit these sites.
Once at your canopy tour destination, you will be guided along the tour by experienced and trained guides.
What will it cost
A South Africa canopy tour will cost in the region of R400 to R500, depending on location.
Length of stay
A canopy tour takes about three hours.
What to pack
All equipment is provided but dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Bear in mind it can be a lot colder up in the trees than at ground level.