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.