Did you know?
Witbank was established in 1890 and was originally a rest stop for wagon drivers.
Witbank in Mpumalanga offers some of the best weather and flying conditions in the country. This has made it a popular weekend destination for skydiving in South Africa.
The Witbank Skydiving Club is a chief operator in the area, providing skydiving services to both experienced jumpers and amateurs. It provides three different jumping experiences, two of which double up as training courses.
The most suitable options for those holidaying in Mpumalanga or the surrounding area are the static line course and tandem jump. The static line programme is a theoretical and practical training course that involves different line jumps (a line attached to the plane automatically opens jumpers' chutes) from 1 000m and a number of free fall jumps from 3 000m. The course can be completed in a few days, with the option to do follow-up courses thereafter.
The tandem skydive is the easiest way to experience the pure ecstasy associated with skydiving. This jump involves being strapped to a qualified instructor via a tandem harness and jumping out of a plane at 3 000m. A short instruction lecture introduces you to the procedure after which you take the plunge.
You also have the option to have a qualified cameraman accompany you on the jump and record your airborne adventures for a truly memorable experience.
The third course, accelerated free fall, is more suited to advanced skydivers. All jumps are taken from Witbank Skydiving Club's three Cessna planes, and deliver five minutes of pure adrenalin from the time you leave the plane until touchdown in the drop zone.
And because some visitors just can't get enough of skydiving, the club also offers free camping at the drop zone. Skydives can be combined with hiking, 4x4 trails and game viewing at venues around the area for the ultimate highveld adventure safari.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Witbank Skydiving Club
Tel: +27 (0)82 040 7136
How to get here
From Johannesburg, take the N4 north to Witbank. From Durban, the N3 to Ladysmith, and then the N11 to Witbank.
Best time to visit
Witbank has a moderate climate; warm to hot in summer; cool in winter. Skydiving can be done any time of year, weather conditions permitting.
Around the area
The Loskop Dam Nature Reserve is excellent for watersports, bird watching and nature walks; the fascinating Botshabelo Mission Station and Ndebele Cultural Village are in nearby Middelburg.
What will it cost
Visit the Witbank Skydiving Club Website for a detailed breakdown of costs. You can expect to pay in the region of R1 500 for a tandem jump, R2 000 for a static line course.
What to pack
Always pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat, no matter what the season. Warm clothing for when you jump – it's pretty chilly up there!
Where to stay
The Witbank area has a wide selection of accommodation options, from basic B&Bs to luxury hotels and lodges. Alternatively, camp right at the drop zone for free.