Innovative date idea: Ziplining in the North West
10 Oct 2018 LIFESTYLE
By: Natasha Archary
My next innovative date adventure took us to the scenic North West province. It seems my date is finally warming up to my adventurous streak and, despite a fear of heights, he took on this ziplining date like a trooper. Excited about the day planned, we spent the short drive to the venue taking in the beautiful landscape. Spoilt with breathtaking views of the Magaliesberg moutains and the incredible Crocodile river, snaking around the dense forest region. How can a place so striking exist right on our doorstep?
A mere forty minutes from Johannesburg and Pretoria, and less than fifteen minutes away from the stunning Hartbeespoort Dam. The Ama Zwing Zwing zip-line tours are situated at Amazingwe Lodge and are rated one of the best zip-line tours in the country. With each tour conducted by professional guides, your safety is guaranteed.
What to expect
We arrive at the stunning lodge and are immediately greeted by nature, in the form of a herd of blesbok. Escaping the city can do wonders for your body, mind and soul and we’re surrounded by three hundred and sixty degree, picturesque views. My partner in crime included (wink wink). I honestly didn’t expect him to agree to this one, convinced that after the Shark Cage Dive and Snorkel dates, he would rethink dating me altogether.
Seems I may have converted him, much to my delight. We’re given a quick tour by the owners Paul and Anita, followed by an extensive briefing by our expert guides Thabo and Calvin. We are harnessed up, kitted with more straps than I can count and look ready to scale a mountain, complete with helmet and gloves to protect our hands from the cable.
Risks with the zipline
As with any adrenaline induced activity, there are risks involved with ziplining, but every precaution is taken, rest assured. There are three straps that have you secured to the cable, so if anything were to happen to one of them, you’re still safely attached to the line and the guides can get to you with little delay. We’re advised to keep our strong hand far behind the pulley to avoid getting our fingers caught between it and the cable in front of it. That would be the biggest risk involved.
My guy decides to go first. I could not believe it. Fear averted, he zips off and within a few seconds he has landed safely on the platform a few metres away. The tour consists of seven strategically positioned slides and ten platforms. The first, the practice cable is a quick run, at a reasonable two metres above the ground. I’m next, heart pounding against my chest, I’m a little nervous and would like to leave with all my fingers intact, so I keep in mind all the safety tips Thabo has armed me with and take my place on the step. Im hooked onto the cable, secured by three straps and told to “sit”. (Much like the rock climb, the harness acts as a seat). I jump off the step and am racing down the line. Within seconds I join my guy on the second platform.
“How was it?”
I’m worried he may be having second thoughts at this point. His smile reassures me.
“That was awesome.”
Sigh of relief. There are six more to go and the fifth I’m told is the highest one of our tour. We pause for a moment to snap some pictures. Documenting each moment because if it doesn’t make it to Instagram, it didn’t happen right? A high five later and I’m about to take on the second slide after our guide. You’re always between the two guides who are assigned to each tour. Safety first. There’s a guide waiting on the next platform to let you know when to brake. You do this by tugging on the line behind you, with your strong hand. It’s not as difficult as it sounds and before long I’m touching base on the third platform. This one twice as high as the first.
We’re done with slides three and four, landing on the ground at the fifth slide. A sixteen-metre tall scaffolding towers over us. Sunlight glinting through the twelve flights of stairs. We take a five-minute break here, snacking on a kit-kat and rehydrating. These refreshments are all part of the package you book, which is at a reasonable rate of four fifty a person. Surrounded by intense green and gorgeous hills, this is one of the most romantic dates I’ve been on. It does take a lot to keep me intrigued and the fact that someone is willing to indulge my crazy, keeps me on my toes.
The fifth slide is one I’m looking forward to, it’s a two hundred and forty-metre slide that is a whole fourteen metres above ground. Not the highest I’ve been, but the climb up turns my legs to jelly. Panoramic views envelop us, it is so beautiful up here it’s insane. The weather held up its end of the deal and the sun glints through the overcast sky, warming us up enough. We can just see the platform we’re set to land on, this is a slow slide. Thabo says there’s no need to hold onto the cable behind us until we need to break. We can let ourselves go. We did. It was epic. You spin a little with no hold on the cable and this was exhilirating, the wind on your face and the tops of trees gently brushing your feet.
Day well spent
We’re almost done. Just two slides to go and it’s over. We both don’t want it to end. My Mr is thoroughly enjoying himself, taking videos and pictures and clearly on a high. The adrenaline rush you get from doing something active is second to none. It’s a complete turn on. There’s a short walk to the sixth slide, giving you a chance to spot the odd blesbok or zebra grazing around the lodge. Nothing beats being outdoors, in the heart of nature with the one who sends your heart racing.
Give this a try for your next date. It’s perfect for a Sunday morning or afternoon. On a day you want to take a drive away from the city and allow yourself to be a tourist in your own country. We’re about twenty minutes away from the Haartbeespoort Dam and my adrenaline junkie suggests lunch at the Caribbean Country Club to round off our day. (Think he’s a keeper.)
Book a zipline adventure tour as your next innovative date idea, with Ama Zwing Zwing and de-stress with your better half. It’s an unforgettable experience and the friendly team at the lodge will ensure you have the best time.
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Facebook: Natasha Archary