I am an adrenaline junkee through and through and it has almost become a personal mission of mine to experience the best zip lines Africa has to offer. I have swung from the treetops in the Seychelles, cascaded over waterfalls in the Tsitsikamma forest, plummeted over the gorge at Victoria Falls and discovered new heights in South Africa’s Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. And so on a recent trip to the Sun City Resort I simply had to see what all the fuss was about with Zip2000.
Hailed as the world’s original extreme zipslide and the ride that inspired many others around the globe, it is an extreme experience like no other. Zip2000 has been operating for over 13 years, six of which it held the title for the longest, highest and fastest zipline in the world. Today there is a higher slide in Alaska and a longer one in South America but it is the combination of speed, distance and height that really makes Zip2000 original.
This crazy experience begins with a drive up a winding hill behind Sun City where the views over the resort are spectacular, but also slightly terrifying as you realise how high up you are! You, and your partner, if you decide to do a tandem ride like I did, are then strapped into separate full body harnesses with a number of straps over your feet, back and shoulders. When you are all safely wrapped up in your canvas cocoon, you are tilted forward. This is the most terrifying part of the experience. As the guides lift your trembling body horizontal you look down the slide to the speck of land below where you will eventually come to a stop. A tailfin is attached between your legs to help with stability and then after a nerve-wracking countdown you are off!
There is no jerking like bungee-jumping and the experience is more akin to flying, than falling. As you sail down the zipslide with your arms outstretched and the wind streaming through your hair you are awarded with panoramic views right to the horizon. You can reach speeds of up to 160km/h, with an average speed of 120km/h, and before you know it you are zooming past the platform on an upward journey to slow you down, before being pulled backwards to the landing pad. Breathless and exhilarated you are helped down by the ever-ready guides. With a smile that stretches your entire face you will be so glad you were brave enough to take the plunge!