Tree Top Canopy Tours

Taking a bird’s eye view of the world doesn’t mean you have to have wings; just a good strong set of cables will do the trick. Tree top canopy tours must be one of the most exhilarating zip line type adventures in Southern Africa. As a child I remember a very crude home made version that we called a Foefie slide. There was no safety gear, no guides to strap you into intricate harnesses. All we had was a sense of adventure and plenty of band aid. Today technology and experience has transformed canopy tours and zip lines into an adrenalin but safe adventure.

Tsitsikamma Cables

Tsitsikamma Canopy Cables

Image attribution: Tree Top Canopy Tours South Africa

South Africa has an impressive selection of venues that offer Tree Top Canopy Tours. So that no matter which corner of the country you are visiting you will be close to an operator. It is classified as an eco-adventure where you slide from tree to tree along steel cables. Each tree is fitted with a platform high above the ground, giving you the best seat in the house. Some of the tours might start or finish on a rocky ledge such as the one in Karkloof. The views are spectacular and what you see will depend on the destination you chose. There are waterfalls, forest canopies and birdlife to name but a few.

Magaliesberg Capopy Tour

Magaliesberg Capopy Tour

Image attribution: Tree Top Canopy Tours South Africa

What to expect

All tours will start with a safety briefing at the office. Guides will limit their groups to a size of 8 per tour. Experienced guides will demonstrate how to slide on the cables and what you can expect once on the tour. After the briefing, guides will fit each participant with a full body harness, pulley, climbing equipment and a safety helmet. On the tour your group will be accompanied by a lead guide and a safety guide.

Participants are driven to the start of the tour. Once the tour starts and you’ve slipped along the first cable, guides will talk to you about the surroundings and what you are looking at. The wildlife, birdlife, topography and flora are discussed. Take time when landing on each new platform to take in the nature, the serenity and take a lot of photos. For some it will be exhilarating and for others an ethereal type experience.

Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour

Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour

 Image attribution: Tree Top Canopy Tours South Africa


A tour typically lasts for 2 ½ hours, and is followed by a scrumptious meal and beverages.

What to take along

Comfortable hiking type clothing is perfect for a canopy tour.

Closed toe shoes are preferable. Sandals or flip flops could fall off.

Skirts and dresses are not suitable.

Remember cameras and sunscreen.

Hats and sunglasses may sound like a good idea in South African weather but remember you are way, way up and they might fall off. Besides you will be wearing a safety helmet.

You may not be able to retrieve any items that fall to the ground.


The price is incredibly affordable for a South African adventure.

South African Rand – R450 per person

US Dollar – $55 per person

Euro – € 42 per person

Included in price: All equipment, nature guides, 4×4 transport, refreshments and a light lunch after the tour.


Currently there are 5 canopy tour operators in South Africa and 1 in Swaziland:

Magaliesburg Northwest Province

Tsitsikamma, Eastern Cape

Karkloof, KwaZulu Natal

Magoebaskloof, Limpopo Province

Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal

Malolotia, Swaziland – a small country that lies within the borders of South Africa

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Author: Principle writer – Celeste Wilson

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