During September South African National Parks (SANParks) and South African Forest Adventures launched new ziplines across a beautiful gorge between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay – ready for those seeking for an exhilarating expedition.
Knysna Ziplines could potentially help boost tourism in the Garden Route and has socio-economic benefits to the local and regional area in keeping with SANParks’ vision of “a sustainable national parks system – connecting society”.
The ziplines were given the green light in 2016, but work was put on hold due to the Knysna fires in 2017. Work restarted in late 2018 and was completed just before the national lockdown in March.
The new attraction is the Garden Route’s longest and highest zipline, located within the Knysna Lakes section of SANParks Garden Route National Park.
The four ziplines span 2.2 km in total, of which the longest is 700 metres. The four cables criss-cross the Kranshoek gorge, reaching heights of more than 200 metres with scenic views of the Indian Ocean, fynbos and indigenous forests.
South African Forest Adventures intend adding two extra cables to the zipline before the end of the year to take the number of cables to six, managing director Clinton Lerm says. Mammals found in the park include bush pigs, baboons, bushbucks, Cape clawless otters, leopards, the marine life includes Southern right whales and dolphins. Adventure guides, who will operate the zipline, have been seconded from other South African Forest Adventures sites and are highly trained in safety procedures.
Park Manager for Knysna Megan Taplin said that they were excited to add environmentally friendly adventure products, which will complement the existing popular hiking and mountain bike trails. The zipline product is expected to double the number of local and international visitors to Knysna.
All booked participants must visit the zipline office located at Harkerville Forest Lodge (which is 15km from Plettenberg Bay and 20km from Knysna), prior to driving into the park.
Adventurers can also hire GoPro cameras to record their zipline experience.