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Experiences

Experience the Magic

Whether you wish to stay in and relax amidst the ancient enchanting forest, or to head out and explore South Africa’s celebrated Garden Route, experiencing Tsala is pure magic.

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Swim with Seals

Get up close and personal with African fur seals

This exciting adventure takes you out to sea to snorkel with these fun loving creatures, watching them playing and frolicking in the waves.

If you looking for a fun ocean adventure, this is for you. This tour is a first for Plettenberg Bay. It is an experience that will leave you with an invigorated appreciation of the beauty of the ocean and the wonderful animals that inhabit it.

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Children at Tsala

Family friendly experiences for children

Children staying at Tsala are in for a treat. The younger ones get to stay in their own tree house in the enchanted forest, pampered and cared for like the princes and princesses of their dreams.

Tsala has ten suites catering for children ten years and older in a safe, magical environment. There are also six two bedroomed villas for families catering for children eight years and older, the perfect setting for spending relaxed family time.

Children staying at Tsala are treated with special turn-downs, bedtime stories and children’s meals at Zinzi restaurant ensuring that they are comfortable and having fun, so that parents can relax and enjoy their holidays.

For the older children Plettenberg Bay offers activities and things to keep them occupied throughout their stay.

 

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Weddings

Forest fantasy weddings on the Estate

We know that your wedding day is the most important day of your lives together. We tailor all the arrangements just as you’d like them, paying special attention to every detail, and making the day seamless and memorable.

Our intimate “Chapel in the Forest” is the perfect setting. Vows are proclaimed while being framed by floor to ceiling windows overlooking a valley of indigenous forest. The “Chapel in the Forest” can seat up to 50 guests to share this special moment with you.

For the reception, choose either Tsala’s unique dining room or the wonderful Zinzi Restaurant, two bespoke venues that can be transformed into the reception venue of your dreams.

Tsala’s team believe that every bride and groom deserve their dream wedding to become a reality. Our expert staff can take care of every detail of your wedding day, or should you prefer to spend only a part of your special day in one of our venues, we can happily arrange that too.

Your weddings requirements will be tailor-made by our wedding planner to suit your specific needs. Please contact her directly by email weddings@hunterhotels.com or at our Head Office on +27 (0) 44 501 1111 to arrange a consultation.

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Honeymoons

Decadent romance at its best

Nothing says romance quite like a crystal infinity pool, champagne on a private deck overlooking the forest, a cosy fireplace to snuggle at and the magic of being on honeymoon with the love of your life.

A honeymoon spent at Tsala is all about romance and passion. Every day spent in your enchanting private suite or at the relaxed main lodge, will be filled with intimate moments, unforgettable scenery and memories shared for a lifetime.

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Birds of Eden

World-class free flight bird sanctuary

Birds of Eden is the Garden Route’s very own world class free flight bird sanctuary. The unique two-hectare dome (the World’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest and is sanctuary to a myriad of birds that can be viewed up close.

Birds of Eden was developed to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds and miniature monkeys. The sanctuary also allows bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing the necessary rehabilitation.

The aviary is open for you to roam around, no guide is required so you may spend as much time as you like watching the birds.

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Monkeyland

The world’s first free multi-specie primate sanctuary

At Monkeyland guests have the rare opportunity to walk amongst these fascinating creatures, that remind us so much of ourselves.

On the guided safaris you can expect to see a variety of primates, ranging from the Gibbons of Asia to the Lemurs of Madagascar. The knowledgeable rangers will tell you about these fascinating mammals as you encounter them roaming free in the forest. They also point out, identify and explain the many wonders of life in the forest, from the rich diversity of bird life to the intricate workings of the forest itself.

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Whales, Dolphins & Seals Watching

Experience our incredible marine life by boat

What better way to see these beautiful sea creatures than by boat, with a knowledgeable guide who will share interesting information about why they are so important to the balance of nature.

Summer = Dolphin Season!

In summer you have a very good chance of spotting the rare, gregarious Humpback Dolphins found in only certain areas of the South African coastline. You can also likely to see Bottlenose Dolphins and Common Dolphin. We will take you to the Robberg Seal Colony, the natural habitat of about 5,000 noisy, fun-loving seals.

Duration 1 ½ – 2 Hours (please be there 30 minutes before the time)

Winter = Whale Season!

In winter there is a very high likelihood that you will see the Southern Right and Humpback whales. Tours include the Robberg Seal Colony (home to +/- 5000 seals) and other marine life of the day.

Duration 1 ½ – 2 Hours (please be there 30 minutes before the time)

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Boat Trips

Float along the scenic waterways of the Garden Route

The Keurbooms River in Plett and the Knysna lagoon are two of the most picturesque waterways on the Garden Route. Take a leisurely boat trip to kickback and experience the pristine natural beauty of the area.

Plettenberg Bay

Keurbooms Ferry

Travel upstream between the gorge walls of the un-spoilt Keurbooms Nature Reserve by ferry and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.

Ferry Cruises

Morning Trips:
11h00-Duration 2.5 hrs
Afternoon Trips:
14h00-Duration 2.5hrs
Sundowner:
17h00-Duration 2.5 hrs

Knysna

Featherbed Tours

Feather Bed Nature Reserve

This trip takes you across the lagoon to the Western Head of the Nature Reserve, where a guide and a 4×4 buggy will take you up the headland into the private reserve, stopping at the spectacular viewpoints along the way. After your tour you can enjoy a buffet lunch at the outdoor restaurant under the Milkwood trees. There is also an optional 2.2km walk through coastal forest, fynbos and ocean caves.

Duration: 3 -4 Hours. Bookings Essential

John Benn & The Paddle Cruiser

Take a leisurely cruise around the Knysna Lagoon to the Heads on the double decker floating restaurant, the John Benn or the 4 star restaurant on the paddle-driven, Paddle Cruiser. Full bars are available on both boats.

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Sailing

Luxurious sailing experiences

Set sail aboard a luxury yacht for a cruise through the Knysna Heads, while enjoying a glass of South African sparkling wine and a seafood platter.

An experienced crew will take you sailing on the famous Knysna Lagoon in the Garden Route. Sail out past the Heads and towards Buffalo Bay. On return, anchor is weighed in the calm waters of the lagoon. Feast on a spread of delectable Mediterranean delicacies and enjoy a refreshing swim before returning to the quays. Witness incredible rock formations, caves, pelagic birds, whales and dolphins unique to this internationally acclaimed Eden.

Sunset Cruise:

Duration:2.5-3 hours

Departs:May-Sep 3pm, Feb-Apr 4pm, Dec & Jan 5pm

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High Speed Boating

An adrenalin rush!

Hold on and get ready for speed! Knysna and Plettenberg Bay offer high speed and high thrill boat rides in RIB Boats.

For those adrenalin-junkies wishing to get out on the water and feel the rush of the air as they speed down the coastline – this is not for the faint hearted.

Duration:1.5 hours

(please be there 30 minutes before the time) and set departure times are applicable.

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Surfing

Ever dreamed of catching that wave and riding the tube…

Plettenberg Bay is not only one of South Africa’s most beautiful bays, but also one of the most perfect surfing destinations on the Garden Route.

Experienced surfers can head to the beach and enjoy some awesome rides while those wanting to learn have access to some of the best surf instructors in South Africa. These instructors will offer you a carefully designed programme that will have you up and riding in no time. We warn you, once you’ve experienced the thrill of dropping down the face of a wave and riding one of nature’s wonders, you’ll be hooked for life!
All ages Welcome! All lessons are tide, weather and swell dependent

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Kayaking

Head out onto the open water

Experience the sea in a kayak and get a glimpse of Plettenberg Bay’s beautiful mountain scenery and dramatic coastline from the ocean.

Kayak with an experienced guide from Central Beach to Robberg Nature Reserve. When you reach Robberg Nature Reserve you will kayak amongst the seals at the seal colony. Your guide will introduce you to Robberg Nature Reserve and our wonderful marine life in the bay. In whale season you will encounter these majestic mammals on your tour. All equipment is provided and beginners are welcome.

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Bungy Jumping

The ultimate thrill!

For those looking for extreme excitement – Bloukrans Bungy Jump is it! Bloukrans is the World’s Highest Commercial Bungy Jump at a whooping 216m.

Once you are secured in a full body harness, you walk along a specially designed catwalk (216m long), which is suspended beneath the road surface.  This leads you to the top of the arch – 216m above the Bloukrans River. Here you will be given final instructions by the highly experienced staff, a countdown and BUNGY!!

Bloukrans utilizes pendulum bungy technology ensuring you the smoothest, most comfortable bungy jump possible.

Duration:+-2 hours. You need to be at the bungy an hour before you scheduled time

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Sky Diving

Live life to the fullest!

Free-fall over one of the most scenic drop zones in the world.

This thrilling experience begins with a short safety briefing. Then enjoy a 20-minute plane flight to 10,000 feet, over the Knysna forests and Plettenberg Bay coastline. Now the leisurely, scenic plane flight ends and the adrenaline starts to pump as you exit the plane with your Tandem Master and experience the rush of a 35 second free fall at 200KPH!

Duration:+-3-4 hours

*Subject to weather conditions

*Pre booking essential

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Horse Riding

Scenic horseback riding trails

Either take a ride through the forests and hills of the surrounding area or experience a horse safari on a nature reserve and catch a glimpse of some of Southern Africa’s wild animals.

Forest Ride or Fynbos

Duration: 1 or 2 or 3 hour rides

Horse Safari

There is no better way to view the game than from horses. The game is accustom to horses and so allows them to wonder up close. On horseback you can go to areas where vehicles can’t access and are free to roam with the game or track them down. Feel the grass and bush brush past you, breathe in the fresh air around you and listen to the sounds of Africa.

Duration: +- 2 hours. Times are either 10h00 or 15h00 daily (weather permitting)

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Shark Cage Diving

Great White sharks, up close and personal

Experiencing these majestic beasts in their natural environment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is a wonderful privilege and an extreme adventure.

Mossel Bay (162km from the lodge) is renowned for its Shark Interactions and is perfect for those looking to meet these terrifying giants of deep.

Your day trip… What’s included & some friendly advice!

  • Buffet breakfast at launch site
  • light lunch,snacks & refreshments on boat
  • Diving & Viewing
  • Wet suites & dive equipment supplied and available in all sizes
  • Afternoon tea upon arrival back at the harbour
  • Certificate of your White Shark Experience

Please don’t board our boat without:

Sunscreen, towel, swimwear (if diving), camera, hat or cap (we sell really cool ones) & a warm jacket. If you are prone to motion sickness…
Hmm! No train smash… Just make sure you take a seasickness tablet the night
before and again 2 hours prior to boarding the boat.

Duration: 4 hours

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Mountain Biking

The Garden Route is a mountain biker’s paradise!

The mountain bike rides are breathtaking journeys through the forest with easy jeep tracks or single-track routes. No matter what your level you will enjoy the beauty, the thrill and the challenge of these well-designed routes.

Mountain bikes and helmets are available for hire at the routes. For those with their own bikes the routes start at the Garden of Eden and maps outlining the routes are available.

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Hiking

Beautiful trails to suit everyone

Tsitsikamma, Featherbed and Robberg are a few of the Nature Reserves in the area that offer a variety of different walks and hikes. From tough 4-hour treks along the scenic Robberg Peninsula to the more relaxed wander through the Garden of Eden Forest.

Robberg Nature Reserve

The Robberg Peninsula is a nature reserve and national monument that lies about 8km south of Plettenberg Bay, a prestigious coastal resort on South Africa’s famous Garden Route. Follow the airport road from town and look for the turn-off to the left.
The reserve is situated in an overlapping region of winter and summer rainfall. There is an increased likelihood of showers between August and November. The ecology of the Robberg Peninsula is similar to that of other rocky headlands on this coastline. It presents a fine example of how plants and animals adapt to the interacting influences of land and sea.Robberg offers a choice of three circular routes of increasing difficulty and distance. The round trip via the Point takes about four hours. It is dangerous at high tide and not recommended for young children. Water, hiking shoes and hats are essential. Always be prepared for sudden changes in weather.

Duration: Walks from between 1 hour and 5 hours

Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park is a multi-dimensional destination with dramatic coastal scenery, reefs, rivers, lush forest and delicate Fynbos. Tsitsikamma National Park protects a wonderland of inter-tidal and marine life. This is one of the largest Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the world, conserving 11% of South Africa’s Temperate South Coast rocky shoreline.
Approximately 30% of the park is covered in fynbos (Cape Floral Kingdom), scattered amongst the forest vegetation, boasting a wide variety of beautiful flowers, including proteas and heath.
The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates various cultural heritage sites ranging from Khoisan cultural heritage sites such as caves, shell middens and rock art to more recent cultural historic sites, such as the ruins of small fisher settlements, remnants of the past forestry industries and grave sites. The national park also offers wonderful hikes and one of the most popular is the walk across the swing bridge at Storms River Mouth.

Duration: Anything from 1 hour to whole day or overnight trails

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Golf

World-class golf courses

For the avid golfer there are a number of top class, and PGA recommended, golf courses in the area. Designed by some of the best golfers in the world, like Ernie Els, the opportunity to play these golf courses is well with worth the time.

We recommend the following courses:

Pezula

The Championship Golf Course lies high above the Indian Ocean and the vast Knysna Lagoon – a sweeping spectacle of fairways and greens rolling through the pristine indigenous landscape. The course’s designers, Ron Fream and David Dale have compared the look of Pezula golf course to that of Gleneagles in the Scottish Highlands and Pebble beach on the Monterey coastline. A terrain of rolling fairways, fynbos and eyebrow bunkers make it very difficult to walk this course and golf carts are provided for all golfers. The five different tee options on every hole cater for all skill levels. No two challenges, or views, are alike.
Bookings essential

Simola

The Simola course offers challenging and rewarding golf amidst spectacular scenery. Set below the high ridges, it’s free from the wind that so often plagues coastal courses. Fairways flow with the natural undulating contours of the terrain and the unusual configuration of five par 5’s and five par 3’s adds a new dimension to the game. Exceptional views are par for the course, look out across the Knysna Lagoon all the way to the Heads or over the picturesque Knysna River as it twists and turns through the valley below.
Bookings essential

Goose Valley

Goose Valley golf course is a world-class course set in the indigenous fynbos. The course is in stunning condition12 months of the year. It is built on pure sand with excellent drainage properties and uses recycled water from the Gans “Goose” River that meanders through the Estate. Players will experience breathtaking views of the lagoon, the ocean and the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the beauty of the natural fynbos and an abundance of animal and bird life.
Bookings essential

Plettenberg Bay Golf Course

Upgraded by Rob O’Friell, in 2000, the 18 superb, new bent-grass greens have been built to USGA specifications. There new shapes and slopes plus the new bunkers and water features have created a challenging and beautiful course. The golf course is set in a park-like, proclaimed nature reserve and is the pride of the golfers of Plettenberg Bay. The 470m par-five 4th hole plays particularly long in a southeaster when the average golfer will have little chance of reaching the water-guarded green in two, and sometimes even in three. By contrast the 11th is only 110m long, one of the shortest par-threes in the country. The 300m par-four 14th is a sharp dogleg-left which features two tall oak trees on the left-hand side of the fairway, just after the hole curves towards the green. The foliage makes for a challenging drive.
Bookings essential

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Cultural Tours

Local Township Tours – experience the vibe!

Plettenberg Bay and Knysna are rich in culture and heritage. A unique experience is to head into our local townships to experience the incredible vibe and energy that exists amongst local residents in the area.

Knysna: Emzini Tour

Meet the locals who live in the energetic Knysna Township. Visit the local stores, have your hair cut or styled at a local hairdresser and see how the brightly illustrated Nigerian restaurant operates. You can visit the shebeen (pub) and play a round of snooker or listen to the jukebox music.

The trip takes you past the Paula Whitney Pre-School, teeming with exuberant, laughing children, where you will be given the most amazing welcome. You have no choice but to interact with them and they will sing their joyous songs for you, including the South African National Anthem.

Then a visit with the “Women of Vision” – a self employed team of motivated women who have a sewing group and create some beautiful articles that make great gifts and memories of South Africa. You can have a go on the African drums, and see just how difficult it is to get that rhythm! Many other sights are pointed out along the way – Video shops, Tailors, Cell phone shops, great views, interesting people and houses. Then we head back to town, after a three hour exciting, happy trip, that people are always sad to end with Emzini Tours.
Experience Emzini in the Knysna Township and by the end you will see why WE LOVE AFRICA!

Duration:+-3 hours

Plettenberg Bay: Qolweni Township Tour

Ocean Blue Adventures and the Qolweni Community Development Trust offer guests a unique experience through the heart of the Qolweni Community settlement surrounded by magnificent views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains.

Explore the everyday life of a real African. Our guided tour informs you of interesting facts about the Xhosa history and Tribal culture. Meet the local children at the crèche and be entertained by their beautiful voices in song. See where the locals buy their everyday essentials. Gain understanding of the life of a sangoma while you are introduced to their homes.

Our Township tours offer close and personal interaction with the local community. Ocean Blue Adventures is investing in environmentally correct measures, such as the Program of Community Vegetable Gardens. This project, with relatively small contribution of resources, can benefit and reach a great number of people living in Qolweni, with only 20% of this community employed is fulfilling an essential need.

Guests meet with their guide at the Ocean Blue Shop and depart for the memory bridge (Bridge over the national road leading into Qolweni). On crossing over the bridge we take a walk to the Siyakula Pre-School where Teachers welcome guests with the children. Guests get a full tour of the school, ending with the children in choir. From the school guests move towards the local backpackers where they will be introduced to the woman of the community, they will be taken to the spaza shop and shabeen before meeting some locals at their homes. The tour ends at the Siyakhula nursery school before departing back to the Bridge.

Duration:+- 1-2 hours

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Retail Therapy

Shoppers Paradise

There are a myriad of specialty stores, areas with a variety of galleries and boutique style shops that will keep any shopper busy, and husbands why not grab a coffee in a local coffee shop and watch the world go by.

Knysna

Thesen Island, Main Road Knysna, Woodmill Lane

Plettenberg Bay

Global Village, Main Road Plettenberg Bay, Market Square, Old Nicks

Shopping Highlights:

Galleries:

  • -Thesen Island, The Upper Deck Centre, Plett

Interiors:

    • -Wylandt (Knysna)
    • -The Beach House (Knysna & Plett)
    • -Bayside Interiors (Plett)

African and Craft:

        • -Global Village, The Heath

Food Markets & Deli’s:

        • -Plett Main Road Market (especially Friday evenings from 18h00)
        • -Masheesha and Sedgefield Markets (Saturdays only 9-12)
        • -Il de Pain (Knysna)
        • -Thyme and Again (Keurbooms)

Ceramics:

      • -Pret-a-Pot (Old Nicks)
      • -The Potter (N2)
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In the Area

Explore the famous Garden Route

Your stay at Tsala can be combined with a trip to other parts of Southern Africa, or an exploration in and around the scenic Garden Route area.

Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route: Plettenberg Bay is characterised by unspoilt golden beaches, a dramatic rocky peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and fresh rivers and sea. More than a village Plettenberg Bay is accessible by first class national roads, by sea or by scheduled air flights. Plettenberg Bay is renowned for its teeming bird life, vast expanses of Cape flora, its wetlands and lagoons, gigantic trees and a bay large enough to harbour great whales. With its exceptional climate, and beautiful view sites over the Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Bay is perfect for tourists interested in exploring, watching or just lazing.

Plettenberg Bay justly lays claim to the title of the South African whale watching capital. The southern right whales can be seen for the whole season and when they are getting ready to leave in early November, the humpback whales arrive with their calves, and stay until the end of December or early January. A truly memorable sight!

Dolphin and whale watching in Plett is accessible, organised and easy to arrange. There are whale watching boat trips, dolphin-watching kayak trips and a number of aircraft from which you can check out the whales from the air. Plettenberg Bay has made a huge effort to promote a responsible boat-based whale and dolphin watching programmes. Viewing distances and time spent with each animal are strictly monitored so that there is minimal interference.

Knysna

Knysna is a natural paradise of lush, indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches. The village nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon, now a protected marine reserve that is home to the extraordinary sea horse and over 200 species of fish. Beaches, lakes, mountains and rivers provide endless opportunity for leisure and outdoor adventure. Within the town, craft shops, flea markets and cosy cafés beckon with small-town charm and hospitality. The area around Knysna is a veritable Garden of Eden. This is home to the only forest elephant in South Africa, the rare Pansy Shell, the brilliantly coloured, and elusive, Knysna Loerie, a plethora of waterfowl and forest birds, dolphins and visiting whales.

The indigenous forests in Knysna constitute the largest complex of closed-canopy forest in southern Africa, whilst the remarkable richness of the Fynbos vegetation contributes over 8000 plant species to the Cape floral kingdom. Exploring the Knysna forests along demarcated walks, listening to the occasional call of the Loerie provides an escape into the past when herds of elephants still trod these paths. Reading Dalene Matthee’s ‘Circles in a forest’ set in the Knysna forest, will greatly enrich your visit here. Today merely three elephants are still known roam the forest. The Knysna Elephant Park has brought the elephants back to Knysna, all the elephants are former orphans rescued from culling operations in the Kruger Park, except for Thandi who was born in the park.

A visit to Knysna would be incomplete without a trip to the heads – a striking geological feature made up of a pair of huge, brightly coloured cliffs lying at the mouth of the lagoon, flanking a channel of potentially treacherous water that flows into Knysna’s lagoon. The eastern head houses a lookout with spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna whilst the western head is a privately owned nature reserve called Featherbed Bay. Visitors can get to the reserve via ferry.

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Pamper Treatments

Treat yourself and relax

Tsala means “elevated resting place’ in Swahili and that is exactly what you can do when staying with us. Put your feet up, read a book, or pamper yourself with a massage in the comfort of your room.

Tsala offers a variety of in-room treatments such as massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and reflexology. We use qualified therapists from reputable salons. Pamper treatments are available between 07h00 -19h00 and are subject to the availability of a therapist.

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Treetop Canopy Tours

See the world from the treetops

A Canopy Tour® takes you on an unforgettable adventure as you slide from one platform to the next along a series of steel cables set amongst magnificent natural surroundings.

Experience one of South Africa’s fastest growing eco-adventures with thousands of satisfied thrill-seekers having already caught the bug. The scenery high up within the forest canopy is spectacular. Enjoy the view from above while taking in waterfalls and spotting birdlife in the surrounding trees. Professional guides will assure the safety of each group and point out interesting facts along the way.

Professional guides will assure the safety of each group and point out interesting facts along the way.

Duration: 3 hours (please be there 15 minutes prior to your reserved time slot)