The Karkloof Canopy Tour Overview
The Karkloof Canopy Tour® is a unique eco-experience that takes people on a 3-hr adventure through the magnificent Karkloof indigenous forest. The canopy tour involves traversing from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30m above the woods floor. The tour comprises seven platforms and eight slides that zig-zag down a pristine forested valley. The scenery and birdlife are spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the tour.
The tour begins with a detailed safety briefing followed by a 'kitting up' session where full body harness, pulleys and climbing equipment is put on and safety-checked. A short scenic drive to the top of the Karkloof Valley and it is time to monkey around!
From the start, on the launch platform, a new world unfolds as one gently glides on a steel cable to the first platform. All groups are escorted through the forest canopy by a lead guide and a follow guide to ensure your safety as you slide from tree to tree. The platforms are built high up in the forest canopy, and all offer different views of the surrounding forest, a magnificent 20m waterfall, clear sparkling forest stream and across the expansive Karkloof valley far below.
Spend a couple of minutes relaxing on the platforms while your guides enthusiastically explain the ecology of the woods - pointing out different trees and the magnificent giant ferns way below. The bird life is incredible. This includes the opportunity of spotting Emerald Cuckoos, Knysna Loeries, a wide variety of raptors and if you are lucky, the elusive Narina Trogon or endangered Cape Parrots. The forest is also home to a variety of mammals, but it is the loud calls and fearsome tree swinging of the Saramago monkeys that you will remember best.
The Karkloof Canopy Tour® consists of seven platforms and eight 'foes' slides, the longest of which is over 170m! A tour lasts approximately three hours, is suitable for most people between the ages of seven and seventy and includes a delicious Midlands meal served once your group is safely back on the ground.
Canopy Tours History
Canopy tours originated in the lush rainforests of Costa Rica where adventurous biologists, desperate to study the diversity of animal life that habituates the upper canopy level of forests, devised a system of cables and platforms that would allow them to explore this previously inaccessible ecosystem. It wasn't long before this developed into a breathtaking eco-tourism activity that not only allowed people to enter and experience the upper realm of a rainforest but raised awareness to the plight and beauty of the world's endangered indigenous forests.
Construction of the Karkloof Canopy Tour® has been done by strict civil engineering standards. The system was designed and constructed by Tree Top Tours, creators of the internationally acclaimed Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour® on the Garden Route. A full environment impact study was undertaken to ensure that the forest ecology would not be harmed in any way. The subsequent environmental management plan was submitted to and then approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism before construction began.
Safety is paramount and the Karkloof Canopy Tour® uses state of the art climbing and security equipment. Concept to completion has seen eight months of ducking vines, climbing large trees and carrying heavy cables through the forest.
The Karkloof Canopy Tour:
- Canopy tour lasts between 2 - 2.5 hours
- 4 x 4 trip to the first platform
- Guides - the option to go tandem with a guide is open to anyone
- Refreshments - snack while on the tour, fruit juice and water served with the meal
- Light Meal: toasted ham, cheese & tomato sandwich with two side servings of salad