IF YOU happen to be in the vicinity of Magoebaskloof and find yourself overwhelmed with great disposition to experience the thrill of sliding through the forest, the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours will take you into the previously unreachable realm of nature, traversing you betwixt platforms built within the upper level of indigenous forest and ancient mountain cliff.
Reminiscent of the recent media tour embarked by members of the Fourth Estate, the journos still can’t stop walking down memory lane…
The Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour is run by Magoebaskloof Adventures (previously Thaba-Metsi Adventures), which takes the whole concept one step further as thirteen platforms have all been individually designed and built overlooking the spectacular Groot Letaba River. It is a journey through the ecology and geology of one of the most spectacular waterfall gorges in the province. The gorge is home to a wide variety of plant, animal and birdlife – watch out for the Giant Kingfisher.
Each platform is joined by the spectacular “foefie” (loosely translated into jumping) cable slide high above the sparkling river, waterfalls and forest floor. Come and relax and absorb the tranquillity of the natural surroundings on each platform.
The canopy tours’ skilled guides ensure the safety of each tour group while describing the fact about the fauna, flora and ecology of the surrounding environment.
According to one of the guides, Jerry Masetla, “It is suitable for anyone, even though weighing 120 kilograms. It is still great for the family, nature adorers, thrill seekers as well as corporate groups.”
While still there, take pleasure in Gecko-tubing. The gecko-tubing excursion commences deep in the gorges at the beginning of the great Letaba River.
This adventure navigates you through tranquil crystal clear water with breathtaking views as well as through some roaring river rapids.
There is also kloofing (canoeing) in the scenic George’s Valley gorge.
This one is for the more adventurers! Explore, float and swim down sections of peaceful water as well as experience bum sliding, rock hopping, hiking, abseiling and waterfall jumping in breathtaking pools. Not for the fainthearted!
The abseiling trip descends 30 metres down a smooth rock face into the majestic Georges Valley gorge, landing in the Great Letaba, also allowing for swimming and relaxing at the bottom underneath the waterfall. Teambuilding activities include a range of exercises that test both mental and physical team capabilities.
Masetla said: “They are designed to improve team dynamics such as communication, conflict resolution, problem solving and cohesion. Whether it is a fun day you are after or a structured team-building programme like, for instance, facilitated goal setting workshops, corporate games or specific team projects, indeed, Magoebaskloof adventures are your one-stop adventure shop!”
A Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour includes light refreshments, transport, lunch, guides and equipment. When all is done, it was time to retire to Zwakala Brewery where journalists were afforded the opportunity to gulp gallons of the golden waters of wisdom which the gracious ancestors have blessed us with. The name Zwakala, actual means come closer and that’s the convivial African spirit behind Magoebaskloof’s first micro brewery.
Nestled in the Magoebaskloof Mountains, its location is as much its signature as its award winning beers and its Blueberry Gin and Tonic on Tap. This charming brewery has enormous windows that overlook the mountains and you can go for a tasting, head out for a picnic or just head for the river with a Zwakala beer in hand.
Even better, sleep over at Zwakala River Retreat within walking distance to refresh your soul after a few beers!
The Brewery is also popular for its wide variety of outdoor games – lifesize jenga, badminton and corn hole.
According to shareholder, Benise Tooley, each batch of beer is handcrafted with nothing unnatural used in the
brewing process, and the most important ingredient is the clear and pure mountain water drawn from the Letaba River.
Tooley said: “As the saying goes, ‘once you have tasted the water of the Letaba, you will never want to leave’. The brewery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-5pm. Brewery tours are available from 11.30am. We are also open over long weekends and most of the public holidays. Group bookings are available during the week!”