Zipline through Oribi Gorge

Once upon a time our planet broke up, folded, sunk and erupted, leaving us with a dramatic but thankfully stable landscape epochs later, writes Jess Nicholson.

Zipline through Oribi Gorge

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At Oribi Gorge you’ll meet foresty chasms of this deep earth, carved by water and inhabited mostly by buck, leopard and abundant birds. The views from the hotel and spa are panoramic from every angle. Huge glass doors and windows surround lounges, bar and bedrooms. It’s impossible to say which vista is best. Hop on a mountain bike, join a game drive or visit the vulture colony. The Lazy Cycad walk takes you steeply down to the Mzimkulwana River (a challenge if you’ve been relaxing in an armchair, idly staring at the gorge).

Feeling brave? Swoop over the forests, river and a tunnel on the Gorge’s zipline – Africa’s longest at 4,5 kilometres – then slide a lightning-fast, vertical kilometre, heading for what feels like Earth’s core.

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Do It

Access the ziplines (long version R550 per person, vertical R360 per person, no children) via neighbouring Lake Eland. Only kids 12 years or older can stay at the hotel. Suites cost from R1 675 per person sharing and the villas from R2 100. Breakfast is included; dinner is by chef Chris Whitham, up there with the country’s finest. Pamper heads, toes and in-between bits at the spa. Day trippers welcome. thegorge.co.za