The Garden Route along the West Coast is best known for its serene beauty, but it’s also home to hardcore surfers and adrenaline junkies who seek out the most extreme sports and activities they can find to include abseiling, zip-lining, shark-diving, and bungy jumping just to name a few.
Wilderness on Sea
People who enjoy this sort of action-packed adventure are sure to love accommodation that gives their sense of independence free reign. The B&B and self-catering units are operated independently and you can even cook your own food outside on the braai. There is a sense of adventure and privacy that isn’t offered in most hotels where you’re just packed in alongside everyone else like a school of fish. It pairs perfectly with a bungy excursion!
The most popular spot for bungy jumps was the Gouritz River Bridge, but it was closed down in 2009 because the bridge had aged to the point that it was no longer considered to be safe. This historical bridge is where bungy jumps in South Africa all began. The bridge is 65m high and remains the longest running bungy site in South Africa to date. Now the alternate location sees the same amount of visitors, which climbs to more every year.
Bloukrans River Bridge
Face Adrenalin offers bungy jumping here at the Bloukrans River Bridge, which is the world’s highest commercial bungy bridge. There have been world records set at this bridge. In 2008, Veronica Dean made 19 jumps in one hour, and Bill Boshoff made 101 jumps in a 24 hour period. In 2011, after the title for most jumps was taken over by someone else, Scott Huntley regained the record with 107 jumps in 24 hours.
Unlike some other sports which require you to jump from an airplane or to rise in a hot air balloon, or even to glide down to the ground in a paraglider, bungy jumping allows a person to consciously make a decision to jump, to push away any fear or anxiety about the jump and to just do it. Skydiving can have the same effect, but for some people it’s much too scary to contemplate fully, and for them – a bungy jump may be a better way to face the fear. People have said that while you’re falling you get the most incredible and deep thoughts through your mind. It’s as though your body grapples with the idea that you’re going to fall and keep falling, though your mind assures you that you’ll stop and it’ll be fun. During those moments where your body is at war and the thrill of adrenaline goes through your body, transcendence happens.
Stress Relief – Bungy jumping is a big stress reliever. It turns on the autonomic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system responses by surging adrenaline through your body for the jump, which eclipses all other stressors and issues. After you’ve reached the end of the cord, and have gotten back to solid ground, your body becomes awash in serotonin, the happy hormone. You feel warm and relaxed, and completely carefree with a joy that radiates from you. There’s nothing quite like getting rid of your stress by jumping, and it’s symbolic as well.
Face Adrenalin includes a video and t-shirt to purchase after the jump if you like, and also answers some frequently asked questions. Regarding recoil: It’s a smooth bungy, the cord is attached to the back of the bridge which acts like a pendulum swing, so there’s no jerk, just a long loop. Regarding height of bridge: The bridge is 216 meters high but the bungy will only let you go down about 160 meters. There are also no tandem jumps, it’s a single person experience.
If you’re not into the jump, but your partner, friend or whoever you are traveling with is, you can do a bridge walk while they jump instead. It’s a great first step to getting over a fear of heights or falling, and you’ll be supervised at all times by highly experienced and qualified personnel.
When you return, you’re able to shop at their store and eat at the Cliffhanger restaurant and bar, or you can head back to Wilderness on Sea to have your own meal your way while enjoying a sundowner. If you’re facing a large amount of stress in life or you just want to dispell your fear of heights or falling, go for it…JUMP! You’ll find it quite liberating, and you’ll come back like so many others do simply because it’s fun.