If you ever find yourself on the Kwazulu Natal South Coast, a visit to the Oribi Gorge is an absolute must! Only a short drive away from Port Shepstone (29km’s) one will find the Oribi Gorge. Another jewel in South Africa’s heavily adorned crown… Although there are many places to visit in this relatively unknown area I am going to focus on the Oribi Gorge Hotel and Wild 5 Site in this post.
There are quite a few activities available at this lodge – my favourite is the Wild Swing…
The Wild 5 site offers as main attraction, a 100m gorge swing, the highest swing of its kind in the world… The free fall is a mind numbing 75 meters!
For somebody with a natural fear of heights, it constantly amazes me that I have fallen in love with ‘getting some air.’ (Thanks for the phrase Noel!)
Standing on the edge of a 130 meter high cliff, just before you launch yourself over the edge is a very sobering experience indeed. Questions about mortality, responsibility and the meaning of life in general flash through your brain like lightning, all to be pushed aside when the jump master starts to count ‘THREE! (You must be crazy – I’m not going), TWO! (Didn’t you hear me!? This is madness!!) ONE! (Oh no, please don’t say it…) BUNGEE!! (Aaaaaaaarrrrgghhh….)
Panic, total panic sets in for a moment as the earth falls away in front of you while feet and arms scramble for a non existent hold on terra firma. After what feels like and eternity, the cable starts to tighten and the lateral acceleration starts (the story that your body experiences a jerk is an old wives tale and promoters of this theory should be hung, drawn and quartered.) By this time one has normally recovered from the first shock, as you realise that ‘It’s holding! I’m not going to hit the ground!’ Skimming the tree tops at close to 180km’s an hour is really something one should try at least once in your life. Scared? Nothing wrong with that – if you’re not, go see a shrink… I believe the whole success of this kind of activity is the complete turnaround between total panic and euphoria. Do this, and you will see life in perspective again. All the obstacles in your life suddenly seem small and insignificant. You will often hear people say – ‘if I can do this, I can do anything!’ Complete with the broadest smile they’ve had in years…
The Wild 5 site also offers Abseiling, the Wild Slide (for the more cautious), off-road go-carting, horse riding- and walking trails as well as White Water Rafting in season. Just sitting back and enjoying the beautiful scenery, or watching the braver souls do their thing is also worthy way of spending the day. Just watch out, you may find yourself joining the fun sooner than you expected… It's exhilirating even for the watchers!
Noel (who runs the Wild 5 site) breathes exuberance into the whole experience with his vibrant and enthusiastic approach, clearly indicating a passion for this part of the world and the operation he is running. Talking to him there is no mistaking that he is someone with a serious ‘lust for life.’ His excitement about the Gorge and the beautiful natural resources of the area is highly contagious and I found leaving the area quite hard after spending some time with him on the edge of the gorge… This same attitude is also very prominent in the rest of his crew who also do their best to make one’s experience as pleasurable as possible. Two thumbs up for Noel, the crew and the Wild 5 site! Thanks for a great time guys!
So, no more dilly dallying – get there as quick as possible and earn your wings…
All of the best and happy trails until we speak again.