Lake Eland launches longest zip tour in Africa

2011-08-10 00:00

LAKE Eland Game Reserve on the South Coast took extreme adventure sport to the next level with the launch of its hi-tech zip-line slide, which takes thrill seekers on the ride of their lives over three kilometres of cable — the longest tour of its kind in Africa

Owners Eric and Trevor Dunstone gave The Witness an exclusive tour of the new adventure set-up, two weeks ahead of its public launch.

“We’re really excited to be adding this to our long list of activities at Lake Eland,” said Eric Dunstone.

“It’s been a year-long project and we’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome.”

The Dunstones invested over R1,6 million in the project and have created new jobs for over 20 local community residents.

“Whoever said tourism isn’t good for job creation is wrong,” explained Dunstone.

“We’re proving that with good planning and innovation tourism is one of the best businesses to be in.

“However, you have to be careful how you position yourself and it is important to diversify your range of activities. Offering only horse riding for example, is not enough to keep you in business.”

“We’re hoping to make Lake Eland a destination for tourists as well as businesses and schools wanting to do team-building exercises,” said Dunstone.

“Trevor has wanted to do this for some time now and we were fortunate to get expert consultants on board to ensure we created the best possible ride.”

Experience comes in the form of Shepstone Barnes, who has been in the zip-line industry for nearly a decade.

He will be managing the business with another experienced zip-liner, Richard Zuma.

Barnes is training the guides with Zuma. “I’m very happy with the outcome of the course,” said Barnes.

“It has the distance, the height and the views. After gliding over the gorge, riders get to slide over the lake, almost touching the water.” The zip line will be open to the public from August 22.

It costs R300 to do the first five slides (about one-and-a-half hours long).

To complete the full, three-kilometre ride of 10 slides (about three hours long) will cost R500.

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