On each of the four courses, Acrobranch offers various levels of difficulty ranging from easier to the more difficult routes. What’s so great about this is that you never have to do an obstacle you are not comfortable with. For example, one of the more challenging obstacles is the Tarzan swing, where you swing from a rope onto a large net before moving on to the next platform. If this is not for you, you simply move to an alternate route that misses this obstacle altogether – no one is the wiser and your ego remains firmly intact.
As quality and customer safety at all times is a priority at Acrobranch, harnesses and the latest equipment have been imported from overseas. In fact, the Pretoria North Acrobranch can boast the first continuous safety line in the business, which means that one cannot, under any circumstance, detach from the line, thus avoiding injury.
Prior to the start, our guide Matt Bourdrel went through all the safety precautions as this obstacle course can be quite dangerous if you aren’t properly prepared. After our briefing and to get us into the swing of things, we were taken to site one, the practice site. This is where we would get used to maneuvering the ‘Hook’ carabiner around the continuous safety-line plates that are used to move around the course. Once we had mastered this technique, we whizzed our way to the next site.
Each site has different obstacles, such as bridges, loose logs to walk along, nets and so on, to keep you on our toes and in anticipation of what comes next.
Many of the obstacles are high up in the trees, thus requiring good balance and a strong mind (and stomach) for those who are afraid of heights. However, the sound of live country music filling the air from the Musaiek Restaurant down below while maneuvering through the trees or waiting for the others to cross the obstacles creates a very chilled vibe and does help to calm any nerves.
Although somewhat nerve-wracking at first, each new obstacle helped to build our confidence. From delicately attaching our pulley onto the line and slowly stepping off the first platform, we were soon taking a running start to go faster down the zipline. Adding to the thrill and what made the ride even more fun was how each site ended off with ziplining, which got progressively longer, ending with the fourth site offering up a whopping 300 m zipline.
Acrobranching is a lot of fun, but you have to be 9 years or older, with a height restriction of 1.4 m, to go on the Pretoria North courses. Therefore, to cater for kids who are younger and or shorter than this, plans are already in place to build a kid’s obstacle course later this year. What is available to them, while the adults are having loads of fun in the trees, are various other fantastic entertainment options, including pony rides, target shooting, playing on the jungle gym and more. There’s also great food and refreshments available on site from the Musaiek Restaurant, which can be enjoyed before or after the obstacle courses.
From ziplining and walking across narrow and wobbly bridges, to trying not to look down when you’re so high up, the different obstacle courses were a fantastic experience and definitely something worth a try.