The Day I Jumped Off A Bridge In South Africa! (Okay, I Was Pushed…)
April 22, 2014|Posted in: South Africa
After a stint in Jeffrey’s Bay as surfers, our tour group moved on to our next adventure. The first activity was a brilliant zip lining escapade through canopies and over waterfalls, and second was throwing ourselves off a bridge! I’m glad I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, because otherwise this day would have been a total waste. But, when in South Africa, the best thing to do is throw yourself at things (or off things, as the case may be!) because you never know when you’re likely to get the chance to do them again!
The bridge in question is the Bloukrans Bridge, and it is located above the Bloukran’s River, on the N2 Highway at the border of the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in the Tsitsikamma area of South Africa’s Garden Route. It is officially known as the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee at 216 metres (709ft)! The company that runs the bungee is called Face Adrenalin (apt!) and offers both jumps and bridge walking tours.
The jumps cost R790 – which is equivalent to around £45 (at the time of writing) which isn’t TOO bad considering the experience is once in a lifetime for some, but I assume some of you will question why you should pay to jump off a bridge. But hey, each to their own and all that! You are all weighed before you set off along the bridge, harnessed up and led to the entrance. For me, this was actually the scariest bit of the whole thing! The so called ‘walkway’ was actually just metal gratings, in which the long drop into the valley below could be seen. Vertigo, much?
As we reached the mid-point jumping platform, the staff begin the routine of setting up, which of course includes blasting some epic tunes out at full volume (I can only assume to drown out the screams…) One by one, jumpers line up, get strapped securely to the bungee, hop to the edge – and jump. Easy, right? Yeah. That is until you’re the last one left and are bricking it so much you wander what excuse you can use to just run back to the safe place off of the darn bridge!
But, I got up. I walked over. I was attached to the rope and hopped (with help) to the edge of the platform. To be honest, everything from this point on is a bit of a blur. But, luckily – I bought the ever funny video of my jump so I can relive this point of my life over and over! All I remember is thinking; “Just smile. Smile. DON’T LOOK DOWN. Smile…Oh god…” So, after edging precariously to the edge – the two rather helpful gentlemen start a countdown and on “one” instead of letting me not jump, they push me. Seriously.
So what does it feel like, I hear you ask? Well to be honest, it wasn’t scary! You know those dreams you have were you feel like you’re falling? That’s what I thought it would feel like. A horrible ‘ohmygodi’mgoingtodie’ kind of feeling. But actually, in the 5 seconds of falling the feeling is more like being weightless. That’s until the bungee snaps you back to reality. I think the worst part of the jump was the bit between the falling and the hanging upside down above a valley. Especially when I had a panic where I thought that my legs were slipping out of the harness (they weren’t).
After the guy ‘collects’ you from the drop, and helps you back to solid, um, bridge the adrenaline hits you. It’s like nothing else. I could have done it again! I didn’t…but I could have done!
So, do I recommend it? YES! I actually have a little fear of heights, and doing this has actually helped in many respects! And the team at the bridge were all fantastically friendly which made the experience a lot more relaxing. It’s obviously a bit of a laugh watching people cack themselves over and over!
Would I do it again? Maybe. But for now, I think sky diving may be my next adrenaline fix on the list!
As a treat, here’s the link to the video of my jump. I think the best thing about this is I’m trying to put on a brave face, but inside I’m crying…
Have you bungee jumped? What did you think? Would you ever do it again? Let me know below!
Amy is the founder of thewanderlustadventures.com. Currently residing in Reading, UK with a love of adventure travel, writing and photography - she pretty much writes about whatever the hell she wants!
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