Abseiling, Rappeling and Rap jumping in South Africa

Abseiling off the mountains in South Africa.

It's only recently that abseiling, also called rappelling, has become a South African holiday activity in its own right. Really it is just the method climbers use to get off a mountain but it's a great deal of fun. Abseiling is the art of lowering oneself safely down a rope.

Visitors will wear a climbing harness, which is clipped onto the rope with a descending device. They will then walk backwards down the cliff (or building, whatever), supported by the rope and slowly lower themselves down.

Most commercial abseils are belayed which means that if the visitor was to just let go in panic, the trip leader could safely lower him or her down remotely, either from above or below.

Most commercial abseils have an overhang, which means visitors will spend some time suspended in the air - slowly lowering themselves down. There are a number of very scenic and challenging abseils to experience on a South African holiday.

Not far from Knysna, and with fantastic views, you can do a combination abseiling and kloofing (canyoning) trip down the Storms River Gorge, which involves a 100m abseil into the gorge, a tubing trip down the river, a short walk out of the gorge and then a cycle back to the village.

You can also abseil down buildings in Durban and Johannesburg, or even rapp jump if you like. The ultimate adrenaline and scenic rush is hanging out high over Cape Town abseiling from Table Mountain. The 'long drop' is 112m high - and about a kilometre above the city - making it the world's highest commercial abseil.

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