Oribi Gorge South Africa is one hour’s drive inland from the Indian Ocean, in the province of Kwazulu-Natal 120 kilometres south of Durban. The road from my home town Port Shepstone rises steeply up an escarpment, before levelling out and snaking through lush sugarcane farms that seem to stretch forever across the gently undulating countryside.
General Overview of Oribi Gorge South Africa
The occasional visitor comes upon the 400 meter deep, 5 kilometre wide canyon almost by surprise, as the tarred track descends steeply to a floor carved out by a perennial river. Along the 30 kilometre length are spectacular ravines and crags the local youth conquer regularly although I recommend visitors hiring a guide.
Deep in the Gorge
The canyon was once the home of large families of elephants, although settlers hunted these to extinction. Today, the rich green subtropical vegetation is home to smaller mammals including the shy oribi buck from which it takes its name. Large monitor ‘leguaan’ lizards as long as two meters nest in mud banks bedside the river. The bushes are alive with myriads of birds, while overhead, fish eagles wheel gracefully across the sky. We are in God’s heaven here. Were those the ghosts of elephants I heard trumpeting through the valley.
The Adrenalin Rush Begins!
There are five adrenalin-ripping adventures for thrill seekers here. Daredevils leap off a waterfall to drop 165 meters down the world’s highest swing. Those moderately more cautious can zip-line across the scene, do white river rafting in season, or abseil down the waterfall followed by a 65-metre free-fall. The Swing Bridge is more genteel, although you can look down between the steps and yes, it is a swinger! Discover country hotels nearby here.