Skydiving Johannesburg – An Experience For Adrenaline Junkies

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The answer most people give is ‘flying’! And because humans are so awesome, we’ve come up with a way to pretty much do it.

The first ‘skydive’ was in 1797 and done by the inventor of the parachute, André-Jacques Garnerin. He jumped just over 3000 feet out of a hydrogen balloon and boy, have we come a long way since then. Over and above an extra 8000 feet long.

Skydiving should be at the top of the bucket list for all adventure junkies. What better way to get your adrenaline pumping then free-falling from a plane and then sailing back down to earth with the feeling of flying?

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the thrilling experience and how to conquer skydiving in Johannesburg just right.

Solo Or Tandem Skydiving

The first question anyone jumping needs to answer is whether they will be jumping solo or in tandem.

Tandem Skydiving Johannesburg

First-timers generally choose to tandem skydive because of safety and to simply be present and enjoy the jump. Jumpers don’t have to worry about procedures and technicalities. A tandem sky-dive is when the newbie is hooked up, via secure harness straps and carabiners, to a professional.

The participant sits in front of the professional and is attached back-to-stomach. The professional skydiver is in control of the deployment of the parachute and navigates your descent and landing. All you have to do is scream and enjoy.

Sky-dive Tandem Johannesburg in Bedford offers, as the name suggests, jumping in pairs. The instructions are clear and concise (taking just 15 minutes) leaving the jumpers feeling confident and safe. Sky-dive Tandem Johannesburg is one of the closer skydiving operations to the center of Joburg. It is quick and convenient but doesn’t hold back on thrill and excitement.

Sky-divers jump at 11 000 feet giving breathtaking views of Johannesburg with a six-seven minute canopy ride.

Solo Skydiving Johannesburg

Solo skydiving is to jump alone. You are the master of your dive and totally in control. There are two main ways to progress to jumping alone and the process can be surprisingly quick.

The first method is by doing the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) course. It is the quickest way to do a skydive with a freefall alone. Students train at ground school (for six-seven hours) and can find themselves jumping on the same day (weather permitting). Your first three jumps, for the first three levels of AFF, are assisted by two instructors. The AFF is made up of 10 levels and can be completed between 2-8 weeks.

The second method of learning to jump solo is the static line approach. This process takes longer for participants to be able to freefall before deploying the parachute. The parachute is attached to the aircraft and is automatically released as you exit the plane.

Parys Skydiving

Parys is a small town along the Vaal River that has breathtaking natural beauty creating excellent views from the sky. Skydive Parys is the top center for skydiving in this adventure capital. It has won multiple awards and offers participants a professional, efficient, and safe jump for all levels of skydivers.

The skydive center is an hour outside of Johannesburg and a two-hour drive from Pretoria to Parys. It’s located in the Vredefort Dome, a UNESCO world heritage site. Vredefort Dome is the oldest meteor hit recorded so far on earth. Not only is the history of the landscape interesting, but it is also beautiful.

Skydiving Parys can be done in tandem or solo, doing the AFF course. To skydive on the Vaal means that your birds-eye-view of the rolling hills and river will only heighten the rush of jumping out of a plane.

Parys Skydiving Prices

The tandem skydiving packages start at R2200 ($149) and go up to R3150 ($213). The AFF course is priced at R3300 ($223) for level 1.

Skydiving Pretoria

Pretoria is roughly 50kms from Johannesburg city center. But the distance varies quite substantially depending on where you are based in the city. However, this commute is common and is facilitated by the Gautrain.

Skydive Pretoria is located at Wonderboom Airport which is just north of Pretoria CBD. The center was established in 1964 and has created a very reputable business. The center offers a variety of jumps and really does have something for everyone at all experience levels.

Tandem jumps and AFF courses are offered, as well as fun jumps for advanced skydivers. They also offer courses in wing suiting, freestyling, formation skydiving, canopy piloting, and free-flying. These courses are all geared towards those who are enthusiastic about the sport and eager to experiment and learn new aspects of skydiving.

Skydiving Pretoria Prices

Skydive Pretoria offers the tandem skydive at R2170 ($146) and goes up to R2950 ($199) for the deluxe package.

The AFF level 1 course is R3060 ($206) and also decreases in price as you progress through the levels.

Johannesburg Skydiving Club

The Johannesburg Skydiving Club hosts events, meetings, and, of course, facilitates jumps. While they do tandem skydives for novices, they have also created a space for those who want to invest time and energy into learning and growing in the sport of skydiving.

The Club is located at Carletonville Airfield, an hour drive from Johannesburg CBD. The center offers tandem jumps, the AFF course, a static line course, and sports jumps. What’s more, the center creates a sense of community among skydivers.

Skydiving Prices

Prices of skydiving in Gauteng, and South Africa in general, vary a fair amount. Centers also have various photography and video footage add ons that you can choose, all of which come at an extra fee. Here is a comparison list of tandem skydives and AFF Level 1 prices.

Skydiving Johannesburg Prices

These prices are for the centers based in Johannesburg. This includes Skydive Tandem Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Skydiving Club.

Skydive Tandem Johannesburg

Tandem jumps (11000 ft) start at R1950 ($132) and go up to R2850 ($192) with the deluxe photography and footage option.

AFF is not offered at Skydive Tandem Johannesburg.

Johannesburg Skydiving Club

Tandem jumps (11000 ft) start at R2260 ($152) and go up to R3210 ($216) with the deluxe package.

The AFF level 1 course is R3245 ($218) and progressively decreases as you go through the levels.

Closing Thoughts On Sky Diving

Skydiving has become an iconic activity for thrill-seekers. Will Smith’s speech on his realizations on overcoming fear from skydiving went viral and has put sky diving on the top of the bucket list for so many. The feeling of flying and living life so close to the edge is an experience you will never forget and one you will be begging to do again.

Franschhoek Wine Tram – A Wine Tasting Adventure Near Cape Town

Franschhoek, meaning “French corner” in Dutch, is a picturesque small town found 75 kilometers outside of Cape Town. Franschhoek is in South Africa’s wine country and gives its visitors all of the nostalgia that France does- with a South African twist.

Surrounded by mountains rich with South Africa’s biodiverse fynbos flora, dotted with Cape Dutch architecture, and painted with rolling vineyards- Franschhoek holds magic. It boasts plenty of internationally renowned wineries, some of which date back to the 1700s.

There are many ways to spend your days skipping between vineyards and getting your wine fix. But none are more enjoyable than the are’s classic wine tram. The wine tram in Franschhoek is full of history and culture and is a sure-fire way to make the most of your days sipping Pinot noir and eating cheese.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Franschhoek tram and how to smell, sip, swirl, and swallow all day, the responsible way.

What Is The Franschhoek Tram?

The Franschhoek tram is made up of single and double-decker trams which are designed after the Blackpool Corporation Tramways. The ‘Fran-trams’ are open-sided trams that give up to 78 guests views of Franschhoek like no other. The tram runs between farms, allowing passengers to hop-on and hop-off at the wine farms they want to see and experience.

A branch line, a secondary rail-line, was built in 1904 as an alternative to the route for ox-drawn carriages between Paarl and Franschhoek. This 28-kilometer line was first used to operate steam trains, and later diesel trains (in the 1970s). With railways decreasing in popularity in the 1990s, the line was no longer used.

The line was restored in 2012 and now takes tourists and locals on a wine farm route, giving participants the history of the area and allowing them to take in the glorious lush scenery of Franschhoek.

Franschhoek Wine Farms

If you are unfamiliar with South African wines, the list of foreign wineries along the Franschhoek wine route may be daunting. Here is a list of favorite wine farms and ones to look out for.

Rickety Bridge Winery

Rickety Bridge Winery is the perfect combination of old 19th-century architecture and modern facilities. This luxurious estate has everything you need under one roof; it is a breath-taking wedding venue, a 4-star hotel, and, of course, has its cellar and tasting rooms.

The delectable foods from the restaurant and flavors of the wines are complemented by the bold views of the Wammershoek Mountain range. A balanced merger of timeless and new.

Boschendal

Boschendal has become a household name in South Africa. Producing wines for over 300 years, this winery’s age and wisdom bring with it some of South Africa’s best reds, whites, and pinks.

The farm is unique in that they also grow their own fruit and veg, as well as keep their own livestock. It is a beautiful experience exploring the lands and, of course, sampling their wines.

Maison

Maison has a more modern edge and flavor than the other wineries found in Franschhoek. But don’t let that make you think their wines are any less superior. The Maison wines are delicate and delicious and only elevated by their top-class food and deli.

Noble Hill

Noble Hill Wine Estate is located on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain range. It may appear more humble than other wineries but their wines do not follow suit. The wines boast balance in their fruitiness and fermentation and create a spectacular taste sensation for wine lovers.

Franschhoek Wine Route

The Franschhoek tram has a choice of 8 different lines that explore different areas and vineyards in Franschhoek. The lines have various start times and different numbers of stops meaning there is something for everyone.

For example, if you aren’t an early bird or if your head is still sore from the previous day’s wine tasting then the Blue Route starts at 10:30. This route is also extremely child-friendly making it perfect for families.

All the lines show off Fraschhoek’s best vineyards and have an amazing assortment of activities for participants to enjoy.

Franschhoek Wine Tours

Franschhoek has a wide selection on offer for travelers to experience the natural beauty and gorgeous wines. The Franschhoek Wine Tram tour is definitely the favorite for safety, convenience, and uniqueness. However, here is a list of other great wine tours, offering some more fun ways to be outdoors and get your wine on.

Tips On Wine Tasting In Franschhoek

Wine can have a bit of a pretentious reputation at times. A lot of people can feel out of their depths when first embarking on wine tasting and tours. Here are some handy tips to remember so you don’t get caught out.

  • The four steps of wine tasting are: look, smell, taste, conclusion.
  • The ‘look’ includes swirling your glass and noting how the legs of the wine appear on the glass. Swirling also aerates the wine, allowing it to be more fragrant.
  • ‘Smell’ includes that classic sniff we see being joked about so often. If anything, let the smell of the wine prepare your palette for what’s about to come.
  • Drink water between tastings. Although the option to spit your wine out is always there, and accepted, most participants swallow the modern smaller servings of wine. Help yourself out and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day.
  • Ask questions. If there is anything you don’t understand or would like to know – ask away!
  • Be wary of how much perfume or cologne you wear on the day of tastings as it can alter your smell and taste.
  • Have fun. Snobbiness aside, the most important thing is for you to enjoy yourself.

Final Thoughts On The Wine Tram In Franschhoek

With its beloved tram, Franschhoek has only added to its already memorable experience that all those who stroll through its streets are sure to have. History, culture, and nature come together to create a romantic backdrop for families and solo travelers to enjoy.

An awe-inspiring location made even more blissful with fine food and wine. A combination that leaves everyone full of merriment and great memories (even if some are a bit hazy).