Ziplining to uncover the thrill of an ancient landscape

 
 
 

Silence settles over a dry riverbed in the Waterberg Reserve. The atmosphere is broken by a woman soaring through the trees. Ziplining between mountains, Joyce Monareng is in her element. As she drifts across the valley, the bush becomes a blur and wind rushes past her ears. The butterflies in Monareng’s stomach turn to joy. “The Waterberg zipline tour is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced,” she says. In this ancient landscape, Monareng is propelled to new heights.

Gripping tightly to the wire, a harness the only thing keeping her from falling to the ground below, Monareng zooms past the ordinary. She glides along multiple ziplines, including one that extends for 230 metres. The network of cables in this unique terrain of Limpopo offers far more than an adrenaline rush. Just over an hour away from Pretoria, it gives Monareng a whole new view of the natural world, and of life itself. “From these heights, I can see things clearly,” she says. “I’m reminded of the freedom I feel as a woman living in this era.”

While many people enjoy lush forests or turquoise oceans, Monareng relishes the rough environment of the Waterberg. “I love the rugged and dry beauty of this place,” Monareng says. Home to sandstone mountain ranges and savannah grasses, it marks the history of our country. Declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the Waterberg region has over 5 500 species of plants, and centuries-old San rock art. When Monareng zips through the air, she experiences the diverse environment in a completely different way. Beyond the comfort of our feet on the ground, discovery awaits. “By keeping our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us, we can move past the fear that holds us back,” Monareng says.