FHM's 100 Great Adventures 2009

Posted by , 01 July 2009

Swing off a 33-storey waterfall

Every single fibre in my body is screaming: don’t do it. But the fear of endless pisstaking back in the office outweighs the fear of smashing into the rocks below at 120mph. So, I breathe. I shuffle forward. Then jump head-first off a 33-storey building.

Or rather the natural equivalent thereof. About 120km south of Durban in South Africa lies the Oribi Gorge, a spectacular scar that was carved into the flats of the KwasZulu-Natal by the Mzimkulu river. A breathtaking example of nature’s power, true – but for the nearby Oribi Gorge Hotel, it’s a chance to dick around on ropes. And so, secured in a full body harness, I’ve been strapped into the Wild Swing. I’m perched 130m above the gorge floor on a rocky outcrop not much bigger than my size 12s. They tell me there are leopards in the area, but a bunch of them could jump out and do a number from Mamma Mia!, and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. All my concentration is willing me to step off. And I do.

Instantly the world falls away and for two seconds I’m in freefall until the rope takes. I snap round and blast into a 100m arc and skim over the rocks at the foot of the Lehrs falls. Then I’m laughing maniacally: I’ve survived! And it was amazing. Despite the fact I’ve essentially just fallen off a cliff, I feel like I’ve really achieved something. After being winched back up the snapper looks at me sheepishly: “If you did want to do it again, I could do with more shots.” I don’t need to be asked twice. I’m invincible.

Do it: Only £10 a go! See oribigorge.co.za or southafrica.net

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