It’s outdoors, it’s challenging, it’s an “aerial tree adventure” – and it’s loads of fun.
Acrobranch Adventure Park is a new attraction in Cape Town, opening its doors in December 2012. Situated on the grounds of Constantia Nek Restaurant, it comprises a series of ropes, ladders, swings and nets that offer an aerial obstacle course in a small glade of tall bluegum trees, with platforms up to eight metres above the ground, and zipwires up to 60m long.
We held our daughter’s 11th birthday party there and it was a great success for active children up for a little adrenaline-driven fun. While a few started off quite nervously, they soon relaxed as they worked out that being clipped in meant that they wouldn’t fall, even if they lost their grip. Soon the girls were pushing themselves through obstacles, testing their strength, balance – and confidence – as they progressed through the courses. In fact, as we saw, children get the hang of it quickly – and tend to take the responsibility of their own safety very seriously (although they may need reminding as they tire towards the end of the course).
If your child finds it a bit heavy going as the course gets higher, they can easily backtrack and keep to a course they are comfortable with. The green course splits into easy and hard routes, allowing climbers to choose their own challenges.
There are three courses, which are staggered in difficulty with obstacles and routes getting a little trickier and higher as each course progresses. While children as young as three are accommodated on the yellow course, they need to be at least 6 years old to go on the green course and at least 1.4m tall to be allowed on the blue course.
Participants are given a harness on entry, and their first stop is the “training section”, where a guide discusses and demonstrates the correct safety procedures. And it IS perfectly safe: each person has two snap-link carabiners tied to their harness, one of which must always be attached to the safety cables that surround all the obstacles.
The Acrobranch guides are gentle, experienced and generally available without being too bossy or domineering. They are trained to help climbers down from any situations they may find overwhelming, and I witnessed kind and clear instructions coming from the guides.
The sessions – which cost between R 80 and R 140 depending on the combination of courses chosen – are time-based, and participants can work their way through the courses as many times as they can fit into two hours.
Bookings are not compulsory, but recommended – especially on weekends and public holidays, when the park can get quite busy. Remember to arrive a little earlier to fit in the 15 minute safety briefing before the two-hour adventure.
It’s advisable to wear comfortable clothes, closed shoes – and to help yourself to a pair of the climbing gloves offered by Acrobranch as the cables and ropes can be hard on the hands.
Bookings and a 50% pre-payment are expected for children’s parties. Things went very smoothly for our daughter’s party, although you are not allowed to bring any food or drink on to the premises as all catering is handled by the Constantia Nek restaurant.
Acrobranch also hosts team building and corporate parties. Because yes… it’s also fun for grown ups.
Acrobranch is located at Constantia Nek, 1 Hout Bay Road, Constantia (At the roundabout at Rhodes Avenue and Constantia Main Road.)
Time: 9am to 5pm Tuesdays to Sundays and public holidays
Cost: R 80 – R 140
Tel: 081 851 1765 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org