Bungee Jumping in Soweto

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

On an innocent Friday evening with our friends at a bar, my sister got into a conversation with a friend from Soweto who suggested that she should jump off of  the Orlando Towers. I was silently thinking w’what a terrible idea’  but my sister was all ‘yea, sounds great!’ I thought her feelings might change after she no longer had a couple vodka sodas in her system. Alas, the next morning her determination became stronger. So on Sunday after dim sum, P and I drove her to her suicide mission in Soweto. If they allowed tandem bungee jumping I was going to force my way onto her jump so my mom wouldn’t be mad at me when she inevitably splattered all over the ground. Luckily for everyone involved, tandem jumping was not allowed.  As we made our way up the rickety elevator I was not-so-secretly relieved that I wasn’t jumping, Neha was staring stoically into the distance and P kept making (sensitive) remarks about what the last height was before we would definitely die if the elevator broke.

At the top (cruelly, cameras weren’t allowed) we chatted with several lovely S’affers and the staff who were telling us about the color-coded bungee ropes and the physics involved, which somehow was not making me feel better. After several minutes it was Neha’s turn to walk the plank. They strapped her in and brought her to the edge. She said they told her she was going down the easy way or the hard way and there was no turning back. She stuck her arms out and they counted to three and she jumped off on her own free will into oblivion.

Luckily there was no splat, but I was having so much anxiety watching it the whole thing that I was screaming like it was me who was doing the jump and digging my nails into P’s back. I think this is a sign that I’m not ready for kids. Neha said (and so have several former jumpees) that the worst part wasn’t the jumping or the recoil but the hanging there while waiting for them to reel her down because it felt like she was definitely going to slip right out of the harness strapped to her feet.  Who is Neha these days? I don’t even know.

You can make a booking but it’s not necessary, they are open from 10-5 Thursday-Sunday.

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

*last photo by staff at Orlando Towers