Three, two, one, jump. I stepped off the catwalk and into the void, falling 288 feet with my stomach in my throat. The world’s tallest rope swing is a big rush.
I seem to have an addiction to extreme heights lately. Hiking Spain’s Caminito del Rey, floating through the sky in a hot air balloon, and now leaping off the top of a soccer stadium.
That’s the problem with adrenaline junkies, we’re always searching for a more powerful high. Ziplines just don’t cut it anymore. I look forward to tasting fear and the challenge of overcoming it.
Durban’s Big Rush rope swing provided just what I was searching for.
Moses Mabhida Stadium was built for the FIFA World Cup soccer games in 2010, and it’s really a work of art. Beautiful white arches rise 100 meters into the air over the city of Durban.
It can seat 54,000 people for soccer and cricket matches or concerts.
You can ride the Sky Car to the top for amazing 360 degree views of Durban. Or you can hike up 550 stairs and get the same. Only with one hell-of-a-ride back down — on the end of a rope. I chose the 2nd option.
After signing my life away and getting into a harness, we walk to the base of the stairs for a long climb attached to a safety line. Talk about anticipation! You have plenty of time to contemplate what you’re about to do on the long hike to the top of the stadium.
The jump crew secures me into another safety line at the top for the climb down a 10 foot ladder onto a catwalk. It’s very windy up here, which isn’t helping my nerves.
I’m then attached to a 3rd safety line and slowly walk across to the jump point. This is when reality hits you. I’m about to jump from the top of this stadium — 350 feet in the air!
Something that would normally kill a person.
Your brain says “Relax! Everything will be fine.” However your body is not so easily convinced. Many people get to this point, then change their minds.
I step to the edge and marvel at the stadium workers below who look like ants crawling through the grass. The crew finally hooks me into the main line, made of heavy duty webbing.
They count down for me. 3. 2. 1…
Go. I hop off the edge and plummet through the sky with gravity pulling me down faster and faster until I reach 75mph, screaming the whole time.
The rope catches at about 288 feet, and I swing in a long and satisfying arc across the whole stadium with adrenaline coursing through my veins. Yelling in triumph to thousands of empty seats. It’s quick, but intense.
Durban’s Big Rush swing is a wild experience that shouldn’t be missed. ★
(Click to watch Big Rush – World’s Tallest Rope Swing on YouTube)
Location: Durban, South Africa [Map]
Accommodation: Happy Hippo Backpackers
Company: Big Rush!
Cost: R695 (about $65 USD)
Useful Notes: You can buy photos or video of the experience from the crew, or have a friend take them for you from the catwalk or inside the stadium below.
Would you try this crazy rope swing?
Disclaimer: My trip was made possible in partnership with iAmbassador and South Africa Tourism.