Gauteng Tourist AttractionsOrlando Towers
Where? Chris Hani Road, Klipspruit 318, Soweto, 1809, Johannesburg, Gauteng
How? Call +27 (0)11 312-0450
The iconic Orlando Towers have been converted from being two unsightly cooling towers to being the site of some of the most fun and exhilarating adventure sports in the country. They are situated in Soweto, just outside Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. Soweto itself is an important cultural and historical site, and remains the largest informal settlement (or township) in South Africa. In addition, Gauteng is the wealthiest and most internationally connected province in the country, and is home to the OR Tambo International Airport. All of these factors combine to make the Orlando Towers’ positioning ideal for visitors from around the world.
The Orlando Towers are built on what was originally the site of a coal-fired power station. The building of the Orlando Power Station started in 1935, but took some 20 years to be completed, thanks to unforeseen delays caused by World War II. It was then shut down in 1998 and would stand vacant and unused for another 10 years before being transformed into the awesome adventure and business centre that it is today.
Skyriders is the company responsible for this transformation. Instead of seeing two old remnants of the industria of yesteryear, they saw massive potential. Soon, their facelift saw the Orlando Towers becoming one of Soweto’s most prized attractions, the first bungee jump between cooling towers in the world, and the site of the highest SCAD freefall on the planet. These towers are each 33 storeys high, promising an adrenalin rush that is nothing short of gut-wrenching.
The colourful attraction is a popular spot for a range of adventurous, adrenalin-inducing activities. These include bungee jumping, abseiling, rock climbing, zip lining, pendulum swinging and paint balling. Base jumping and rap jumping is also available, subject to terms and conditions. There is also a booking office here from which visitors can plan and reserve their township tours of Soweto, which is brimming with history, culture, heritage and the people that form the face of the country. The combination of culture and adventure is an apt metaphor for the modern South Africa, where an undeniable vibe is underscored by a long intricate history.
Bungee jumping remains the most popular adrenalin sport at the Orlando Towers, and is available to jumpers of between 35 kg and 115 kg. Children under the age of 18 years are required to have their guardian’s consent to participate in any of the activities here. The staff members are experienced and trained, and the equipment used is of the highest quality to ensure an adventure that is both safe and fun.
After getting your heart pounding and adrenalin coursing through your veins, visit Chaf Pozi, which is a restaurant and entertainment venue that is known for hosting some excellent local talent. The menu includes vegetarian and Halaal options, as well as plenty of meaty dishes.
The Orlando Towers are open from Friday to Sunday, between 10h00 and sunset. The various experiences have different admission fees, and bookings are required for groups of six people or more.