This article will answer the following questions:
1. What is zip lining?
2. What are the health benefits of zip lining?
3. Is ziplining safe?
4. Am I qualified for a ziplining tour?
5. What do I wear for a zip tour?
6. Where can I zip line in Kenya?
7. What are the requirements for ziplining at The Forest?
Introduction: Zip lining overview
Ziplining is an outdoor adventure that has been in existence for years. With a steel cable and two poles, you are ready to fly! People who love ziplining are those who want to leave their comfort zones and experience some adrenaline rush. It is both a sport and an adventure, mainly designed for people who have no fear of heights.
In 2018, UAE entered the Guinness World Record after setting up the world’s longest zip line. Stretching over Jebel Jais mountains in Ras Al Khaimah, this zip line measures 2.8km long with speeds of 120kph to 150kph.
Watch a video of the world’s longest zip line tour below:
Ziplining health benefits
Many people plan their zip lining events over the weekend so they can get an opportunity to breathe some fresh air away from office and work. Others do it as a couple to bond.
In Kenya, zip lining has one of the romantic activities for couples in Nairobi.
Watch a mind-blowing Kenyan ziplining proposal below:
In addition, ziplining is linked to a wide range of health benefits. These include but are not limited to:
- Burning calories.
- Reducing blood pressure hence keeping your heart on the check.
- Promoting good respiratory health.
- Helping get rid of stress
- The adrenaline rush is said to help riders get out of their comfort zone, build energy and amp self-esteem.
- Zipping is an outdoor activity that reduces loneliness, depression and improves your interpersonal relationships.
- Improves long-distance vision and gives flyers a sharper vision.
- It boosts mood. Ziplining in nature is similar to bungee jumping, sky diving, and rock climbing. According to studies, such activities help the body to release feel-good hormones.
Common zip line accidents
How safe is zip lining? Will I fall while zip-lining? How many people have died while zip-lining? These are some of the questions that linger in the hearts of most new zip flyers. While it is good to be concerned about your safety, you also need to know that most zip line operators observe high safety standards to avoid accidents.
However, a few fatalities have been reported across the globe. Some of the accidents involve one or more of the following:
- Zipline breakage
- Crashing over the pole, instructor or spectators
- Collision with another flyer
- Falling off the cable
Zipline tour requirements
Regardless of where you are zip lining from, there are some basic requirements you must meet. These are:
#1: Weight requirements for zip lining
In order to be safe on the zip line, you need to meet some weight requirements. Generally, the minimum weight for zip lining is 28kg while the maximum weight limit for zip lining tours is 118kg.
This is because light flyers can easily get stuck on the zip line while being too heavy increases your zip lining speeds, which interferes with safe breaking at the end of the line.
However, different companies have different weight requirements depending on the platform and wind strength. The Flying Fox weight cap for zip lining tours is 120kg, but you need to be below 115kg to fly at The Forest.
#2: Age requirements for zip lining
Most operators allow children as young as 4 years and as old as 100 years to zip line. However, children often fly on shorter and lower zip lines than adults. Ideally, age does not affect safety as much as height and weight do, but you need to consult with your tour guide for direction.
The Forest has not set the minimum age requirement for their tours, but flyers need to be at least 1.4m tall. All children below the age of 18 need to be accompanied by parents or guardians who sign the waiver form on their behalf.
#3: Health requirements for zip lining
Zip lining is an activity that involves heights, adrenaline rush and exposure to the wind. People with acrophobia, asthma and heart problems may not be allowed to fly. Other flyers who have existing medical conditions need clearance from their doctors. In addition, pregnant women are not allowed to zip line for safety reasons.
#4: Safety requirements for zip lining
According to studies, zip lining has the same or even higher danger ranking as rock climbing. As such, you need to wear protective gear to minimize risk. The tour operator must, therefore, supply you with a harness, lanyard, helmet, and gloves that meet international safety standards.
Maybe you are asking; what is the recommended clothing for zip lining? Well, there is no standard dress code for zip lining tours but you need to wear comfortable clothing that can accommodate the harness.
Light clothing should be fine but if it is cold, you can layer up. You can wear snugly fitting pants and tops/t-shirts that do not stack up or billow in the wind. In terms of footwear, it is recommended that you wear sports shoes. If you have glasses, secure them with a strap. For those with long hair, it is a good idea pull it back and tie it to a ponytail.
It is advisable to remove jewelry and empty your pockets before flying. Remove your watch, rings, necklaces, bangles and any other dangling objects that can either fall off or cause obstruction during your flight.
While it is safe to fly in light showers, rain can make the cable slippery and hence increase your chances of causing an accident. However, thunderstorms and wind are a safety hazard; avoid flying in extreme weather conditions.
Finally, always ensure that the line is clear before flying. Do not fly with another person as you may crash or collide as you slide down the slope.
Ziplining locations in Kenya
If you are looking for things to do over the weekend, try zip lining with a friend. All zip lining locations are around Nairobi, taking you as short as 30 minutes’ drive from Nairobi town. The following is a list of all zip lining locations in Kenya:
- Rapids Camp Sagana – This site is outside Nairobi, about 2 hours drive. There are two lines at Rapids Camp measuring 250m and 120m, managed by Flying Fox. According to sources, entrance and tour fees cost about KES 4,500.
- Kompass Ngong Hills – According to SDE, sliding over this 200m zip line will cost you KES 1,000
- The Dam Redhill in Limuru – Flyers slide over a real dam for only KES 300-1,000 per head.
- Machakos Peoples Park – This is one of the most affordable zip lining sites. With two zip lines measuring 200m and 300m long cables, a tour will cost you KES 500.
- Bofa Beach Resort – This resort organizes zip lining challenges in Kilifi at a rate of KES 1,500.
- Kereita Forest in Kimende
Zip lining tours at Kereita Forest
This is the zip lining site that is closest to Nairobi. It will take you only 45 minutes to drive to The Forest. A tour lasts between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the course.
The Forest has 6 zip lines namely:
- The Colobus Catapult (425m)
- The Eagle’s Nest (385m)
- The Flying Elephant (385m)
- The Big Sky (360m)
- The Lumberjack (330m)
- The moo..ving Target (325m)
The Forest ziplining requirements
Watch a video of tourists zip lining at The Forest here:
- Forest entry fee. The Forest is located inside Kereita Forest, which is managed by Kenya Forest Service. The forest entry fee is KES 200 for adults and KES 50 for children below 18 years. The KFS paybill number is 770279 and the account number for Kereita Forest is 130113.
- Good car. You will need an off-road vehicle that can cruise a rough terrain.
- Ziplining ticket. Tours at The Forest begin at 9.00 am and end at 4.00 pm. You need to buy a ticket in advance especially on weekends and over the holidays. Call 0711-11-22-33 or 0711-22-33-66 for reservations. You will be guided on how to pay. If you do not have a ticket, you can buy at the reception desk on site. You may have to wait for 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you are taking the 2-line course, you will pay KES 1,800 but the 6-line tour goes for KES 2,800.
- Minimum height of 1.4m and maximum weight of 115kg.
- Comfortable clothing.
- Protective gear supplied by the tour operator.
- Sign a waiver form.
Have you zip lined at any of the locations mentioned, and how was your experience? Share with others in the comments box below.