World’s Highest Swings

Zambezi Gorge SwingWhen I was in Zambia, I tried the Zambezi Gorge Swing, which was probably the scariest — and most fun! — thing I’ve ever done. Essentially, you strap into a chest harness and step off a gorge. Initially, you plummet straight down for 160 feet, but then the ropes catch a line that spans the gorge. Immediately, the rope becomes taught and catches you, allowing you to you swing back and forth, like a pendulum. Nothing in my experience has ever shifted from terror to joy so quickly. I had always thought the Zambezi Gorge Swing was the world’s highest swing, but it’s not. I think it’s the third highest.

The second highest swing appears to be at New Zealand’s Shotover Canyon. With a 200-foot free fall, and a 660-foot arc, swingers enjoy can aerial views of the beautiful Shotover River — assuming, of course, their eyes are open.

Finally, there’s South Africa’s Oribi Gorge Swing. With a 254-foot free fall but only a 330-foot arc, swingers can race water droplets from nearby Lehr’s Falls to the river below.

So what makes for a more fun swing? A longer free fall or a wider arc?