Originally the site of a coal fired power station, the Orlando Towers have become one of the most distinctive landmarks in the neighbourhood of Soweto and the site of the world's first bungee jump between two cooling towers, as well as other thrilling adventure sports such as abseiling and SCAD (suspended catch air device) falling.
Construction of the Orlando Power Station began in 1935 and was only completed in 1955, due to delays caused by the Second World War. After 56 years of service, the power station was shut down in 1998 and was transformed into an entertainment and business centre in 2008.
Once the cooling towers for the Orlando Power Station, both of the 33-storey towers are completely covered in brightly coloured murals, one of which depicts scenes and images from township culture and the other with the corporate branding of South Africa’s FNB bank. The Orlando Towers extreme sports site was opened in 2008 by local company Skyriders to develop the neglected cooling towers into a vertical adventure facility and one of the most distinctive tourist attractions in South Africa.
The towers are used for extreme sports such as bungee jumping, abseiling, zip-lining, pendulum swinging, SCAD falling and occasionally, rap jumping. Visitors can also go paintballing and rock climbing and take a quad bike Soweto tours from the Soweto Outdoor Adventures company also based at the towers.
Activities at the towers are dependent on weather, particularly wind. Under 18s require the consent of their parents or guardians to take part in this adventure. Only those with a weight between 35kg and 110kg may bungee jump. Booking is essential for parties of six or more.
The Orlando Towers adventure facility is run by highly-trained, experienced, professional staff who adhere to international safety standards. All activities have been tested by Level 3 certified rope access technicians and an external safety auditor ensures that standards are maintained consistently.
At the base of the Orlando Towers lies Chaf Pozi, a popular shisa nyama restaurant and beer garden. Although the venue is known for its flame-grilled meat, the menu also caters for vegetarian and Halal patrons. Chaf Pozi frequently hosts well-known and up-and-coming local musicians and DJs, and is also available for corporate events and celebrations. Entrance to Chaf Pozi is free.
Price per person
Scad freefall: R400
100m bungee: R550
Base jumping: R200
Lift to viewpoint: R80
Abseil and rap jump: R450
Thursdays: 12pm to 5pm
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 10am to 6pm
From Johannesburg, take the N1 towards Bloemfontein. Take the M68 Soweto/Southgate/Old Potch Road off-ramp and turn right on Old Potch Road. After about 3km turn right into Dynamo Road and enter the facility at the security boom.