Splat! Four top spots to get your paintball kicks in Gauteng

Whether you’re an extreme sports junkie, are looking for a team-building exercise or simply want to cut loose with a bunch of mates, paintball is the ideal way to have some outdoor fun – and Gauteng has more than a dozen courses catering for every taste and level.

Paintball, far from fizzling out like so many other crazes, keeps growing in popularity. That’s because it’s more than just a replica “war game” for thrill-seekers – it’s a highly social and tactical sport where you need to use your smarts to outwit and outplay the opposition.

It gets you out in the fresh air and away from technology. It pushes you to use your grey matter to brainstorm strategies and plot “survival” scenarios. It’s a game of skill and endurance that teaches you stealth, patience and teamwork.

Most of all, it’s fun! Paintball lifts your spirits as you embark on a real-life adventure, where the aim is to avoid getting splattered with paint – but it doesn’t matter too much if you are.

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Paintball guns (or markers) use carbon dioxide or compressed air to propel paintballs through the barrel towards the target. (Image: The Woods Paintball)

And virtually anyone can play: some ranges offer a low-impact version for children and those who fear the sting of a paintball pellet; others supply bulletproof vests to shield you from most of the impact.

Gauteng’s paintball venues range from remote spots out in the “sticks” to township adventure offerings. Remember to check that the venue has the necessary safety credentials and trained facilitators before signing up for your epic splat-attack. Wear comfortable clothing with long sleeves, take along sunblock and water – and let the games begin!

Here’s a sample of where you can go in Gauteng to unleash your inner paintball warrior:

Adventure n Beyond

The motto of Adventure n Beyond, located among the Krugersdorp plots, is: “Nothing adventured … nothing gained!” This sums up the ethos of the business, which, says CEO Paul Grobler, offers a range of adventure activities – including paintball – for recreation, parties and corporate functions.

“We offer two fields at the moment – a tyre field, and a speedball field with inflatable bunkers, which is suitable for anyone aged 10 and up,” says Grobler. “We do offer a .50-calibre pump-action paintball [gun] for younger players, which is low-impact paintball.”

If you book an adventure party at the venue, you can choose from several packages that can be tailored to include archery, air riflery, a climbing wall and a giant 6m-high pendulum swing.

Adventure n Beyond is located at 7 Henry Road, Northvale Agricultural Holdings, Krugersdorp. It operates on a booking-only basis – reserve your slot from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am to 6pm. Call +27 (0)87 094 0192, email paul@anb.co.za or visit https://anb.co.za/.

Paintball City

From the West Rand all the way to the East Rand … Located on the border of Germiston and Boksburg, Paintball City is one of the country’s largest (four hectares in extent) and most established paintball ranges, having been in business for more than 25 years.

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Paintball fields are designed to challenge players with various obstacles and bunkers. (Image: Paintball City)

Paintball City caters to the general public and also regularly hosts bachelor parties, corporate functions, birthday parties – and even hen parties, says the venue’s Chris Birch. “We have seven playing fields available on one site. Two are speedball, one is close-quarters combat, one is a junior field and three are bush/scenario fields,” he explains.

With seating for more than 200 people, a snack shop and a fully stocked pro shop on site, the venue is well equipped to regularly host national paintball leagues and international players.

Paintball City is located in Du Preez Road, Germiston. It’s open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 8.30am to 4.30pm. Call +27 (0)11 828 7583/5398, email bookings@paintballcity.co.za or visit https://www.paintballcity.co.za/.

Soweto Towers Paintball

How’s this for an unusual paintball experience: stalking your opponents around the supports at the bottom of one of the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto? Operating from the base of the disused western tower, Soweto Towers can accommodate groups of up to 26 players at a time.

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Have some post-industrial fun in a novel setting at the bottom of the Soweto Towers. (Image: Soweto Towers)

Spokesperson Lizl van Wyk says each session lasts for an hour, and that they advise against children younger than 12 taking part for safety reasons.

While at this colourful landmark in the heart of Soweto, you can also bungee jump from the suspension bridge, try out what’s reportedly the world’s highest scad freefall or challenge yourself to the 25m climbing wall.

Soweto Towers is located on the corner of Sheffield and Chris Hani roads in Orlando East, Soweto. It operates on a bookings-only basis, from Fridays to Sundays, between 10am and 4pm. Call +27 (0)71 674 4343, email info@sowetotowers.co.za, or book for your group of 10 or more through www.sowetotowers.co.za.

The Woods Paintball

Lie in wait for your competitors hidden among the trees, away from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs … as you prepare your stealthy approach to come out top of the paintball pops. Welcome to The Woods near Midrand, where four paintball fields and a shooting range await you and your guests.

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Children are able to play a low-impact (but high-fun) version of paintball at some ranges. (Image: The Woods Paintball)

Mart-Mari Kruger of The Woods says that the venue caters mainly for kids’ parties, bachelor parties and team-building exercises. A clue to the range’s allure lies in its name: “We are situated in a natural forest, which makes it feel like a real-life war zone,” she quips.

“We also offer low-impact paintball [for children and women in particular], which is a popular option for kids’ parties and corporates at the moment.” Here, the paintball marker (gun) shoots at a lower velocity than usual.

The Woods Paintball is located at the Riversands Commercial Park in Rose Road, Knopjeslaagte, not far from Fourways. They are open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 8am to 5pm. To book, call +27 (0)79 387 4217, email bookings@woodspaintball.co.za or visit https://woodspaintball.co.za/.

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Trained facilitators will take you through the rules and safety aspects of the game. (Image: The Woods Paintball)