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You can make like Tarzan at James and Ethel Gray Park, and swing through the trees using ropes, at the new Acrobranch adventure zone – good fun and great for fitness.
ADRENALINE junkies can now get their fix at the Acrobranch swings at James and Ethel Gray Park in Melrose.


City Parks regional zone manager Joseph Ndou tries out the swingsCity Parks regional zone manager Joseph Ndou tries out the swingsThe first of their kind in South Africa, the Acrobranch swings are outdoor activities on which participants move from one tree to the next using mostly ropes. It is a great way to test one’s balance, strength and focus. The courses combine sport and adventure and are fitting for corporate fun days and team building.

And there are adventure courses specifically for children too. The cubs’ course is suitable for children between the ages of three and seven. It is between two and three metres above the ground.

The cheetahs’ course is suitable for children from the ages of seven. It is five metres above the ground and is more adventurous than the cubs’ course. The lions’ course is appropriate for adults who are at least 1,4 metres tall and it requires more of you than the others – upper body strength, good balance and focus.

The park was officially opened on 11 February by representatives of City Parks, custodians of the facility, and Acrobranch Outdoor Adventure.

Hendrick Monaiwa, a City Parks employee, was one of the first people to try out the new swings. After almost an hour of swinging from tree to tree, Monaiwa returned to the ground with sweat dripping from his body but his eyes dancing with excitement and a smile on his face that said what he could not put in words. “It was really great, though a bit scary. I really enjoyed it a lot.”

City Parks’ regional zone manager, Joseph Ndou, also tried it out. “Wow this is fun,” he said. “It makes for a perfect day out of the office.”


The swings are safe but are not for the faint-heartedThe swings are safe, but are not for the faint heartedSpeaking on behalf of the acting managing director of City Parks, Geoffrey Cooke, Ndou said: “Johannesburg City Parks, the custodians of greening, are very excited to announce the partnership with Acrobranch Outdoor Adventure.

“This wonderful concept was proposed to City Parks by Gael Gestin [the director of Acrobranch Outdoor Adventure] and City Parks immediately realised the potential in adding a new adventure node to the park. The proposal amplified our vision to offer the residents of Joburg the best outdoor experience this city has to offer, while simultaneously increasing the number of visitors to this park.”

City Parks, a municipal-owned entity, is the keeper of 22 278 hectares of open space and green areas. Its aim is for a greener environment. Started in November 2000, it manages Joburg’s parks, cemeteries, open green spaces, street trees and conservation areas.

The Acrobranch Park at James and Ethel Gray Park is at the Melrose Street Extension of the park, within walking distance of Melrose Arch Shopping Centre.

The cost for the lions’ course is R150 each for individuals and R140 each for a group of 15 or more. The cheetahs’ course costs R100 each for individuals and R90 each for a group of 15 or more, while the cubs’ course is R70 each for individuals and R60 each for a group of 15 or more.

It is only open on weekends, from 9am until 5pm; however, bookings can be made during the week on 078 438 7463.

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