Getting your wings at Gold Reef City

If ever you want to relive the abandon of your youth, a visit to the Gold Reef City Theme Park should do the trick. In fact, before you even step through the theme park’s gates, you are greeted by the rather daunting twists and turns of the aptly named Anaconda ride. It looms over you, as if daring you to take it on.

It’s rides like Anaconda and Miner’s Revenge that have been weaved into the memories of many kids (and accompanying parents). And even if you don’t have the heart (or the stomach) to try out the highest fear-factor rides, you will find something to bring out the kid in you.

So, it’s pretty exciting when another ride is added to the already impressive collection in South Africa’s biggest theme park.

Enter The High Flying Maverick – Gold Reef City’s new ride

Don’t let this ride’s appearance fool you. It may be painted in the brightest primary colours and seem rather whimsical when you first see it. But it’s rated 9/10 on the fear-factor scale…

As the name suggests, this ride is all about simulating a flying experience. So, there is height involved – and lots of ups and downs. Actually, a few upside downs as well. You will find yourself staring at the ground from high up in the air. Don’t worry, you are bolted into your seat very tightly. (Just don’t wear sunglasses – they may not stay on.) 

Hop on board

When you first board and the ride gets started, you might think that it’s quite a mellow experience you are in for – fun, but not 9/10 scary. Think again – it’s just setting you up. And boy, the momentum is big. As the ride gets into full swing (literally) things get more intense. The High Flying Maverick is filled with twists and turns that will either make you want to become an acrobatic pilot or give you new-found respect for their ability to stay orientated when operating a high-speed aircraft.

It really is a gravity-defying experience that will leave you a little breathless – and not just because you are screaming involuntarily. Don’t be surprised if your legs are a bit wobbly when you land – it takes a few seconds to readjust to being right-side up on solid ground.

In-flight guide 

Here are a few things you might want to know before you board:

  • You might feel a little queasy after the ride
  • Don’t wear your sunglasses – they may fall off in flight
  • You need to be 1.3m tall to board
  • It really is fun

The High Flying Maverick is the first thrill ride of its kind in Africa. If you want to be one of its pioneering pilots, you can head to Gold Reef City – the ride opened on 7 March.