about usOrlando Towers (Pty) Ltd was established in 2007 by Skyriders (Pty) Ltd, with the concept of developing the disused Orlando cooling towers in Soweto into a vertical adventure facility and tourist attraction for Soweto.
Aimed at drawing local Gauteng adventure enthusiasts as well as adventure tourists to the site of the Orlando Towers, it also feeds a large number of people into Soweto, which is now becoming one of South Africa's most popular tourist attractions.
inspirationThe Orlando Towers vertical adventure facility was the brainchild of Bob Woods back in 2001. Bob, a Skyriders director and rope access specialist for many years, was contracted to provide the rope access technicians for maintenance operations on the disused towers, and was awe-struck by their power and magnificence - enough to want to share the "almost religious" experience of viewing Soweto from the top of the towers with the world at large.
His idea was to build the first ever vertical adventure center in a cooling tower, offering swinging, bungee jumping, climbing , abseiling, rap jumping, a zip line and more.
development approvalsThe Orlando Towers vertical adventure site is the fruition of many years of negotiation with the local municipality, engineers and bridge builders, and the people of Soweto themselves.
"You want to do WHAT Bob?"
Bob worked together with the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) until the plans for the Orlando Ekhaya Precinct were launched in 2005. Detailed plans for the Orlando Towers vertical adventure centre were finally approved late in 2007, and a lease agreement was finally signed in November 2007 for the use of the towers as a vertical adventure facility.
constructionGround was broken in January 2008. The lift up the side of the left tower was completed in mid March, and the stairs and platform installed by the end of July, in time for the official opening on Saturday 12 July 2008.
The Bungee BridgeThe suspension bridge spanning the two towers was subject to stringent engineering standards and testing procedures. On completion, it was hoisted into position 100m above the ground by means of a sophisticated hoisting system, purpose designed for the unique bridge.
The bridge spanning the two towers was completed in August 2009, and the World's First Bungee Jump between 2 Cooling Towers was performed on 5 September 2009, by Bob Woods himself.
current statusThe site currently offers the Bungee jump, Power swing, Internal Swing, and Lift Ride to the Viewing Platform. Rap Jumping days are hosted on a regular basis. The SCAD Jump is due for completion by mid 2010.
a legacy from Bob WoodsSadly, Bob Woods passed away in a climbing accident on Table Mountain on 8 April 2010. He will be greatly missed by all, but his legacy will live on at Orlando Towers.