On top of the world: A real life, local example of not retiring but refireing

Ten years ago Anton and Amor Barnes bought the perfect retirement spot in a beautiful part of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Today they are anything but retired and working seven days a week running Karkloof Canopy Tours.

It all started with a visit to Knysna eight years ago when they got the chance to experience South Africa’s first canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma Forest. They were instantly hooked.

As fate would have it, canopy tour engineer Mark Brown was at Tsitsikamma at the same time and the Barnes couple invited him to visit their property in Karkloof to assess its suitability. A site meeting at the Barnes’s property was followed by an environmental impact study and, seven months thereafter, the Karkloof Canopy Tour was opened.

Karkloof Canopy Tours has created much-needed work opportunities in the area and is essentially operated and managed by community members. There are nine slides and one belay, about 1km in all. The platforms are built high in, or above, the forest canopy and all offer different views of the giant yellowwoods, stinkwoods and Cape chestnut, a beautiful waterfall, sparkling forest streams and the expansive Karkloof valley. It is a thrilling way to experience Karkloof’s beauty.