The Slingshot at Ratanga Junction: Cape Town, South Africa

The Slingshot at Ratanga Junction: Cape Town, South Africa

Now I’m Free, Freefallin’

It even looks scary: A few slender steel supports that rise hundreds of feet high are the only things holding you up. You’re then strapped into a body harness that keeps you in a prone position while being hoisted 10 stories above the ground. If you’re still with us, you then pull on a rip cord and plunge 30m (100 ft.) toward the ground at speeds exceeding a mile a minute and then—oh yes, there’s more—you begin your high-speed ascent to the clear blue skies above. And then you begin your descent at the same breakneck speed.

The Slingshot is getting rave reviews as one of the scariest rides at Ratanga Junction—or anywhere. It’s one of the latest additions to the full panoply of white-knuckle rides at this theme park. Located in the Century City area of Cape Town, the park is located just a few minutes from downtown. Visitors should be aware that the Slingshot is the only ride that isn’t included in the theme park entry tickets—an extra fee is charged.

If you’re a hard-core adrenaline junkie and need more, the park has plenty to offer. Some visitors say the Cobra is even more terrifying than the Slingshot: It’s a roller coaster that drops you at four times the force of gravity. The Tarantula has two giant arms that lift riders almost five stories high before dropping them in a downward spiral to the ground. For your cool-down rides, you might want to chill out on watery Monkey Falls, an immense log flume ride, or Crocodile Gorge, where just about everyone is guaranteed to get soaked. Add to this the park’s numerous restaurants and live entertainment, and you have a full day of fun.

Ratanga Junction ( 0861/200-300;
When to Go: Check website for park schedule.
Cape Town.
$$$ Kensington Place, 38 Kensington Crescent, Cape Town ( 021/424-4744; $$ De Waterkant Village, 1 Loader St., Cape Town ( 021/409-2500;

Peter Abelard Gilley’s Dallas: Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.