The North Carolina Zoo added a couple of new attractions this year – Zoofari an open-air vehicle tour of the Watani Grassland exhibit and Air Hike Ropes Course.
The Air Hike Ropes Course is positioned in Africa with its entrance near the Aviary exhibit. Tickets are purchased at the course entrance, but you can walk in and just look around or watch if you would like. In this respect it reminds me a bit of Go Ape in North Raleigh. Beyond that, this is a completely different experience and challenge.
My 7yo was still riding his post-Go Ape Junior high during our last visit to the Zoo and wanted to try Air Hike. Unfortunately, his excitement lasted as far as the first obstacle. Then he panicked. While he was plenty tall enough (participants must be a minimum of 48″), he needed a step stool to help him reach at several points. More than once he needed my assistance and I wasn’t able to get to him. Honestly, I would not recommend this ropes course for younger kids. Perhaps it would be better ages 10 and older?
After helping him return to the ground and disconnect, I stayed up on the main platform and headed out to test out a few obstacles. I was curious and also wanted to get my money’s worth! This course is much smaller than Go Ape. It’s very compact, but certainly has it’s challenges and I got a great workout.
For adults and older kids, I would recommend this as a fun extra adventure during a trip to the zoo. Remember this is an obstacle course of sorts and should take approximately 30-60 minutes which really is plenty considering you most likely visited the Zoo to see the animals versus hang out in the trees.
Things to know beforehand, per the Zoo website:
• A signed release form is required prior to participating on the course.
• Must be 60” tall to participate alone or 48″ tall and accompanied on the course at all times by someone who is at least 60″ tall
• Participant maximum weight is 250 lbs.
• Must safely fit in full body harness; confidential weigh-in may be required.
• Dresses and skirts not allowed due to elevated course and full body harness.
• No flip-flops, open toe or open heel shoes. Ensure shoe laces are tied and shoes secure.
• Empty your pockets. Storage containers available at ticketing.
• No loose objects such as cell phones or cameras.
• Secure your eyewear. Not responsible for lost or misplaced personal items.
• No gum, food or drinks allowed on Air Hike.
• Only one participant on an activity at a time, unless chaperone is assisting a child.
Also note, both the Zoofari and Air Hike Ropes Course are seasonal attractions and are only open April – October. Air Hike is also subject to weather closings. Check the Zoo website (linked below) for further details.
Air Hike Ropes Course
North Carolina Zoo
4401 Zoo Parkway
1 (800) 488-0444