Last Friday, June 8th, the ict.io editorial staff went to Casela World of Aventures, THE thrill park in Mauritius. However, adrenalin means potential danger. Fulfilling the safety standards becomes a sine qua non condition for the implementation of this type of activity. Our goal ? We challenge and test for you the safety of two flagship and particularly sensational attractions: the Tulawaka and the Canyon Swing !
A warm welcome
Before anything else, we produced a vlog to complement this article which you can find here (full version).
When we arrived in Casela, we were warmly welcomed by Natasha Mudhoo, head of marketing & communications and our contact until then. This one announces us that we will start with the Tulawaka, then the test of the Canyon swing after the lunch.
Mrs. Mudhoo introduces us to the large wooden table in the entrance hall, inlaid with an interactive map of Mauritius. For future visitors to Casela, pressing the buttons associated with the places of interest (e.g. Casela World of Adventures) will display them on the map by means of light signals.
Regarding the entrance ticket, our guide explains that it includes several activities, including the Avalanche Mine with its two slides – the Tubby Slide and the Tubby Jump, but also the Tulawaka and the 4D cinema.
Still in the good company of Mrs. Mudhoo, we walk around the park to discover our first activity, the Tulawaka. On the way, in the shade of a magnificent and luxuriant vegetation or a few steps away from all kinds of animals (pink flamingos, llamas, turkeys, rabbits, giant turtles …), our charming guide continues to answer our questions about the park and the activities that await us.
The tulawaka : our experience
The Tulawaka Gold Coaster is described to us as a family activity and 100% fun. It is a sled on rails that offers a ride on a circuit of 800m. The sled can go up to 45km/h, which is a good speed for speed fans. To all the calmer people, don’t panic, this is the maximum speed All the sleds are equipped with a brake that allows participants to moderate the speed of the sled as they wish. This attraction is inspired by the gold mines of Tanzania, hence the carefully designed décor, which immediately puts us in the desired mood. ” All the decor was created by Mauritian artists “says Ms. Mudhoo.
The sled, which took a long time to install and was subject to numerous tests, was implemented to European safety standards by a German company, present and leader in over 45 countries. Every year, experts from this company come to Mauritius to ensure the good condition and functioning of the attraction.
Now it’s time to get on the sled. After we put on our seatbelts, two instructors take us in hand and explain the activity. Nothing to worry about so far.
The sled starts to move forward by itself and there … the rest in the video.
The tulawaka : an activity 100% validated by ict.io
The tulawaka is indeed a 100% fun activity and suitable for a family experience, even with young children (the activity is open to children from 4 years old provided they are accompanied by an adult). Indeed, the brake available to the participant allows the most fearful to moderate the speed of the sled, which may be necessary in some steep turns. Myself (Gabrielle), who can’t stand the thrill rides offered in France (which don’t always end well, if you know what I mean…), I really appreciated this feature. The latter gives the participant confidence and allows him or her not to “undergo ” the ride but, on the contrary, to fully appreciate it.
While the sled may squeal when braking, which can be stressful for the user, the feeling of safety is guaranteed throughout the ride. The participant can fully enjoy the moment (and the view !).
However, we recommend that you brake as little as possible to fully enjoy the thrill of the ride. Indeed, we had the chance to do a tour of Tulawaka around 4:15 pm when there was no more queue (a little trick not to be neglected !).
If we were afraid to use the brake too much the first time, this time we released it completely on almost all the route. Result ? The sensations are all the better (even for people who can’t stand thrill rides) !
The swing canyon : our experience
Before leaving us, our guide assures us of the safety of the next activity, the most extreme of the park : ” All our mountain activities, i.e. the swing canyon, the zip line and the Nepalese bridge are in accordance with the European standards, ERCA certified. We are the only ones in Mauritius. Every year, the company comes back to see, they come to test everything, they are experts based abroad. They have also been trained and it is they who give this certification which is reviewed every year. Our mountain activity employees are trained by the same company. They are regularly tested, they take tests ”
The Canyon Swing is a type of bungee jumping. Securely attached to vertical cables, you fall 60 meters high and then swing into the void. The attachment point of your rope to these cables is positioned so that your fall is identical to the movement of a swing. Casela offers two sessions, one at 11am and the other at 3pm. A maximum of 5 participants is allowed per session.
After a very good meal at the park restaurant (be careful not to eat too much before this activity !), we head to the reception to wait for the bus going to the mountain activities. When the latter happens, we have to sign a liability waiver. The foundations are laid The participant agrees not to hold Casela, its employees and/or directors responsible for any physical, material and/or moral loss or damage that he/she/the minor participant may suffer as a result of his/her/the minor participant’s participation in the activity, with the exception of that which may result from the gross negligence of the Company and/or its employees. Pregnant women and people in poor health should refrain !
We are then driven to the starting point of the mountain activities where we are taken care of by a very friendly team. She equips us with harnesses and immediately makes us feel comfortable. The hands are protected from any contact by gloves, the head is protected by a helmet, and cleanliness is ensured with a cap that is placed on our head.
However, quite stressed, we walk towards the ravine in the presence of the team who hasten to reassure us :
” Everything you have on you : the harness, the top of the harness, everything has two safeties : there is a main safety and a second one. And when you get close to the ravine, we’ll add 3 safety devices : the main safety device, and the two safety devices that we’ll connect to the main safety device. […] the equipment is checked once a month, we check that everything is ok and we replace it if necessary. And of course there is an inventory every day. ”
After our last words of farewell, I am invited to approach the ravine. After a briefing from my two instructors and a few exchanges, I was pulled down to the bottom of the ravine and had an extraordinary experience. I was able to be filmed from three angles (from above, from the side, and with a GoPro style camera). If, like me, you are lucky enough to have your GoPro attached to your wrist, you will unfortunately not be able to film your adventure from the start as you have to jump with both hands attached to the cable.
Audrey, our camerawoman, then Nancy jumped in. The video is here :
Nancy’s feedback : ” I threw myself into the void ! “
You will find our live and post-jump feedback on video (laughter guaranteed !), much more meaningful than a written document :
Finally, whether we fear thrilling activities or not, we felt safe throughout the activity thanks to the professionalism of the team and its ability to put the participants at ease, and to the permanent security of the activity. Special mention to the team !
It’s not easy, though, given the stress of the canyon swing. The sensations are indeed extreme, unforgettable, but physiologically acceptable for a person who does not tolerate thrill rides, since the activity lasts much less time. Talking to your camera, as I did, can help bring the pressure down, but expect to be in a bit of a state after the jump (hence my lack of response to the monitor !). The Canyon swing is also to know the feeling of jumping into the void … going well after !
We took great pride in this experience.
The bonus : the Avalanche Mine – Tubby jump
I finally tested one of the activities included in the entrance ticket, the Tubby Jump. I’ll let you see the video of the activity (yes, the background noise is still me shouting hahaha).
Opinions are divided on this activity, some find it ” relax “, others extreme. I personally found that the sensations were short but very intense given the slope of the slide and the consequent flight time ! Adrenalin 100% guaranteed once again !
The safety is also ensured at the level of the other activities proposed by the park, as Mrs Mudhoo explains: “And even at the level of the quad, you will see that there is a briefing, an initiation of course and all that so that the person is well at ease. The quad is controlled, everything is controlled so that there are no accidents. And also the difference with other amusement parks in Mauritius regarding the quad bike is that here you can still be around the animals.”
Unfortunately we did not have time to test the 4D cinema, which has very positive feedback. It was a day rich in emotions that ended for us, and all in safety. Thank you Casela World of Adventures !