One of the most dangerous snakes in Africa is the puff adder, due to its wide distribution. This deadly creature was used as inspiration for a walkway that allows users to experience nature while keeping most dangers at bay.
The Puff Adder Walkway, designed by Patrice Taravella and engineered by Terry De Waal, was built in the gardens of the Babylonstoren farm. Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms to be found in the winelands of South Africa. Much of the gardens are used for farming, but the walkway winds itself along a stream. The walkway was designed to allow visitors to view the clivias lilies that flower during the southern hemisphere spring. The arched walkway was created using slats of balau attached to a steel frame. The slats allow for dappled sunlight to enter into the walkway while demarcating a path and keeping critters out. They are spaced widely apart enough to allow for views of the natural scenery outside. The walkway bulges and narrows along the way, as if its namesake had just swallowed a rat, and follows a meandering path creating a structure quite organic for something that is manmade. The little cutouts in the walkway that allow for trees to be left undisturbed are a lovely touch.
The design of Puff Adder Walkway is appropriately free of the LEDs and other flashy technologies we so often see. It feel as natural as the surroundings its in and makes sightseeing a walk in the park.