Estonian daredevil Jaan Roose has set a new record for the longest highline in Africa.
Roose successfully walked the 580-metre slackline suspended between two rock formations known as Nkadorru Murto or Cat and Mouse in Samburu County Kenya, which also marked the first-ever highline in Kenya.
Roose is a professional slackline athlete, having competed in several competitions and won various titles, including the 2016 Slackline World Cup Championship. He visited Kenya in late 2022 and showcased his skills at the Village Market, introducing the relatively uncommon sport of slacklining to the country.
However, Roose also came with the intent to break the continental record, and he did so at the Cat and Mouse rock formation, located in the heart of Samburu County. The location was chosen because of its unique rock formations and its cultural significance to the Samburu people.
The Samburu are a pastoralist ethnic group known for their traditional ceremonies and way of life. To complete the feat on their native ground, Roose was traditionally blessed by the Samburu elders, who are highly respected in their community.
The rigging process took a total of 16 hours and 30 minutes, aided by the local climbing community and Climbing Life Kenya. The slackline was suspended at a height of 151m at Cat and 195m on Mouse, presenting a unique challenge as it sagged most of the time, making Roose walk at an incline.
After finding the right weather conditions, Roose began his walk and battled harsh sun and crosswinds of up to 30kph for 58 minutes.
Roose’s achievement highlights the possibilities of sports beyond traditional ball sports and showcases the beauty and cultural significance of locations such as the Cat and Mouse rock formation in Samburu County.