Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Looking Back At 2008


The Last day of 2008 is upon us and looking back, as with every year that goes by, there’s good and bad to ponder. Global Economic Crunch… BAD, beating the Aussies at cricket in their own back Yard …..PRICELESS.

We can continue along those lines if you like, Liverpool ending the year at the top of the premiership ….GOOD, Captain Steven Gerrard spending the night behind bars for over celebrating ….NOT SO GOOD.

The Boks having come last in the Tri – Nations ….BAD, returning from their European tour unbeaten ……GOOD.

It was another year of brilliant and hard hitting cartoons from Zapiro….GOOD, Zapiro being sued by Jacob Zuma and Co …..BAD

Robert Mugabe gets beaten at the polls….EXELLENT. Robert Mugabe just wont go ….*"!# BAD

And so it goes….

By the By: the above pic of Zapirio was taken at the launch of his cartoon collection Take Two Veg and Call Me in the Morning. :) It was found on www.flickr.com and was originally Uploaded by BOOKphotoSA. Although the launch took place way back in 2007, I couldn’t resist slotting it in. :)

For AdventureEscapades.co.za 2008 proved to be our defining year. Our ongoing efforts to keep the site fresh, exciting and relevant to adventure seekers means we are now achieving 250 000 hits and over 9,000 new visitors PER MONTH. As a result, AventureEscapades.co.za is ranked in the top 500 sites in South Africa and we have succeeded in positioning ourselves as South Africa's No 1 Adventure Activity Web Portal.

For 2009 we will not be taking our foot off the exhilarator and we anticipate an even better year ahead. We take this opportunity to thank all our clients and readers for their ongoing support and wish that whatever it is that truly makes you happy, happens for you in the year ahead. Happy New Year to ALL :)

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Bart Simpson Adventure Personality


The Simpsons Movie - The Naked Skateboarding Bart - The funniest videos clips are here

Adventure personality extraordinaire Bart Simpson, is an icon of adventure activity whose adventure experience portfolio is entirely in a league of its own. At the tender age of just ten years, Bart has participated in motorcycle stunts, BMX riding, adventure running (usually while chased) climbing, fishing and his personal favorite extreme skateboarding.

In 2007 footage of him participating in an awe-inspiring stunt with dad Homer, circling the inside of a massive glass dome on a motorcycle, wowed audiences everywhere, it was however his daredevil skateboard antics that caught our attention. In what proved to be a low point, he was arrested after skateboarding through Springfield in the nude; apparently he did so on a dare and was later heard to say, it seemed a good idea at the time.

Bart rarely gives interviews and it is believed that he fears having to answer contentious media questions, like why his family all have four fingers, are a bright yellow color, and never age. Does it perhaps have something to do with the fact that his father works at a dodgy nuclear power plant, we all wonder. In order to get some insight into what makes him tick, the best we can do is examine some of his better known quotations.

“I never thought it was humanly possible, but this both sucks and blows.”

“I am not the new Dalai Lama”

“Mom, can we go Catholic so we can get communion wafers and booze?”

“Dear God. We paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”

“Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.”

“All I have left of the tree is that lemon shaped rock. Wait a minute......there's a lemon behind that rock!!”

“You kill 'em, we grill 'em!”

“I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!”

“Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa.”

“There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson.”

“I think it's ironic that for once dad's butt prevented the release of toxic gas.”


WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT, words from a ten year old enigma, hope you had a laugh. :) :) :) :) :) The quotes are taken from ThinkExist.com and if you are interested in real adventure experience, visit AdventureEscapades.co.za.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Adventure Quotes


I came across a web portal called ThinkExist.com that is essentially a massive collection of quotations and had a lot of fun with it. As our own site AdventureEscapades.co.za is primarily an adventure site, we relay some of the adventure activity or adventure experience inspired ones, penned by an interesting mix of characters.

“I like doing things that scare me. I went bungee jumping, but sky diving is just the sickest thing.” Leonardo DiCaprio

“One never dives into the water to save a drowning man more eagerly than when there are others present who dare not take the risk.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you spend more time talking about what you used to do, or did do, or can't do . . . you've reached that point in your life when skydiving is now a necessity.” Bill Purdin

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.” Chamfort

“Shooting paintballs is not an art form” Bart Simpson

“Phil gets off work in ten minutes, and I've got twenty paintballs up in this ****. He's gonna die.” Bam Margera

“I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!” Bart Simpson quote


You may have gathered that ThinkExist.com does contain a huge variety of contributors from great historical figures to modern day actors as well as cartoon icons. You can do a search by topic or author and some of the other Bart Simpson quotes, had me in absolute stitches, who knows, maybe they will make a good topic for tomorrows post. :)

Photograph by fabricadezvonuri, Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Good Beach Behavior


I had a good giggle earlier and “YES” we South Africans do have wicked sense of humor at times. There are people who regularly read this blog and sometimes feel compelled to pass comments of a nature that is sometimes not advisable for repeat.

Nonetheless, in yesterdays post entitled “Gifts for the Adrenalin Junkie” we featured a gadget called the Digital Camera Swim Mask. It’s an underwater digital camera built into a diving mask and is obviously intended for divers wanting to capture images of the awesome marine life they encounter in the big blue. It is in fact a brilliant idea.

Well, it didn’t take to long before somebody suggested that there are some awesome underwater images one could capture in the more shallow waters at Clifton beach. All I could think of in response to the person in question, and the same applies to anybody else with similar ideas, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, you will probably get arrested .... YOU MORON. :)

Photo, Clifton 4th beach by warrenski, courtesy of www.flickr.com

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Gifts for the Adrenalin Junkie


With Christmas having been and gone now’s probably not the best time to do a post entitled Gifts for the Adrenalin Junkie. I did however in my quest for blog inspiration come across a website that does just that and in some cases is more suited to James Bond junkies, rather than those who like extreme sport. To give you an idea, I have compiled some samples and have best described my understanding of them.

Movies with Motion Racing Chair: From what I can gather this is a chair that simulates the F1 experience.
Magic Wheel: At best this as a really unusual space age looking foot scooter.
Digital Camera Swim Mask: This one definitely has some merit, it’s an underwater digital camera attached to the diving mask.

iDive 300: Ipod type device for those who want to listen to music while they dive.
Speedo Aquabeat Waterproof Player from iriver: It’s a waterproof digital music player. I imagine its intended to float on the water, it does however say it is built to sink or swim.
Oregon Scientific ATC5K Action Camera: This is shockproof camera made specifically for the taping of your own daredevil stunts; you attach to your body and do what you do.

CiFi speaker kit: A hands free music and cell phone kit for bicycles.
Down Low Glow. Not sure I get this one; it’s bicycle that has a glow in the dark look to it, kind of a bicycle version of the fast and the furious.
Vertical treadmill: A climbing wall treadmill, as you climb the wall rotates downward on a belt so you can climb for as long as you like.

Then lastly…..Zenith Defy Xtreme Zero-G Watch: This is a shocker, its clearly the ultimate adrenalin Junkie watch and is marketed as being indestructible, which at a price of $500,000 US, it definitely wont be appearing in my Christmas sock ….EVER.

This comes with the usual disclaimer of course which is these are my own interpretations of something I found on the net, if the above mentioned products are of interests to you, I suggest you google them and find out more. For those who like real life adventure with or without the gadgets, there is always www.AdventureEscapades.co.za

Friday, 26 December 2008

Best Adventure Vidoes 2008

With the year drawing to its close it gives me an excuse to force some of my adventure activity opinions on you, starting with YouTube Videos.

Adventure Escapades.co.za No 1


The footage at the top definitely wins the AdventureEscapades.co.za award for best Adventure Activity YouTube video of 2008. I have seen some awesome ones this year and the one below comes in at number 2, followed by our number 3 choice.

Adventure Escapades.co.za No 2


Just so that you know that the judges are not in anyway bias, it consists of a panel of experts made up entirely of me and the judge’s decision is final. The fact that the winner sports a Coldplay soundtrack, my favorite band, in no way clinched it for them. :) Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Adventure Escapades.co.za No 3

Thursday, 25 December 2008

A Christmas Tale


Merry Christmas to everybody, and to whoever you are, wherever you are, I hope you had an excellent and joyful day. This year we did something different and traveled up to Johannesburg to celebrate with my girlfriend’s family, where a true Christmas storey unfolded.

There was a family member present who at the age of 16, 30 + years ago, had given birth to a son and due to circumstances at the time, made an exceedingly difficult choice and gave the child up for adoption. Without going into the details of her life, in the years to come she struggled emotionally and was never able to make peace with it, until now.

In 2008 she spent her first Christmas with her son, and what a brilliant Christmas it was. He was up from Cape Town with his wife and daughter and a fantastic time was had by all. As an outsider looking in, for me it’s uncanny just how alike the two of them are and the genuine affection they share for each other, it’s as though they have never been apart.

NOW for the really amazing aspect to this storey, they found each other on FACEBOOK. To anybody who believes the internet is destructive, you should have had Christmas lunch with us. To today’s Blog Post protagonists, I wish you many many happy years of making up for lost time, and thanks for an excellent Christmas.

Image by alexey05, courtesy of www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Cape Town Tourism & Paragliding


I was watching the e-News channel the other morning and found myself making one of those annoying ha ha noises and pointing to the screen. They were running a segment on tourism in Cape Town and how our travel friendly exchange rate during a global economic downturn, has made the mother city a preferred travel destination of choice. They say that out the world’s top tourist locations, Cape Town is now well placed among the more affordable options.

So why the monkey behavior? I hear you ask. The lady hosting the segment was standing on a field overlooking Camps Bay beach, while in the background almost as though on queue, a tandem paraglide was being concluded and could be seen making the final turn to come in for landing, the kind of thing that conveniently supports the presenter’s subject matter.

From the signature colors of the chute, it was unmistakably our friend Steff from Para-Pax doing what he does best. Steff operates mostly from the Signal Hill and Lions head area of Cape Town’s Table Mountain range and in my humble opinion, offers one of the best Adventure Experiences available anywhere.

It's funny how one reacts to seeing people they know on the tele. Nonetheless, If taking in spectacular views while gliding through the skies above arguably the most scenic city and stretch of coast in the world, floats your boat, give Steff a call. I promise you, you wont regret it. To find out more CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Reptilian All Sorts


A realization that has come as somewhat of a surprise to me is my newly found fascination with all things reptile. I have over the last six months, visited many of the reptile parks and have discovered that they are owned and operated by fantastic people who are dedicated conservationists and are passionate about what they do.

All venues give guided tours that are as much fun as they are informative and offer exceptionally good value for money. Kids seem to be mesmerized by snakes and crocs and the tour guides do an excellent job of getting them involved and arousing their enthusiasm. I recently did the tour at Croc Creek and at pricing R40-00 per adult, R20-00 per child, for what was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, you have to go a long way to beat it.

Ndlondlo Reptile Park, up the road from where I live, boasts a variety of species, large and small, venomous and harmless. Owner Neville Wolmarans has been involved with reptiles for over 35 years and is assisted by his son Philip. They also charge a fee of under R50-00 per head and child entry is also discounted.

Then there’s Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park, where entrance fee is just R50-00 per adult and R20-00 per child between the ages of 3 and 12 years. Children under 3 years enter for free. On weekends and public holidays seal and snake shows are held twice a day at 12:00 and 15:00 and Boat Cruises are also available at an additional fee of just R25-00 per adult and R13-00 per child. For children under the age of 3 the boat cruises are also free of charge.

In these tough economic times, if you have kids and are looking to treat them to an unforgettable adventure experience this Christmas, without breaking the bank, look no further than any of the above. Photo: Newborn Croc at Crocodile Creek

Monday, 22 December 2008

What's On A Sharks Mind?


Shortly after completing yesterday’s post entitled “Shark Personalities” I came a cross an article in “The Sunday Times” by Bobby Jordan with the header “Great Whites have one thing on their minds (and it aint you)”

It made for very interesting reading and basically says that new research shows that Great White Sharks, are a lot brainier than previously thought and have mostly one thing on their minds – Seals.

It is now believed that they have evolved sophisticated hunting techniques specifically adapted to seal behavior, not human activity. They go onto say that sharks can even make strategic hunting decisions based on changing environmental patterns.

The research was conducted by the University of Cape Town, Simon Fraser University in Canada, the Save Our Seas Foundation and The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Monitoring is conducted using Hi-Tech acoustic tracking in a five year long ongoing project in Cape Towns False Bay.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Shark Personalities


There have been so many extraordinary stories of late pertaining to sharks that they have become regular AdventureEscapades.co.za Blog material. Last week we featured Thomas Peschak, Shark Photographer along with the awesome photo he took of a Great White trailing behind a Kayak.

We have made mention of the fact that a somewhat unusual adventure activity on offer is diving with Ragged Tooth Sharks, available at the Two Oceans aquarium in Cape Town as well as Ushaka in Durban. We also wrote about Shark Spotters and the alarming picture they took in Fish Hoek in 2006, which has now resurfaced as part of a hoax e-mail that is doing the rounds.

Amazingly our site analytics tell us that one of the most popular blog posts we have ever put together is entitled Michael Rutzen, "Sharkman" and to be fair, was written in a tongue and cheek manner with no disrespect intended. People are clearly fascinated by his endeavors and the YouTube video we attached to support it, is absolutely awesome, if you haven’t seen it CLICK HERE

The reason why I have sharks on my mind again today is that I am feeling quite honored to have received a short e-mail from George Askew via our website feedback form. He thanked us for the mention we made of him and asked for an e-mail address as he would like to make some comments. If you are not sure who George Askew is, Google him, he is another Legendary shark personality who is committed to dispelling the many myths that accompany these creatures.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Allure Land Another Big Marlin


Our resident fishing charter provider, Allure Charters operating out of Durban, went big again, this time they succeeded in bagging a black marlin that weighed in at 220kg. Those of you who follow big game fishing in KZN, are probably very much aware that they do make a habit of this, and have several records taboo.

A little bit of history, Allure was the top tag and release boat over the 2003/2004 marlin season off Durban with 28 fish tagged and released. In December 2002 Allure bagged the record for the biggest marlin caught off Durban, a black marlin of 506lbs. Doing the thought process, converting it into Kilograms places it at 229.5 kg, which means the latest catch was just 9kg short of rewriting the record books.

The Crew onboard Allure has a first-rate reputation for delivering excellent customer service. Their philosophy is that the skipper and the team are there to help and make sure YOU do the catching. They are a dedicated charter operation committed to delivering more than just a superior boat. Consistent success is not the result of luck, it takes a well coordinated crew with better than average tackle and a well designed boat to make it all happen.

Besides the fact that they definitely know how to catch, they are a great bunch guys with a first class boat that has recently been overhauled for the purpose of enhancing your experience. With Allure now boasting some very inviting creature comforts, and the allure of the The Big Blue, give Len a call for a fantastic day out on the water.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Escaping The Rat Race


The 16th of December is a public holiday in SA and in the minds of many is the official start of holiday season. After the 16th corporate companies are generally down to skeleton staff and a mass exodus, I liken to an Aerial photo of the Great Wall of China, can be seen heading out of Johannesburg and those of us who live at the coast, brace ourselves for the onslaught.

I spent ten years being part of the Johannesburg corporate rat race and I am definitely not going to knock it. I learnt a hell of lot from amazing people who have the most incredible business acumen and at that stage in my life, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was to the contrary raised in Sea Point, and spent most of my youth on Clifton’s 4th beach. I do believe that if you are born and raised in a coastal paradise, there will always be that longing to get back to one. The day came when I decided enough was enough.

Today I call Umhlanga Rocks home, it’s a long storey how I ended up in Natal and I’m not going to bore you with the details, I do however love it here and find myself magnetically drawn to KZN’s majestic Dolphin Coast.

As I sit on my balcony taking in the chaos that has already engulfed my beloved little coastal town, a few bizarre thoughts have entered my mind. For one, Jane and I (the lady in my life) are going to escape it by going in the opposite direction. We have taken the decision to head towards the concrete jungle and spend Christmas with her sister in Johannesburg; we look forward to the peace and quiet.

I envisage it being something along the lines of Will Smith in the movie “I am Legend,” except without the freaky monster people coming out at night to hunt me, unless of course I go into Hillbrow, which I have no intention of doing. I Love Adventure Activity but HEY, I’m not that adventurous. I was thinking more along the lines of skateboarding through the streets of Sandton, this time of the year it’s probably very safe to do so. :)

Photo by: trcyburr, compliments of www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Thomas Peschak, Shark Photographer.


On page 3 of this morning’s addition of Durban based newspaper “The Mercury” they feature a stunning photo of South African Freediver Hanli Prinsloo, swimming among blacktip sharks at the Aliwal Shoal off Umkomaas, on Natal’s South Coast.

For those who don’t know, Hanli Prinsloo is among the top ranked female Freedivers in the World. The underwater pic, was taken by Thomas Peschak who recently won a specially commended prize, in the Underwater World Category of the 2008 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year competition. Prinsloo is depicted casually hovering among these somewhat dangerous sea predators, seemingly at ease and unperturbed.

Unfortunately I could not get hold of a copy of the particular photo I refer to, I did however upon searching the net come across several others taken by Peschak which are every bit as good. I ended up spending quite a bit of time on his website and was left quite awe-struck by the sheer magnificence of the images he is able to produce.

The above pic is just one of many outstanding images that can be seen on www.thomaspeschak.com and the script the site contains also highlights some of the recognition he has received. The following paragraph is taken from the website and is his account, of the reaction he got to a newspaper article that was featured in the Daily Mail.

"On January 3rd 2008 the Daily Mail, Britain's second most popular daily newspaper (2.3 million copies sold) published my white shark kayak photograph as a double page spread. The publication resulted in 70 000 different people visiting my website in just 24 hours and many hundreds of e-mail enquiries. I am thrilled about the continued interest in the image and even happier that it seems to have inspired so many people to see the great white shark in a different light, as a majestic and beautiful animal, rather than a mindless killing machine."

Absolutely Awesome……….. GO VISIT HIS WEBSITE, click HERE

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dolphin Coast Adventure



One of KZN’s best kept adventure secrets is to be found nestled in the hills on Natal’s Dolphin Coast just 15 minutes inland of Ballito, I refer to the scenic Esenembi Valley, home to both River Quad Trails and Skytrails, as well as self catering accommodation and more activity to come.

Owner Johan is on a mission to create Durban’s premier adventure activity destination and is thus in the process of increasing his offering. His venue is incredibly scenic and with it being so close to Ballito, Dolphin Coast holiday destination of choice, he certainly has all the right ingredients to make it happen.

He has already gone a long way towards staking his claim, Skytrails is the only Zipline operation within reasonable proximity to Durban and River Quad Trails is one of South Africa’s top10 quad biking venues, as rated by Suzuki. At the moment they are busy building a dive pool and the paintball range is all but up and running.

At present they are only doing paintball as part of a team building program they offer and plan to open it to the public as a stand alone activity from mid January onwards. As much as they have invested in equipment and getting the venue geared for it, the difficult decision was taken to hold off on Paintball till after peak season, when they will have the time and manpower, to manage the process properly. Having been there and seen it, I can’t wait; it promises to be a good one.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Action Flights


Photograph: One of Thunder City's three BAE Buccaneers.

In compiling today’s post I feel as though I’m working Gary’s beat, Gary is the other Blogger on this site who usually covers aviation related topics. Just to put you dear reader in the picture, He is a pilot himself who’s particular passion is Glider flying, which he escapes to the Drakensberg to do as often as he can.

As far as South African Adventure Activity goes there are plenty of legendry flying machines about, available for your entertainment. In Cape Town there is the Huey Helicopter Company (one of my personal favorites) which invites you to go on combat mission flights that are as affordable, as they are spectacular.

Just up the road from them, is the one of a kind Thunder City, the only place on earth that offers jaunts in four English Electric Lightning’s, three BAE Buccaneers, seven Hawker Hunter’s, a Strikemaster, as well as a glass cockpit Puma helicopter SA 330.

Interestingly the chances of living out one of my own boyhood flying fantasies, a flip in a Spitfire, is virtually impossible….Virtually. They estimate that there are about 50 Spitfires currently flying worldwide. Of these only five are two-seaters (converted Mark 9’s), three in the UK and two in the USA. In the UK the Civil Aviation Authority is tremendously strict and the old spitfire regrettably, does not meet public transport certification requirements. Similar rules apply in the US.

The owner of one of the two US based Spitfires, as he is willing to take passengers on a cost-sharing basis, presents the only opportunity of ever going up in one. Unfortunately the cost of running a Spitfire is not for the light-Walleted and will cost about $2,500 for a 45 minute flight. The plane in question is normally based in Aspen, Colorado, and Denver, is the nearest International Airport.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Adventure Enthusiast Seeks Work, KZN


We do receive a substantial amount of e-mail through our AdventureEscapades.co.za website, of which a fair quantity can best be described as weird and wacky, as they say in the classics, there’s a lot of weirdo’s out there! That aside we do also regularly get adventure enthusiasts contacting us, in which case we will always do our best to respond accordingly.

The following is a mail that came through in the week and my reason for sharing it with you is, perhaps there is somebody out there in the Adventure Industry who is in need of staff, possibly even a business partner, and the person who wrote in may just be what you're looking for.

It’s addressed to my partner Dianne and in his opening line; he makes reference to a photo of her he found on our site wearing skydiving kit. The photo was taken just after landing, upon completion of a tandem skydive she did sometime ago.

“Hello Dianne I hope that you are a paraglider pilot, or is that a skydiving kit? I am looking for work. My sports are paragliding, white water kayaking & Canoeing, Flyfishing and Snow Skiing. Next January I will be unemployed for the 1st time in 25 years and then I plan to have some fun and make some tom at the same time.”

He’s name is Andrew and is based in Pietermaritzburg, I’m sure he wont have a problem traveling down the N3 towards Durban, if need be. He further says “I am looking for outdoor employment. Much appreciate it, if you hear of anything, please give me a shout.”

I do have all his contact information so if you can help out, or know of anyone who can, please contact us and I will forward his details onto you. A long shot I know, nonetheless, it’s amazing how often it’s the long shots that pay off. :)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Cable Waterskiing, Cape Town


Nestled at the foot of the spectacular Helderberg Mountain range, a stone's throw from Sir Lowry's pass, Somerset West and just 30 minutes from Cape Town, is a beautiful crystal clear fresh water lake, home of Blue Rock Cable Waterski.

Blue Cable Waterski is an Ideal place to bring the whole family for a day offering of healthy outdoor fun. Cable Waterskiing is becoming an extremely popular watersport in South Africa and participants do not have to be adept skiers to experience the thrill.

As a beginner you can use a kneeboard and being particularly sporty or fit, is something you need not worry about. Skilled waterski instructors are also always in attendance to offer helpful hints and tips.

If you find yourself in Cape Town this summer and looking for a great day out of fun in the sun, give this one a try, healthy outdoor enjoyment is absolutely guaranteed and the crystal clear blue water is incredibly inviting, especially on a hot summers day.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Crocodile Creek



The above picture sequence was taken at Crocodile Creek, a crocodile farm that boasts over 7000 of the “Little Beauties” and is situated on Kwazulu Natal’s Dolphin Coast. Species include Nile, Alligators, Caimen, Slender Snouted and dwalf crocs.

Now’s a good time to go, as the crocodile eggs are hatching, eggs hatch between December and March and on both occasion I have been in last two weeks, I have got to see new crocks come into the world, its awesome.

There is also a guide there named Sean Cruz who is a real character and whose enthusiasm for crocodiles and giving tours, knows no bounds. It is very inexpensive activity and one that is well suited to children…. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Aerial Photography, World Cup Stadium



Those of you who regularly read this blog, millions Im sure, :) would have possibly come across a previous post pertaining to Jason Barker, owner operator of a company called skyimaging. These are the guys who have become legendary, for producing world class Aerial shots using remote control aircraft.

They are essentially in the business of offering a very cost effective alternative to the more common hellishly expensive technique, of hiring a photographer along with a helicopter.

As a brilliant example of what they are capable of, they have been keeping a photographic record of the FIFA World Cup 2010 Durban stadium development, and have been nice enough to share it with us. The above sequence, is the first installment sent through just over two weeks ago, below are the latest ones, we recieved them yesterday.

To find out more about what it is they do, or, for no other reason than just to see some brilliant photographs, visit www.skyimaging.co.za.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

GPS, is Best


Every now and then in life, you come across somebody that introduces you to something new that before long, you end up wondering how you ever survived without it. In my case one such product is my Garmin's Nüvi 310, and the person who introduced it to me was one Mr Mark Roach. Thank You Mark.

I am one of those people who spend my life traveling in my motor vehicle looking for places that are sometimes very difficult to find. I call on Adventure Activity operators around the country, and prior to having my Garmin, I spent more time lost than not, for me, it has been life changing.

One feature, I find absolutely fascinating, is that it estimates your arrival time, and is so pin point accurate. I recently drove from Cape Town to Durban and right from the start; it predicted a time of two hours later than the calculation I had prepared in my head. No matter how fast I went or how many trucks I got stuck behind, as well as thunder storms I drove through, it kept to its prediction within a ten minute variance. Needless to say, it proved itself to be a lot smarter than I am.

It is an incredibly simple device to use and is very affordable, it’s a must have for anybody who does a lot of traveling or regularly calls on addresses that are not familiar to them. Regular visitors to our AdventureEscapades.co.za website, may have seen a banner ad on the top right hand side of our home page for Gismap GPS Shop. Gismap is the on-line business owned by Mark Roach who as I alluded to earlier, supplied me with my new favorite gadget.

If you are interested in finding out more, visit his site at www.gps-shop.co.za where you can purchase you Garmin products on-line. Think about what a fantastic Christmas gift it will make for that special adventure enthusiast somebody, and you wont have to go to the dreaded mall to fetch it.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Festive Beer


In Today’s post we take the opportunity to thank all our readers and activity operators for their ongoing support, and to wish each and every one, a great Christmas and a prosperous 2009. For those who are traveling, take it easy and as they say, make sure you Arrive Alive. For those who are inclined to party, please drink responsibly and if it’s Adventure Activity you seek, look no further than AdventureEscapades.co.za. Enough with the lectures…….

On the subject of seasonal fun, here’s an interesting theory regarding beer that was forwarded to us by Greg Willis :) hope you enjoy ……….

'Well ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.'


Photo: By grizzly_lightning, courtesy of www.flickr.com

Monday, 8 December 2008

Mad about Paintball


Hi All, here’s another little beauty I came across on the net, written by Matty Marshall Spoke by Original Team XSV. I’m not sure what that means but clearly the lad is passionate about Paintball. I share it with you for two reasons; firstly our analytics tell us that the paintball pages on our AdventureEscapades.co.za site are among the most popular, secondly, I really enjoyed reading it and although probably not how it was intended, I found it extremely amusing. Here goes……..

“It's a sick and perverse thing, we know. But it's what we're good at. Shooting people for a living, playing paintball. Ya that's right…paintball. And the real world thinks this is lame, or crazy, or fun, or a waste of time. They don't understand what we do, or how hard it is. Even the wives, the girlfriends, the family, the friends, they don't understand the battle, our battle. For glory, for money, for the people you believe in, but mostly for respect. And for this fight, that nobody gives a **** about.

We've traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, to hundreds of towns. Been shot thousands of times. Slept on floors, in trains stations. Bounced rent checks. Because we're good at this. Because it's hard and humbling. Because some days, you really can be a hero to your friends. And if your boys, and my boys ever meet on the field in a gun fight. WE WILL ********! - H4AD Written By Matty Marshall Spoke by Original Team XSV”


There you have it, sorry about the censorship ….But Hey …it’s a family site.
Regarding the above pic, well sometimes, as Matty Marshall tells us in his own unique way, Paintballers too have to suffer for their Art. :)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Blog Tools - Finetune Radio


We would like to make your reading experience on our Blog as pleasurable as possible, so we added a nifty little gadget called Finetune Radio. To locate this gadget, scroll down the right Nav, just below the Clustrmaps.

This cool little widget, allows you to enter in the name of your favourite band and it will continue playing a selection of tracks from that band/genre. It really is a great tool and a neat way to listen to your favourite tunes, whilst reading up on the most awesome Adventure Activities in South Africa.

Happy Reading / Listening!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Abseiling, Howick Falls



Adventureescapades.co.za is proud to have Over The Top Adventures onboard as they do, along with other exciting adventure activity, present us with the awesome prospect of abseiling down the cliffs at Howick falls. If you’ve never abseiled, yet have partaken in extreme sport such as Bungy jumping or Skydiving, don’t make the mistake of thinking that abseiling is to soft for you, it is a completely different experience and is just as unforgettable.

Big mouth here, talks from experience. The first time I ever abseiled was off a cliff face in Parys in the Orange Free State. The company I worked for at the time took us away on team building weekend which in truth was a waste of time and money; I won’t bore you with the details of that, but for some reason corporate people roughing it for 3 days never seems to get the desired result, from my experience if anything, it makes staff resentful.

Anyway, the highlight was on the Sunday morning where we were given a choice of going abseiling or horse riding, needless to say myself and a few others climbed on the abseiling Land Rover and off we went. I wasn’t at all nervous or concerned as I had previously participated in several other activities that one would consider far more extreme, including Bungy jumping at several different locations.

When we arrived and I saw that the cliff was only about 12 meters high, my enthusiasm turned to disappointment as it looked totally unchallenging and uninspiring. The others, mostly ladies from the office, had never participated in anything like this and were all a bit apprehensive; knowing my reputation they looked to me to set the example.

We climbed up the path that took us to the top and suddenly once there, it took on a whole new perspective. One could see for miles and looking down it didn’t seem so unchallenging anymore, it felt a damn side higher. Once the rigging was done and I was kitted out to go, the instruction was, while holding the rope to control leverage, to stand on the edge facing away and lean back.

The sensation of leaning backwards off a cliff to the point that my head was almost parallel to my feet, ranks up there among the most amazing heart pumping adrenalin sensations I have ever experienced. Once you start kicking backwards off the sides to ascend down the cliff face, you quickly realize how easy it is to control. Once you get a feel for it and become more confident you take bigger and bigger jumps till eventually you feel like you are flying down.

Abseiling is an absolutely awesome experience and Howick Falls with Over The Top Adventures, rate among the best venues in South Africa at which to do it. If you have never abseiled you have to try it, I rate it up there with the best of Adventure Activity available and don’t make the mistake that I did, and under estimate it. The venue in Parys was Mickey Mouse compared to Howick. :)

Friday, 5 December 2008

Another Croc



I had meeting with one of those real salt of the earth type characters Peter Watson who owns and operates Crocodile Creek on Kwazulu Natal’s North Coast. Among other things we discussed his vocation, how long they’ve been going, what it’s like working with crocodiles, and how it is they make a living out of it.

At some point during the conversation Peter asked me whether or not I had ever seen a crocodile hatch. Upon replying not in real life, we took a walk up to a temperature controlled facility where the croc eggs are stored. The eggs are incubated among what are either small stones or very course sand, in large polystyrene containers kept in a warm room.

Peter opened one of the containers scratched around until he found an egg that was ready hatch and we took it into the room next door. There was a basin of water ready and waiting to greet the newcomer and we literally stood there and watched this little croc come into the world. For somebody who had never seen it before, it was absolutely enthralling.

Once it was out of the egg Peter immediately put it in the water and amazingly this little creature probably about 25cm long, was moving around with the energy and enthusiasm of a champion, ready to take on the world.

After giving it a minute or two in the water, I was able to pick it up and hold it, scratch its nose, stroke its back and contemplate whether or not Peter would allow me to keep it….NOT. When they are born they are the most unbelievably cute playful little creatures, the challenge I suppose is as they get older, you are likely to encounter some serious TEETHING problems.

For me it was a brilliant experience, for which I would like to again say thank you, to Peter and the team at Crocodile Creek.

Photo by 3D Photographers, Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Canoe With A View



Something that always gives me a tremendous sense of pride is when new clients come onboard and have instant success with our product offering. By clients I refer to activity operators on AdventureEscapades.co.za, our philosophy is simple; the success of our clients is our success, its win win all the way.

One of the newer additions to our site Coastal Kayaks, received an enquiry within hours of their page having been uploaded. They are a Cape based adventure activity provider who conducts scenic canoe trips to Clifton beach. Their activity is exciting and in many ways unique, its not at all surprising that interest has been immediate. The opening paragraph to their listing page reads as follows:

"What makes our Kayak outing, a very special occasion, is that by launching from Three Anchor Bay near to Sea Point and heading along the Atlantic Seaboard, paddlers get to take in spectacular views of Lions Head, Table Mountain as well as Cape Towns most famous beaches. From Three Anchor Bay we embark on a 3 - 5 km journey South towards Clifton Beach, a route that is sheltered from the Capes notorious South Easterly winds. "

Sound Good to You? For more information click Here.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Taking The Bus



On Monday afternoon in Cape Town I discovered an adventure experience that combines the skills one acquires from playing Paintball with Monster Truck racing all for a cost of under R5, 00, its called Taking The Bus, and thousands of people do it on a daily bases.

The AdventureEscapades.co.za Opel Corsa van was in for a service which meant I was stuck in Cape Town’s city centre for the day without transport. I decided to take a bus into Observatory to visit an old colleague and for me the sum total of the experience was that of sympathy, for the masses who have no choice other than to use our horrendous public transport system.

I arrived at the Bus terminal which at best can be described as filthy dirty and made my way to pick up zone D3 as the signage indicated I should. While waiting for the bus to arrive, is where paintball skills came in handy as I spent most of the time strategically positioning myself to avoid perceived threats. There where some really shady people hanging around the bus stop and instinctively, I did my utmost to ensure that should one of them make a move, I could immediately turn defense into attack.

I did this by having my hands on my notebook backpack strap, SO YES, if anything were to happen, I was going to hit them with my bag :) I’m pleased to report that other than the exchange of some really nasty stares, as if to say who the hell are you and what the *#!?* are you doing here, nothing untoward occurred, until the bus arrived anyway.

The bus itself was old, cranky, very uncomfortable, overcrowded, and the driver drove like an absolute maniac. The seats are hard and very close to one another and being thrown around in them by the appalling driving of a monster truck driver wannabe, was all part of the experience.

What amazed me was the amount of people onboard and how totally unperturbed they seemed, showing no emotion whatsoever. To those who take the bus on a daily bases it has clearly become an excepted norm, they are immune to the dangers and the driver simply couldn’t care. The only saving grace was the cost, at R3,90 it makes for a great low low budget Adventure Experience.

Photo: Bigfoot Bus by ßlϋeωãvε, Courtesy of www.flickr.com

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Santa Really Can Fly


For those who doubt the existence of Santa Clause, he was recently spotted flying through the air in the Orlando suburb of Soweto. The above picture was taken at the Orlando Towers Power Swing venue, and we at AdventureEscapades.co.za, are extremely pleased that the jolly old chap is taking a bit of time out to enjoy some great Adventure Activity and unwind, before going into his busy season.

As you can hopefully tell from the pic, he chose a superb summer’s day to put the famous swing to the test. He was apparently overheard saying to Mrs Clause, “look I’m flying and no rain dear.” Ho ho ho :)

That being said, the highlight of Santa’s day, was hearing that there’s finally a chimney for him to go down, without having to face the usual tight squeeze. They are busy building the long awaited new platform that faces INTO the tower, this in preparation of the INTERNAL SWING.

It won’t be long before you and Santa both will be able to launch yourselves into the centre of the cooling tower, facing nothing but radiating spokes of concrete 100m below you...Aaaaaargh!!!!

Now that is something to be jolly about. Ho ho ho.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Shark Spotters


Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com

Ever since running a blog post some days ago about the hoax e-mail doing the rounds pertaining to the Great White Shark that was supposedly spotted at Fish Hoek on the 25th of October, I have spent quit a bit of time on the Shark Spotters website.

That is where I got my information from and discovered that the photo supporting the e-mail was in fact two years old. Nonetheless, it still concerned me that a great white shark can be hovering around so so close to the shore, the kind of thing some think only exists in bad movies.

My cousin Andy who lives in Fish Hoek and is a huge diving enthusiast, informs me that some of the guys he knows dive in the hope of seeing them, and that although the divers in False Bay do always pay the creatures the respect they deserve, they don’t live in fear of them.

I on the other hand saw Jaws 3 in 3D as a child and let’s just say it had a lasting affect on me. I do when it comes to Sharks like to be informed and don’t like leaving things to chance. If you’re like me and are interested in knowing where the Sharks on the Cape coast are, www.sharkspotters.com is a great site to visit.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Blue Rock Cableski


Last week I went to Blue Rock Cableski and was absolutely amazed by how inviting the venue is. To put you in the picture, Blue Rock Cableski in Somerset West is located precisely at the bottom of Sir Lowry’s pass. As you approach the pass heading towards Hermanus, if you turnoff to the right towards Sir Lowreys Village, the entrance to venue is a stones throw away on the left.

You enter the gates at the top of a cliff overlooking the lake and drive down the side to the clubhouse at the bottom. The first thing that struck me was how incredibly blue the water is. I have never, anywhere else seen, a fresh water lake that has such a clear majestic turquoise colour, and with rock face as its backdrop, it’s very picturesque

A point that I took cognizance of is that you don’t have to be able to ski to enjoy it, in-fact they tell me most people who participate have never skied before. You can start on a kneeboard which they say anyone can do, graduate to wakeboard and if you think you are ready for the skis, you are welcome to give it a go. For those that are more skilled, there are ramps and jumps and the pull definitely isn’t to slow for it.

I was there for a meeting, and regrettably didn’t bring my costume. I should have done so as it was an horrendously hot day in Cape Town and it looked like loads of fun. At the time of my arrival, there was somebody on the water kneeboarding and it really didn’t look too difficult. And for boys, well lets just say the was plenty of good scenery, some of which where playing volleyball.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

A E Client Testimonials


Photo: Tandum Skydive Adventures

As a follow up to yesterday’s Blog Post where I went into some detail, probably too much, about our product offering and how it is our clients get Bang for Buck, I hereby share some testimonial with you in support of it, and thank the operators in question for writing to us.

Lebo's Soweto Backpackers (Guided cycle tours): Being listed on Adventureescapades.co.za helps us to maximize our on-line exposure. We already received a number of enquiries although being listed for a short period, this makes us trust the product!

The Woods Paintball: AdventureEscapades.co.za has worked very well for me and has proven to be a successful and cost effective alternative to brochure advertising. I have had numerous enquiries come through that have lead to bookings with some having been for big corporate groups that have resulted in repeat business. I cannot commend Ernest enough for the work he did in getting my listing page to look as good as it does and for the effort he put into authoring the content. For me the feature that comes in particularly handy is the sms notification of enquiries telling me to check my e-mail. The concept is great, the service is excellent; it is terrific value for money and has way exceeded my initial expectation. For me it has delivered first-rate returns.

Tandem Skydive Adventures: I have been very impressed with the quick and efficient service I received when signing up with AdventureEscapades.co.za. The enquiries I have been receiving through the website has been reliable and serious leads which have mostly been turned into real business.

Allure Charters: The blog is THE BEST IN THE WEST. Thanks so much for the great work you are doing

Friday, 28 November 2008

Advertising, Bang for Buck


I received an e-mail earlier from a lady wanting us to do some advertising in a Natal North Coast magazine, as always I had a good read to see what it’s all about and as usual I was floored by what they want to charge. I enjoy this sort of thing as it confirms my faith in our own pricing structure and serves to remind me that there aren’t too many around who provide as much Bang for Buck as we do.

To emphasize my point, I have rates for having our flyers placed in the rack at the Petrol / Convenience stop on N3 Durban South Coast. An A4 leaflet is R300, 00 per month and if you decide to go with both garages, (there is one on either side of he highway) they will give you a 10% discount, making it R540, 00. For a page on our site such as the The Huey Helicopter Co’s, the cost is only R297, 00 and it comes with bells and whistles.

If you did click through to the The Huey Listing, you would have seen that our flagship offering is a full page spread, the main body comprises of three sections for word content, with two photographs per section to support it. They also come with an enquiry form which generates an e-mail to the operator, as well as SMS notification when a client fills it out.

Search Engine Optimization: On www.google.co.za if you search the terms Adventure Activity or Adventure Activities, we come up first (below the sponsored links) and have done so for several months now. Flagship listings are given additional exposure as they regularly feature in this Blog and we also promote them in our forum. Our Blog feeds directly to our home page (down the left hand side) and has a fairly substantial readership with you of course being one of them. Here’s a sample of a Blog post we did for Len and the boys from Allure Charters.

We also do extensive offline marketing of the site. Our site traffic is significant; we average on between 8000 and 10 000 unique / new visitors, 60 000 page views and 270 000 hits, per month. There are several search facilities having focused our initial development on making it as user friendly as possible as well as aesthetically appealing.

On the home page there are six display windows that all feature flagship listings which click through to their unique page; it works on an automatic rotational cycle creating home page exposure for all vendors. It also ensures that home page content regularly changes, keeping the site fresh and exciting.

AdventureEscapades.co.za in essence, presents activity operators with a very affordable medium with which to communicate directly to their target market both locally and abroad. Our concept is in many ways unique and does deliver significant and measurable results. All this and more, for a fraction of the cost of mainstream advertising, if you are interested in finding out more, please feel free to give me a call on 079 887 8033.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Kiteboarding Cape Town


For the last month I have been fortunate enough to have operated out of Big Bay Cape Town, home to every Kitesurfer, his Dog and his Beetle car. Whenever I find myself in Western Province Country, I stay at an apartment that has spectacular views across the water to Table Mountain, and contrary to Durban, the sun sets over the sea which can be absolutely breath-taking.

Although I don’t kitesurf myself, I am always amazed at what can best be described as the “Kiteboarding Culture” that exists in these parts, everybody does it. In the Big Bay, Blouburg, Table View area, people eat drink and sleep kiteboarding….drink again, then drink some more,

There are days when the winds really pumping and from the beach you get to see the most amazing jumps, I do however from a spectator viewpoint also enjoy the milder days when the sky is literally littered with hundreds of kites creating a massive collage of colour against the turquoise blue backdrop.

AdventureEscapades.co.za is proud to have Gavin Spowart and his Cyclone Extreme Slingshot brand listed on our site. Gavin has competed on the pro-circuit and his Slingshot products are widely considered among the best in the business, he operates out of Durban and Big Bay and is the man to speak to if you are wanting to get started.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Kayak To Clifton


On the Beach road Sea Point Area, directly opposite Three Anchor Bay and not far from the Moulie Point Lighthouse, you will find an Adventure Activity operator called Coastel Kayak who for just R250, 00 per 2 hours, will take you on awesome Kayak excursion along the Atlantic Seaboard.

What makes this outing a special occasion, is that by launching from Three Anchor Bay and heading up towards Clifton, paddlers get to take in spectacular views of Lions Head, Table Mountain as well as Cape Towns most famous beaches, while paddling a route that's sheltered from the Peninsulas notorious South Easterly winds.

Their trips consists of a 3 - 5 km journey South towards Clifton Beach, a beach well known for its ultra soft white sand, and transparent topaz blue Atlantic water. Surrounded by spectacular mountains and indigenous fynbos, it is a magnificent bay to soak up the view and rest before returning to shore.

The above photo is one of several that was taken by the Coastal Kayak team in December 2007, using an underwater housing camera. A group of Husky Dolphins escorted 3 paddlers from Clifton Beach all the way back to Three Anchor bay, epitomizing the type of adventure experience, that one simply cannot put a Rand value to.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Adventure Racing, Uge Events


Image: www.flickr.com, by lumilon

AdventureEscapades.co.za received an update e-mail from Nicholas Mulder of Uge Events letting us know what’s going on in the wonderful world of adventure racing. He makes reference to the final event in the 2008 Uge Salomon Trail Running Series to be held at Konka Camps, just beyond Magaliesburg. It's scheduled to take place on Saturday 20th December 2008 and race distances will be approximately 10 and 20km.

He says we can expect an announcement within the next few weeks as to what will be happening in the 2009 season. He mentions that In the meantime, we should diarise the Uge Events Classic Adventure Race (150 to 200km distance) this one is to be held in North-eastern Free State, from 30 January to 1 February 2009.

WELL that’s todays post, short and sweet, Im rushing off to diarise :)

Monday, 24 November 2008

Skyimaging, Aerial Photography



A friend of AdventureEscapades.co.za Jason Barker has a very interesting profession. He has a company is called Skyimaging and what they do is aerial photography with difference. Anybody who has looked into it knows, aerial photography can be hellishly expensive and understandably so, helicopters are not cheap and neither is fuel these days. These guys have come up an alternative technique that is very cost effective and exceedingly innovative.

Jason has mastered the art of doing aerial photography using remote control aircraft and has become renowned for his ability to produce top rate aerial images. They utilize unmanned helicopters, unmanned airplanes, telescopic masts, helium blimps and sometimes conventional helicopters to obtain very unique types of aerial photography.

Although they have an excellent reputation and word of mouth is as some say, the best form of advertising, Jason not unlike ourselves, is a big believer in on-line marketing and has come up with an excellent idea with which to display his wares.

On their Skyimaging website they are running a series of Durban Stadium, World Cup 2010, Arial updates. He has already posted several pic’s documenting the stadiums progress, however with construction now heading for the home stretch, the decision has been taken to do so every two weeks.

The above picture sequence, serves as an example of the work I have made reference to. To find out more about Jason, Skyimaging and what it is they do, to see some brilliant photographs, or just to follow the stadium’s progress, visit www.skyimaging.co.za.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Volvo Ocean Race


Following on from our previous post, here is an image taken from the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. This extreme sailing event has been in the news, partly because the race organisers have made a sport which is traditionally not a spectator sport, into an interactive experience.

They have achieved this by putting loads of Moola into the Marketing of the race, but also by putting together an outstanding website. Along with information, pictures and realtime updates, you can now follow the race in realtime in both 2D and 3D.

This has allowed ordinary people to understand the tactical nuances of a race such as this and appreciate the skill of the Skipper and his/her crew. We will be following this race closely, so expect more updates here.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Table Mountain by Cable Car - A family Activity

Photo Credit: Sally Newell from Flickr.com

I recently had the opportunity to go up Table Mountain again. Having not been up for a long time, I was pleasantly surprised at the whole experience.

As we were coming from Somerset West, some 30km away, we were unsure what the weather and queues were going to be like, so I quickly called up the Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way site. On it were links to the current weather as well as two live webcams - one for the lower and one for the upper Cable Station.

From previous experience, I kind of expected to park a long way from the lower Cable Station and have a long hike to the ticket office. Not so - we managed to park within 100m of the Ticket Office and had our tickets in a snap. I took particular note that they offered a Family ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children), for under R400. Whilst this is still a fair amount of money, it did offer a substantial discount off the normal price.

The trip up was quick and everybody got to see a full panoramic view, as the Cable Car has a rotating floor. Once on Table Mountain, we had an hour's walk on the top. The route was well marked and although there were a lot of people on top, it did not feel crowded. For those of you who favour the more extreme Adventure Experiences, there are a number of alternative ways to come down the mountain.

Firstly, Abseil Africa offer abseiling down the Western side of Table Mountain. Alternatively, you can hike down the many designated routes (preferably with someone that knows the Mountain - it can be extremely dangerous when the weather closes in), or you can Paraglide down. I must say the latter would be my choice!!

The weather was superb on the day we went up and we were particularly fortunate to see the start of the second leg of the Volvo Round-the-World Yacht race. This is definitely a must do activity for both Local and International Adventure Tourists.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Great White Hoax


Don’t believe everything you read, is good advice that has been handed down through the ages, and since the advent of e-mail and the World Wide Web, its more pertinent now than ever before.

There is an e-mail doing the rounds displaying the above pic, in big bold font the caption reads “This was taken on Saturday, 25th October 2008 at Fish Hoek Beach.............” The reason why it looks so real is, well, it is real, except it was actually taken on the 28th September 2006.

There is a Cape based organization called Shark Spotters whose strap line reads “Safety Conservation Education Research.” Their website is www.sharkspotters.org.za and they are the experts with respect to monitoring shark behavioral patterns and whereabouts. The photo in question was taken by their research team and to find out the truth regarding it, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Springbok Day, 1 December


There’s an e-mail doing the rounds that some may consider controversial. It touches on a subject I and many other South Africans feel very strongly about. Nonetheless, I wont bore you with my personal opinions on the matter, have a read, and make of it what you will.

“As you are no doubt aware, the Springbok emblem is once again under attack, specifically by the SA Parliament's Sport Portfolio Committee.

They demand nothing less than the complete abolition of the Springbok emblem and it's replacement by the King Protea as the symbol for rugby. They also demand no further use of the term, Springboks, to describe the South African national team. They will not consider any compromises, despite the fact that Nelson Mandela supports the Springbok emblem and that it is quite evident that the Boks have massive public support.

So much for building the Rainbow Nation, reconciliation and fashioning the united non-racial society we yearn for!

The driving force behind this lunacy is Butana Khompela, the same man who threatened to confiscate the Springbok team and management's passports before the World Cup, if the team was not "transformed enough." Despite the massive support show by the country for the Springboks during both World Cup wins, this little bureaucrat with an axe to grind continues to seek the destruction of a beloved emblem which has been in existence for over 100 years.

What can we do?

On 1 December 2008, South Africans all over the globe are planning to stand up in visible protest against political interference in the issue over the Springbok emblem.

On this day we ask all of you to wear your hat, blanket, jersey, t-shirt, cap, scarf, pants, gloves or whatever, with the Springbok emblem on it .
Whether it is to work, school, church or even parliament, as long as the emblem can be seen.

Send this email to all South Africans and fair-minded friends of South Africans so that they may take part on the 1 December 08.
Whatever you do, REMEMBER, 1 DECEMBER 2008, IS THE DAY ON WHICH YOU CAN TAKE PART IN A WORLDWIDE PROTEST ACTION.

Supporters do it in green - with the Bok on their chests. Send this to all Bok supporters that you know and lets show support round the globe.”


Photograph: www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Bundu Paintball KZN



In a recent trip to Johannesburg, I was somewhat surprised to see just how many paintball venues there are around the province and dare pose the question, is getting together with friends and shooting one another, Johannesburg’s favorite pastime? I am just as amazed at how many paintball enquiries we get through the “Contact Us” functionality on our AdventureEscapades.co.za website, a clear indication that the sport has a huge following and continues to grow.

If you are heading to Currie Cup Country for the holidays, (Well Done Sharks) particularly the KZN North Coast Ballito area, and bushball is your paintball discipline of choice, do not despair! Bundu Paintball will ensure you don’t have withdrawal symptoms.

Bundu Paintball is an excellent Bushball venue that is owned and operated by By Phillip Wolmarans and his dad, two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They also own the Ndlondlo Reptile Park situated on the same stretch of land, presenting us with an alternative activity, to keep those members of the family occupied who perhaps would prefer to be in the company of snakes, as apposed to being shot at.

Jokes aside, as KZN bushball venues go, you have to go a long way to beat this one, and the Reptile Park is also well worth a visit.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

All Terrain 4x4, Trevor Knutsen



Today’s post is a personality profile on Trevor Knutson, owner operator of All Terrain 4x4. The above slide show is a depiction of what it is Trevor does.

He drove his first 4x4 and tractors at his first job in 1975 for the CSIR, and since 1990 has been actively involved in all aspects of 4x4'ing. This includes training, repairs, selling, and rebuilding. In the past 4 years he has constructed and maintained 4x4 training tracks and personally trained over 500 people. He has also worked with corporate groups and vehicle launches of up to 400 people at a time.

To add to his resume, he also has over 20 years experience in all aspects of the film and the broadcast video production industry.

Trevor trains for most major brands, and on vehicles from the old originals to the newest, latest, electronically-aided 4x4's. To maintain the highest training standards, he keeps himself up to speed by constantly going on new model training courses.

He strongly upholds eco-friendly practises and it's for this reason he trains the way he does, personalised, practical, and with a strong emphasis on eco-friendly driving techniques.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Bloukrans Bridge Bungy


We recently put together a Bloukrans Bridge Bungy listing page for our adventureescapades.co.za adventure activity web portal. Uploading this Tsitsikamma based operation, gave us tremendous pleasure as the Bloukrans Bridge Bungy, owned and operated by Face Adrenalin, is the highest commercial Bungy Jump in the world, and therefore represents an adventure experience that little else compares to.

With respect to the content of the said listing page, we took a different approach and began with an introduction authored by an adventure activity enthusiast who having completed several jumps, gave us his personal take on it. This is what he had to say:

“A Google search of the term “Bloukrans Bungy” tells us that for many who have participated, the experience has had such a positively profound effect on their lives, that in a manner not dissimilar to the spiritually enlightened, they feel a deep need to go out and spread the word.
This ICON of South African Adventure Activity, operating for several years now, has been the source of inspiration for endless Bloggers, forum posts, aspiring adventure writers, and loads and loads of YouTube videos, none of which are remotely capable of capturing its true awesomeness. For those who have jumped, it’s impossible to explain, for those who haven't it's impossible to understand, you simply have to experience it for yourself. Jumper, AdventureEscapades.co.za”

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Soweto Adventure



“Slowed down when I reached the power-station. I’d only been there twice before with Stanley, once in the dark. And it’s a veritable maze of paths and tracks. Managed to stay roughly on course. Across the railway-line and in among the houses. But then I lost my way. Drove this way and that, losing all sense of direction in the dense cloud of smoke that obscured the sun.”

The above paragraph is taken from André Brink’s classic novel “A Dry White Season” which is what I was reading earlier on the plane heading from Durban to Cape Town. To put it into context, the stories protagonist Ben Du Toit, is relating his fear as an Afrikaans schoolteacher, going into Soweto during the Apartheid 1970’s. Although it was first published in 1979, it is impossible to recommend too highly and remains one of the best books I have ever read.

As per the above slide show, the very same power-station the paragraph makes reference to, is now home to the Orlando Towers Power Swing. It is a world first, and is a BIG BIG Swing that takes place from the top of Soweto’s landmark Cooling Towers.

Also highly recommended is what we like to refer to as the Soweto Experience, compliments of “Lebo’s Soweto backpackers”. Besides guided cycle tours, and taking guests to the places of historical significance, if you’re up to it, they will also introduce you to Soweto’s vibrant night life.

I have spent quite a bit of time in Soweto lately and thoroughly enjoy going there. I cant help wondering if author André Brink, at the time his book went to print, would ever have imagined that in 2008 people from all walks of life would celebrate Soweto’s rich history, by participating in some amazing adventure activity.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Base Jumping Awsome Footage



This has got to be one of the most awesome YouTube videos I ever seen, hopefully you can see it too. One of the frustrations that all South African bloggers share is the inconsistency of our bandwidth. When initially finding this footage I couldn’t wait to share it with you, I’ve since tried viewing several times again, and keep getting the message that this video is no longer available. Cntrl F5 a few times and Wallah! its back. Hope you don’t experience the same.

Once again its base jumping, an adventure activity that is as extreme as it gets. I have met many skydivers, Bungy jumpers and others involved in adventure industry who agree that to base jump, you have to be a card or two short of a full deck. There’s no questioning the risk involved, one does however upon seeing a sequence like the above, get a feel for why they do it. If for no other reason than the brilliant Coldplay soundtrack, enjoy……