Sunday, 31 August 2008

Zorbing or Sphereing



We at AdventureEscapadess.co.za do regularly get enquiries from travellers looking to take part in a specific activity and wanting to know the availability of it in South Africa. It is rare that we are unable to assist, yet every now then one does come along that we don’t have listed as it hasn’t thus far reached our shores, or if it has, it hasn’t yet come across our radar.

One such enquiry came through pertaining to Zorbing.

The Wikipedia Explanation: Sphereing (or Zorbing) is the practice of humans travelling in a sphere, generally made of transparent plastic, usually for fun. Sphereing or globe-riding is generally performed on a gentle slope, allowing the rider to roll downhill, but can also be done on a level surface, as well as on water, permitting more rider control. In the absence of hills, at least one vendor has begun constructing metal ramps. Most spheres are constructed for a single rider, but some hold two or three. The longer runs are approximately half a mile. Globe-riding is very popular in New Zealand and the very first Zorb site was Zorb Rotorua.

Interestingly if you do a South African page search for the term Zorbing on Google.co.za, what you get is: "This domain is already in use The domain zorbing.co.za is being held by Flatspin for Zorbing"

What this hopefully means, as opposed to it being a speculative domain, is that it won’t be to long before we have Zorbing in SA.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Cows Have a Built in Compass!



In yesterdays post, just for the fun of it, we made a ridiculous correlation between Orienteering and the use of GPS technology. Orienteering happens purely for the sport of it, and is about people who enjoy applying an intellectual challenge in an outdoor environment, whereas a GPS device is for those who simply seek convenience.

The intention really was to highlight the stark contrast between the old ways and the new. Cowboys, Indians and Voortrekkers did not have their Garmin handy and one feels that those involved in such activity, are dedicated to preserving a heritage. “We also do it for the beers” says an inside source from the RAC Orienteering club in Randburg, but that’s a storey for another day.

On a related note, (with a stretch of the imagination at best) The Star newspaper this week ran a fascinating storey about how science has proven that cows have a built in compass. No Bull! A study of Google Earth satellite images have revealed that herds of cattle regardless of global location tend to face in the north-south direction of Earth's magnetic line.

AdventureEscapades.co.za Orienteering Tip 101:

Should you find yourself disorientated, in an open field, map blown away becauase your in Cape Town, the stars cannot be seen because it’s broad daylight, and coincidently, there isn’t a tree around for miles with moss growing on it, but there is a herd of cows happily grazing in a meadow, don’t lose hope, all is not lost......

Friday, 29 August 2008

Orienteering vs GPS



While still travelling around Johannesburg earlier in the week, AdventureEscapades.co.za met up with Mark Roach from Gismap who handed us a Garmin Nuvi 310 personal travel assistant and was nice enough to spend a bit of time explaining how it works.

With this very user friendly and remarkable GPS gadget in hand, it is seemingly impossible to get lost, hence it has become a must have, for road travellers and adventure seekers alike. After losing our bearings on more than one occasion; and in addition to how to keep oneself amused in very slow moving traffic, the Johannesburg highways did teach us, just how desperately we needed to get ourselves one.

As with the introduction of any technology aimed at making life simpler, like the third umpire in cricket, there are those purist types who will jump up and shout “Fowl.” In this case it’s likely to come from persons who are passionate, about rally driving, overland 4x4 or orienteering where mapping skills is big part of the fun.

Orienteering is about walking through unfamiliar terrain using a specially prepared map and applying common sense. It generally happens in a cross country surrounding where using a Garmin is likely to result in name throwing, such as “Cheat” or “Spoilt Sport”

Nonetheless for us heathens who believe that applying common sense is making sure the battery for the GPS device is fully charged, visit Mark’s site www.gps-shop.co.za for all your on-line GPS requirements.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Kiteboarding, Cyclone Extreme


Kiteboarding is a no boundary adrenalin sport where the sky is literally the limit. Participants strap their feet to a wakeboard type device and propel themselves across a body of water by harnessing the power of the wind using a large controllable kite. It is an unsurpassed high speed wind driven thrill that unlike most activities we feature; does require a reasonable level of proficiency, meaning that taking lessons is the most sensible way of getting started.

Cyclone Extreme Products is a Durban based R&D kiteboarding company who also trade out of Big Bay Cape Town. Owner operator and World Tour Pro surfer, Gavin Spowart, with his team of dedicated experts, have over the last 8 years become renowned for producing boards of the highest quality and proudly supply some of the world’s top professionals.

Gavin and his Cyclone Extreme team do provide expert lessons, as well as a full range of Kiteboarding accessories, so if you’re keen, Cyclone will get you up and flying in no time at all.

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Getaway Show - This Weekend


The Getaway Outdoor Show is happening this weekend at the Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg. If you are interested in going and have not been onto the Getaway website yet, make sure you do! You can print out a discount voucher which will entitle you to R10 off your entry fee. Not a lot, but with fuel so expensive these days, every bit helps.

From their site: "If you're on the hunt for camping equipment, local and international holiday destinations, outdoor gear, diving equipment & outdoor accessories; make sure you get to the DStv Getaway Show in association with Jacaranda 94.2 at the Coca-Cola Dome Northgate, from 29-31 August - the perfect place to plan your next outdoor adventure!"

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

SkydiveKZN, People In High Places.


We at AdventureEscapades.co.za can honestly say we do know people in high places, lots of them in fact. Take Roy Steemson of SkydiveKZN for example; when Roy isn’t jumping out of aeroplanes, or bringing joy into the lives of the orphans from St Martins, he basically does what most skydivers do, he spends his time hanging around, though in his case, it actually does involve a rope.

Roy is a partner in a business called “Specialized Access Services” and what it is they specialize in, is getting to places us ordinary folk daren’t go. He’s been known to hang around the side of the ABSA Stadium, oil rigs, the top of Gateway Shopping mall, the Durban ICC and many other very high places, in various parts of the world.

Roy has an I.R.A.T.A level 3 qualifications which means he is very well trained and subscribes to the highest standard of competency, so, if it’s an “Oak on a Rope” you’re looking for, give Roy a call. If it’s hurtling through the Kwazulu Natal skies at tremendously high speeds that grabs you, it’s probably best to speak to Mike Nyman, his partner in the SkydiveKZN venture. Mike is the managing member and it is he who takes care of that aspect of the operation.

For our international readers who might not know, the word “Oak” is common slang in South Africa for “Salt of the Earth” type people.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Gariep Gliding Centre


Gariep Gliding Centre is situated in Xhariep in the Free State, South Africa. Every year, almost 200 Local and International Glider Pilots descend on Gariep from the beginning of November to the end of February.

Conditions for soaring in this part of the country are excellent and over the years several National and World Records have been set for distance flying. Flights of over 1000km in a day are common at Gariep.

An added bonus is that the airspace around Gariep is largely uncontrolled (up to FL 195), allowing Glider Pilots to set tasks without factoring in air space restrictions - the norm when gliding in Europe and most parts of the States.

Visiting pilots pack their gliders in containers and ship them over for the season and those without gliders can rent a glider from the Gliding Centre. The near by town and resort offer a range of facilities for the pilots and their families and Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State, is only an hour away.

If you are in this part of the world, or are driving down to Cape Town, stop off at the airfield (just off the highway) and see if you can bag a ride - this will be one adventure activity you will never forget.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

WILD Card - Now also for International Visitors


We have some excellent news for International Visitors - The WILD card is now also available for overseas tourists. It is a joint initiative by South African National Parks, Cape Nature Conservation and Msinsi Resorts and is powered by INFINITY – South Africa's leading loyalty and smart card management company.

The WILD card is a world-class smart card loyalty programme that makes tourism to national parks, nature reserves and resorts in South Africa more accessible, easier, safer and CHEAPER. It is valid at over 50 Game Reserves, Dams and Parks, including all SanParks, Cape Nature, Msinzi and KZN Ezemvelo Nature Reserves.

Although local tourists can purchase a card which entitles them to free entry and discounts in a particular cluster/area, or a card which is valid for the whole country, International Visitors only have the option to purchase the card for the whole country (All Clusters).

The cost of this card ranges from R840 for a single person to R1990 for a family, and the card is valid for a year. For SA visitors the cost is R205 and R460 respectively.

If you intended visiting one or more of South Africa's National Parks, more than a handfull of times over the next year, this card is for you. Not only will you save money, but by having the card, you will be encouraged to get out there, explore the country and participate in the many adventure activities offered within these Parks.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Animals & Humans


There are several activities featured on our website that involve interaction with the animal kingdom, in the wrong hands, this can either be dangerous to humans or harmful and cruel to the specie in question. AdventureEscapdes.co.za does not condone, and will not align ourselves, with any such irresponsible operator.

The reality is whether its horse riding, snake courses or whale watching, we will only promote animal activity listings that are run by responsible individuals who are passionate about what they do, are dedicated conservationists, and who conform to the standards set out by their respective governing bodies.

Just as one wouldn’t willingly go up in a helicopter with somebody who doesn’t have a pilot’s license, it would be equally as silly to take a snake course with somebody who isn’t FGASA approved.

FGASA stands for Field Guide Association of South Africa, and their function (as taken from their website) is as follows.

Quality-assure and moderate nature guiding qualifications.
Endorse and quality-assure training providers and trainers of nature guiding unit standards.
Quality-assure and develop qualified nature guide assessors and moderators.
Enhance the credibility of field guiding and tracking in Southern Africa.
Encourage guides to achieve higher levels of professionalism, and thereby improve the quality of service to and safety of the visitors both local and international.

Just, something to ponder on.

Friday, 22 August 2008

'"The Woods" Paintball



(Photograph by Danny De Bruyne, Cell: 0826655069)

If you go down to “The Woods” today, you’re in for a big surprise and it’s got nothing to do with three Bears. The woods I’m thinking of, on Riversands farm near Fourways Johannesburg, might just get you caught in a crossfire of paintball.

There are plenty of paintball venues in and around Johannesburg, none like this though. The challenge is that geographically, Johannesburg is by and large, flat dry and open, which means the rule, rather than the exception, is that hiding places are constructed from tyres, sandbags, or even concrete.

Then there’s “The Woods”

Owners Julian, Cecil and Bernard are fortunate enough to have something many of his local competitors don’t, a piece of land about the size of a football field which uncharacteristically has rows of trees on it, making for an excellent paintball War Zone. Situated next to a picturesque dam and with its forest like setting, the venue encourages participants to bring friends and family, and make a day of it.

For more information about “The Woods” Paintball, and to find out exactly how challenging the course is, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Jason Seale "Snakeman"


AdventureEscapades.co.za, on our country trip, are getting to meet some extraordinary people, doing extraordinary things, Jason Seale from “HartbeesPoort Dam, Snake and Animal Park” is definitely one such individual.

The Park has been in his family for 40 years and is world renowned, for breeding threatened and endangered species, among them the black footed cat (now known as the small spotted cat), the Cape vulture and the African Hunting dog.

One of Jason’s many responsibilities is the overseeing of the Snake Courses run at the facility. All courses are FGASA approved, held throughout the year and cater for beginners to the advanced.

Unlike Patrick Kaye “Horseman,” the horse talker we recently featured, Jason has no air of mysticism about him. He simply comes across as someone who is committed to conservation and whose goal it is to convey how essential a roll, snakes play in our ecosystem.

I made a comparison with what he does to that of Michael Rutzen, aka "Sharkman", (Swims with Great Whites) which at first, he found somewhat amusing. He explained that although snakes and sharks are worlds apart, the principle is essentially the same. It’s about understanding the species behavior patterns and knowing where the boundaries are, implying that it’s more scientific rather than mystic. He did however make it clear that Snakes are his passion and that he is more than happy to leave sharks to the "Sharkman", where there is absolutely no room for error.

If ever you are in the Hartbeespoort Dam area, visit the park and see for yourself, the good work that Jason and his team does.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Orlando Towers, Awsome


AdventureEscapades.co.za today had one of those days that won’t be forgotten for a very long time. We got to spend the day with Sue, Chris and crew from Orlando Towers and got to experience their trademark power swing, from the top of Soweto’s landmark cooling towers.

For those of you who haven’t seen any of the press coverage or aren’t regular readers of this blog, Orlando Towers Vertical Adventure Center, is a proudly South African, WORLD FIRST, and is a must do activity for all adventure enthusiasts.

The power swing involves jumping off a specially designed platform mounted to the edge of one of the two towers. In order to proceed to the top, a rigging session with the assistance of a crew member has to take place first, harnesses are fitted and clips are double checked.

The lift in itself is an Adventure Activity. There is no doubt, that with its several emergency break systems in place, safety needn’t be a concern, it is however something worthy of being called unique. It is for all intents and purposes, a big cage like apparatus that moves on a rail mounted to the side. Although the rail goes straight up, the tower’s profile consists of an inward curve, which essentially means that the lift moves along a bow shaped path, and almost illogically, does so without impediment.

From the lift, there is a short steel grid type stairwell which leads to the jump platform; it is at this point that the rope gets attached to the harness. Upon moving around the safety railing towards the edge, a short countdown follows, and then from nerve wrenchingly high position, a heart pumping leap is taken.
The rope is itself attached via mechanism to a set of cables that run from one tower to the other. The said mechanism is very well placed to create a perfect pendulum for the swing to carry straight through the middle of the two structures. It is smooth and exhilarating ride and is SO MUCH FUN. Its one of those amazing thrills that cannot be described, it has to be experienced.

A BIG THANK YOU to Sue, Chris, Vernon and the rest of the Orlando Towers team, for a fantastic day out. Well Done on a Brilliant Adventure Concept.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Adventure Personality - Thinus Botha



Thinus Botha did the 216m Bloukrans Bungee jump this weekend with his son, the highest Commercial Bungee jump in the world! The adventure outing gave Thinus the opportunity to bond with his eldest son and together they conquered their fears.

Impressive? Well of course it is, but that is only a small part of Thinus's amazing story. His adventure began just over a year ago, on the morning of his 44th Birthday. His wife's Birthday present to him, was an Activity Gift - a Bungee Jump at the Bloukrans Bungee!

Unfortunately Thinus was unable to go as he was still feeling 'funny', after a paddling event two days earlier. His wife took him to their GP, who did some tests on him. The Doctor immediately put him in ICU, after the tests revealed that he had a heart attack two days before! Two days later, he had a bypass operation and as he says very nonchalantly, "the rest is history".

One would think that after such a traumatic event, Thinus would have gone through life at a more sedate pace? This has definitely NOT been the case! Although I am sure there are elements of his lifestyle that he has been forced to change, Thinus was more determined than ever to lead an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Six months after his heart attack, he participated in the Duzi Canoe Marathon for the first time with his eldest son. He unfortunately had to withdraw on the morning of the last day after his son cut his knee badly on day one and it got badly infected. Thinus now plans to do both the Breede and Fish River Canoe Marathons later this year with his youngest son.

Yesterday, almost a year after his life-changing experience, he finally got to do the Bloukrans Bungee Jump. Standing at the launch point ready to jump, he must have had mixed feelings, but he took a leap of faith and will continue to follow his new motto - "Let's stay Active!".

AdventureEscapades.co.za salutes Thinus Botha, a proud father and husband with a 'never say die' attitude. He is an inspiration to all of us!

Monday, 18 August 2008

World First - Skydiving



Martin Downs, a Britian currently living in South Africa has just become the first person to Skydive in Six continents in 150 Hours - just over 6 days. The record attempt was part of ProjectO , an attempt to raise funds for Aids Orphans in South Africa.

The above video is part 1 or 3 and you can see the other two videos by navigating to eh ProjectO website. All costs for the trip were covered by Martin and his family - almost R100,000, which meant that all funds raised for the record attempt went directly to ProjectO.

The record attempt began at SkydiveKZN, who are based at Cato Ridge near Durban, South Africa and ended in Vietnam.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sandboarding



Sandboarding is a high speed adventurous activity that involves participants gliding across sand dunes while ether attached to a board, or balancing on a board that has no bindings. With the latter considered the more dangerous of the two, it is best suited for the more experienced rider.

Although the sport has developed a global following, it tends to be most prevalent in desert or coastal areas where sand and dunes are found in abundance.

South Africa presents perfect conditions in which this sport should thrive and with Johannesburg and Cape Town offering great Sandboarding venues and facilities, SA participants will no doubt continue to grow in numbers.

According to WikipediA, Erik Johnson, a professional snowboarder and sandboarder, holds the Guinness World Record for Speed on a Sandboard at 51 mph. They also say that unofficial speeds of 60 mph have reportedly been clocked.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Featured Activity - Hartebeespoort Dam Snake & Animal Park


Hartbeespoort Dam Snake Park and Animal Farm is one of South Africa's premier snake parks. Less than one hour from most areas of Johannesburg, it is easily accessible and situated in a very picturesque area of the country.

Whilst the primary focus is on their very extensive Snake Park, they also have an Animal Park, which is home to many local TV and Movie animal celebrities! The Park is world-renowned for it's breeding of threatened and endangered species and is also home to a large breeding group of Chimpanzees.

The Snake Park holds regular educational courses for people who come into contact with snakes in their day-to-day routine. These courses are a must for everybody interested in snakes. The beginners course is a two hour course @ only R300 and the Advanced course is held over a full day @ only R600. For more information check out their page on AdventureEscapades.co.za

Boat trips on the Hartebeespoort Dam are also offered by this activity operator and are an ideal way to get to see the local area and birdlife.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Michael Rutzen, "Sharkman"



Many of us do contend with psychological hurdles that essentially prevent us from experiencing some of life’s greatest thrills. A key objective for AdventureEscapades.co.za, is to dispel the many myths associated with adventure Activity. In most cases, what we do is totally and utterly safe; it’s simply a case of overcoming a mindset.

Bungi Jumping is a great example of this. The breaking strength of a Bungi cord way exceeds the body mass of any individual roaming the planet, the only plausible way in which something can go wrong, is through negligence. When one considers their 100% safety record, after 15 plus years in the business; SA’s “Face Adrenalin” operators are truly a professional outfit. The chances of a harmful incident occurring, is totaly off the charts, you are more likely to win the lotto.

Today’s featured activity however, is a mammoth exception, we don’t encourage it all. In fact, unless your name is Michael Rutzen, aka Sharkman, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING IT.

South African born Michael Rutzen, has got to be one of kind. One can’t help wonder if the late great Steve Irwin would have loved this little beauty. While accepting the conservationist view that in order to handle any dangerous specie, one begins by gaining a thorough understanding of its behavioral patterns, we happily leave Mr. Rutzen to it. ……… You go first Mike.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Abseiling & Helicopters, on your way to Durban


As we begin moving into the warmer seasons, it’s getting closer to that time of the year where thousands of Johannesburgers will be heading down the N3. Destination, Kwazulu Natal coastline, why? To enjoy some warm weather, warm waters and variety of Adventure Activity that the region has on offer.

During peak holiday period’s, traffic on the N3 route does become unbearable. AdventureEscapades.co.za suggests breaking the trip down somewhat, stopping as they say to smell the roses, or in our case to enjoy adventure activity the route presents us with.

Keeping in mind, the best way to make a road trip adventurous is to determine beforehand, which areas it is you would prefer to stop at. Then to do a search by area on our AdventureEscapades.co.za website, at which point you would be presented with a choice of area specific options, guaranteed to relieve monotony.

Two AdventureEscapades.co.za operators that are well placed are “Over The Top Adventures” operating at Howick Falls, and Westline Aviation, in Central Drakensberg.

Over The Top offers Abseiling, Caving, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Rap Jumping and also hiking.

For those who want to take in scenery, and would enjoy seeing the Drakensberg from a whole different perspective, what better way than from the air. Westline Aviation has the answer.

For these and many more to choose from, visit www.AdventureEscapades.co.za

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Snowboarding in Southern Africa



Snowboarding is an extremely exciting Adventure Escapade that one doesn’t naturally associate with sunny South Africa. Peter Peyper, chairman of “Snowboarder Club Of Southern Africa” is on a mission to change that perception and to introduce new people to this unique and awesome sport.

He informs us that Southern Africa enjoys snow for the entire duration of winter, boasting 2 active ski resorts and 2 dedicated parks, as well as riders who are committed to putting Southern African snowboarding, on the map.

Their objectives are as Follows:

1) To Develop, Promote and raise Awareness of Snowboarding and Freestyle Skiing in Southern Africa.

2) To increase access and increase the participation base of the sport amongst all aspirant board riders and freestyle skiers, especially the youth.

3) To Promote and Encourage freestyle competition amongst SA's Snowboarding and Freestyle skiing community by managing, running and developing the "Aces Up Tour" – the SA Pro/Am freestyle Snowboarding and Skiing circuit.

4) To provide a starting point for access to international freestyle skiing and snowboarding Competitions by interested South African athletes. These events include Slopestyle, Air and Style and Boarder Cross events, including building affiliations with FIS and TTR.

5) To invest in 'Park', Boarder Cross and Snowboarding type equipment and infrastructure( e.g. snowboards, helmets, rails and jumps) in order to increase the variety and quality of freestyle riding in SA.

For more information, visit their Website on www.snowboarder.co.za

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Kart Racing, “Kyalami Kart Circuit.”



As South Africa’s market leader in the online promoting of Adventure Activity, AdventrueEscapades.co.za does on a regular basis get to meet with adventure sports entrepreneurs, those in the industry who pride themselves in raising the bar, Giba Gorge, Cyclone Extreme, and Oribi’s Wild 5, are among many, that come to mind.

In our travels we recently encountered another company that definitely fits that mold; I refer to “Kyalami Kart Circuit.” These speed merchants run an excellent facility, and have clearly spared no expense. Their operation is very impressive.

As much as the circuit was designed for professional kart racing, they do cater for just about any level of proficiency and is the venue of choice, for corporate kart entertainment.

The multi-level tar surfaced track is 845m long and is lined with tyre barriers on both sides for driver protection. Designed by 125cc MAX World Champion Claudio Piazza-Musso, there is a combination of fast and slow corners allowing for all, driver skill to be challenged.

The circuit which was also built with development training in mind is owned by Giovani and Paolo Piazza-Musso, along with partners Winston and Grant Wentzel, its Grant who manages the facility and they all share a vast knowledge of motorsport. They have succeeded in creating a one stop Kart Superstore, go see it for yourself.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Adventures for the Kids - Model Steam Trains



It is amazing how little it takes to put a smile on a child's face. We often spend endless sums of money getting the latest toy or gadget and going on expensive overseas holiday, in the hope that we will bring some joy and excitement to our children.

However, the toys generally end up gathering dust on the shelves after a few day's play and young children seldom seem to appreciate the experience of an overseas holiday.

Last Saturday we made a detour to the Pietermaritzburg Model Steam Engine Club, where R20 buys you four rides on the back of a Model Steam Train. The track is well designed and has an authentic feel to it. It goes through cuttings, in Tunnels and under Bridges and each ride lasts about 5 minutes.

The kids had a huge smile on their faces for the duration of the rides and have not stopped talking about the experience since. Makes you think....?

If you like trains but are looking for something a little bigger, why not have a look at the Train Trips featured on AdventureEscapades.co.za - from an original steam engine adventure, to the opulance of the World-Class Blue Train - you will find it all there.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Personality Profile: Patrick Kaye “Horseman”


AdventureEscapades.co.za, does get to meet some interesting people, Patrick Kaye “Horseman,” is about as interesting as they get. While at his riding school near Kaylami, it was easy to relax and forget the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg. After being made to feel most welcome, I took a walk with him to his training paddock, where I got to see him in action.

He did at the time, have a training session going with a pleasant young lady and her horse, who Patrick assures me, is going to be championship pair. He explained that he’s a horse talker, not whisperer, his philosophy is that you need to appeal to the horses intellect, and whispering is for secrets. At first, it all sounded a bit outlandish, however seeing is believing, and the horse was definitely responding to his every instruction.

His specialty it seems is working with problem horses, he is for some, the last resort when all else fails. The horse at hand was apparently given up on by the conventional training fraternity, and it was in fact recommended that he be put down. While Patrick and I talked, the pair put on a magnificent and disciplined display of horsemanship for us.

It was exceedingly evident that Patrick Kaye “Horseman” is very anti, established training methods; he believes they are about inflicting discomfort, to manipulate the beast into doing what you want. His school of thought is to get the horse to relate, and to want to perform for you. According to Patrick, where a dog memorizes and responds to up to 30 words, a horse can learn up to 100.

Like all who dare to be different, Patrick Kaye has endured his share of criticism. He was once, at an Inanda event, told by an angry official to "join a circus," after being eliminated for riding without a bridle.

To the contrary, his accomplishments tell a different storey. He had five placings in the Toyota Open and a fourth place in the All England Showjumping Championships at Hickstead. He also trained the first South African schoolboy team to compete in the National Schools Championships in England; they ended second out of 140 global entrants.

AdventureEscapades.co.za, wishes Patrick Kaye “Horseman” and his trainee’s the best of success.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Hanggliding in South Africa

Photo Credit: JohntheFinn

Hang Gliding is a popular sport in South Africa. Whilst not as popular as Paragliding, there are still many places where you can do a tandem flight, or learn to Glide.

This shot was taken in 1998 and shows a pilot taken off from the summit of the Magaliesberg, about an hour from Johannesburg. This is a popular area for Paragliding and Gliding as well and the conditions in Summer are ideal for long distance, cross-country flights.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Adventure Activity Forum


Welcome to our new South African Adventure Activity Forum. Here, you will be able to discuss your latest adventure experiences and share information with fellow adventure enthusiasts.

Unlike a search engine query, you will probably not get one answer to a question like, "What is the best dive spot in South Africa?" - Instead, you are likely to get a host of different answers, all highly subjective, but backed up by personal experience. You can then make up your own mind and if you are still not sure, engage with some of the members who have made a post in your thread.

We have a forum for every topic; Air, Land & Water Adventures, Tourism, Work Wanted/Offered, Buy & Sell, Orchids & Onions, Adventure Racing and IT/Gadgets.

Share your Experience Now
!!!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Fax2Email - Great Travellers Resource


Tired of lugging your old bulky fax Machine around, had enough of never finding a phone point to plug it into while preparing for that sunset skydive, heart pumping bunji jump, or early morning surf, We Have the Solution For You.

While the above mentioned scenario is under no circumstances practical, there is a great need in this fast paced world to be able to readily gain access to urgent documentation. This is where Fax to e-mail has changed the way we do things.

Our Fax to e-mail product enables you to receive faxes in the form of a PDF file which goes to whichever e-mail address you provide us with, meaning that you only need one number, to access your faxed documents from anywhere in the world. Your number is automatically allocated and e-mailed to you as soon as you register. To register the only action required is that you go to our registration page and enter your e-mail address, then simply click submit.

There are a number of advantages with respect to fax to e-mail:


  • You get to keep your number regardless of how many times you move, no more headache of having to get phone lines installed.
  • Access to faxed documents wherever in the world you may find yourself, along as there is internet connectivity, you’re in business.
  • Privacy, your private documents will no longer lie around on the fax machine waiting for others to advertently, or inadvertently, view them.
  • You will save money not having to pay for those pesky Ink cartridges.
  • Paper will no longer be wasted on junk mail, if you don’t like what you see, you can make it go away by simply hitting the delete button.
  • And lastly in an office environment, where perhaps there would be high volumes of paper coming through, intended for numerous people within in the organization, all employees are now able to have their faxes come directly to them, thus doing away with the mundane and time wasting task, of having to sort through piles of paper.

This is a truly innovative product that is yours for Free - Register now.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Port of Durban, South Africa





The Port of Durban is South Africa’s biggest and world’s ninth largest, with origins that trace back to 1497. It was first discovered by Explorer Extraordinaire, Vasco Da Gama, who was initially drawn to what he hoped, would be the mouth of a large River. He instead found an area for safe anchorage on the coast of Natal that would later become the impetus for Durban’s early Growth. The rest as they say is history.

Today, the harbor presents a selection of enjoyable activity to choose from that include live entertainment restaurants and theater. It is also the launch point for two AdventureEscapade.co.za Flagship listings, Isle of Capri and Allure Charters.

Isle of Capri is a harbor cruise operator that offers visitors to Durban the occasion to see it, from a unique and exciting perspective. Guests are taken from the dock to various points of interest. With trips on offer that include Educational Tours, Business Cruises, Birthday Parties, Weddings and even fishing trips, fun in the sun is guaranteed.

Allure charters is a Durban based fishing charter operator, among whose accolades include, top tag and release boat for the 2003/2004 marlin season. They also hold records that pertain to size of marlin, caught off the Durban coast, a black marlin of 506 lbs as well as a blue marlin which tipped the scales at 532 lbs.

To find out more, and for the most comprehensive guide on Adventure Activity within South Africa, visit us at www.AdventurEscapades.co.za

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Flygirl needs your help!!



Gaynor Schoeman (aka Flygirl) is no ordinary woman. An adventurer and former SA women's kickboxing champion, Gaynor started Paragliding about 7 years ago. The bug bit immediately and she started flying cross country about three years ago. Her longest flight is 149km out of De Aar, which is only 37km short of the South African women's distance record.

Last year, she competed in two of the three XC-Open World Series, winning the final task in Spain. She flew further than any competing pilot (men and women) that day and walked away with the Best Women XC-Open World Series 2007 title. Gaynor now intends going back to defend her title in a month's time, but is desperately short of funding.

She has pretty much sold all of her possessions and with the help of her friends in the Cape Town Adventure Tourism Community, is holding a raffle to raise money. There are some awesome prizes available, including Shark-Cage Diving, Helicopter Flips, Boat Trips, Meal Vouchers and Kayaking trips. Tickets are only R100 each and the draw will be held at 18H00 on Monday the 18th August at the V&A Waterfront, aboard the Sea Princess.

To purchase a ticket, please contact Gaynor on 083 679 1177 or flygirl@flygirl.co.za. If you are out of town you are not excluded!! You can reserve a ticket and if your lucky number is drawn, you will be notified by email and can claim the prize when you are next in Cape Town.

This is a great cause and you have the added bonus of being in line to win some awesome Adventure Activity Prizes. What are you waiting for, give Gaynor a call now. We wish Flygirl all the best for the competition in Spain and look forward to doing a complete profile on her as soon as we can.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Kite Surfing in Durban - Extreme Pictures



Gavin Spowart, from Cyclone Extreme Products, was kind enough to provide us with these awesome Kiteboarding photos. Gavin is a World Tour Pro Surfer and is Internationally renowned for manufacturing Boards and Accessories of the highest quality.

Cyclone Exteme Products also run an IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) approved school. All instructors are also IKO approved which ensures that you are in the safest hands. If you are a newbie, novice or a Pro looking for some advanced lessons, this is the school to go to if you are in the Durban area and would like a lesson. A one on one lesson, which lasts two hours, costs only R350!

Gavin has recently opened a shop and school in Cape Town, so you can also make use of his skills as a Kite surfing instructor and manufacturer of top-notch Kite Boards and Accessories, in Cape Town. Go on..... take the plunge and book your first lesson!!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Featured Listing - Giba Gorge MTB Park



Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park, situated in Westmeath-Durban, is one of those fantastic success stories. The idea to create a safe, family friendly and easily accessible Mountain Bike Park, which could cater to both the Novice and the Expert Rider, was born just over a year ago.

Jason Nichol relates how the quarry on the current site had been in the family for many years, and a group of avid Mountain Bikers approached him to see if they could use the site for a Mountain Bike event. As they say in the movies, "the rest is history". Jason soon saw that there was a large demand for such a facility and started laying out the first single tracks. Maintaining these tracks is clearly a huge task, so Jason implemented a community development project with the nearby community and is now able to provide gainfull employment to many previously unemployed community members.

Although there was never a master development plan, Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park is constantly evolving and new facilities are being added every month. The site currently has over 45km of single tracks, a BMX track, a Free Style Park and a Kiddies Bike Park, which has been specially designed to develop MTB skills at a young age. Giba Gorge is an excellent venue for kids parties and has some specially tailored packages - see listing on AdventureEscapades.co.za

There is a Coffee Shop and Bar at Giba Gorge, and last month saw the opening of an on-site cycle shop for sales, repairs and servicing. With plans to build additional overnight accommodation on site and expand the amount of single track courses available, Giba Gorge is a must do for any MTB enthusiast in KZN.

And best of all - it is situated within riding distance of Hillcrest, Westville and Kloof, so you don't even have to drive there!! Happy cycling.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Adventure Activity Operators - Special Offer!


If you own or operate an Adventure Activity or Experience in South Africa, stop what you are doing and look carefully at this post.

AdventureEscapades.co.za is currently on a big drive to add Flagship Listings to it's site. In the next six months, one of our business advisors will be visiting you with an incredible offer. For only R197 per month, you can get National and International exposure to a targeted audience of Adventure Travellers, which will increase your revenue radically.

We already have many satisfied Adventure Activity operators on our site, with one having received enquiries for about R25,000 worth of business in the past month - not a bad return on an investment of R197!!

The initial offer of R197 per month for the Flagship Listing is limited to the first 30 Adventure Activity providers that sign up in each Province. If you miss the boat, you can still get access to all the great benefits of our Flagship Listing, but the monthly cost will be R297 per month.

We are looking forward to meeting you all personally in the next few months and discovering the amazing adventures that you offer.

Friday, 1 August 2008

4x4 Women's Day - Port Elizabeth


For all the Women out there who are wondering what this 4x4 thing is all about, the Algoa Toyota 4x4 club will be having a Women's Day 4x4 Experience at 9am on the 9th August at Maitland Mines (Port Elizabeth).

The day is a family day and you do not have to have your own vehicle - there will be experienced 4x4 Drivers who will take you for a spin. For more information or to RSVP, contact Bernadette - rave@cmcs.co.za. Don't miss this amazing opportunity!

For more information and links on 4x4's, as well as a list of trails and activity operators, check out the 4x4 Trails and Tours Activity Home Page on AdventureEscapades.co.za