The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2015 ranked South Africa a fairly average 48th out of 141 countries. For a country blessed with such rich natural and cultural resources as South Africa, the varied factors holding back the country’s travel and tourism potential are cause for introspection and decisive action.
We arrived in the small town of Springbok at eight pm after an arse numbing 800 km drive from our departure point in Hermanus on the southwestern coast of the Cape Province, via the often picturesque and occasionally not so picturesque towns of Worcester, Wolseley, Gouda, Porterville, Clanwilliam, Klawer, Vanrhynsdorp, Bitterfontein, Garies and Kammieskroon.
My dad and I had made the brave decision to endure each other’s company for eight to ten weeks, travelling, meandering and getting lost in four Southern African countries: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Our main goals were to tolerate each other’s driving ability, cooking skills and sense of direction. Secondary goals would be to visit some of the most pristine wilderness areas in Africa, meet the locals and have a few adventures.
The Asiatic cheetah once had a distribution that extended across the Middle East, Central Asia, north into southern Kazakhstan and southeast into India. Today, the Asiatic cheetah has been extirpated from its entire Asiatic range, except for a small and critically endangered population in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We recently stumbled across a beautiful video documenting a surf trip along the Angolan coast. Although the video has already gone viral (110,000 views on YouTube within one day), we just had to add it to our collection as it represents everything that Reprobate travel is all about: adventure, discovery, and natural beauty.
Ah, Brazil. When you think about the country, you imagine hot bodies on the Copacabana, picturesque views of Christ the Redeemer and partying it up at carnival time. You do not think about launching yourself into a swirling mass of water surging up one of the Amazon jungle’s rivers, dodging floating debris, whilst on the lookout out for piranhas, caimans and stingrays. (Apparently, the urban legend of the spiny Candiru, a small catfish that can swim up the urethra and lodge itself permanently, has been largely debunked.) Despite the aforementioned fear factors, there are a few adventurous souls who relish a distinctly out of the norm activity when they visit Brazil – surfing the pororoca.
The Designing Life team have started their one year Professional Field Guide Course presented by EcoTraining. Over the next 12 months they will be based at four camps located in the south-western and northern wilderness areas of the Kruger National Park, as well as the Thuli Block in Botswana. This is their first report after almost a month at Selati Game Reserve, a wildlife conservancy in the greater Kruger Park area.
ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE: If you ever want to experience the ‘real’ Africa, there is no place like Zambia. If you have dreamed about wilderness areas so remote that you do not see people for days, with only wildlife for company, Zambia takes all the accolades. The country boasts some of Africa’s finest and most remote national parks.