Showing posts with label South Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Africa. Show all posts

Video: Beautiful South Africa by Drone

If you want to know why I love Africa so much for a travel destination, all you have to do is take one look at this video. Shot using a DJI Mavic Pro, this short but sweet clip provides an amazing look at an amazing country. From landscapes to wildlife to breathtaking sunsets, this has it all.

SOUTH AFRICA - A Mavic Tale from Rind-Raja Picture Company on Vimeo.

Video: Elephant Chases Visitors For Miles in Kruger National Park

South Africa's Kruger National Park is one of the most iconic safari destinations on the planet, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with some of the most spectacular wildlife imaginable. But recently, a group of tourists found out first hand just how close they can get when a bull elephant decided to chase their safari vehicle for several miles. The massive creature didn't take too kindly to the travelers being there and expressed his feelings quite plainly. I had a similar experience while I was in Kruger a few years back too. The elephants there are very large and quite aggressive, with one chasing our vehicle as well. This can certainly be scary when you're in the moment, so take my advice and avoid the situation altogether. Just watch this video instead.

Video: Cape Town by Drone

Cape Town, and the surrounding area, is an incredibly beautiful place, and what better way to explore those landscapes than with a drone? This short clip takes to the skies to give us a bird's eye view of this spectacular section of South Africa. If you've never been there, it needs to be on your list and this will help you to understand why.

Video: Reminder - Hippos are the Most Dangerous Animals in Africa

It has often been said that hippos are the most unpredictable and dangerous animals in all of Africa. That is further underscored by this video in which a man was driving across a bridge near Kruger National Park in South Africa when he came across a hippo. The massive creature didn't take too kindly to anyone else being there apparently, as it promptly turned an charged the truck. The results are pretty impressive. And scary.

Nat Geo Gives Us the Best Outdoor Towns in the World

Looking for a great town to serve as base camp for your next outdoor adventure? Thinking about relocating to a place that offers more opportunities to pursue the things you love? Why not let National Geographic help with their picks for the world's best towns for outdoor thrills.
Some of the places earning a nod include towns that you would expect. Places like Moab, Utah and El Chaltén, Argentina. Others are a bit more unexpected, such as Niseko, Japan or Ely, Minnesota. It isn't as if those places weren't known for being great outdoor destinations, but to see them ranked amongst the very best (Nat Geo names nine places in total), is refreshing to say the least.

Each place is also accompanied by a nice description of why it deserves a spot on this very distinguished list with details on what it has to offer for visitors. Nat Geo even provided information on when it is the best time of the year to visit to take advantage of the opportunities that each place has to offer. For instance, summer can be hot in Moab, so September is a good time to go, although the author says not to overlook winter as well. Meanwhile, if you're planning on going to Niseko it is probably for the skiing, which is best between December and February.

Of course, with such a short list some places had to be left off, but there were a few surprises for towns that do not appear here. For instance, Chamonix, France is considered one of the great outdoor meccas of the world and yet it doesn't appear on Nat Geo's radar. Similarly, you could just as easily have substituted places like Boulder, Colorado or Jackson Hole, Wyoming, amongst other great mountain towns in the U.S. Still, the places that were selected are very deserving, and bring a nice exotic flair to the list with places like Australia, South Africa, India, and Peru enticing travelers.

To find out which places made the cut, read the entire list here. Then come back and leave a comment with the places that you think should have made the cut. After all, some of your favorite places probably didn't make it.

Video: Meet the World's First All-Female Anti-Poaching Team

The Balule Nature Reserve in South Africa a team of women called the Black Mambas has been training for the past three years to combat illegal poaching in the region. They are the first all-female squad to take on such a mission, with their main goal being to protect the wild elephants that roam the area. In this video, brought to us by National Geographic, we join the Mambas as they go out on patrol, searching for the hunters who are looking to kill the animals in the preserve where they work. The short film is an inspiring look at this team of dedicated and tough women who are looking to make a difference with Africa's wildlife. It is really an interesting story.

Video: The Last Rhinos - Would Legalizing the Sale of Their Horns Save Them?

Here's an intriguing video to say the least. It follows the efforts of John Hume, a man living in South Africa who happens to own five percent of the world's rhino population. Hume sued the government in South Africa to legalize the sale of rhino horns, arguing that if you sold them on the open market, it would bring the number of rhinos killed by illegal poachers down dramatically. It seems that when removed safely and properly, the horns will grow back, and the animal won't be killed. Could this be the answer to saving Earth's engendered rhino species?

National Geographic - The Last Rhinos from Brian Dawson on Vimeo.

Video: Rock Climbing in South Africa

South Africa is one of the best countries in the world for those seeking outdoor adventure. We're reminded of this by the video below, which follows North Face climbers James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini as they go searching for some great lines to scale, discovering sport, trad, and bouldering routes across spectacular landscapes in the Rocklands area. They also took time to deliver some much needed climbing equipment to a local climbing school as well, giving their South African adventure a different mission as well.

Video: Mountain Biking South Africa

South Africa is one of the absolute best destinations on the continent, offering great hiking, scuba diving, surfing, wildlife viewing, and so much more. It also happens to be a great place to go mountain biking, as you'll see in this video from Specialized bikes. We'll travel to SA with Hannah Barnes and Miranda Miller as they explore the wilderness of Stellenbosch, which was largely destroyed by a major fire last year, but its network of trails is now returning to life.

Video: Come Walk With Me Through Africa

Filmed on location in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa, this video is a visual love letter to the people and landscapes of Africa. It is beautifully shot, and shares some dramatic looks at the unbelievable settings that can be found there, on my most favorite of continents. Once you visit, Africa is a place that gets into your heart, and watching this video you'll understand why. This is a perfect way to end the week.

Iza uHambe Nam // Come Walk With Me from Sinamatella Productions on Vimeo.

Video: Ostrich Chases Cyclists in South Africa

When most of us set out for ride on our road bikes we expect to face the regular challenges, like steep hills, changing weather conditions, traffic, and so on. But in South Africa, the unusual wildlife can create new obstacles that the rest of us never have to worry about. Case in point, in this video a team of cyclists are chased by a very determined – and very fast – ostrich, who seems intent on running them down. Watching this giant bird chasing them down the road definitely elicited a chuckle on my end.

Video: Through the Thick - Preserving the Wild Rhino in South Africa

As someone who absolutely loves traveling through Africa, the thought of some of the iconic wildlife there being hunted to extinction is incredibly difficult to fathom. But poachers are killing off rhinos and elephants at an alarming rate, to the point where there may not be any left in the wild within a few decades. This video takes a look at the efforts to preserve rhinos in South Africa, where those creatures have been the target of illegal poaching for a long time. It is a fantastic 15-minute short documentary that is both informative and moving. This is definitely something everyone should see.

Through the Thick - Preserving the Rhino in South Africa - a Documentary from Nino Leitner on Vimeo.

Video: Take a Hyperlapse Safari with National Geographic

Have you always wanted to go on a safari, but just haven't found the time? Then this video just might be the next best thing – at least for today anyway. It is a an excellent short film brought to us by National Geographic that takes us to South Africa to go in search of some of the most iconic and amazing animals that that country has to offer, including lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and many more. While it can't completely measure up to the real thing, this will at least give you a taste of what an African safari is all about, and perhaps convince you to finally book one for yourself. Something my friends at Mountain Travel Sobek can certainly help you with.

Rare White Giraffe Spotted in Tanzania

Tanzania's Tarangire National Park is now home to an incredibly rare white giraffe. The one year old calf was spotted in the park recently, and has garnered lots of attention for her distinctive looks, which are made possible because she has a genetic condition called leucism that doesn't allow her skin to make a pigment, which results in the pale color.

The giraffe – which has been named Omo after a popular local detergent – was first spotted in the park last year as a newborn. But, she was recently seen again, making local rangers very happy. Over the course of the past year she has grown significantly in size and stature, and appears to be a healthy member of the giraffe population in every way. That is a good sign for the adolescent animal, as National Geographic says that about half of all baby giraffes die within the first six months.

But Omo isn't completely out of the woods just yet. In addition to the natural threats to her life, officials at the park fear that she could become a target of poachers. To combat this threat they have employed highly trained tracking dogs and remotely piloted drones to patrol the region. Their hope is to spot any nefarious activity long before poachers could ever get close to the white giraffe.

Tarangire is a popular safari destination amongst visitors to Tanzania. That means that some lucky travelers will get a chance to spot Omo in her natural habitat. That would be an amazing sight indeed, and on par with the rare white lions that were recently spotted in South Africa as well.

Video: Extremely Rare White Lions Captured on Video

In the animal kingdom, there are few creatures rarer than a white lion. In fact, only about ten are known to exist anywhere in the world. So, when a guide inside Singita Kruger National Park in South Africa first spotted one back in September of 2014, there was some skepticism about whether or not he had actually seen what he had claimed to see. But the filmmakers behind this clip were intrigued, and set out to see if they could find the animal. They discovered not one, but two white lions amongst a super-pride inside Kruger. As you'll see, these rare creatures are as amazing as you'd expect.

Video: On Safari in South Africa

Most of the time when we get a beautiful timelapse video it features stunning landscapes and occasionally a spectacular night sky. But this one was shot in South Africa while on safari, so not only do you get a chance to see some great scenery, but plenty of wildlife too. Shot in Marakele Reserve, Madikwe Reserve, and Sabi Sands, this gives you a taste of what to expect while on safari there.

And when you're ready to travel to South Africa yourself, Mountain Travel Sobek can help. They offer several trips to that country, including a week long safari to some of the places shown in this video.

SAFARI South Africa | A Time-Lapse Film - In 4K from Tyler Fairbank on Vimeo.

Canadian Adventurer Planning a Walk Across Africa from Cape Town to Cairo

A Canadian fitness expert and adventurer is preparing to embark on what promises to be the journey of a lifetime. Mario Rigby is in the final stages of planning an epic trek across the entire African continent, heading south to north. His journey will begin in Cape Town, South Africa, with the hopes of eventually reaching Cairo, Egypt by traveling only on foot, by sail, or paddle.

Rigby had dubbed his expedition Crossing Africa, and he plans to get underway on November 24. His planned route will take him out of South Africa into Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya. From there, he may choose to continue into Uganda and proceed into South Sudan, or detour across Ethiopia instead depending on the political situation in that region as he approaches. Finally, he'll trek across Sudan and into Egypt as he eventually pushes towards the finish line.

As he walks across Africa, Mario says that he expects to cover approximately 10,000 km (6213 miles) along the way, and has projected that it will take him about 15 months to complete the entire journey. He plans to live on just a few dollars a day, and will be camping in the wild much of the time, but hopes to stay with locals while passing through towns and villages.

Rigby says he has numerous reasons for undertaking this tremendous journey. First and foremost, he wants to test the boundaries of human endurance, both physically and mentally. He also hopes to study the importance of health and fitness in difficult environments, while also investigating the how African tribes have adapted to those same environments. He also hopes to use this trip to inspire others to do adventurous things, and he wants to bring more awareness to the importance of conserving the environment. All ambitious goals to say the least, but certainly obtainable given the scope of his expedition.

Currently, Mario is on a training walk from Toronto to Montreal, which is serving as a warm-up for things to come. But soon, he'll depart for South Africa where he will begin the walk in just a few short weeks. You can follow his progress on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updates on how he is doing. The video below also serves as a good introduction.

Thanks to my friend Julian Monroe Fisher for sharing Mario's story with me.

Video: The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun in South Africa and Namibia

The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun is a five-day long, stage race that takes place in a remote region of South Africa each year. The 2016 edition of the race actually crossed the border into Namibia as well, covering some 200 km (124 miles) along a course that was both incredibly difficult and beautiful at the same time. American ultrarunner Nikki Kimball used the race as a tune-up for the Western States, which is another race that is legendary for its level of difficulty. In this video, you'll get a chance to see what the Richtersveld is all about, as we go out onto the course with runners who are pushing themselves to cross some of the toughest terrain imaginable.

Ultrarunner Sets New Solo Speed Mark On South Africa's Drakensberg Grand Traverse

Endurance athlete Andrew Porter has set an impressive new solo speed record on South Africa's tough Drakensberg Grand Traverse, a 220 km (136 mile) route through some of the most difficult and demanding terrain that the country has to offer. The trail runs up and down numerous peaks, through deep valleys, and across rugged territory that typically takes trekkers upwards of 10 days to hike. Despite those challenges however, Porter managed to do it in just 45 hours and 8 minutes.

You may recall that two South African ultrarunners took on the Traverse last year, which is when Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel managed to complete the trek in 41 hours and 49 minutes. Their attempt took just about every ounce of energy they had just to reach the finish line, and they were working together to accomplish their speed run.

In Porter's case, he not only went alone and unsupported, he also ran the route south to north, the opposite direction of Sandes and Griesel. This allowed him to be more aware of potential dog encounters along the trail, but also added 900 meters (2952 feet) of extra climbing to his run as well. Despite those challenges however, he still managed to wrap up the attempt in an incredible time.

Just how impressive was Andrew's performance? Consider this. Back in 2009 he set the first solo record on the Grand Traverse by completing it in 61 hours, 24 minutes, and 11 seconds. This time out he managed to shave more than 16 hours off that previous record. That is a serious improvement to say the least.

To get a better understanding of what this challenge is all about, check out the film that was made about Ryan and Ryno's run from last year. You'll come away with an even greater appreciation of what Andrew has accomplished. Well done and congratulations to him.

And thanks to my friend Lisa de Speville for sharing this info!

Video: 100-Year Old Grandma Goes Skydiving

Who says that just because you get a few birthdays under you belt you need to stop pursuing a life of adventure? Take Georgina Harwood for example. This South African grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday this past weekend by going skydiving, something she first did when she turned 92. And if jumping out of a perfectly good airplane isn't wild enough for you, next she intends to go diving with great white sharks near Cape Town. She's a good inspiration to us all, and we should all be so luck to reach 100 and still enjoy these pursuits.