A few days ago, I was watching Euronews, the information channel, that was compiling the latest world news of the week. Those 7 minutes were just a succession of catastrophes: the financial crisis, frauds, disasters... I felt totally depressed!

I'm generally not prone to hyper positive thinking, but I have to say that all this general negativity makes me tired!

Using this critical time as an excuse, some people try to impose new rules, try to dictate the behaviours to adopt, try to direct our choices to their point of view, try to manipulate our opinion and point of view. Enough!!!

Without denying the facts and giving lessons to everyone, it may be time to take things easy and have fun.

Well, obviously you can do whatever you like, but don't skip out this newsletter. We have selected 10 cool things to spice up your trip in Southern Africa. Cool activities, Fun stuff to do... because at the end of the day, what will stay is the good time we can take wherever and whenever it is.

Enjoy!

S.C.

This month, we have selected for you 10 cool things to spice up your trip in Southern Africa. click on the following icons

Going Off-road in Kwazulu Natal

I'm sure that you've driven off normal roads before. But have you ever tried passing through a muddy creek? Driving through grass taller than you? Or slalom between elephants without fear of breaking your 4x4 into pieces?

  • Going Off-road in Kwazulu Natal
  • Going Off-road in Kwazulu Natal
  • Going Off-road in Kwazulu Natal
  • Going Off-road in Kwazulu Natal

A buggy is exactly what you need. A vehicle built for Africa and its rugged landscape. Whether for a day or more, the Kwazulu Natal region in South Africa, will welcome you to live one of the most exciting road adventures you’ve ever done! In a short time you will go on paths usually taken by cows. Look-out for hippos, giraffes, leopards or impalas, enjoy the scenery of a sunset in the bush and enjoy a refreshing nights sleep in nature to recover your strength for the next day.

No worries, everything you need will be provided so you can avoid unpleasant surprises. Of course adventure is great, but sometimes it’s good to enjoy calmly, and for that nothing better than one of Sodwana bay’s beaches which will give you a refreshing moment of relaxation!

by Marie Batteau

Discover a City by Bike

Most common ways of visiting a city would be by car, foot or bus… but have you ever thought of doing this by bicycle? In Cape Town this is possible!

  • Cape Town by Bike
  • The Waterfront
  • Cape Town by Bike

I recently had the opportunity to take part at a visit of Cape Town city center by bike which was at the same time a sport and fun activity. We started at the famous V&A Waterfront where I met my guide and the other participants (note that you can also do it privately). After choosing my bike (classic or electric) we were ready to go! The trip is about 2h30 long and you will see the most important places such as the World Cup Stadium, the Waterkant, the old center, Company Gardens, Bo Kaap and many other places. We did some stops so that our guide could tell us a bit more about the history of the city, the buildings, and the culture…

You do not have to be fit for this activity. There are a few hills to climb but no worries; you can tackle them by foot just like I did…

The tour ends at the V&A Waterfront (The Cape Grace Hotel) with some nice canapés and sparkling wine. We exchanged our impressions of the afternoon and enjoyed the nice sunset. Bicycle excursions can be offered in different places of Southern Africa. We can organise a visit of Soweto, one of the biggest townships in Gauteng! It’s the best way to discover the locals, the typical neighborhoods and the daily life. In general the excursion will end at a restaurant in the township where you will be able to taste the local food.

We can also organise other activities that you can experience on a bicycle such as safaris, wine tastings and the Garden route…

Get on your bike and get ready to pedal!

by Sophie Van den Hove

Enjoy the Local Cape Culture

Everyone has a different view on what culture is, but most agree that music and cooking are part of it.

  • The famous Bo-Kaap area
  • Cape Malay Cooking
  • Cape Town Jazz

And what better way to learn a foreign culture than by learning how to cook some of its traditional dishes, and by listening to its music? Imagine yourself walking in the colorful streets of Bo-kaap, surrounded by the spicy scents and the delicious flavors of Malay cooking, and instead of just watching, you are invited in one of these little houses. There you will be taught how to cook these yummy dishes, thus you will amaze your family and friends thanks to your new exotic recipes!

But if you prefer to remain a member of the audience, then the Jazz Safari is made for you! It will take you right into the heart of the city’s musical spirit, and let you enjoy the strong attractive power of these virtuoso musicians. And you won’t discover just one place, but several, each one with its own personality and its own talented artists. Come, discover, and let the Jazz take you away…

by Emilie de Carvalho

Encounter Wild Dolphins in Mozambique

I recently had the most awesome life changing experience while swimming with the Dolphins at Ponta da Ouro, in Mozambique.

  • Encounter Wild Dolphins in Mozambique
  • Encounter Wild Dolphins in Mozambique

The activity starts by a Dolphin ecology workshop to get to know them better before going into their environment. Then geared up with our snorkelling equipment, we got into the boat, ready for this exciting adventure. As I jumped into the water and looked down there was a pod of Dolphins swimming along and I still can remember the sound they made underwater beneath me.

A dolphin broke away from the pod, swam past me and then swam away only to back and fully circle me making eye contact... What a joyful feeling having a dolphin swimming around you! The more we were interacting with them, the more I fell in love with my new “doll friends” and felt that I was becoming a new member of their family!

I highly recommend this fun & exclusive activity to anyone that would like to share such an interaction with these amazing creatures.

by Rolene Enright

Meet a Meerkat Gang

"Oh, they are so cuuuuuuteee!!! "… Have you ever seen that effect of a meerkat on someone?

  • Meet a Meerkat Gang
  • Meet a Meerkat Gang
  • Meet a Meerkat Gang

And I won’t say on "women" in general, as I caught myself falling in love with a bunch of them during my last trip to Botswana. More precisely in Jacks Camp, in the Makgadikgadi Pan, homeland of the Bushmen.

"Cute", "Sweet", "Awesome"… The consequences of having a face to face experience with those little creatures is always disastrous for our own respectability, turning yourself directly into "kiddy mode".

First the excitement when your guide is telling you "tomorrow, we're going to try to see some meerkat". Then, leaving the lodge before sunrise, the tension to track the nest appears, followed by an incredibly long and silent wait around the main hole. Waiting for the first sound to come out. And finally, it appears… at first a head looking around to evaluate the level of danger. And then, a second meerkat popped out, facing the sun to warm up after a chilly night. And then, 3, 4, 8, 12 started surrounding us to a point that one, climb on me, indifferent to our 94kg difference.

And as much as the feeling of excitement pumps the blood through your body, the only word to describe this experience is "Fun". Real fun!

by Sébastien Charrieras

Experience a Rugby Match

If there is a sport that carries high and strong values which are not needed to list anymore. A sport that is as exciting to watch as it is to play. Well, Rugby is definitely that one!

  • Experience a Rugby Mach
  • Experience a Rugby Mach

In South Africa, more than anywhere else, this sport is a religion. Long time ago, reserved to the white elite, it came along the way and, thanks to some Springboks' achievements, popular. Since the youngest age, from the private school of Stellenbosch to the dusty pitches of Khayelitsha, girls and boys practice nowadays this sport that their parents support with strength and passion.

We would like to invite you to "Crouch Touch Pause Engage" with a game of the Super 15 or the future Four Nations tournament, which will see Argentina joining Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. To invite your "incentive" to defeat, on its land, a local team. Before, during and after the match...

Would you only dare?

Ps: Few photos of this slide show have been censured... I think they won't regret it...

by Laure Goepfert

Let's Play Safaripoly

We all spent evenings with friends collecting streets of the same color and buying houses. We all remember moaning when we pick up the card “Go directly to jail” but it is always with pride that we put our first house on the game board.

We liked the idea that an incentive group could play this game in the African savannah. From this idea the Safaripoly was born. All you need is at least 2 teams, one per 4 x 4 and your ranger turned into a banker for the occasion. So, let’s play Safaripoly in the bush among the lions and giraffes...

The rules are simple: Safaripoly is a game where we buy and sell animals with the objective to increase your wealth. Each time you see an animal represented by one of the cards in the game, you may buy it from the bank (the ranger). A collection of "challenge" and "chance" cards have been added to spice up the game even more. After 3 hours of safari, the wealthiest team, having succeeded in completing at least one combination, will be declared the winner.

You will then go back to the lodge for a complete debrief of the game and the election of the winning team around a bush dinner. Trust me, that’s the best part…

by Caroline Lucido

A Jet Boat ride bellow the Falls

If you ever had the opportunity to make a detour via the Victoria falls, there is one activity that you shouldn’t miss, especially if you like your thrills: Jet Extreme!

  • Jet Boat ride bellow the Falls
  • The Victoria Falls
  • Jet Boat ride bellow the Falls

When I went to this fabulous area, nestled at the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia I immediately jumped at the chance to live this exciting adventure. The trip starts from the Zambian side with a cable car ride through the Bakota gorge, one of the country’s natural treasures and then involves 30-minute boat ride on the rough waters of the Zambezi River.

As soon as the captain stepped on the gas, the fear I felt when I went aboard disappeared and gave way to the excitement of braving the unceasing swirls of this majestic river. Thrills, roars of laughter, breath-taking landscape, there is everything you need to enjoy the pure thrill. Sailing up the rapids of the Zambezi River while buzzing the 100m high cliffs in this awe-inspiring setting will undoubtedly remain one of my greatest memories from Vic falls.

by Florian Canal

Into the Wild with your Family

Unique and fun are the words to describe this new family orientated camp in Botswana nestled in the Linyanti.

  • Learn about the bush
  • Mokoro ride
  • Animal tracking lesson

The whole family can finally enjoy the bush without having to look at age restrictions or worrying parents having to shorten their drive or the kids being bored. Here everyone is happy and can enjoy the wildlife at its rhythm.

The camp only has 4 tents and one is a special family one. It is private for your family and a very child oriented ranger hosts you. He will make sure your children love the bush and learn about it. How to sail a mokoro, to craft and use a bow, to recognize tracks in the sand... etc. Yes he will turn your kids into very happy mini Bushmen!

Meanwhile you can enjoy the diversity of the Botswana wildlife and exercise your photography skills or also learn how to be a happy not-so-mini-anymoreBushmen.

by Gillian Englebrecht

Make your Own Wine

Who has ever dreamed of making their own wine? I have and I have made that dream come true!

  • The Stellenbosch area
  • Crushing the grapes

Learning how to put together your own wine is a truly fulfilling activity – if only because you get to create your own totally unique product at the end.

It is possible in the South African Winelands, in Stellenbosch. You have to be in group of at least 8 people wishing to spend an amazing day together. You will go hand pick your grapes, learn the whole process of wine making, smash the grapes in the tank and finally put it in barrel. The day will end with a traditional South African braai (BBQ).

And one year later... After a proper barrel ageing you will have the pleasure of receiving 12 bottles of your own wine with a “handmade” label to share all together.

Not for persons under the age of 18. Drink responsibly...

by Hélène Soragna

Contact us

FOR ANY QUESTION OR ENQUIRY ON THIS NEWSLETTER

Sophie, alias Sophke, comes from Belgium and is one the pillars of our FIT department. A funny little anecdote, she is the only Belgian I know who doesn't like beer and chocolate ;-)

Your idea of ultimate luxury?

Being able to travel wherever & whenever you want. No limits!

What calms your stress?

A Cigarette break & taking a nap in the sun

If you win the roulette 9 times in a row, do you carry on because luck is on your side or do you stop playing because statistically you should now be losing?

First I would ask somebody to pinch me as I have never been lucky in those games. And if I am not dreaming I take the money and run away!

Is there a superstition that makes you change your behaviour?

No ... I am not really superstitious

If you were sent to a deserted island what book, disc or movie would you take with?

Tony Park! I love his stories and I cannot wait for his next book! If you like Southern Africa & adventure you should read one of his books!

A small pleasure that you consider huge?

Walking barefoot in the sand and of course for the ones who does not know me....I love eating pasta

Your way to kill time?

To be honest there is so much stuff to do in Cape Town that I wish the weekends would be longer...so no time to kill for me

What are you totally incompetent in?

Ironing and parking my car

To what are you addicted?

Cigarettes (unfortunately) and travelling

Your new year’s resolutions?

I have not thought about it yet and to be honest I always forget my resolutions after 2 days ;-)

What have you not done yet, but that you will certainly do one day?

Travelling by 4x4 with tent on the roof through the whole Southern Africa with my husband:-D

To which other part of the world would you move to without any hesitation?

I am happy in Cape Town so no question of moving for the moment...

A word or a phrase that you hate?

Racism and people replying "I do not know" or "up to you"

If you were to reincarnate into someone from real life who would it be?

It would be me but with a valid passport for every continent to avoid all the visa & paper troubles