Expedition Africa 2014

EXPEDITION CONCEPT

  • Adventure racing is a multi-discipline endurance sport where competitors compete in teams, navigating from control point to control point in a number of disciplines.
  • Disciplines may include: mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, swimming, rope work and orienteering. Teams are expected to navigate using a map and landmarks. Teams must be able to operate in harsh remote environments in all weather conditions.
  • Teams travel through day and night, they can decide if, when and where to rest.
  • The first team to complete all the Expedition legs and visiting all the control points will be declared the winner.
  • Teams are required to complete the entire Expedition distance together (always within hearing and visual distance of each other), helping and assisting each other.
  • Teamwork and team dynamics are essential. A detailed understanding of your teammates and your own capabilities is essential.

 

ROUTE

  • Due to the remotenes and the rural infrastructure of the Wild Coast, teams must prepare themselves for long legs with very few transitions.
  • There are many little shops in the area. Teams will be able to replenish supplies during daytime, especially on the cycle legs. Keep cash on you.
  • Make sure you are self efficient on doing any repairs on you cycle. Long remote legs. Bring sufficient spares.
  • Tick repellent recommended, Cattle areas.
  • Prepare yourself for a real Expedition.

DISCIPLINES

  • Mountain biking – teams should be prepared for a range of riding including single track, steep hills, gravel roads and sealed roads.
  • Trekking – will involve traveling by foot through rugged and diverse terrain.
  • Kayaking – kayaks will be provided by race organizers. Kayaking may be on inland rivers, lakes, ocean or white water. Generally inland kayaking will be permitted during both day and night. Dark zones will be enforced on ocean sections and white water. Details will be outlined at race briefing. The kayaking sections of the 2014 Expedition Africa will be on the ocean, tidal rivers and a rapid section (grade to be advised depending on water levels – grade 1/2). Teams will be required to do a surf entry and exit. Water temperature is not cold, no wet suit required.
  • Swimming – teams might be required to cross rivers.
  • Rope work. Could include abseiling, traversing, ascending etc.  Expedition Africa 2014 will have two abseils so far.
  • Orienteering – orienteering is an extremely important part of the race. The course is not marked and teams are required to navigate using maps. Teams may be split up into pairs to do orienteering legs.

LOCATION

  • The location will be the Wild Coast of South Africa.
  • The host town will be Port Edward, Kwazulu Natal.
  • Accommodation and registration will be at the Port Edward Holiday resort.
  • The closest airport will be King Shaka airport, Durban.
  • International teams will most likely have to take an connecting flight from O.R. Tambo International (Johannesburg) to King Shaka International airport (Durban) and then use the free transfer (on Friday only) to registration venue.
  • Alternatively teams can also rent a van at OR Tambo international in Johannesburg and drive to venue (8 hours direct drive), or at the airport in Durban (2 hours drive) (We can arrange a paid transfer fom Durban, contact us)
  • We advise teams to try and arrive earlier than Friday to get themselves ready for an adventure of a lifetime. (See the accomodation tab)
  • Teams who wish to stay longer after event can stay at resort at same special rate (contact us for reservations). See local website http://southernexplorer.co.za/  for local attractions.

An Expedition race in this region of Africa is a once in a lifetime experience.

This route will never be repeated again and this area may not stay as rugged for very long with Mining companies threatening its isolated existence.

Venture where only a fortunate few have passed.

The Wild Coast is a section of the coast of the Eastern Cape a province of South Africa. The region stretches from East London the south to the border of Kwazulu Natal in the north.

The average daily temperatures in May along the coast vary from 13°C to 25°C.

The northern Pondoland section of the Wild Coast, stretching from Mtamvuna river in the north (Port Edward) to the mighty Umzimvubu in the south(Port St John’s), is undoubtedly the least accessible, dramatically rugged and breathtakingly pristine section of the Wild Coast.

The Southern section of the Wild coast stretches all the way to the Kei River and the border to commercial civilization as we know it.

Passing through traditional Xhosa villages, rolling green hills, rocky headlands and sandy bays. Pass amazing waterfalls, freestanding rock stacks and pristine estuaries on your journey. The skeletal remains of numerous shipwrecks along the shore bear testimony to this high-energy coastline, whilst schools of dolphin and whales are a familiar sight.

Cycling and trekking in this area are one of a kind. No fences and a myriad of route choices using local footpaths and cattle tracks to reach any destination in a number of ways.

It is the traditional home of the Xhosa, and the birthplace of many prominent South Africans, including Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

Many rivers empty into the sea along the Wild Coast. In the southern-most parts of the region, where the hills are lower, and the rivers tend to be mature and are characterized by wide floodplains. But in the rugged north, where young rivers find their path to the sea blocked by massive cliffs, many, like Waterfall Bluff, leap over the rocky crags into the surf below.

Small sandy bays and long stretches of open beaches are often found near the mouths of large rivers. Estuaries, bays and headlands are plentiful, whilst rocky shores predominate, be they smooth wave-cut platforms with jagged and un-even surfaces or precipitous cliffs that plunge into the sea.

About half the coastline comprises indigenous forest and many forest species that were previously unknown to science have been discovered in places. About 900 forest and grassland species from the Wild Coast region have been identified as having commercial, traditional or homeopathic value.

The scenic beauty of the Wild Coast, coupled with its rich cultural heritage, make the region ideal for adventure racing

Crossing Mtamvuma river in the north will take you to Port Edward, our host town. This area has a mix of commercial farming land rural housing settlements and coastal holiday resorts, the ‘beach holiday mecca’ of KwaZulu-Natal.

Quite simply, the very last word in gracious and relaxed subtropical seaside living, plus thrilling, adrenalin-fueled adventures to boot. The Hibiscus Coast as this area is known dazzles with iridescent blooms against a lush green backdrop, meeting a perennially-warm, saltwater playground along 70 kilometers of picture perfect hideaway coves and seemingly endless golden sands.And while this inviting stretch of Indian Ocean presents the year-round delights of frolicking dolphins and majestic, cruising whales, this enchantment peaks each June or July with ‘The Greatest Shoal on Earth’ – when we offer the best possible ‘ringside’ seats for one of nature’s truly grand spectaculars. Where else to marvel at 20-thousand dolphins plus thousands of sharks, hundreds of fur seals, uncountable game fish and the occasional whale – all herding and feeding from a millions-strong sardine shoal, while massed squadrons of sea birds rain down from above? This may sound like a fisherman’s tale after a long night in the pub, but our Zulu Kingdom’s annual winter Sardine Run is a wonder of the world, attracting ever more attention from around the globe.

Anglers can stand knee-deep in the shore-break for hours on end, casting lines after some of the most varied and abundant scaled trophies to be hooked anywhere. For scuba divers, a world-class site presents a series of reefs to test the mettle and endurance of even the most experienced underwater fanatic.

Other challenges lie in wait ashore – some with panoramic sea views, others a short distance inland. The latter include white-water rafting, rock-climbing, mountain biking and one of the world’s highest abseil and cable-slide locations and world class golf courses.

More info:

http://www.kineticgear.co.za/AdventuresRaces/ExpeditionAfrica

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