The final countdown to Africa’s biggest adventure race; Expedition Africa – Baviaans, has begun. Athletes from all over the world will begin arriving in less than 20 days to accept the challenge of taking on the gruelling and exciting 500km adventure race of a life time.
39 teams from 13 countries will arrive at Cape St Francis Resort, host venue to this year’s multi-disciplined international event that will play out in the Baviaans and Kouga region, pinnacle parts of the well known ‘Adventure Province’.
» Cape St Francis Resort has been waiting in anticipation to lay our eyes on the people who make up each team that will be taking part in this gruelling super-human endeavour. We would like to give each of them a tumultuous welcome to our ‘race village'» shares Fasie & Fiona Malherbe of Cape St Francis Resort.
The organisers, Stephan & Heidi Muller have once again kept the start of Expedition Africa a secret. Media, supporters and athletes will only receive communication regarding the route, disciplines and transitions incorporated in this year’s race at the opening ceremony which will take place at Cape St Francis Resorts on Friday afternoon; 12th May 2017 at 2pm.
This phenomenal World Series Adventure Race has always kept the local communities at heart, and this year the African adventure racing organisers have chosen to assist SANCCOB. Cape St Francis is home to the Eastern Cape’s Southern African Foundation for the Conservation and Coastal Birds, and specialise in building a better future for the endangered African penguin and other sea birds the organisation cares for.
On Saturday; 13 May 2017, teams will be introduced to the invaluable work done by SANCCOB and get the opportunity to adopt a penguin. There-after teams will each lay a stone into the Expedition Africa landmark, which will be part of the event’s legacy. Another unveiling will take place thereafter, marking of Seal Point as the south eastern most point of Africa.
The well anticipated race will kick off on Sunday morning; 14 May 2017 at 7am. Families, friends and supporters alike can cheer on their teams via the live tracking feed which will feature a leader board, all transition areas and checkpoints along the route. Witness your favourite team’s progress on http://www.expafrica.live as they endure a race of a lifetime.
Local Supporters will have the opportunity to meet these amazing athletes in designated Transition areas all visible on the live tracking event page. This year, organisers are using the SPOT Gen3 satellite tracking device from Globalstar Africa, the leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies. Due to the very remote destination of the event these ‘off the grid’ units have been tested, creating the way forward for Expedition Africa.» It is of utmost important for us to know at all times where each team is and for our viewers around the world to follow the event» said Muller.
This year’s Expedition Africa race will not only be a physical struggle, but a mental one. Teams have a rugged adventure race to look forward to, as they are expected to race through the carefully designed course, which has incorporated all the challenging, yet beautiful attractions the glorious Baviaans and Kouga regions have to offer.
«Teams will trek, kayak and cycle through extremely remote areas, venturing where few humans have set foot before. Expedition Africa 2017’s teams will explore through magnificent mountain ranges and onto beautiful coastlines of the Eastern Cape,» said Muller.
According to Muller; teams are expected to explore the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the largest of its kind in Southern Africa. The 225 000 HA mega-reserve boasts unspoiled, rugged mountainous terrain featuring spectacular landscapes exposing athletes from far and wide to an entirely new kind of beauty. For the first time in the history of Expedition Africa there will be a “Dark Zone” along one of the hiking legs, as teams will not be allowed to travel during night. This is to ensure the safety of the teams as they will traverse though an African Wildlife area.
The staff at Cape St Francis Resort wishes each athlete taking part in Expedition Africa – Baviaans a wonderful and relaxing stay at their resort. «Our dynamic hospitable team will be cheering each team on at the finish, where our ‘resort family’ will be on standby to cater for all team needs» shares Fasie Malherbe of Cape St Francis Resort.
“We are ready to welcome 39 teams from 13 countries to our shores, before they tackle what we believe will be one of the toughest races yet these organisers have put together,” says Esti Stewart for Kouga Tourism. “We will be at each transition area to cheer them on, and our locals will show true Eastern Cape hospitality at every possible opportunity” shares Stewart.
Important Information to remember:
Live tracking: http://www.expafrica.live
Start date and time: Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 7am
Venue: Start venue to be announced on Friday, 12 May
Photographs, by Bruce Viaene // www.bvphoto.co.za