Confessions from the Heart
After 5 days and 22 hours organisers, volunteers, athletes, supporters and sponsors have officially begun wrapping up the 2016 edition of Expedition Africa. This gruelling 500km adventure race ventured teams and individuals on a mixture of self discovery and hard competitive racing.
The Garden Route played host to the 6th annual event on the Adventure Racing World Series circuit, seeing 53 teams gather at Pine Lake Marina for this exquisite race. Starting on the picturesque Knysna Lagoon, through the surrounding indigenous forests, untouched coastline, dry desert like region of the Klein Karoo and then finally finishing at Pine Lake Marina . Not many races like this come close in terms of bio diversity, experienced by the athletes at this year's Expedition Africa.
Race Village is packed once again, but this time with tired, limping athletes sharing highlights of their race experience. Athletes gathered for the unveiling of this year's community project at the Sedgefield Mosaic and Outdoor market this afternoon. This exciting project raised over R20 000 for the Masithandane Bursary Fund for Children and will now live in the market for years and years to come sharing in the legacy of Expedition Africa 2016 and their host; the home of adventure.
As teams travel back to their countries and homes, they will be taking back stories of brokenness, elation and total awe of the route that they accomplished. Sharing the tales of untouched, dark water canyons where the sleepmonsters gnawed at their tired minds. Athletes will tell you where sleep over came them, that they awoke with sea lapping at their faces or on the side of a gravel road. They may tell you these stories, but their faces will tell you what those words can't describe.
"Dot Watchers" will now have the opportunity to catch up on sleep, and the Garden Route communities can now get back to work after the excitement passes through their beautiful countryside. It goes without saying that the support and camaraderie each team experienced throughout the race was a highlight.
Tonight, teams will celebrate under a full moon, Lake side as fires burn bright continuing the event festivities for one last night. The closing ceremony will honour their accomplishments no matter what placing. Team Featherbed Painted Wolf are this year's champions, but each and every athlete that took part in the 500km adventure race are heroes.
Race Directors, Heidi & Stephan Muller, put on a true masterpiece, connecting the very best of the Garden Route for the teams to visit and explore as they took on Expedition Africa. The experience and focus of this dynamic duo has created one of the most elite and sought after races on the ARWS circuit. So without further ado; that is a wrap for Expedition Africa 2016 and in the words of Heidi Muller, "It's all about love."
Image: Bruce Viaene
We look every year for what is most needed in the area closest to our Host Town and found this wonderful organisation who is so desperately in need of Funding. Our whole idea is to get the teams participating with a local child which will benefit from our contributions and make a Mosaic Creation which will be a Landmark in the Town of Sedgefield. All sponsors names will be engraved into this landmark and while teams are racing the Masithandane group of tilers will finish the Landmark. After the event teams can go back and take their Team photo's of this Landmark of which they were part of. Contact me if you want to assist me with this Dream!! #loveyouexpeditionafrica
We had the most amazing morning spending time with some of the local children as they were showing my Werner and Isabella all about Mosaic. You can also see the spot where we are going to make this Landmark!! See photo's below.
PRESS RELEASE: Expedition Africa Mosaics for Change Community Project
The Garden Route, known locally as the "Home of Adventure" will host Expedition Africa 2016. Teams from all over the world will arrive in less than six weeks to take on this team challenge of mountain biking, trekking, orienteering, kloofing, kayaking and abseiling in the picturesque Garden Route.
Organisers; Heidi and Stephan Muller have always ensured the local community benefits from their Expedition Africa events, and this year the Bursary Fund for Children of the local Non-Profit Organisation Masithandane has been chosen. Masithandane is a registered Non-Profit Organisation No. 052-253 & Public Benefit Organisation No. 930025275 and has been working in the area for 10 years. The Bursary Fund is used to assist families in need with transport costs to school, school fees and uniforms.
According to Jacky Weaver of the Masithandane Fund, "there are no High Schools in the area, and no public transport systems in place for children living in Sedgefield and its outlying rural area." The majority of the Greater Sedgefield Area's population is located in formal and informal settlements away from infrastructure, services and employment opportunities.
"The Bursary fund is a preventative measure needed to prevent high school drop-outs, teenage pregnancy, crime, drug abuse and the dangers associated with hitch-hiking" shares Weaver.
"Expedition Africa is more than just an adventure race; it's about changing lives!! This type of event will change the lives of not only the competitor; but also affect every person who is part of this event and ultimately give back to the Community. It's about making amazing memories and leaving a legacy behind" expresses Heidi Muller of Kinetic Events. Kinetic Events have aligned this year’s Expedition Africa with the Masithandane organisation to create a Mosaic Landmark showcasing this year's exciting event.
“Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market is proud to host the Expedition Africa 2016 participants. We are honoured to be chosen to provide the backdrop for the mosaic masterpiece that will be crafted as a memory for the community project” shares Cliff Elion, owner of the Mosaic Village and Outdoor Market.
According to Greg Vogt of Knysna & Partners, "one of the goals of hosting the event in the Garden Route was to establish and cement the claim that this region is the Home of Adventure within the Western Cape. "
The 53 participating teams will unite the day before their Expedition Africa adventure begins; creating a master piece that will feature the legacy of each individual taking part in this year's Expedition Africa and their representing countries. Teams will be given the necessary tools and equipment to develop a mosaic creation on a tile that will feature for years to come at the famous Sedgefield market, celebrating Expedition Africa 2016.
"We are delighted that the local community will benefit from this international event taking place within the true home of adventure, and look forward to witnessing the organisations success in reaching their fundraising objectives" shares Greg Vogt of Knysna & Partners.
The contribution towards the project required is a minimum of R1500.00 per tile. Local children and artists will be part of the interactive team experience on the 14th May 2016 creating 53 unique tiles that will form this master piece. Moreover this project will contribute to the Masithandane Bursary Fund for children and help generate income for ten local mosaic'ists and their families, and further support economic opportunities for local business.
Teams participating in this year's Expedition Africa are encouraged to spread the word to families, supporters and sponsors to support this worthy cause. Contributors will have their names engraved into the mosaic master piece, meaning their names will also live forever in Sedgefield, Western Cape, South Africa for years and years to come; celebrating 2016's Expedition Africa's Adventure Race.
The Garden Route is rich with resources when it comes to the natural beauty of the Knysna Heads, the tranquil forests and still lakes and rivers leading to the rolling ocean. This is the perfect opportunity to appreciate and uplift the local communities of this beautiful land by investing in their education, culture, fellowship and upliftment.
Help change lives with this year's Expedition Africa, make your contribution, make your change!
Expedition Africa Mosaic for Change Community Project 2016:
Expedition Africa teams will cycle from their Host Venue; Pine Lake Marina to the Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market, Sedgefield. Family and friends are welcome to witness and experience this project at the Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market.
Date: Saturday, 14 May 2016
Venue: Mosaic Village & Outdoor Market, Sedgefield
Beneficiary: Masithandane Bursary Fund for Children
Contact: Heidi Muller (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to get more involved with this event, eg: sponsoring toward Branded T Shirts, food packs etc.
Contact: Jacky Weaver (email@example.com) for banking details. As a contributor/sponsor, your name will be engraved into the Expedition Africa Mosaic Landmark. Certificate to RSA Businesses will be given for Tax benefit.
Expedition Africa 500km Adventure Race 2016
Date: Sunday, 15 May 2016
Start Time: 08h00
Venue: To be announced at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, 13 May 2016
Live Tracking: www.expafrica.live
Host Venue: Pine Lake Marina www.pinelakemarina.co.za
Note: All local families and supporters are welcome to attend the start of the event.
Here we go on our New Adventure!!!
To go and confirm the venue for Expedition Africa 2016 in one of the Most beautiful parts of our Country, The Garden Route - Western Cape.
We were invited by the Knysna Tourism CEO Mr. Greg Vogt to come and see if we can host our event in the area. He indicated to us that Tourism will give us their full support and assistance to organize our best event ever. The next step was to get Sanparks on our side as we need their permission for all the Nature reserves and after a few calls and discussions this was also finalized. Then we had to confirm a Host Hotel and Greg suggested the Pine Lake Marina resort in Sedgefield for a 1 stop venue as it has everyone we need. a Few meetings later and we are proud to announce our partnership with the Pine Lake Marina as our official Host venue for Expedition Africa May 2016. Then we had to produce a 2min promotional Video for the event and area and Greg pulled in his "Staatmaker" Ashley and after many hours of editing they produced a wonderful promotional video for this event. If you haven't seen it hereby the link: http://www.kineticgear.co.za/ExpeditionVideos/lc/6299/lcv/s/expedition-africa-2016-garden-route-2-min-promo I strongly felt that we had to get a true South Africa Icon as PJ Powers as our backing song and believe that the song gives it that special "heartbeat feeling" Thank you also to PJ Powers for the permission to use your song.
As you can see below lots of these initial meetings goes hand in hand with a few cappachinos' and cake and I must admit I love this part of the deal!
As Isabella and Werner was with us we also made sure for "playtime" dates with them. The good thing about this area is that you can have a pit-stop nearly every 5km as you will find plenty of little shops with food, decor stores, play-parks for children and some kind of entertainment for the kids. Its such a "child friendly" area and another reason why so many people decide to give up the city living for this fantastic lifestyle. Here you also feel so much at Home thus our Campaign Slogan "Welcome Home"
The beautiful town of Knysna has so much to offer from little coffee shops and curio shops I can just wander around town and love discovering these small shops. One of my favorite visits were this beautiful shop French Kiss and just around the corner from it Steffini Jewelry design... dont event think that you will walk out of them without a bag full of shopping.
We were also hosted by the Protea Hotel on the Waterfront and what a spoil it was. Your view from your room overlooks the jetty and yachts on the water and you are minutes away from all the shops and restaurants of the Waterfront. I can highly recommend this Hotel if you visit Knysna in the future.
After this successful week we were rejuvenated and excited to get the wheels rolling and as we were driving back the 14 hours to JHB we were already planning the next scouting trip where we will have a launch event and start to explore the hidden roads and paths... Until next time.
WHY EXPEDITION AFRICA 2016 GARDEN ROUTE?
The Jewel of South Africa, the Garden route in the Western Cape will be the host area of EA 2016.
Kayaking legs will include iconic sea paddles passing massive cliffs rising from the sea, magical lakes bordering lush forest, coastal lakes and mysterious river going inland to where few kayakers have ventured too.
Mountain biking on some of the world’s most famous single tracks through majestic forest routes and in contrast will be the tracks of the Klein Karoo, a semi-desert landscape.
Trekking on awe-inspiring coastal sections leading to dense forest trails lined with ferns and maybe, just maybe a sighting of the elusive forest elephants.
EA 2016 will include one of the most incredible canyoneering sections ever in AR history, added to that, an abseil that will stay in racers minds till end of days.
Before and after the event, teams will be on the doorstep of the highly sought after Garden Route area. Our host resort Pine Lake Marina, 5 km from Sedgefield also known as “Slow Town” is central to all the activities of this tourism mecca. This is also the ideal opportunity to extend your trip and explore more of our beautiful Country.
Our next trip will be early January 2016 and we are now more into the final stages of the event. We plan to do the legs we haven't done physically and most important to finalize the last meetings and permissions with Tourism, Parks board, Land-owners etc.
We are also going into details of things like the look and feel of the artwork eg: Bib design, bike board, discussions about the Community project and what will be best for both racers and local communities, transport services, transitions, Media and the list go on.
This is a whole year of intensive planning and all you can ever hope for is that teams have an amazing time, the weather is kind to our event and that we created a life-long adventure which will be a memory in each persons life!
For the Love of Adventure!
For more information regarding the event, volunteers and Media www.kinetic-events.co.za or contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scouting weeks are like the Best Working Holidays!
As we are scouting different possibilities we have decided to go and check out "Africanyon" - a local operator in the Garden Route and see how the operate as a business and with the possibility to make them our "rope work" Partner for Expedition Africa 2016. So they took us on an "adventure" for the day, and what an absolutely stunning adventure and fun day it was!
Dressed all sexy in a wetsuit and helmet you start with a small abseil into the Canyon and then its an on-going swim, slide, JUMP and more abseils into a waterfall. This is an absolute Must for any visitor to the area as its do-able for a novice person. They have the most experience guides to show you the ropes and calm the nerves. They make it fun and before you know it you will do things like jumping into the water etc, you might never thought you can do!
This is really as close to paradise you can get as the photo's is not doing it any justice! I had so much fun I though I was 18 years old again and for the moment forgot about all the work still needs to be done.
Thank you guys for spoiling us and showing us the beauty of Gods hand in every corner and nook.
www.africanyon.com go and have a look as I can highly recommend this company.
Another Paddle Scouting day in the Beautiful Garden Route for Expedition Africa 2016
I guess I cant call this work... but how lucky can a girl be to say that yes when we on our scouting trips this is indeed my office for the day and I Love it!!
It was another day in Paradise as we planned this trip, worked out a few route options and as always we believe in doing each section of the proposed route on map ourselves. By doing this we have plenty of time to discuss if we like it? is it "scenic" enough? will it work for our Media? will it work into the logistics line? how many helpers will we need on this leg? can you do it at night? how long will it take for the front teams versus back teams? do we need to cut racers on this leg? and so the list go on and on, as we brainstorm about every possible variable, and what will be the Plan B if this and if that.... (I promise you this discussions never stop and has became part of our daily existence.)
We saw several Fish Eagle’s on this trip. Had a few stops, swam a bit, carried the boat here and there but in general it was a very pleasant 6 hours on the water and YES I got a Tan or rather I got burnt and could not wear a pants for the next 3 days.
This evening we had a meet and greet night on the Plettenberg Bay Beach front at the Life Saving club. Most probably one of the most beautiful evenings to be on the beach and this was a lovely night discussing Expedition Africa, and adventure racing to a few local teams who wants to try it for the first time… lets see how many teams Plettenberg area can produce?? I left this night with a warm heart as I could see a few twinkles in the eyes, and a few of those hearts got excited about this Crazy yet most rewarding sport called: Adventure Racing.
All I can say is that it changed my life forever and it made me a "Rich" person in my heart and soul and it took me on an Adventure of Life-time!!! Soon you will feel the same...
Ready, steady and lets go!!
Kayak, Mountain bikes, life Jackets, waterproof jackets, bags, go-pro, backpack, maps and so the list go on...
This week we have decided to leave the children with Ouma and sussie so that we can cover more ground and see how much of the 500km plus event we can finalise.
We left early Saturday morning from JHB and as we were working, discussing, chatting, planning etc the trip went very fast and before I knew we enter the Meiringskloof area. This is the sign of getting closer to the coast and most probably one of the most beautiful passes in our Country. Suddenly from dry Karoo it all changes to big mountains and rivers. As you enter the pass going down to George you are home free en its like you have entered another planet! Lush, green, fresh, alive, and the smell of the sea. Its just magnificent and Happy!