Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CASE STUDY DRAGONFLY: Extreme Adventure in Southern Africa – a sample itinerary

Our operations team in Johannesburg were recently given the task of creating a unique adventure itinerary, based on a Bear Grylls type experience. For those of you who don’t know, Bear Grylls is a TV show featuring the ultimate adventure seeker and survivor in the wilds. Always up for the challenge they created the following itinerary incorporating safari in South Africa and an island challenge in Mozambique.

n day of arrival in Johannesburg guests connected straight through to Hoedspruit Airport, bordering the Kruger National Park. From there they transferred to the mobile tented camp in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. After dinner delegates were introduced to the ‘Bear Grylles’ Surviving Africa program and its hosts. Andreas, the camp owner is a master tracker and Survival expert whilst Mark Tennant is a renowned guide and film-maker, better known for his brilliant series, ‘Mad Mike & Mark’.

The next day delegates were given an introduction to survival skills and then literally dropped off at various location. This involved orienteering, setting up camp, making dinner and surviving the night in wildest Africa.

Day three and the various groups returned to the mobile tented camp for a bit of luxury and a well-deserved dinner.

On day four, the group departed Hoedspruit Airport on charter aircraft, and had to interpret ground to air maps and successfully locate 5 GPS points en route to Vilanculos, Mozambique. Teams were also required to accurately determine flight times between the GPS points. After arrival and clearing customs in Vilanculos, the group made their way to Vila do Paraiso Lodge. This little piece of paradise consists of chalets, each with 4 bedrooms, which are fully air-conditioned, with bathrooms en-suite.  The open plan kitchen and living area leads out onto a deck which overlooks the beautiful Indian Ocean.  Each house has its own private plunge pool on the deck, great to relax in after a day on the beach - or anytime!

The next day was the Ayoba Challenge - (A day in the Life…)

After breakfast the group moved down to the beach where some delegates were involved in the local fishing activities, such as taking the nets out into the bay and then retrieving them. These are activities carried out by locals daily and all members of the family village participate, old and young, until the harvest is in. The fish that were harvested in this activity were stored, as it made up part of the teams’ food for the next day, whilst they camped on Paradise Island.

Whilst some team members were fishing other team members were given a budget to go to the local market to purchase other foodstuffs. They had to make their own by local taxi into town.

In the afternoon the teams were allocated a dhow and crew with which to sail across the azure-coloured waters to Paradise Island, where on arrival they were welcomed and shown their camping area for the night. Again, as in the Timbavati, teams were left alone and had to use the same skills needed in the Timbavati to see them through the night. A certain amount of equipment was provided, the rest they had to work out for themselves.

After surviving the night on a tropical island, the delegates then had to complete the Paradise Island Survivor Challenge. Set up on the beach were 6 challenges. Each challenge was signed with bamboo and banners (clients can add their banners etc.)

The challenges included; The Grid Minefield, Archery Shoot-out, Pairs Memory Game, Underwater Recovery, The Baz-Dugong Water Challenge and the final challenge – Ocean Bonfire where delegates had to  build a raft and make a fire at sea. After all this hard work and challenge it was time for a well-earned reward!!!

Just before lunch delegates were transported in motor boats to the luxurious Indigo Bay Hotel, where the group checked-in to their 5-star accommodation. The group spent the rest of the evening and night at leisure at Indigo Bay Resort before heading back to Johannesburg the following day for their international flights home.

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