Leg 1 of Peter van Kets and Jacques Marais’ Beyond Lockdown – Doringbaai

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Thanks to the Isuzu mu-X the Beyond Lockdown team could take the road less travelled from Cape Town to Doringbaai. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Leg 1 of Peter van Kets and Jacques Marais’ Beyond Lockdown – Doringbaai

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The hunt for headspace on the 4th Beyond Expeditions road trip saw Peter van Kets, Jacques Marais, Peter Kirk and Zane Schmahl going feral along the insanely rugged Namaqua West Coast shoreline. Ocean-side sea cliffs soar above the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and the Viswater trail run route traverses what arguably rates as one of the most dramatic sections of coast in all of South Africa.

This is feel-good country, for sure, and you can sense the benefits to your mind, body and soul as you breathe in the sea air. Reconnecting with the real world. Time in the great outdoors is the best natural medicine to counter stress, anxiety and all the pressures forced upon us by our hectic lives, and one way to slow it all down is a visit to the Weskus.

Soul searching for waves along the Weskus was one of the Beyond Lockdown team’s first priorities upon arriving in Doringbaai. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Best of all, if you play local and stay local, you end up supporting tourism at grass-roots level. This will change the lives of thousands of people dependent upon your contribution to the local economy. In this instance the Beyond Expeditions team was welcomed to their heartland by Monika de Jager and Fryers Cove Winery team. Nothing beats the hospitality provided by people of Doringbaai and Strandfontein; their crisp white wines, delicious seafood cuisine and roosterbrood straight from the fire.

The Viswater trail run route is well-worth exploring as it traverses a particularly wild stretch of South Africa’s coastline. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The team is currently continuing their ‘Long Drive to support South African tourism’ towards Upington. They’ve clocked up 900 kilometres already, or one-tenth of the total distance they have to cover in their 9-province tour. The destination for the third night of the trip is the Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve. There they will be taking in the arid Open Africa Kalahari Red Dune Route and connecting with the Khomani San people, to learn more about their wild and wonderful desert landscape.

Check out their podcast: oZONE Podcast

The idea behind Beyond Lockdown:

The economic sectors suffering most under the yoke of lockdown are indisputably the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, with especially local tourism buckling under the strain of nearly four months of not being able to operate. Something needs to be done to help these small operators, especially those in the rural areas who have seen literally a 100% drop in income. We therefore plan to use BEYOND LOCKDOWN as a vehicle to travel to nine inspirational and off-the-grid destinations – one in each in South Africa’s nine provinces – and from our visit create an exhilarating story to draw people to these remote places.

Our focus will capture everything from Road Tripping, Conservation and Adventure, to the unique Characters found within these Moer-And-Gone communities in faraway places, and we believe the way to regenerate jobs and opportunities will be through creating crackerjack media exposure for these off-the-beaten-track destinations. Along the way, we will engage with colourful local characters to assist in creating engaging and unique content, and thus convince the general South African public to pack their vehicle and visit them as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.

Spending your Rands in South Africa is what will make a difference to these communities, and we want people to know that you can have world-class, unique and globally relevant travel experiences right here in Mzansi! Our expeditions always include some inspirational feats of human endurance, and this time around we want to take these adventures and weave them into the local folklore of the area … maybe it will be an endurance river swim in search of a mythical water serpent, or a dark-zone trek on the trail of a desert djinn, maybe an ascent up a snowy peak to confront your own inner guru …

Itinerary

  1. Western Cape: Doringbaai

Dates: 3 & 4 Aug

Adventures: Surf / Snorkelling / Spear Fishing / SUP with flamingos / Sea Kayak with crayfish divers / Beach Camping

Add-On Activities: Lunch with Piekenierskloof Wines en route to Doringbaai

Community Project: Doringbaai Gemeenskaps Trust

  •  Northern Cape: Vanzylsrus

Dates: 5 & 6 Aug

Adventures: Dune Tracking with Stone Age Hunters

Add-On Activities: San Tracking / Kgalagadi Game Drive / Star Trail Photography

Community Project: Errin Community Farm

  • Free State: Vanderkloof Dam

Dates: 7 & 8 Aug

Adventures: Wild Camping on a Remote Island

Add-On Activities: Shy Five Safari / SUPing / Nebula Time Lapses / MTB Ride

Community Project: ‘KAROO Route of Hope’

  • North-West Province: Groot Marico Biosphere Reserve

Dates: 9 & 10 Aug

Concept: Free-diving the mythical Marico Eye

Add-On Activities: Cold-water Immersion / Mampoer Tour / Lost Village of Lotlamoreng

Community Project: Galefele (Lotlamoreng Trust)

  • Gauteng: Jozi Suburbs

Dates: 11 Aug

Concept: A Graffiti Ride through Urban Jungle

Add-On Activities: Weber Braai Evening / Urban adventures

  • Limpopo: Magoebaskloof

Dates: 12 & 13 Aug

Concept: Reconnecting with Nature in an Ancient Forest

Add-On Activities: Trail Running / MTB / Barefooting / Forest Bathing / slow food movement

Community Project: Birdlife SA Guide Unemployment Fund

  • Mpumalanga: Kruger-2-Canyon Biosphere Reserve

Dates: 14-16 Aug

Concept: Community Adventure Tourism in ‘Oldest Mountains on Planet Earth’

Add-On Activities: Mountain Trekking / 4×4 / Game Viewing / food gardens / geo-trail

  • Kwazulu-Natal: iSimangaliso World Heritage Site

Dates: 17 & 18 Aug

Concept: The Ultimate Ocean Adventure

Add-On Activities: Moray Eel snorkel / Black Rock Surf / Fish Trap interaction / Palm Wine

Community Project: Tsonga Community Trust

  • Eastern Cape: Hole in The Wall, Wild Coast

Dates– 19 & 20 Aug

Concept: Wild Coasting

Add-On Activities: Sea Kayaking / Xhosa Interaction / Sangoma / PSJ Cliff MTB

Source: Seamus Allardice Media

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