If you’re wondering what our students are doing over weekends, fear not. Our team works hard, but we don’t make them work seven days of the week! Weekend days are our media students’ off-days. That means relaxing, recuperating and exploring the beautiful Garden Route area. It also means they get a chance to take part in some fun-filled activities. Africa Media has a tourism company, Discovery, for exactly this purpose. Here are the different weekend activity options for students of Africa Media.
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1. Horseback Game Safari
This will top any other safari experience you’ve had so far. On the back of horse, you’ll get a guided tour of the reserve’s wild inhabitants on a whole new level. Because you are on an animal and not a vehicle, the giraffes, wildebeests and antelope aren’t as skittish. So, you can get much closer to them for some epic wildlife selfies.
Here, you’ll row down the Touw River in Wilderness through some lush indigenous forests. You’ll then get out and walk along a short hiking trail. At the end of it, there’s a big waterfall with pools that are perfect for swimming. Or, you could sunbathe and picnic on the surrounding boulders. This is usually a longer day activity.
3. Abseiling and/or kloofing
These activities are done with a guide. The abseiling (also called reclining) is where you walk backwards over a cliff, attached to a rope. Kloofing is where you jump into fresh cold mountain water from a rocky cliff outcrop. These two activities take place in the Kaaimans River and waterfall. The waterfall is tucked away in a green and tranquil nook between rock cliffs. It’s around the corner from the popular Kaaimans Restaurant.
4. Wild Ways – a wildlife sanctuary experience
Tenikwa offers this inspiring viewing experience of rescued and rehabilitated wild animals. Their rehabilitation facilities and animales are not open to the public. However, you can walk among the animals that are not able to go back to the wild due to amputations or other factors. Here, you can see animals that are usually elusive, like caracals, servals and meerkats. At the end of the experience, you get to walk in the same enclosure as a cheetah. Watching as it stalks through the trees right in front of you… Waist-high railings are provided, by the way.
5. Walking with elephants
Another game reserve close to Albertinia offers a unique elephant experience. You can walk alongside a beautiful African elephant for about a kilometre. Afterwards, you have the option to join in on a game drive on the rest of the reserve as well. They have some giraffe, buffalo, zebra and other antelope to view.
6. Shark cage diving with great white sharks
Now this is the ultimate ocean experience! It’s a chance to get up close and personal with some apex predators of the ocean. If you get into one of these cages, you’ll get to meet the great whites in the Mossel Bay waters around Seal Island. An unforgettable shark experience.
7. Surf lessons
With the instructors from a local surfing school, you’ll enjoy two to three hours of interactive surf training. They even let you get into the water on your first session! These lessons take place on Diaz Beach, a swimming and surfing hotspot in the Mossel Bay area.
This one is not for the faint-hearted. It’s quite the climb to get to the top of the world-famous Dragon Dune in Vlees Bay with your sandboard. The reward is worth it, though. Zipping down the dune at neck-breaking speed, as many times as you want, and doing it all with a view of the Indian Ocean.
9. Bungy jumping
Another one for the adrenaline junkies! We can take you just to the other side of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape border to – literally – go jump off a bridge. Attached to a very sturdy rope, of course. What’s more, you have to zipline from the side of the cliff to the middle of the bridge before you jump. So, your bungy experience is guaranteed to be thrilling from start to finish.
10. Farmers market trips
There’s a spot just outside of Sedgefield that houses three incredible markets. The Wild Oats farmers market has endless food options from local community members and farmers. For instance: organic veggies, oysters, vegan options, Israeli cuisine, pizzas and sweet treats. The Mosaic Village has more food, as well as local crafts, second-hand books and more. Scarab Art Village, the last one, hosts many local artists and their work. These markets are open every Saturday – so you could even go more than once during your time at Africa Media!
11. Swimming with seals
Situated in Plettenberg Bay, you can go out on the ocean to make friends with the local Cape fur seal colony. Scuba mask and wetsuit provided. If you don’t necessarily want to get into the water with seals, there’s also the option of viewing them from the boat. You could also have a Shark & Seal adventure – but for that one, they won’t allow you to get into the water (with good reason!).
12. SCUBA diving
Africa Media’s very own Fiona Ayerst has her own SCUBA diving school. So, you could get your PADI Open Water qualification while you’re here. You can also go on a recreational SCUBA dive if you’re qualified. Mossel Bay has some beautiful underwater scenery to explore.
As if these aren’t exciting enough, we also offer two options for a 2-night stay at the following places:
1. Cape Town
You’ll stay in the beautiful seaside town of Muizenberg. From there you can explore the iconic Cape Town sights such as Table Mountain (one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature), the V&A Waterfront, the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Point and the Boulders Beach African penguin colony. This is an unmissable chance to see the famous Mother City of South Africa.
2. Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve
One of Africa Media’s favourite wildlife filming locations. This is a game reserve known for guaranteed lion sightings. Their pride of lions includes the famous and now elderly Big Boy, one of the most photographed lions of all time. Their lioness gave birth to some beautiful cubs at the end of 2019, sired by Big Boy’s son, Pretty Boy. Schotia Safaris offer the African experience everyone dreams of. In fact, our students get to stay inside the lion enclosure, in a thorn-fenced speck of trees known as Bush Camp.
So, if you weren’t sure of what our students are up to over weekends, this should give you a good idea! You can take part in any of these activities if you join our Travel and Environmental Journalism, Wildlife and Travel Photography, or Wildlife Documentary Filmmaking programs.
Blogger Profile - Rouxne van der Westhuizen
Rouxne has an Honours degree in journalism and media studies. She is the course director for the Travel and Environmental Journalism program and specialises in wildlife conservation writing, travel journalism and blogging.
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