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Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Remembering

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There’s something about the energy of an African market that is impossible to replicate. The smell of cassava flour and ripe banana and crushed fresh coriander wafting on the breeze; the sound cloud of bartering (and bantering) ebbing and flowing like an endless aural audio loop; the crush of people migrating amidst staggered stalls selling [...]

Retto 2018: Hail the Grail

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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you klap the @Salomon_SA @ottertrailrun! The long-expected Race Day rolled up, with rain and threatening clouds lifting just after dawn to set the scene on 42km of #grailoftrail perfection. The #GardenRoute NP is postcard beautiful on most given days, and the 220-plus #Otter trail runners were raring to be let loose along the testing, [...]

RETTO 2018: The Challenge – 10 years of OTTER

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The #Bloukrans Crossing always makes for excellent drama at the annual @salomon_sa @otterafricantrailrun. And today’s #retto2018 #Challenge has been no different, with some pushing swell pumping into the mouth. Right now, the leaders are at #ngubu hut, where the inimitable Robert Le Brun will surely entertain them with bad jokes and sweaty hugs. It’s a slow [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Tree planting, Bisate Lodge

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A major focus of our Dunlop Tyres SA #BeyondTheRiftValley Expedition has always been #doingitforthechildren. Both Peter Van Kets and I are official ambassadors for Children in the Wilderness and it was therefore with a huge sense of pride that we got to participate in a tree planting ceremony with the Wilderness Safaris #EcoClub at the gorgeous #BisateLodge in #rwanda. More than 60 very excited youngsters attended an outdoor lesson [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Words. The don’t come easy …

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Words. They don’t come easy, sometimes. So far, the Dunlop Tyres SA#BeyondTheRiftValley Expedition has been infused by superlative experiences, to the extent where you go into an adjectival daze. We’ve climbed kickass volcanoes, paddled a paradisiacal lake, trekked along emerald forest trails, navigated some of Africa’s most remote gravel tracks in the Isuzu South Africa #xriders, and been utterly [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Unpredictable Africa

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Unpredictable. That’s Africa for you. The past 3 days saw us paddling the aqua paradise that is #LakeKivu, another of #Rwanda‘s superlative tourism gems. This 480m deep lake – just on 150km in length – could easily rival the rugged beauty of Corsica, with steep volcanic ridges rising from tranquil, indigo blue waters. On most days, the [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Rwanda, feel it in your heart

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Heartfelt. As in, you can really, really feel it in your heart. That’s the closest to how I can express what traveling through #rwanda feels like. On the gravel roads, in the tea fields, on high mountain footpaths, in dusty villages, and in brightly coloured taverns … there is openness and engagement everywhere, with a smile hot [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Volcanoes National Park

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Otherworldly. The landscape beyond 4000m above sea level is a surreal and inhospitable place, with whiteout light and bizarre plants making for Tim Burtonesque backdrops to the world you left behind way down below. Giant lobelia and contorted cenessio trees loom from the mist, laden with moss and gossamer epiphytes. These botanical dinosaurs ghost up [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2019 – Preparing for the volcanoes

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Short post as we prepare for our 2-day ascent of #Bisoke and #Karisimbi in Volcanos NP, #rwanda. Today has been a whirlwind affair on the MTB from Kibuye to Gisenyi, with too many beautiful encounters along the way to even begin to mention … self-made wooden bikes, men transporting 200kg of cement or 3m bushels of sugar cane on their [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Living LaVida on Lake Kivu

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The American Great Lakes? Pah! Or maybe the English Lake District? Keep ‘Em, I say. If you want jaw-dropper views and colourful traditions, you won’t easily beat the deep-water lakes of the African Rift Valley. The rider on most of these water bodies is that they often come with a modicum of danger if you [...]

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