The Baviaans and Kouga region will be hosting Expedition Africa 2017. Shaen Adey was part of the Merrell Mentored Team that completed the 520km Expedition Africa 2016. She reveals what’s in store for 2017…
On 19 September 2016, it was announced that Expedition Africa 2017 will take place in the rugged Baviaans and Kouga regions of the Eastern Cape.
Expedition Africa is part of the Adventure Racing World Series, one of 11 adventure races held around the world. Teams of four, which must include athletes of both genders, will navigate an unmarked 500km route on foot, mountain bike and in kayaks.
In the tradition of adventure racing the route will remain secret until race day, only estimated distances will be released.
The Baviaans Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be the highlight of the route and Cape St. Francis will be the host town. The Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve covers 200km of unspoiled, rugged mountainous terrain.
Expedition Africa 2016 was held in the Garden Route with 52 teams from 18 nationalities competing. A number of curve balls were tossed at the athletes, from swimming freezing cold canyons and tidal river mouths to abseiling sheer 50m cliffs – often, since the clock doesn’t stop, in the dark!
Tempted? Here are Shaen’s 6 tips for Expedition Africa newbies
- Train hard, every drop of sweat now will mean less tears and more fun down the line.
- Pack light; super light, you don’t want to be lugging a bag of potatoes over a mountain, either in your pack nor on your waistline.
- Make a promise to yourself not to whinge once, it will help you cope if you happen to hit the wall or if a team mate falls apart at the seams.
- Do a twenty four hour non-stop race before the big day, push hard, in fact push yourself out of your comfort zone for most of the race. It will give you a good indicator of your strengths in the team and where you still need to focus.
- Once the route is released, make a list of exactly what you need to pack into your bag at each transition and stick it inside the boxes lids as your brain will not think clearly after day or two without sleep.
- Pack some fruit into the transition boxes. Race food gets tedious after a day or two and you’ll crave something fresh.
Words: Shaen Adey
Pictures: Bruce-Viaene, Peter Kirk Media and supplied