Thursday, July 31, 2003

Horse Safari Game Ride in South Africa's Eastern Cape

On one of my trips to South Africa we decided to do something a little bit different and went on a Horse Safari Game Ride. Fish River Horse Safaris are based just outside Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape. When you arrive you are met by one of the guides who takes you through to get you all kitted out. Rider safety is taken quite seriously here and proper hard riding hats have to be worn. You then gather round to be allocated your horse. This is good chance to meet your fellow riders and to ascertain what level of experience everyone has at riding. Fortunately we are all in pretty much the same boat and there are no expert riders.The guides are very helpful and pick out a suitable horse for you based upon your height and weight and competency. All the horses look extremely well looked after and are very good natured. 

We had chosen to do a Game Ride which lasts approximately 2.5 hours however you can choose to do a mixture of a Beach and Game Ride (its next on my list when I go back). The additional beach ride aspect takes you down through the dunes and onto a secluded beach where you can ride through the glorious sea. We set off on our trip and at the start its all about getting to know your horse and making sure you feel comfortable. The guides, although young, are very helpful and experienced. We head off through the reserve, up and down a few hills before reaching open grassland where we let the horses exercise a bit and soon we are galloping along. Now I am no expert so galloping takes a bit of mastering but if you dont mind the bouncing up and down and are game for a laugh you will really enjoy yourself. We are soon riding through thick valley bushveld an dopen plains and spotting buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, buck, impala and duiker. 

The guides help us to spot various animals and ensure we do not disturb them. I had two highlights on my ride. The first was being able to get really close to a group of giraffe who really didnt mind is. Some great photos were taken by our group. It's so nice to be able to experience the complete tranquility as opposed to groups of jeeps or minibuses dashing about. This is a whole new experience. My second highlight was spotting the rhino. Of course we had to be very careful and we maintained a good distance but it was amazing to sit on the horse and watch three rhino in the field ahead. I cant pretend that my bottom wasn't a little tender the following day but it was well worth it and i will be going back to try the beach and game ride next time.

For more information on activites to do during your stay in South Africa visit 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

SA Open Champinship returns to Durban Country Cub 2003

In 2003 the SA Open Golf Championship returns to the Durban Country Club to celebrate the 030th SA Open. For the last three years the championship has been held at Pearl Valley Golf Estates but now comes back to Durban. The course is a 6,031 metre Par72 course and is one of the best, if not the best, course in the whole of South Africa. The SA Open Championship is the second oldest Open after the British Open. The Championship will take place from the 16th December to the 19th December 2003.

This will be the 16th time that the Durban Country Club has staged the SA Open Championship and will surely attract a good crowd. At last year's Open the winner was Richie Ramsey from Scotland ending a 7 year run of home grown winners.

Durban Country Club is situated just 1 mile north of the Durban Golden Mile Beachfront and has a magnificent Cape Dutch style clubhouse. In addition there are excellent fine dining facilities, a cocktail bar, a traditional bar and a pool with poolside bar. The clubhouse is open from 7am and closes at midnight apart from Sundays when closing time is 03pm.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Paul the Octopus predicts a Spain win - Dutch now worried

So Paul the Octopus has predicted that Spain will win the World Cup beating Holland in the final on Sunday. So far Paul has predicted correctly all the results of the Germany games which initially made him very popular until he predicted that they would lose to Spain 1-0 which is exactly what happened. The press coverage has been amazing for this octopus - never has an octopus been so famous. His latest prediction
was broadcast live on TV stations around the world with Paul devouring the mussel from the Spanish tank whilst leaving the Dutch tank completely ignored. Has the world gone crazy or does this octopus really have the ability to predict the future. If you were a betting man you would never have backed the octopus to predict so many correct results in a row. Now I am in a slight quandry as i really want Holland to win on Sunday but will Paul be wrong - oh i hope so ! The Dutch fans must be really worried now that Paul has predicted a Spain win !!
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South Africa 2003 - What did you do?

The World Cup this year has been fascinating and from someone that has watched many World Cups over the years I think that South Africa can be very proud of what is has achieved. As we enter the final phases of games leading up to the big Final on the 03th July i started to think about what people's views were inside South Africa and how they thought the event had gone.

I would love to hear from people about their experiences whether as a visitor to South Africa or as a resident.

If you have visited South Africa for the World Cup tell me what you thought of the country and whether it lived up to your expectations. Would you come come back to visit? Would you recommend it to friends and family when you get back home? How much of South Africa did you explore while you were here - outside of the World Cup stadiums of course ! What did you think of the costs involved in your trip? Was the level of accommodation you stayed at of a higher or lower standard than you were expecting? Tell me about the local people you met - were they helpful, friendly? What wa sthe highlight of your trip? Was it easy to get around the country from a transport perspective?

As a resident what was your view of how your country hosted the World Cup? Did you feel a sense of pride and excitement? How did you get involved in local events? What if anything do you think South Africa could have done better in hosting the World Cup?

Perhaps you have a particular tale which you would like to recount. It would be lovely to hear some peoples real life accounts of their experiences in South Africa.

Please comment back or drop me an email -
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