WIN. A weekend escape of Overberg Magic

GANSBAAI  is the home of responsible tourism and one of my favourite South African towns . I am thrilled to offer you an opportunity to win a weekend to this fabulous Overberg village as well as tickets to a fun filled weekend camping in a mystical forest .

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Sunset in the ancient Klipgat Cave

The Greenpop Reforest Fest will be held in the Platbos Forest from 10th – 12th March and is suitable for the whole family.

You will spend one day working hard planting trees and the next day enjoying a variety of activities before heading home, restored by nature.

 The festival is the brainchild of Greenpop , a lively bunch who started a Treevolution.

 

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Surrounded by nature. Photo credit @Greenpop

The Gansbaai Weekend Away prize inludes:

A two-night stay for two at the easy-going and friendly Saxon Lodge Gansbaai.
A meal for two at five star Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
A stunning ride from the mountains to the beach with Fatbike Tours South Africa.

The competition runs from the 18-25 January, so be sure to get your entries in today!

Enter now: http://bit.ly/GPGansbaai

 

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Views from the deck at Saxon Lodge

Keen to know more?

 Below are all the detail about the festival. Get a group of family , friends and kids together and enjoy a weekend break in the ancient, indigenous  Platbos Forest, it really is a magical place.

 

A CELEBRATION OF PLANTING AND PLAY!

A weekend away for the whole family  where you help re-plant the ancient, indigenous Platbos Forest, learn all about holistic green living, and have a TREE-mendously fun time with the kids.

We’ll plant thousands of trees, camp under the stars and ancient Milkwood trees, play and learn at a variety of fun workshops, and enjoy  family entertainment in nature.

Ready to get your hands dirty for a good cause?

9 REASONS  TO BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW:

1. You’ll help to plant 1000s of trees – what a great reason to dig in and get dirty!
2. Make new friends and reconnect with old ones.
3. Relax and join in the great line-up of family activities, you don’t need to plan a thing!
4. Sleep under the stars: pitch your tent ,or rent one from us.
5. Take a break from cooking and opt for the weekend meal-plan.
6. Experience the beautiful eco-ablution facilities provided.
7. Find the one thousand year old Milkwood tree.
8. Enjoy a talent show under a star-lit sky.
9. Unplug for some quality family time.

Ticket details.
We value inclusivity and want our festival to be available to as many different people as possible. If you can afford it, please consider purchasing a Generosity ticket. For every Generosity ticket purchased, we will be able to offer a Subsidised ticket to someone who cannot afford the Regular ticket price.

Ticket Prices:
Adult Generosity ticket: R500
Adult Regular price ticket: R390
Adult Subsidised ticket: R280
Children ticket (4 to 12): R220
Children below 4: free

PROGRAMME:

Friday:
Arrive Friday evening and relax into a chilled night of gentle tunes under the canopy of the ancient indigenous forest. Enjoy delicious food and start bonding with new friends around the campfire.

Saturday:
Saturday is an action-packed day of tree-planting and getting your hands dirty, helping to restore an ecosystem that is one of the most rare and endangered in the Western Cape. After planting thousands of trees in your teams, return to camp for a good shower and a forest party to celebrate the achievement. Greenpop provides an awesome musical line-up at the intimate main stage, with some of South Africa’s coolest emerging bands as well as a talent show and entertainment for the whole family. Line up to be announced soon!

Sunday:
Sunday is a day to relax your body and stimulate your mind. It’s filled with fun, educational activities and workshops including:
Forest walks  |  Yoga  |  Hula Hooping   |

Performances      |    Treasure hunts     |    And some surprises   |

Talks by various personalities in conservation and sustainable living   |

Interactive music sessions and instrument making  |   Arts and crafts   |  Talent shows   |

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Happy workers from the 2016 festival. Photo credit @Greenpop

HOW TO GET THERE:

Platbos forest is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Cape Town. If you are travelling in a car, please try to carpool if you can. Our partners Find a Lift (http://findalift.co.za/) have a great carpooling site where you can find travel buddies and rides if you need.

Directions:
Remember you might be arriving in the dark on Friday evening, so be sure to read these directions carefully and have them on hand.

From Cape Town, take the N2 highway towards Hermanus.
Take the Hermanus turn off and go directly into Hermanus town.

Drive through Hermanus town towards Stanford on the R43.

On the R43 road from Stanford to Gansbaai, look out for the Grootbos turnoff on your left hand side, approximately 12km after passing Stanford town. (If you get to Gansbaai you have gone too far)

Turn left at the Grootbos turn off and travel for just over 6km along this tar, and then gravel, road (do not turn into the actual Grootbos Estate).

Just before the 6km mark, you will see a turnoff over a cattle grid on your right hand side, and a wooden sign, ‘Platbos Forest’. This entrance to the forest is CLOSED for Festival goers. Please do not turn up this road as you cannot gain access to the Fest from here.

Continue along the road you are on, following the Greenpop signboards and flags. Turn right onto the entrance road (marked with Greenpop signboards) immediately after you have passed the Platbos entrance.

Follow the signboards until you come to the Festival Entrance.

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ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS:
Camping

Bring your own tent and camp in our general campsite. Please follow instructions of the welcoming team and parking guards. No dogs are allowed in the forest 😦

Camper van area
Allowed in this area: camper vans, caravans (including tow vehicle), motor homes, trailer tents (including tow vehicle), roof top tents (including vehicle – must be permanent or semi permanent fixtures to the vehicle).
NOTE:The above MUST be able to comfortably fit into the 7 x 5m area allocated. Greenpop reserves the right to exclude any of the above if it does not meet the required and generally accepted standards of what defines each of the above mentioned.
NOT ALLOWED IN THE CAMPERVAN AREA:
Cars (including with mattresses)
Bakkies (including with mattresses)
Combis (including with mattresses and/or tents placed on the roof)
Trucks (including with mattresses and/or tents placed on the roof of flatbed.)

PS If you are up for a bit more of a party, maybe you’d like to join for the FRIENDS weekend (it’s still family friendly but we’ll stay up a bit later ;)) on 17-19 March 2017. Check out the event page Greenpop Reforest Fest: Friends Weekend 2017!

Watch this vid from last year’s Fest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNxOW6yiu84

Follow and support Greenpop    FaceBook     Twitter      Instagram

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Gansbaai Harbour

 

Out and about in South Africa

Diversity is our middle name here in South Africa.

Click here  to see some of my stories as published by AFK Travel.

A little bit of the history of Johannesburg during the era of the Randlords, or perhaps you prefer the Victorians of Matjiesfontein?

Find adventure and wine in Elgin Valley in the Western Cape,  and meet sharks, nature and the great outdoors in Gansbaai, a fishing village, and now the number one destination in the world for responsible and sustainable tourism.

The Funky Fynbos Festival. Celebrating the outdoors like a boss.

It is just after 7 am on a Saturday morning.

I am sitting eating freshly flipped pancakes dripping with cinnamon and lemon juice, sipping the best coffee I have ever tasted. The sun is just starting to warm my bones and I feel my body relaxing after the 3 hour drive from Cape Town.

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Brightly coloured tents displaying artworks, colourful clothes and crafts draw my eyes, and then the sound system comes alive and my feet start tapping to Golden Earrings “Radar Love”

I’m feeling it. It’s the weekend; it’s festival time in Gansbaai.

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Gansbaai is a small coastal town in the Overberg, 163km from Cape Town. It is a good community with a strong emphasis on creativity, earth friendly living and a healthy paced rural lifestyle. Gansbaai and a few of the businesses recently won the top awards for sustainable and responsible tourism. Read more about Gansbaai, its delights, attractions and awards here

I am on a farm called De Uijlenes  . Continue just past Gansbaai and take the left turn onto the Baardscheerdersbos / Elim road and 15km after Gansbaai you will find yourself on this pretty farm in the flower valley.

The event is the 2nd Funky Fynbos Festival and it’s a celebration of the wild flowers, farm life, the wine, food and activities of this very pretty area.

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This year the 3 venues for the festival are the farm and wedding function venue De Uijlenes, the wine estate down the road called Lomond, Strandfontein Caravan Park and the farm and nursery Groeneweide.

The festival is also host to great outdoor competitions. A challenging MTB race on Saturday morning and a tough Trail Run on Sunday morning saw individuals and families pushing themselves to the limits through farm tracks, over rivers, up hills and down into the valleys.

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A new 4 x 4 trail was put to the test by enthusiasts at Strandfontein, and keen fishermen tested their skills and luck on Lake Lomond at the wine estate of the same name.

For the kids Fun Go Karts were a big hit, especially after they found a short downhill path and then the races were on. Face painting, Milo the clown come fire eater and the jumping castle donated by Grootbos kept the kids busy and happy all day.

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The refreshing ice cream from Moo’s Frozen Treats  was irresistible. I had at least one of each flavour and happily slurped and messed all over my hands, face and clothes, and then went back for more. At R5 a sachet, it was not my fault that I totally pigged out.

I spent two very happy days in the fresh air, walking around farms and forests, listening to great music and eating way too much.  The reggae sounds of the Rivertones blew me away, going to find them again and drag all my friends along.

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Of course we all adjourned to the pub on Saturday evening to watch South Africa take on Japan in their first Rugby World Cup game During half time we were entertained by the fire eating Milo, and after the game, magic happened.

As the devastated fans walked out of the pub, 2 of the musicians who had finished their paid stint got together and started jamming. The fire pit was soon sporting a blazing bonfire and we sang along, danced or chilled around the fire as Chris Else and Guy Feldman belted out tunes like they had been playing together for years.

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The highlight of the festival for me was the people I met.  Let me introduce you to some of them.

Kloeks and Henk. This multi-talented husband and wife team have invited me back and I will be going as soon as possible. Kloeks is apparently the best cook in the world and has a restaurant in her home. Henk grew up with a dad who roasted his own coffee beans way before coffee was an urban hipster thing. Henk is now the owner of the Naked Coffee works and says the secret to his coffee is the passion and unhurried pace of the process. I believe him. When not lovingly roasting beans, Henk can be found guiding tours of the ancient caves and shipwrecks in the area.  A local history buff, Henk can tell you stories for as many hours as you have to listen to his tales.

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Wayne Gabb, owner of the fantastic Lomond wine estate. Wayne certainly knows how to add fun into the serious business of wine making and life in general.

The Lomond wines are all named after different fynbos species found in the area. This wine producer works with nature rather than trying to dominate it. For wine that is very different but delectable, get yourself a bottle. I am not even I wine drinker but I enjoyed the Cat’s Tail Syrah immensely.

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There is something special going on in the grapes down there. Perhaps it’s a combination of the salty air, the scent of the fynbos and the imagination of the wine makers?

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At Lomond I met up with pop up chef, Craig Cormack from Roasters. He was preparing a sushi feast using trout caught in the Lomond Lake. We had a great chat about the importance of using fresh seasonal ingredients and how time taken to prepare and cook slowly is the secret to healthy, tasty food. Craig loves what he does and should be checked out by all foodies.

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Henk van der Walt from Overberg Aviation made me brave enough to have my first ever helicopter flip, in the smallest helicopter I have ever seen. It was incredible and I want more. We flew from De Uijlenes to Pearly Beach in the Robinson 44 helicopter and the ocean and mountain views were amazing. I was not brave enough to fly with the door off, but even so, seeing the mother and baby whales and a few sharks through the window was a memorable experience.

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I finally got to meet Cat Nyquist from Panthera Africa, a sanctuary for big cats that are unable to live in the wild.DSC_0528-01

Her enthusiasm for the animals and her determination to educate the whole world on why we must not interact with wild animals is inspiring. More about this sanctuary after I have visited and had the full educational experience. Prosperity for Predators, the Panthera motto gives me hope for the future of our wild life

Sean Privett, from Fynbos Trails and Witkrans cottages.  Sean is a botanist of note and a very innovative, nature loving person. He is also extremely active and has recently opened new MTB routes on his farm, and broke his leg while riding the ultimate South African MTB race, The Freedom Challenge. In between all these outdoor activities Sean does incredible work with fynbos, a nursery, finding new fynbos species and writing a book about them.

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Thanks go to Dave and Caron from Saxon Lodge in Gansbaai, and Michelle Williams from Sorted Solutions who made me so welcome.

I believe this festival is going to grow slowly into something huge and not to be missed. I will be back next year.

Funky Fynbos Festival 18th – 20th September. 10 good reasons why you should go.

Spring has arrived and the Overberg is exploding with the colours, smells and tastes of nature.

This is the time to discover and fall in love with Gansbaai, a fabulous coastal town just 40km past Hermanus.

Read all about Gansbaai here.

Gansbaai is celebrating spring in style, and everyone is invited to the Funky Fynbos Festival.

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Please note the new times for the MTB and Trail Run Events.

19th September 2015 MTB RACE.  45km at 08:30 |  30km at 08:45  | 10km at 09:00

20th September 2015 TRAIL RUN. 30km at 07:30  |  12km at 08:45  | 6km at 09:00

Here are ten good reasons why you should be there.

  • If like me you have been hibernating all through winter, this festival is just the thing to get you  off the couch, away from the screens, and energised by nature.
  • 20150207_121617 You can go to relax and take slow walks on the beach or gentle strolls through forests or fynbos
  •  You can man up and compete in MTB races, trail runs, or 4x 4 adventures. To enter just click on the links below.

          Rockets Funky Fynbos Mountain Bike races.  10km, 30km or 45km.

          Cape Mohair Trail Runs.  6km, 12km or 30km

          Flower Power 4X4 events  Various degrees of difficulty

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  •  Win big time. All entrants to the trail run or MTB races automatically qualify for the lucky draw to win 1 adult Momsen Big Gun Fat Bike valued at R 12000, or  1 Junior Rapid Fat bike valued at R3750.
  • 20150822_123937Win some more. Up for grabs are cash or vouchers for shark cage diving, whale watching and accommodation. It could be your lucky day.
  • Test your golfing skills on the southernmost golf course in Africa. The locals say you can land of Boeing on this course, but not a golf ball. To enter the golf competition please contact the golf course directly on +27 (0) 28 384-1441 or  E-mail: gbgholf@gmail.com
  • Take the kids and keep them entertained all day, outdoors. Let them tackle the short MTB routes and trail runs, ride a horse or a pedal go kart, see a magician, have their face painted or take them to walk in the forest or to the caves on the beach. This town is big on family and there is loads to keep the little people active and happy
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  • Enjoy the flowers, the market stalls filled with crafts, food and smiles, and the slow country life.
  • Come for the day or better still, stay overnight. Click here for accommodation.

See you there.

Bring your walking shoes, a swimming costume, and an appetite for food and fun.

For more information go to www.funkyfynbos.co.za

 

 

New. African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary in Gansbaai.

Lost forever.

Ninety birds a week.

Every week.

Since 1956.

Seabirds need our assistance.

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The World Class facility that was opened in Gansbaai on 26th February 2015 is love in action.

APSSZA is the result of a community working together, inspired by a man with a vision. A man who prefers animals to people.

A man who quotes Kahlil Gibran when telling us about the people who helped him to make this dream a reality.

“It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. And there are those who have little, and they give it all”

Wilfred Chivell gives his all to everything that he does. He inspires, cajoles and motivates others to to do the same.

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The African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary will make a difference.

Pierre de Villiers of Cape Nature Conservation says ” the key to decision making is good science.”

APSSA will be practicing good science. Animals do not need to be managed, they know what to do. People must be changed and we need to improve in how we do things. Education plays a vital role in changing people. APSSA will be providing this education.

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The staff at APSSA are so passionate about penguins that they choreographed a dance for the opening, and performed it with big smiles to laughing applause.

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Sponsors include Volkswagen South Africa, Grootbos Foundation, The Dyer Island Trust, Creation Wines, The Wildlands Conservation Trust , Youngman Roofing, Two Oceans Aquarium, Grindrod.

Click the link to donate or see  All sponsors and supporters.

For more information on the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary please visit www.AfricanPenguin.org