Jagdeo scolds Govt for abandoning OLPF

first_img… says One Laptop Per Teacher  limits ICT coverageThen President Bharrat Jagdeo presenting a laptop to students of the Abrams Zuil Secondary School, at the launch of the One Laptop Per Family initiative in January 2011Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo has taken to task the A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration over the dismantling of the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) initiative and replacing it with the One Laptop Per Teacher (OLPT) programme recently launched by President David Granger, saying that it will defeat the aim of bringing all Guyanese into the Information Communications Technology loop.Jagdeo while responding to an address to parliamentarians by President Granger during Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly told a news conference on Thursday that with the new initiative that was launched on October 5, 2016 to mark World Teacher’s Day, will disenfranchise many households, while others could potentially benefit from multiple computers.Jagdeo, while acknowledging that there were some problems with the OLPF initiative, including instances where computers ended up in the hands of those who should not have benefitted, said that the programme would have provided a wider ICT coverage in the country.President David Granger launches One Laptop Per Teacher initiative on World Teacher’s Day, October 5, 2016He explained that the idea was to ensure that at least 100,000 poor families receive a computer, including families of teachers.The former president, the brainchild behind the OLPF initiative which was launched back in 2011, said with the OLPT the access will be limited to a few households.“If you have three teachers from a single household, you will have three computers in one household but you would not have in another household that doesn’t have a teacher, but if every family got a computer, then every member of that family including the teacher would have had access to it,” Jagdeo explained.The Opposition Leader also explained that the OLPF initiative also catered for at least 100 Amerindian communities having access to computers and internet service as part of bridging the digital divide between the coastland and the hinterland, but expressed dissatisfaction that under the current dispensation this would not be possible.“2000 of the 100,000 (laptops) should have gone to 100 Amerindian villages that we prepared already the hubs for, etc, they are not getting those anymore,” Jagdeo said.President Granger during his address, boasted that his government’s e-governance programme will eventually network all government agencies and facilitate efficient data-sharing between government agencies, with internet connectivity of government buildings be extended.“Every government building – including airports, hospitals, markets, police stations, post offices and schools – will have access to the internet in coming years,” Granger told Government parliamentarians after an Opposition boycott of the speech.But Jagdeo said that Granger’s pronouncement has no newness since already the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government was doing just that before it lost last year’s national elections, pointing to a programme with a Chinese technology company which was being rolled out.“The US$30 million project with Huawei was to do a number of things, including connecting every government office. So when he (President Granger) says this about connecting post office and schools, hospitals, etc, that was a part of our project, it’s nothing new,” Jagdeo stated.Jagdeo said the President’s talk about ICT development in Guyana were not based on his personal knowledge but rather, he was just reading a speech given to him, totally oblivious of the fact that his so-called announcements were not new.“When he comes and talk about ICT development, he is just repeating few of the PPP plans without having the comprehensive knowledge,” the former President stated. Jagdeo also accused the coalition government of taking a PPP/C-drafted bill to liberalise the local telecommunications sector to Parliament and had it passed as though it was the work of the coalition government.last_img read more

Over U$S16 million for UL in FY 2017/18 Budget

first_imgDr. Ophelia Weeks (left), who was installed as president the 14th of UL, was reminded by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that the institution is meant to exhibit high academic standardsFendall to be named the ‘Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman Campus’By Hannah N. GeterminahPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reminded University of Liberia’s incoming president, Ophelia Inez Weeks, Ph.D., not to forget that, among other goals, the UL was established to become a “center of learning with high academic standards in the pursuit, promotion and dissemination of knowledge.”Speaking after the inauguration of the second female president at the university’s  Fendell campus yesterday, she said the UL was meant to provide practical knowledge that can be immediately useful to the economic, social and cultural development needs of the country.She said from the time the Liberia College was chartered by the National Legislature just four years after the founding “of our country as the first independent Republic of Africa, and from the time in 1862 when Liberia College opened as the oldest institution of higher learning in West Africa, there have been several leaders whose legacies must inspire you.”Those leaders, President Sirleaf said, included President Joseph Jenkins Roberts and Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden. “Dr. Weeks, you readily have on hand those of your father, Dr. Rochefort L. Weeks, Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman, and Dr. Emmet A. Dennis,” she noted.She challenged Dr. Weeks to be bold in measures that will aim at academic excellence. “Dr. Weeks, you have dreamed big and those dreams have come through,” she said.Recounting the difficult road the UL has traveled so far, President Sirleaf said  she was exceedingly glad to be at another very important convocation, reflecting that nine years ago she inaugurated Dr. Emmet Dennis as president of the university.“At that time in 2008, the university was not so famous and for all the wrong reasons in the aftermath of more than 14 years of war,” she added.“On the campuses were visible signs of the destruction of physical plants and academic support units. The human capital of the University had depleted to the extent that the academic profile dropped to a very low ebb,” she said.President Sirleaf said “As we struggled with corruption in public service, the University displayed shameless descent in human values of civility and integrity. Stories were prevalent of unqualified young people being admitted as students and unscrupulous individuals wearing academic regalia and awarding undeserving grades to students through fraudulent means.”She noted that student riots and faculty protests were frequent and unpredictable. She acknowledged that “there was also very low budgetary support. Yet, Dr. Dennis accepted to take on the unenviable task of uncertainty and multiple challenges, leaving his life of comfortable retirement from a successful and proud career at Rutgers University in the United States to serve his nation, particularly to help mend the war-broken youth of our country and give them hope in the rebirth of our nation,” she said.President Sirleaf noted that Dr. Dennis set off with a clear vision focusing on four pillars: restoring integrity and civility, faculty and staff development, curricular transformation and restoration of libraries and laboratories and developing an IT infrastructure, including digitization of student records.In doing so, she said the University established external institutional collaborations as a means of complementing the government’s support for the development of academic programs and infrastructure.President Sirleaf added that as a sign of the government’s commitment to making good on its responsibility to the national flagship university, “we gradually increased budgetary support from US$1m in 2006 to a peak of US$14m by FY2013, or 1400 per cent. We are proud that FY 17/18 budget is over US$16m, despite the other crushing demands, particularly to improve the quality of education at the lower levels.”She said the serious economic downturn and other challenges of the past few years did not spare the University, but “We marvel at the progress that has been made as manifested more vividly by the calm, regularity and predictability of campus life among students and among faculty members, and above all, the progress in integrity, civility and academic capacity and growth.President Sirleaf recalled that Dr. Weeks grew up on the Capitol Hill Campus–in the famous Richardson Cottage–where her father, Dr. Rocheforte L. Weeks lived and worked from 1959 to 1971 as the 3rd president and first Liberian president of the University.She also recalled that Dr. Weeks is taking this mantle as the second woman to rise to this position. “In 1978, Dr. Mary Antoinette Hope Grimes Brown Sherman made history when she was the first woman to be inaugurated as President of the University of Liberia and the first woman to be President/Vice Chancellor/Head of a major institution of higher learning in Africa.“Mary Antoinette was a trail blazer, a great woman of courage, knowledge and purpose. Her origins were of humble Vai motherhood and a father from a background privilege. Yet she chose academia beginning in 1950 as a teaching staff in the Teachers College, rising to the Presidency that ended in 1984 when she refused to accept the interference of the then military government in the academic life and running of the University.”President Sirleaf as a result reiterated that Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia be named the Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman Campus, a decision that “I ask you, President Weeks, to formalize at the earliest.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ECREEE Enlightens Liberians on Renewable Energy

first_imgFacilitators and participants at the ECREEE workshopThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) on Tuesday, concluded a two-day workshop  intended to familiarize environmental stakeholders in Liberia, especially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on the understandings of the Grid Emission Factor (GEF) and Standard Baseline (SB) Calculation.Having the grid emission factor is a prior requirement to determine the emission reductions achieved by a proposed low emissions project connected to the national grid system, while the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) introduced the SB’s concept in 2010/2011, with the aim to reduce transaction costs for project developers. But Liberia is yet to achieve any of these concepts so far.This is why the workshop, held in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Regional Collaboration Center (RCC), was convened in the country.GEF is the measure of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions intensity per unit of electricity generation in a given grid system.UNFCCC Focal Person, Benjamin S. Karmorh, informed participants that the training is designed to assist local stakeholders in the calculation of the Grid Emission Factor of the national electricity grid, using real data provided by official sources.Karmorh urged them to provide data from their respective institutions so that Liberia can be elevated from the bottom to a middle income country.He at the same time lauded ECREEE and UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Center for building the capacities of representatives of relevant ministries and organizations that have potential roles to play in the development of the grid emission factor and the SB in the country.Mr. Karmorh (immediate right) and other facilitators at the eventECREEE Program Officer, Adeola Adebiyi, said the main objective of the workshop was to familiarize key stakeholders on the process of calculating the grid emission factor and a standardized baseline for the energy sector.Madam Adebiyi said that the two concepts help countries to determine the emission reductions achieved by new low emissions projects connected to the grid.She said both concepts are also crucial for the overall implementation of National Determined Contributions (NDC) that have been submitted by Liberia to the UNFCCC.According to her, while most ECOWAS countries have gone through the process of developing the GEF and SB, Liberia is still to fully complete the process since it was introduced in 2014.“So the workshop aims to fast-track the process so that you are not left behind,” Adebiyi told participants.She then lauded UNFCCC/ RCC in Lomé, Togo, for its technical contributions, and thanked the EPA for co-organizing the workshop.EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama, Sr. said that representatives from the various ministries and agencies and those from some private institutions will be provided with requisite skills and techniques on how to calculate emission.Blama challenged participants to take the training seriously, because information that would be generated would fit in the country’s data base, and would inform the country’s reporting process.He said that it took his administration two months to ratify the Paris Agreement after it had gathered dust at the Legislature for two years.Liberia joined the UNFCCC in 2002,  and has since been an active member.Participants lauded facilitators and ECREEE for the opportunity and promised that they will make use of the training.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Need for armed security services at schools – GTU General Secretary

first_imgThe Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) is calling for armed security at schools to ensure that its members are protected against the criminals that seek to rob or harm them, as well as from unruly parents and students.General Secretary of the GTU, Coretta McDonald, on Thursday, told Guyana Times that the welfare of teachers in Guyana needs to be taken seriously by the Education Ministry and this includes the matter of their security in and out of the classrooms.“Security is a big thing in our schools. Our teachers suffer and our children suffer at times when we are too slow to react. We need to focus on the security of teachers too, not only catering for criminal events, but also for unruly parents and students and even unwanted guests who may want to harm or rob them in and around the school premises,” she stated.GTU’s General Secretary Coretta McDonaldShe explained that there have been too many situations lately where teachers and head teachers have been robbed and assaulted and that one of the surest ways to curb this growing trend is to ensure that more suitable individuals are contracted as security personnel at schools. These security guards should also be armed, the GTU General Secretary noted.According to the GTU General Secretary, the need for armed security at schools is growing and while patrols conducted by the Guyana Police Force are welcomed, this will not ensure the safety of teachers since persons who intend to harm them will simply wait until the Police have left before they act.McDonald highlighted the fact that many of the schools in Guyana do not have security officers during the day and for those schools which have security services, most of the guards are not suitable or “able-bodied”. This, she added, is as a result of the compensation package being offered to persons who accept such jobs.“We cannot get the people that we want to do the job because of the compensation that is offered to persons who may be interested in doing these jobs. Some of the folks at the schools are really old, some cannot see or hear properly. I am not discriminating, I am just saying that they may not be suitable for such jobs because physically they may not be able to do as much as one would expect,” she stated.The GTU official is urging that the Education Ministry review and revamp the policies that it has in place in relation to contracting guard services for schools.McDonald further explained that the Ministry must demand that the security services, which it has contracted to serve at its schools, send more professional guards and preferably ones that are armed so that teachers and students will feel and be much safer in and around their environments.She added too that given the current trend of crimes and assaults occurring in and around schools throughout the country, unless something is done to immediately address the issue, teachers will want to select where they teach and accept transfers easily. (Kristen Macklingam)last_img read more

Camille’s Academy hosts fitness expo to promote health significance among students

first_imgCamille’s Academy in collaboration with Action Invest Caribbean Incorporated, on Saturday hosted its inaugural fitness expo and health fair event, with the sole aim of fostering both physical and mental fitness among students so as to boost academic achievements.Managing Director of Camille’s Academy, Camille DeokieSome of the items on display at the fitness expoBeing the first of its kind, the event saw the attendance of members from the Guyana Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (GABBFF), Soca sensation and fitness instructor, Vanilla among other persons.Representative and business coach of Action Invest, Keon Smith in speaking with Guyana Times, expounded that the partnership event takes on a more fun-oriented approach towards education and the schooling environment, but at the same time teaches students the importance of physical health.“What we’ve decided to do is to build a holistic schooling environment for the young and the future leaders of Guyana. This fitness expo is one of the first and its gonna be an annual event that we’re gonna use to showcase not only the fitness aspect of the students but also on display [are] their academic achievements…and is looking to create different ways to make education fun,” Smith asserted.Meanwhile, Managing Director of the institution, Camille Deokie in brief comments on the event, posited that improvements to oneself begin with a healthy lifestyle, and this is the backdrop for which the event is hosted.“A lot of studies would’ve revealed that once kids live healthier they will be smarter, so for me, directly and indirectly, will improve lives…it will even impact of academic results and people’s lifestyles in general and all the ambassadors today is basically with one mindset and that is if we really want to improve our results we have to go healthier” the Director asserted.Parents and students came out in numbers at the event, to enjoy organised activities including an official marching exercise, an award ceremony, a fitness competition which is built around the normal exercises covered in the subject of physical education (PE), all of which complemented the items on exhibition at the booths in the areas of cohesion, environmental health as well as tourism.last_img read more

Man United line-up v Cambridge: World Cup winner set for a recall?

first_img 1 Manchester United welcome Cambridge United to Old Trafford this evening and Louis van Gaal will be keen for his side to progress to the next round of the FA Cup, at the second time of asking.With Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton having already crashed out of the tournament, Van Gaal should see the FA Cup as the ideal opportunity to land his first piece of silverware in English football.The Dutchman could ring the changes for the game, but he will also be wary of the League Two opponents, especially given United’s humiliating Capital One Cup exit to MK Dons earlier this season.Preston North End or Sheffield United await the winners of the tie, but will Juan Mata return to the starting XI and can Adnan Januzaj continue to repay his managers’ faith? talkSPORT takes a look…Possible Man United line-up against Cambridge? 1 Manchester United welcome Cambridge United to Old Trafford this evening and Louis van Gaal will be keen for his side to progress to the next round of the FA Cup, at the second time of asking. GoalkeeperVictor Valdes was lauded for his pre-game team talk prior to his Manchester United U21 side debut a week ago, and this fixture appears ideal for the experienced Spaniard to make his senior bow.DefendersVan Gaal opted to play the 4-4-2 diamond against Leicester on the weekend, and United benefited at both ends of the pitch.It is expected that the Dutchman will make a couple changes at the back, with Chris Smalling and Rafael in line for a recall after a spell on the sidelines.MidfieldWith Michael Carrick out injured, Daley Blind certainly seems to be first choice in defensive midfield. However, van Gaal could give Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera the chance to stake their claim for a regular first-team slot – both of whom haven’t played too many games in recent weeks.Adnan Januzaj impressed against Leicester with an energetic and confident display and the Belgian should be given the opportunity to continue his run in the team.AttackingThe United boss certainly has a host of options up front, especially after under-fire strikers Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao bagged a goal apiece on the weekend.Falcao’s movement, in particular, was impressive and the Colombian, who has been under pressure in recent weeks, could retain his place.Van Gaal could also use the fixture to recall Spaniard Mata to the first XI, while James Wilson is in line for a start and the Englishman has impressed in cameo appearances this season – including a goal away to QPR last month.Man United fans, how do you think you’ll line-up against Cambridge? Comment below…last_img read more

DONEGAL LADIES GAA RESULTS, FIXTURES & NEWS

first_imgLeague results – SeniorGlenfin 1-11 Four Masters 1-5Termon beat Aodh RuadhLeague results – JuniorKilcar 5-7 Naomh Mhuire 2-3Division 2 result – Ardara 4-17 Naomh Conaill 2-5  Coaching the Female Athlete WorkshopWednesday 18th April @ 7.30pm in Clanree Hotel, LetterkennyThis theory workshop is aimed at managers and coaches of female teams. It will highlight areas that should be addressed when coaching and managing female players including the psychological and physiological differences from men. It will also look at the rules of the ladies game and help coaches gain a better understanding of their role. The workshop will be delivered by the Ulster GAA Ladies Development Officer, Sheena Kelly. This workshop is FREE of charge but booking is essential as places are limited. Please text name and club to 086-1777104.All county league divisions 1, 2 and 3 get underway this weekend-Division 1 –Termon v Four MastersSt. Michael’s v St. EunansAodh Ruadh v TermonMoville v Robert EmmetsGlenfin v Four MastersDivision 2 –Milford v St. Mary’s ConvoyMalin v Mc CumhaillsArdara v Naomh ConaillDivision 3 –Bundoran v St. NaulsNaomh Bríd/Pettigo v Naomh MhuireBuncrana v Red Hugh’sTermon v CloughaneelyGaoth Dobhair v Naomh Padraig LiffordLevel 1 Ladies Coaching Course (over 2 days) on Saturday 14th April in Heeneys Inn, Ballbofey and Saturday 26th May at a central pitch location from 10am-4pm.All participants must be over 18 and completed the FUNdamentals course. Price is €50-55 depending on numbers & will confirm prior to course. Places limited so please text name and club to 086-1777104.   DONEGAL LADIES GAA RESULTS, FIXTURES & NEWS was last modified: April 6th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL LADIES GAA RESULTSFIXTURES & NEWSlast_img read more

CANCER CHARITY WARNING OVER MOBILE PHONES

first_imgBY MARIE DUFFY: The Irish cancer society has today warned mobile phone users to limit their exposure to radiation by instead texting or using hand free devices.The advice comes after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) yesterday, classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, emitted by mobile phones, as ‘possibly carcinogenic’.Over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices. Over 30 experts met in Lyon, France to review previously published data on the links between cancer and mobile phone usage.The IARC states that evidence of a possible association between mobile phone usage is linked to two types of brain cancers, glioma and acoustic neuroma, but that data is inadequate to draw conclusions for other cancers.The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.CANCER CHARITY WARNING OVER MOBILE PHONES was last modified: June 1st, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

RESIDENTS IN STAND-OFF WITH IRISH WATER WORKERS IN LETTERKENNY

first_imgANGRY residents have opposed Irish Water staff opposing “pointless” meters in Letterkenny today.Workers moved in to Ashlawn earlier today.One resident told us: “They are not listening when we tell them we don’t want meters. “This is going against previous agreements in other areas of Co Donegal.” RESIDENTS IN STAND-OFF WITH IRISH WATER WORKERS IN LETTERKENNY was last modified: January 21st, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Irish Waterletterkennystand-offworkerslast_img read more

The adventure starts here

first_imgSkydiving over Cape Town(Image: Tim-O-T, Skydive Cape Town,copyright Thutch Productions)Let the adventure begin. Whatever your preference, South Africa has all the adventure your adrenalin can handle.Sections in this article:IntroductionAbseiling and rapp jumpingBungee jumpingParagliding, hang gliding and flyingRock climbing and mountaineeringMountain bikingCanoeing, rafting and kayakingHikingHorse ridingSkydivingScuba diving IntroductionSouth Africa has some of the best rock climbing in the world, with Cape Town particularly well endowed. There are literally hundreds of bolted and natural routes on excellent quality Cape granite or Table Mountain sandstone within the city limits. There are climbing schools and mountain guides in all the main centres, and route guides are available from climbing shops.River trips range from mostly scenic to grade five whitewater washing machines. There are over a hundred listed paragliding or hang gliding launch sites, and many more less well known, with schools in every centre. Also up in the air, there are many opportunities for helicopter rides, balloon flights, aerobatics, skydiving and microlight flights.Thousands of kilometres of hiking trails wind around the country, in desert, forest, mountain or coast, and many have mountain bike trails adjacent. Some hikes are a bit more luxurious – you walk from hotel to hotel and have your luggage taken round.There are wonderful easy horse trails through vineyards, on the beach or in the mountains and, for the adventurous and more experienced, horseback safaris in big game country.We have the highest commercial bungee jump in the world (at 216 metres), as well as lots of pretty abseiling and bridge swinging.For something combining adrenalin, peace and tranquility, and sheer beauty, try the treetop canopy tour in Tsitsikamma.The art of canyoning – known as kloofing in South Africa – is another hot favourite, with self-guided and escorted trips.Useful links 180º Adventures has offices in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, and activities countrywide. Active Africa Adventure Tours offers Western Cape-based adventure tours covering the full adrenaline spectrum.Adventure Online is a comprehensive web-based directory of outdoor activities, with over 2 000 adventure companies across South Africa listed.Adventure Purists offer various adventure package tours which include a variety of activities across South Africa. AR.co.za is the website for South African enthusiasts of adventure racing – a new sport made popular by the Eco Challenge television series. The site offers news, upcoming events, advice, features and more. Ashanti Travel Centre, based in Cape Town, offers a wide range of packages for adventure junkies, including kloofing, scuba diving, bridge and bungi jumping, great white shark diving, kite boarding, paragliding, sandboarding, skydiving and abseils off Table Mountain.Cape Sports Centre on the Langebaan Lagoon caters for kitesurfers, windsurfers, mountain bikers and kayakers. They sell and rent equipment, offer lessons and tips, and provide various adventure packages.Downhill Adventures offers the Cape Great Eight Adventure Experience, a combination of the best and most exciting adventures available in this area: shark cage diving, sandboarding, mountain biking, surfing, tandem skydiving, abseiling, sea kayaking and quad biking.Felix Unite Adventure Travel is a comprehensive adventure tour operator, providing trips throughout Africa.Glenmore Ecoventures offers loads of adventure activities at Glenmore Beach on the KZN South Coast. Kamala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape offers the Sheercliff Adventure Centre, with a wide range of adventure sports: a gorge glide, abseiling, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, paragliding and the 4×4 Samil mountain ascent. Oribi Gorge Resort near Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal has the Wild Five: abseiling, whitewater rafting, the Wild Slide (a foofy slide 120m along a steel cable 160m above the ground), the Wild Swing 100m into a gorge, and hiking and mountain biking. Otters Den, a river lodge on an island in the Blyde River at the foot of the Drakensberg near the Kruger Park, offers whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, kayaking and abseiling.The SA Orienteering Federation is the controlling body for the sport of orienteering in South Africa, with a number of affiliated clubs.Stormsriver Adventures operates a wonderful, somewhat strenuous trip called the Stormsriver Challenge: abseiling, tubing and mountain biking. Wildthing Adventures, based in Gauteng, specialises in both soft adventures for all age groups – from eight years and older – and more adrenaline-pumping activities. These include canoeing, rafting, bridge jumping, mountain biking, abseiling and overland rafting expeditions.Back to top Abseiling and rapp jumpingIt’s only recently that abseiling has become an activity in its own right. Really it’s just the method climbers use to get off mountains – or special services forces use to descend deserted buildings into enemy territory in adventure movies – but it’s fun, and so it’s become available as an activity in its own right.You can hang out high over Cape Town abseiling from Table Mountain. The “long drop” is 112m high – and about a kilometre above the city – making it the world’s highest commercial abseil.There are three abseil routes on the spectacular western head at Knysna, further up the Cape east coast – including a really high, very exposed site hanging right out over the crashing waves.Not far from Knysna, and also with fantastic views, you can do a combination abseiling and kloofing (canyoning) trip down the Storms River Gorge, which involves a 100m abseil into the gorge, a tubing trip down the river, a short walk out of the gorge and then a cycle back to the village.You can abseil down buildings in Durban and Johannesburg, or even rapp jump if you like. Rapp jumping is abseiling with the ropes attached to your back instead of your front, so you go down facing the ground – and at a run, if you’re in a hurry.Useful links Abseil AfricaFace Adrenalin Govertical Mountaineering Adventures Oribi Gorge ResortOver the Top AdventuresPure Rush IndustriesRoc ‘n Rope AdventuresBack to top Bungee jumpingWeehah! South Africa has the highest commercial bungee jump in the world – it’s official. At 216 metres, it’s not for the faint of heart.Run by Face Adrenalin, the Bloukrans is on the border of the Eastern and Western Cape.The same company also offers a range of jumps on the much lower Gouritz River Bridge. Here you’ll also find South Africa’s only commercial bridge swinging operation, run by Wildthing Adventures.Not sure of difference between bungee jumping and bridge swinging? With bungee, you jump off a bridge (or other high fixed platform) with giant elastic bands usually, but not always, tied to your feet.Bridge swinging, on the other hand, involves jumping from one bridge while tied in to climbing ropes suspended from an adjacent bridge.Useful linksFace AdrenalinWildthing AdventuresBungee MogaleBack to top Paragliding, hang gliding and flyingOK, not many places don’t have sky, but South Africa has lots of it – and very good quality it is, too …In the hot interior we see thermals like you wouldn’t believe, and many paraglider and hang glider pilots have made record-breaking distance flights, particularly in the Northern Cape.But of course this flat, hot area doesn’t have much in the way of relief – for that you need to head for South Africa’s coastal provinces, or Mpumalanga.There’s loads of excellent ridge soar and some fantastic scenic flying near the coast. In Cape Town, you can launch off Lion’s Head in the evening, flying into the sunset, to land at one of the popular beachfront pubs.And if it’s skydiving you’re into, Skydive Cape Town can take you to a drop zone that boasts one of the best views in the world from altitude.Further up South Africa’s coast, near the Garden Route town of Wilderness, you can fly over the sea, often seeing dolphins and whales. And, of course, the high-lying areas of the Western and Eastern Cape, the Drakensberg and Mpumalanga offer spectacular mountain scenery.There is even reasonable flying about 80km from Johannesburg, near Hartbeespoort Dam, where you can fly under the controlled air space of a number of medium-sized airfields and Johannesburg International Airport.Useful links Aero Club of SA BigSky Aviation AdventuresMicrolight Association of SAMicrolight Aviation in SAMicrolighters.co.za SA Hang Gliding and Paragliding AssociationSA Power Flying AssociationSkydancersSkydive Cape TownBack to top Rock climbing and mountaineeringThe cliffs are big, wild, often remote – and still being discovered. And it’s a climate for being out in. South Africa offers some of the best, and most diverse, rock climbing in the world. Gear up, chalk up, and start cranking!Ever since the German climbing magazine Rotpunkt published an article about Waterval Boven in 1993, foreign visitors have been flocking to this Mpumalanga town for some of the best sport climbing in the universe. The Restaurant (officially known as “The Restaurant at the end of the Universe crags”) offers more than 500 routes, and there are still numerous untouched rock faces in the area.With routes ranging from scramble-easy to a superhuman 33 – and a number of natural or “trad” (traditional, or unbolted) routes – there’s something for everyone here.Outside Durban, there are also a lot of sport climbs, and a few close to Johannesburg. En route between these two major centres, you’ll find some wonderful bolted routes in good hard sandstone in the eastern part of the Free State – notably at the Mount Everest nature reserve near Harrismith.If you’re more of a traditionalist, don’t worry. You can revel in miles of unbolted rock in the fantastic, virtually pristine Blouberg in the Limpopo, the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, the Magaliesburg in North West – in close striking distance of both Johannesburg and Pretoria – or in the miles and miles of fantastic mountain ranges in the Western Cape.One of these deserves special mention. The Cedarberg, two-and-a-half hours’ drive north of Cape Town, is a world-class bouldering area – and boasts some of the best trad rock climbing routes in the country.But for a close-to-city experience, nothing can beat Cape Town, with hundreds of sport and traditional routes within the city limits. The city is built around Table Mountain, a national park consisting of two great, hard rock types – Table Mountain sandstone, which gives nice positive edges, and Cape granite, which offers fantastic friction climbing.Useful links Mountain Club of South AfricaSouth African Climbing Info NetworkSA BoulderingClimb ZAWildways MountaineeringCape Town School of MountaineeringPeak High MountaineeringRoc ‘n Rope Adventures –Alard’s Bigwall Climbing Site SA Mountain Magazine Adventure DynamicsUKZN Mountain Club – Wits Mountain Club City Rock Indoor Climbing De Bos Back to top Mountain bikingMTB heaven! There are so many fantastic trails it will blow you away. South Africa is a treasure trove of exciting routes, discovered and waiting to be uncovered, with weather allowing for cycling at any time of the year, all day and just about every day.Around Cape Town there are some great single-track routes on the mountain and in the pine plantations. There are escorted trips on the mountain, around the winelands and in the Cape Point section of the Cape Peninsula National Park.The scenic De Hoop National Park near Swellendam, up the east coast from Cape Town, has dedicated, easy trails. There are a few hardcore trails near Swellendam, and then onto the Garden Route, which is just fantastic.There are four superb, laid-out circular tracks in the Harkerville Forest, ranging from mellow to a hectic red route. And nearby are two long, quite strenuous linear trails, Homtini and Petrus se Brand. Locals and international visitors alike agree that the last 6km of Petrus se Brand is the most fun single track ever.Port Elizabeth also has dedicated trails, including one traversing a green belt which cuts right through the middle of the city. An annual MTB race on the Wild Coast set a precedent for pedaling this fantastic area.KwaZulu-Natal has its share of routes, with many great ones in the Drakensberg and the Midlands.The Free State is home to some seriously strenuous trails, and often has competitions. There’s one called the Two Mountains Race, which should give you an idea of what you’d be in for.And Johannesburg has a huge active MTB population, so there are a lot of trails nearby. Many of these urbanites head out to the wonderful trails in Mpumalanga, where you’ll find lots of opportunity to get down and dirty.Useful links Mountain Bike South AfricaSouth African Mountain Bike ToursBeach and BushDaytrippersEden AdventuresMountain Biking AfricaOuteniqua Biking Trails Cycle Lab Pedal Power Association SA Cycling Bicycling Magazine Back to top Canoeing, rafting and kayakingSouth Africa has fantastic rivers, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. The most popular – for good reason – is the Orange, which forms the country’s northern border with Namibia. It’s a long, green-fringed oasis running through the mountainous desert area known as the Richtersveld. Incredibly scenic, it also has a few fun rapids.The section below Augrabies Falls is similar, and there is a one-day rafting trip above Augrabies which features some exciting but not radical rapids. The Gorge section of the Orange is a lot more technical and has some high-volume rapids.The Vaal, a tributary of the Orange, has some fun little rapids and is very close to Johannesburg, so it’s a popular destination for corporate trips. Also near Johannesburg, the Crocodile River offers a pleasant day out with some small and mildly challenging rapids.The Doring River in the Western Cape has a short season towards the end of winter, and offers fantastic, quite technical white water, but it’s pretty cold.The Palmiet River is absolutely wonderful. It runs through the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and offers fantastic technical rapids and wonderful scenery. The trip offered takes one day and includes all meals and sometimes a visit to a winery.The Molenaars is a very technical, white water river that only works for a few days immediately after heavy rain in its catchment area, so it’s not easy to plan a trip. The Sonderend River is a smallish river where you can do a fun day trip or overnighter.There are two trips on the Breede River: a one day wine tasting trip near Worcester, which is really just an excuse to have a lovely picnic and sample some local wines, with a little bit of paddling thrown in. Lower down, near Swellendam, two-day trips are run on some small rapids and quite rocky sections. This section is used mainly for corporate trips.There is some fun canoeing in the lakes area of the Garden Route, especially Wilderness and Knysna Lagoon. Other enjoyable flatwater trips include the two self-guided excursions near Port Alfred, one of which is up and down the conveniently tidal Kowie River. The other is a short paddle up the Kleinemond River to a wonderful overnight spot, called Kayak Camp.Far more luxurious would be an escorted trip through the spectacularly beautiful and biologically unique Kosi Bay lake system. And, also in the Maputaland area of northern KwaZulu-Natal, there are fantastic escorted one-day trips on Lake St Lucia, where you may see crocodiles and hippos, and on Lake Bhangazi, also part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.The Umkomaas River on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast offers fantastic paddling with some fun, challenging but not too technical rapids. Just north of Durban, the Umgeni has some delightful little rapids. The section paddled is part of the gruelling two-day Dusi Marathon.The Buffalo River used to be the border between the kingdom of Zululand and the British colony of Natal and is near some fantastic historical sites. It’s a lovely river with some quite challenging rapids. Standard trips are two days. The Buffalo is a tributary of the nearby Tugela River, which also has some pretty impressive white water with some very scary rapids indeed.The Blyde River in Mpumalanga is probably one of the most beautiful rivers in South Africa – a somewhat hectic, technical alpine-style river with a steep gradient. A second trip on a tamer section of the same river is far easier, and the nearby Sabie River also offers an easy day out. The Olifants River, also close by, has some wonderful, big but not too technical rapids and also traverses some beautiful scenery.Useful linksCoastal KayakGravity Adventure GroupHardy VenturesIntrapid RaftingPaddleYak Sea Kayak StoreHiSide GroupSunwa VenturesBack to top HikingThere’s no better way to experience South Africa’s wild places than with your boots on and your feet on the ground, one in front of the other, taking in the country’s fantastically scenic hiking trails. Here are some highlights.The Otter Trail along the Tsitsikamma coast is probably the most popular hike in the country. Lush forests, rugged shorelines, mountain streams and waterfalls and fragrant fynbos make this a special one. It’s strenuous, with lots of ups and downs, but the distances aren’t too great.If you want the scenery and walking with less slog and more luxury, try the Dolphin Trail. It traverses similar terrain to the Otter – joining up with it in places – but instead of hiking huts you stay in fully catered guest houses with great views and good food. Your pack is transported to your next overnight spot by vehicle, and you carry only a day pack with lunch, water, camera and swimsuit.The Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape offers similar trails but dramatically different scenery: miles of deserted beaches, wave-lashed rocks and occasional tropical forest.Accommodation is in coastal hotels instead of huts. The usual is to carry your pack, but you can arrange to have it driven around, if you plan ahead.Purists can tackle the Wild Coast rough as they like. There are miles and miles of unspoiled hiking trail traversing high mountains, deserts and forests, where the accommodation is the usual hiking hut, and the cuisine whatever you decided to carry.For an even wilder experience, you can hike for days in the Cedarberg, near Cape Town, or the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, without seeing a hut or a route marker. These are designated wilderness areas, and you simply take a map and a permit and set off, sleeping under the stars or in convenient caves.There are many others, some of which are on private land. You can get a reasonable idea of what’s available from the Footprint Hiking Club.Of course, the most important aspect of a hiking trail is that you don’t constantly bump into other people. And the only way to ensure that is to limit numbers, so that means you have to book.Useful linksSA National ParksCape Nature ConservationJohannesburg Hiking Club Footprint Hiking Club Hiking.org.za Hike Cape Town Boksburg Hiking Club Hiking South Africa Mountain Club of South AfricaBack to top Horse riding and trailsHorse riding trails in South Africa are as diverse as the terrain. You can take a brisk canter along a beach, an amble through vineyards, a fast ride across sweeping grasslands or a meander through magnificent mountain scenery.If you’re comfortable on a horse, you can ride among some big game. If you’re not, there are some easier options where the game is not likely to consider eating you (or your mount).Trips range from an hour or two on the outskirts of cities to multi-day treks in the wilderness; in some places you can even do moonlit rides at full moon.For a different trail experience, try Spier wine farm’s Segway Tour. While gliding on a self-balancing two-wheeler, visitors will check out the vineyard, the biodynamic farming area, the protea garden and even its wastewater treatment plant.If you’d like to get in some hunting while you’re in South Africa, note that we only offer drag hunts. Everything – dress, formalities, hounds – is traditional but the “fox” is a jackal-scented bag dragged by a hunt member. Drag hunting is run by the Rand Hunt Club near Johannesburg, and by the Cape Hunt and Polo Club in and around Cape Town.Useful links African Horse Company Amadiba Trails Ant’s Nest Horseriding Safaris Bhangazi Horse Safaris Biggarsberg Horse Trails Bokpoort Horseback AdventuresCape Nature ConservationDer Kap RittEquus Horse Safaris Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Fynbos Trails Grootbos Nature ReserveHorizon Horse TrailsHorseback AfricaKaapsehoop Horse Trails Mkulu Kei Horse Trails Rand Hunt Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve Riding for the Disabled SA National Equestrian Foundation Spier Segway ToursThornview Horse Trails Trail Linx Tswalu Kalahari ReserveWait a Little Horse TrailsWine Valley Horse TrailsXplora ToursBack to top SkydivingIf you’re a skydiver, you know about adrenaline addiction and the attraction of gravity, so you won’t want to miss the chance for a quick jump while you’re on holiday.South Africa has skydiving clubs in all the major centres and in even some unexpected smaller places such as Grahamstown and Pietermaritzburg.The biggest club in the country is Pretoria Skydiving Club, which is your best bet if you want to get involved in some big RW. They fly two Pilatus Porters, so 20-way formations are a real possibility.And if you’ve never skydived, consider doing your first jump in South Africa. With our favourable exchange rate, you’ll find it a lot cheaper than in other countries. You could choose between a standard static line jump or a tandem jump, where you are tied to an instructor who makes all the decisions for you.If you think you might get serious about skydiving you could do an accelerated free-fall course while you’re in South Africa and save a bit of money, as it is the most expensive part of a skydiving career.Then there’s the scenery. Even if it’s your first jump and you think you’ll have your eyes closed the whole time, don’t worry, you will see the view.Many of South Africa’s drop zones are in pretty locations and, hey, here’s a bonus: do a tandem (or single) jump in Cape Town and get a pic of yourself hurtling earthwards in front of Table Mountain. That wouldn’t look bad on your desk (or desktop) when you get back to the office.Useful linksSkydiveXtremeSkydive Cape Town Aero Club of SA Go SkydiveTandem Skydiving Adventures Parachute Association of SAJohannesburg Skydiving ClubPretoria Skydiving ClubSkydive CitrusdalWitbank Skydiving ClubPietermaritzburg Parachute Club Back to top Scuba divingIf it’s variety you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. South Africa has an enormously long coastline ranging from about 35°S to 27°S, which isn’t quite within the usual range of tropical diving.But the Mozambique Current flows down our East Coast, bringing warm tropical water with it, and at Sodwana Bay we have the most southerly coral reefs in the world. Of course, they have the full complement of pretty colourful fish and some great nudibranchs, including the outrageous Spanish dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineas).Whale sharks, turtles, dolphins and ragged-tooth sharks (Carcharias taurus) are often seen in specific places.And then, as you head down the coast, the underwater fauna and flora change gradually until, once you’ve reached Cape Town, you’re diving in chilly but beautiful kelp forests.There are three major types of kelp, and a short portion of the Western Cape coast is the only place in the world that they all grow together. If you’ve always shunned cold water diving, consider it.Sure, you do have to dress up in a great thick wetsuit with constraining hoodie and gloves, but it’s worth it. Diving in kelp is like walking in a forest. You float beneath the canopy and admire the surprisingly colourful reef life.Off Cape Town, divers regularly see anemones in colours ranging from electric blue or deep red to pale pink, nudibranchs of almost every colour you can imagine, and a whole range of small creatures in and around the bright orange and sulphur yellow sponges.There are dive schools in almost every centre in the country – with a surprising number in the landlocked Johannesburg area. Perhaps it’s not so surprising: most people do their training up there and then head down to Sodwana Bay for their qualifying dives.There is even an inland dive resort near Johannesburg, where students can do their first dive or two in a disused quarry. Komati Springs is a much deeper disused quarry in Mpumalanga where rebreather, mixed gas and deep diving courses are run.When you come here to dive our wonderful reefs, do take careful note of your no-fly limits. A flight from sea level to Johannesburg can take only an hour, and you gain 2 000 metres (7 000ft) in altitude – that’s without even considering the flight.This really is a major risk, so adjust your itinerary to include a day of sightseeing, shopping or beach lounging between diving and flying to Johannesburg. Even driving to Johannesburg immediately after a dive, for example at Sodwana Bay or Durban, can put you at risk, as the drive is only six hours.Useful links Adventure Diving SafarisAfrican OdysseaAliwal Dive ChartersAmatikulu ToursCoral DiversDive South AfricaDive the Big FiveDive Travel CentreExtreme 3 AdventuresKwaMnandi Dive LodgePro DiveScuba ShackTouch Africa SafarisThe Great White HouseBack to toplast_img read more