Wednesday, December 2, 2009

“#AcaciaWildTweep” Judge - Safari On Down With AfricaFreak

Listen up potential #AcaciaWildTweeps” as we’ve got some interesting bloggers judging our competition. First up is Michaël Theys, Editor of AfricaFreak, and perhaps one of the greatest enthusiasts on the World Wide Web when it comes to understanding the ultimate safari experience. You might also want to check out AfricaFreak’s “FREE Safari Tips 101 Ebook” now available on the blog!

So Michaël – tell us a bit about yourself…

I have an unrivalled passion for Africa, having spent almost 24 years living on the continent. From my early childhood in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya and Tanzania, Zambia, and finally South Africa; I have experienced some truly life changing experiences. Editing the AfricaFreak is a chance to share my knowledge with adventurers across the globe and revisit some of my past highlights. Ultimately, I’m hoping that the blog will become the number one reference tool in the domains of African safaris, wildlife and conservation – and maybe even, a kind of National Geographic for Africa! J

And what’s hapenning on AfricaFreak?

Africa Freak is the ultimate African safari experience revealed to you in a few simple clicks. Featuring insider tips, you can discover everything you ever needed to know about wildlife viewing in Eastern and Southern Africa. Full of guidelines and general information on safari destinations and African wildlife...virtual Africa is literally at your fingertips.

What will you be looking for from adventurers when you come to judge the #AcaciaWildTweep” entries ?

3 words could define what I’m looking for: originality (& creativity), sincerity (& fun, humoristic…) and knowledge (work put in, effort)!

Your favourite spot in South Africa and why?

Difficult to pick one particular spot as there is so much to do in the country. For wildlife nonetheless, I’d have to stick with Kruger National Park. I know it’s probably not a very original answer, but the Kruger is by far the richest and most diverse ecosystem you can possibly dream of!

Otherwise, I’m a big fan of the Western Cape, Cape Town in particular! Stunning beaches, great food and wine, and a unique landscape with its typical Cape fynbos vegetation!

Any humourous anecdotes to share with us Michaël?...

Funny, hmmm…great question! J

I was on an Archaeology fieldtrip in the Highveld (not too far from Johannesburg) to search for some rock art paintings. It was nighttime and we were all asleep (well, “almost” all of us were asleep…). What you need to know here is that we were staying in a “kind of” bungalow (very basic) with no windows, in the middle of the bush. In other words, there were wild animals running around…

All of a sudden, I hear these funny grunts coming from outside. Still half asleep, I wake up and grab my torch by the side of my bed. Of course, at that time people were going nuts already (especially the girls lol…they were terrifiedJ). I switch on the torch towards where the noise was coming from, and I see this HUGE WILDEBEEST HEAD staring at me! Everybody started screaming all at once…

Very frightening on the moment I must admit, but we then realised it was Justin (one of our teammates) joking around with a “stuffed wildebeest” head! J I would’ve punched him if I could!

And what about your MOST memorable safari in South Africa?

Kruger once again. This one time (while on a self-drive safari), we saw both lions, elephants, rhinos, 3 cheetahs and a herd of buffalo (comprising of almost 1000 individuals) in just one day.

I have often experienced magical moments on a safari, but I must admit this was extra special!

Any advice for adventurers in South Africa?

South Africa is a huge country with so much to visit and discover. Take your time! I recommend at least 3 weeks if you REALLY want to enjoy and benefit from what the country has to offer!

Try to combine safaris with the beach, and perhaps a bit of shopping time in Johannesburg (Sandton City’s a shopper’s paradise) or Cape Town.

We know this will be a difficult question! But can you give us the low down on the best game viewing location in South Africa?

Most definitely the Kruger, and some of the private concessions like Sabi Sabi, Londolozi or Madikwe Game Reserves.

And those top three MUST SEE destinations on your next South Africa jaunt?

1. Kruger

2. Cape Town

3. Gauteng

Get sorted with your safari & click on over to AfricaFreak

Want to win a Free 6-day Acacia African Insight overland tour! Check out the #AcaciaWildTweep comp details

You've gotta' be in it to win it so fill out our #AcaciaWildTweep Q&A

#AcaciaWildTweep competition terms and conditions: Entrants for the “Wild Tweep” competition must have visited South Africa, although not necessarily on an Acacia Africa tour. 1 X African Insight (Tour code: NAI6 or SAI6). For travel before 01 January 2011. Non-exchangeable or transferable. Subject to the Acacia Africa booking terms and conditions as laid out in the 2010/2011 brochure and availability. Excludes flights/ visas, insurance, spending money, optional activities and any other items not listed as ‘included’ in the Acacia brochure under the African Insight heading.

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