I attended the second (FEAT) Fascinating Expedition & Adventure Talks event, which was held in Cape Town in 2011, and loved it. Entertaining and FEATinspiring in equal measure these Ted talks for the outdoor adventurer were a tonic for outdoor lovers and couch potatoes alike. My only complaint is that difficulty in securing a suitable Cape Town venue at a suitable time has meant that organiser Lisa de Speville has not being able to bring the event to Cape Town again.

So Jozi dwellers get all the fun. The next event will be held on Thursday, 4 October 2012 at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. If you are a Jozi local or visiting Egoli at the time go check it out – nine speakers with seven minutes to describe some pretty amazing adventures.

Read my review of the Cape Town event here.

The good news is the talks will all be uploaded to the web after the event sometime – that is some consolation for us Capetonians – and the mountain and sea of course.

Latest news from FEAT

Bookings for FEAT tickets officially open on Monday, 6 August, but as a FEAT newsletter follower you get early notification so that you get the pick of the best seats in the house at the early-bird rate of R150.00 per ticket. There is not yet a link to tickets on the FEAT website, nothing on Facebook or Twitter. You’ve got a couple of days notice in advance of everyone else to book your tickets and you can do so from NOW. AND, you also get the first peek at the speaker line up.

Go sign up and get more info on www.featsa.co.za

Those interested in a bit of adventure, the outdoors and nature will have an opportunity to attend three presentations hosted by Cape Union Mart at their Adventure Centre in Canal Walk, Cape Town, in June and August.

The topics covered will be slackpacking, multi-day hikes and black eagles.

The presentation on slackpacking, held in partnership with Getaway Magazine, looks at this increasingly popular mode of hiking. Slackpackers travel light, carrying only water, lunch and a camera as their gear is shuttled ahead to the overnight stop. They end the day’s hike – often guided – with a hot shower, chilled drinks, a good meal and a warm bed. In this one-hour talk Nick Bennett discusses South African slackpacking trails and guides you through how to prepare and what to pack. He’ll highlight the Donkey Trail, which starts near Calitzdorp and meanders over the Swartberg Mountains.

Multi-day hikes like the Otter Trail and Fish River Canyon are well known and much loved. There are also others, like the Rim of Africa, which will be discussed in this one-hour presentation by Nick Bennett. Developed in the same vein as North America’s Appalachian and Continental Divide Trails, Spain’s Camino de Santiago and South America’s Sendero de Chile, the Rim of Africa is a 650 kilometre length of mountain paths between the Cederberg and the Garden Route’s Outeniqua Mountains. Bennett will discuss how to prepare for multi-day hiking as well as suitable gear for different regions and seasons.

The Black Eagle Project (BEP) was initiated in 2011 and the research is undertaken by post-graduate student Megan Murgatroyd (UCT). Her study focuses on the effects of land use on the diet and hunting habits of the Black Eagle (Aquila verreauxii; formerly known as Verreaux’s Eagle) in the Cederberg Mountains and the Sandveld. The Cederberg is a region that remains relatively pristine while the Sandveld has undergone extensive land conversion for agriculture.

In this fascinating presentation, Murgatroyd will introduce the Black Eagles – their diet, hunting behaviour, breeding cycle and how she monitors nests. She’ll also fill you in on her findings thus far and the breeding status between the start of the project and the current breeding season.

All presentations are free but seating is limited so it is essential to reserve your place. This can be done through the Events page on the Cape Union Mart website – www.capeunionmart.co.za/events. Presentations start at 6.15pm for 6.30pm and will be one hour in duration. Drinks and snacks are served after the presentation and attendees can take advantage of on-the-night discounts in store.

Presentation summary

  • Slackpacking: Thursday, 28 June @ 6.15pm for 6.30pm.
  • Multi-day hikes: Thursday, 2 August @ 6.15pm for 6.30pm.
  • Black Eagle Project:  Wednesday, 22 August @ 6.15pm for 6.30pm.

All presentations take place at Cape Union Mart Adventure Centre, Canal Walk, Cape Town.

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