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Category ArchiveCamping

Professional Tour Guide

Michael Wilcox is an all round adventurer with years of experience in the outdoor space.

His introduction to hiking and the love for nature happened at the early age of five when he started joining his father on fishing trips to the coastal regions of the Cape of Good Hope section within the Table Mountain National Park.  This included hiking through the fynbos to reach fishing spots at the water’s edge.  He remembers playing in the rock pools of the intertidal zones as well as catching “klip vissies” (small rock fish) there.

In later years he went on to join a swimming club, become a water polo player and a lifeguard.  The aquatic activities further expanded his love for the ocean. In fact, he spent over 25 years of his life volunteering as a beach lifeguard along the False Bay coast, as well as volunteering as a crew leader on the Cape Town Helicopter Surf Rescue service.

Soon after getting married, Michael and his wife Bridget embarked on an extended backpacking venture across Europe and the Middle East. Over time the two of them have been fortunate to travel to and experience 23 different countries around the world.

It is this love for nature, the outdoors, hiking and travel that made for perfect ingredients to become a Cultural Guide, an Overnight Off Trail Mountain and Adventure Guide, and to register a Tour Operator business called Tusk Adventures & Tours.

Here are some of Michael’s achievements over the years:

  • Special interest in Fynbos (indigenous vegetation of the Western Cape province)
  • Special interest in the indigenous seasonal flowers of the Cape West Coast and adjacent interior, Cederberg, Namaqualand and the Northern Cape
  • Special interest in coastal regions and intertidal zones
  • Special interest in KhoiKhoi culture and history
  • Special interest in KhoiKhoi Rock Art (cave paintings)
  • Special interest in politics, colonial and apartheid history
  • Special interest in shipwrecks and lighthouses
  • A registered Regional/Provincial Cultural Tourist guide:-
    (Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga)
  • A registered National Overnight Off Trail Adventure Mountain and Wilderness Trekking guide
  • Certified by the Cape Wine Academy
  • Member of the Cape Tourist Guides Association
  • An experienced hiker, mountaineer and adventurer (over 40 years)
  • Hiked in Lesotho, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Israel, France, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Namibia, Mozambique, Australia and all over South Africa.
  • A trained Wilderness First Aid responder
  • Experienced Rescue Mountaineer
  • Responder at Delta Search And Rescue
  • Responder for the Western Cape Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR)
  • Volunteers  alongside members of the Western Cape Department of Health
    Emergency Medical Services, Helicopter Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue, Off Road Rescue,
    K9 Search And Rescue, Sea Rescue and other emergency crews
  • Trained on the International Emergency ICS (Incident Command System)
  • A trained volunteer Tourism Trauma Support Worker
  • Certified category C freshwater and marine offshore boat skipper
  • Founder, co-ordinator and guide at ECO Mates Environmental Outreach Project
  • Volunteer Safety Patroller at Table Mountain National Park
    (SANParks)
  • Volunteer guide at Table Mountain National Park (SANParks)
  • Holder of a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP)
  • Representative at the Table Mountain National Park (SANParks)
    – Park Forum
  • Ad Hoc safety officer and rescue mountaineer with Wilderness
    Logistical Support Services at outdoor, hiking and trail running events
  • A weekly studio guest on a Cape Town Radio station talking about “The Great Outdoors”
  • Volunteered as a duty beach lifeguard for more than twenty five years
  • Past squad leader at the Cape Town Sea & Surf Helicopter Rescue
    service (approx 10 years)
  • Past member of Western Province Lifesaving elite helicopter response team
  • Past Climbing Convener of Cape Province Mountain Club
  • Past Safety Officer at the Table Mountain Hiking Challenge
  • Past Chairperson of the Hikers Network
  • Past coordinator at the Hikers Network Rescue unit
  • Past manager at SafetyMountain Tracking
  • Past safety advisor and guide at The President’s Award Youth Empowerment program
  • Past convener for Lion’s Alert Disaster Response
    (Lion’s Club of Kirstenbosch)
  • Past member of City of Cape Town municipality
    Disaster Risk Management unit
  • Past Captain at Alpha Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Past Equipment Officer at Alpha Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Past competitor for Western Province Surf Lifesaving Union team
  • Holder of numerous competitive lifesaving and rescue awards

 

Be out and be safe

 

 

 

 

How a tour operator’s secret was key in ending apartheid

“Africa Hinterland Safaris”, the ANC “Tour Bus” that smuggled arms across multiple borders to eventually be distributed across South Africa.

This little known secret is actually an extremely captivating story for anyone with an interest in South Africa. And should be for the locals as well.
This ambitious initiative under the command of comrade Joe Slovo, used a converted Bedford truck which took adventure seekers overland in a southerly direction from Kenya to a country at the tip of Africa,  one which was on the brink of a civil war at the time.

These happy go lucky tourists were completely unaware of what they were letting themselves in for. Some of them eventually found out about this ploy once the African National Congress party (ANC) felt that it was time to reveal the operation, however, most of them did not.

Lilieslief is a farm near Johannesburg where ANC activists including Nelson Mandela were captured and arrested by the then State Security Police of the apartheid South African government. It is at this farm where advance plans were made by key ANC comrades regarding the implementation of what was to be called the “armed struggle against apartheid” which included the formation of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) military wing of the ANC.
The farm was code-named “CEDRIC” by the underground operatives, and today, it is a National Heritage site with a museum and other interesting displays for visitors. And the accompanying coffee shop is aptly called “Cedric’s”.

It is here at Lilieslief, that the old Bedford truck stands today.

Welcome to “Africa Hinterland Safaris”

Click    here    for an article by news24.

The videos below tells the tale from the side of the driver/guides.

 

Credit:
Johannesburg Today and News24 (print)
Ruby Parker-Harbord (video)
Tom Zubryiki-director of Safari Secret (video)