SURVIVAL IN AFRICA
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Price: £1,299 per person for a group of ten
Duration: 5 days
Survival in the Falls is an intensive 5 day survival skills course like none other. Set in one of our most challenging environments at Victoria Falls, this course culminates in a 30 hour expedition, putting skills such as tracking, skinning and crossing the ultimate in difficult terrain to the test. The course is delivered by a range of handpicked instructors who have been trained by members of Bears Man v Wild/Born Survivor crew. Each instructor is an expert in their chosen field of African Bush craft, Wilderness Survival or Extreme Adventurous Activity.
“So many people have asked me over the years where they can learn extreme, practical survival – the type that requires spirit, determination and the skills to self-rescue against the odds, in some of the harshest terrain around. So it is with great pride that we can now finally launch the Bear Grylls Survival Academy to be able to share some of these skills and what it really means to be able to look after yourself when the chips are down,” says Bear Grylls. “Oh, and it may hurt a little.”
Bear Grylls Survival Academy – Survival in Africa takes place at Nakavango Conservation Centre on The Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. This location has the most incredible, diverse environment and we will offer an extreme journey incorporating not only amazing wildlife, difficult and challenging terrain but also featuring spectacular gorges and the fast, white and ferocious Zambezi river.
This overview of a typical Victoria Falls itinerary provides an insight into what you can expect from a Bear Grylls Survival Academy. However, every course is different depending on the location, weather and the groups ability, and so, this is just a guide!
The adventure begins at 14:00 when you are picked up from Victoria Falls Airport by your course representatives. Introductions done and after meeting your fellow participants, it’s time to head off to The Nakavango Conservation Centre by Land Rover, where you will be issued with your specialist survival kit and have your personal kit checked to ensure it’s suitable for the extreme challenge that lies ahead. We then move over rugged terrain by 4×4 vehicles to the Academy’s wilderness bush camp set in the heart of wild Africa. On arrival you will receive a safety brief, course brief and outline of the next five days. After camp admin has been explained and your camp equipment and basic African food rations have been issued, you will receive the first of many survival talks. Lesson one is Bear’s ‘Priorities of Survival’, followed by a lesson in survival knife skills. As it’s day one, you will be treated to supper by the instructors who will cook on an open bush fire, a traditional African meal.
Day two starts with an early rise and some typical Bear Grylls functional fitness training. After a bush breakfast it’s time to learn all the skills which will need to be put in place for the final 30 hour exercise. Start out on foot from wilderness bush camp and learn to track, stalk, navigate with and without a compass, find, purify and filter rancid water and forage for wild food. Next, select a camp site, remembering that you are surrounded by Africa’s big five i.e. Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and Elephant and build a camp for the evening. After you’ve learnt how to build your survival shelters, learn the art of making and setting traps, drop lines and importantly making and lighting fires by various means which will hopefully keep anything hostile away from your overnight camp. Now it’s up to you to find and prepare an evening meal. The instructors will assist here with a lesson in gutting and skinning larger animals. After supper you receive a talk on Astro Navigation and after a night tracking and navigation exercise settle down by the fire for a survival bedtime story.
Today couldn’t be more different than day one & two. After a dynamic early morning lesson in situational survival and self preservation BG style, it’s time for a big breakfast to help prepare you for the day ahead. You start with a lesson in knots, rope work and making improvised harnesses and stretchers. Now you’re out on foot with a tracking exercise and game walk through the African bush. In the afternoon it’s time to jump back on to the 4×4 vehicles and head to a location where you will learn to cross difficult terrain. Rappels, river crossing and a commando crawl are just some of the stances you will master. On your return to bush camp that evening learn how to make an emergency signal fire and some essential emergency First Aid Skills. Training complete, it’s time to pack kit and prepare for your BG final 30 hour survival exercise
Final Exercise… let’s just say you’ll be putting all your new found skills to good use! You leave camp with a knife and empty water canteen. From that point, you’re on your own as a team. Nothing you have ever done is even close to the adventure you’re about to set out on. The aim: simple survival and rescue – and what a rescue we have planned!
We set off from wilderness bush camp at dawn by 4×4 Land Rover across rugged, open African terrain. Lion, rhino and giraffe(to name a few) roam in your immediate vicinity. Arrive close to the Zambezi River in preparation for this Bear Grylls adrenalin fuelled final exercise. Classic BG crossing of difficult ground follows through extreme white water, a 200m vertical gorge, rugged cliffs and craggy outcrops. So climb, swing, slide, jump and ride, it’s pure Bear Grylls. You will eventually find yourself on a beach, trapped in a gorge – alone as a team for the night. Time to survive…
Next day, are you warm?Dry? Have you caught and eaten anything? Either way you will need an early start to traverse, climb, paddle and climb your way back to civilization. There is no time to waste here, if you miss your window of opportunity at the top of the gorge, it’s a long walk back to The Nakavango! If you make the helicopter pick up, what a ride back to civilization we have for you as we take you on a low level fast journey through the Zambezi gorge and up and out over Victoria Falls. If you are successful then we have the final passing out parade and awarding of the BG Survival Academy certificates and knives as well as drinks and medals….
Due to the limited flights in and out of Victoria Falls, we will accommodate you at Nakavango Conservation Centre for this evening.
Please note – all activities are weather dependent.
As you would expect, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy is challenging both mentally and physically. So, in order to get the most out of the course, applicants should be fit and healthy.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I active?
- Can I hike or trek for one hour in trekking boots carrying a light 20lb daypack?
- Am I a competent swimmer?
- Am I determined?
If you have any questions about Health and Fitness for the course, please contact our BGSA team.
Please note, all of the clothing and equipment that you bring MUST be appropriate to the environment and the time of year; the items listed below are mandatory.
- 2 pairs of robust walking boots or similar with ankle support
- Training shoes
- 2 pairs of trousers (lightweight)
- Swimming shorts/costume
- Base layer, mid layer and outer (light weight)
- Thick fleece or duvet jacket
- Gloves x 2 thin (active) & thicker outer (light weight)
- Water and windproof trousers and jacket
- Socks and underwear
- Sunglasses & Sun cream (weather dependant)
- Mosquito repellant & Head net
- Casual clothes (spares, including footwear for once the course has ended)
- Wash bag and personal contents
- Personal medication
- Camera (in a waterproof bag)
…and a bag full of positive attitude!
The following kit will be issued to participants by the Academy for use for the duration of the course:
- Sleeping bag and liner
- Head torch
- Ruck sack and waterproof liner
- Air (sleeping) mat
- Metal mug & spoon
- Water bottle
- Bear Grylls Survival Knife
Available course dates are listed in the booking form
This course is strictly limited to group bookings only. If there are fewer than ten participants, the total cost (per person rate multiplied by 10) will be divided between the booked participants. Transfers are included from Victoria Falls Airport only. All meals and accommodation are included and a large amount of equipment is on loan for the duration of the course including: Knife, mug, sleeping bag and liner, sleeping mat, rucksack and liner, head torch, water bottle and all technical safety equipment. This means you do not need to bring any of the heavy stuff with you. On completion of the course you will receive the coveted Bear Grylls Survival Academy badge and certificate, and your very own Bear Grylls Ultimate knife.