12 October 2012 by Denise Slabbert

No sissies need apply…

If having no water, food or shelter in the back of beyond sounds like the ultimate holiday, then you might be the perfect candidate for the Bear Grylls Survival Academy.

Bear Grylls in action

I know all about Bear Grylls. Sometimes I am him. You see, it’s all my 5-year-old son’s fault. Well, actually, it’s his friend Tim’s fault. Tim loves to watch Bear Grylls on TV* with his dad. Then he goes to playschool and tells my son all about what Bear has been up to – hence me searching the garden with my son for lizards 'to eat' after a long day at the office.

Bear Grylls, survivor (and TV star) of note

The good news (for Tim and my son) is that Bear Grylls is edging closer to home, thanks to the Mantis Collection, a portfolio of boutique hotels and eco-escapes.

Worldwide Experience, a branch of Mantis’s education arm, has teamed up with Grylls to give 10 outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe the chance to participate in his 1st-ever Bear Grylls Survival Academy,  at which they will learn all about his extreme survival techniques.

The inaugural 6-day Bear Grylls Survival Academy runs from 3 to 9 November 2012 in the tough wilderness terrain in Sutherland, Scotland. It comprises a combination of daunting survival and adventure tasks that will culminate in a wilderness expedition designed to test the participants’ skills to the limit.

Paul Gardiner, Mantis marketing director and the managing director of Worldwide Experience, explains: ‘Nature, conservation and education are our priority. We are, therefore, excited about working with Bear and his highly trained team. Together we aim to inspire people to reconnect with the natural world.

‘The course will give participants a raw but fulfilling experience and hopefully leave them feeling challenged – but with smiles on their faces! After the November launch it will roll out to the US and South Africa in 2013.’

It comprises a combination of daunting survival and adventure tasks that will culminate in a wilderness expedition designed to test the participants’ skills to the limit.

He says that with Mantis’s roots firmly entrenched in South Africa, it only makes sense for Worldwide Experience to bring the Bear Grylls Academy to South Africa. 'Our thinking is to take the school to the Eastern Cape; we're looking for a wilderness location coupled with ocean and wildlife and feel that this province has it all.’

Now that will give Tim and my son and other Bear Grylls fans something to smile about.

Watch this space!

*Edward 'Bear' Grylls is renowned as the face of survival and outdoor adventure, with experience gained during 7 seasons of Man vs Wild/Born Survivor and many skills learnt from his time with the British Reserve Special Forces. His programme is the most watched in the world today, with an up to 1.2-billion viewership.

Coast of Sutherland. Images courtesy Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Category: Adventure

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