Bear Grylls Survival Academy expands into Africa

Where to learn that steely survivor's stare.

Story highlights

  • Man vs. Wild host to launch Survival Academy in Zimbabwe in January
  • Courses will teach self-rescue and survival skills
  • Instructors are a team of ex-military/ex-marine survival experts with mountaineering training

Call it an extreme boot camp, your last desperate attempt to drag your kid away from video games or just yet another reason to visit one of the world's seven natural wonders.

Professional adventurer/survivor/"gross eats" expert Bear Grylls announced the expansion of his Survival Academy into Africa.

The Survival Academy currently runs courses in the United Kingdom and the United States teaching advanced and beginner self-rescue skills to outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

Set 10 minutes away from Victoria Falls on the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve in Zimbabwe, the first African Bear Grylls Survival Academy will feature land and water survival tasks and a final wilderness expedition to put the new skills to use.

Victoria Falls is said to be one of the world's seven natural wonders.

Grylls is familiar with the area -- it's where he had a parachuting accident as a young soldier. He was told he would never walk again after breaking his back in two places in the fall.

A year after the accident, the young Brit, then 23, became one of the youngest people to climb Everest.

Designed by the "Man vs. Wild" host, the new African course is slated to launch January 2014 and will be run by a team of ex-military/ex-marine survival experts, all of whom have worked with Grylls on the "Man vs. Wild" TV shows and have backgrounds in mountaineering and other outdoors expertise.

MORE: Surviving the world with Bear Grylls

When he's not busy with other engagements, the adventurer plans to make himself available when he can to teach and assist courses.

"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," said Grylls in a media statement.

Participants can expect running into Africa's Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino).

"So it is with great pride that we can now finally launch the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in Africa 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. Oh and it may hurt a little."

He's not kidding.

The list of skills that participants will be learning include fire lighting, emergency shelter building, knife skills, remote medical trauma, rappelling, tyrolean traverses, extreme weather survival and white-water rafting down the Zambezi River.

And of course, no Bear Grylls-branded survival course would be complete without a "Gross Eat" challenge -- lucky participants will be foraging for grubs and rodents.