About the founder
Erica Terblanche (1971) has been an adventure expedition leader since the age of 7 years on her parents’ farms in the heart of South Africa, where any sunny afternoon was a good excuse to lead friends and sister astray on another outdoor adventure.
Today Erica pours her love for nature, outdoor adventure, and bringing the best out in people into Teach a Girl to Fish, which takes women on hiking, biking and paddling trips in the UK, Greece and South Africa to reconnect with nature and build personal confidence.
In addition to her passionate affair with nature, Erica is a qualified psychologist and holds a Master’s Degree in positive Psychology. She describes Positive Psychology as the Science of ‘what makes people flourish’ and adds that she has deliberately and skillfully incorporated many of the field’s key insights into her kayaking trips. She is a business and financial services strategist working for a multinational financial services company, with a strong emphasis on driving sustainable thinking into the corporate boardroom. She describes herself as a poet and her accomplishments, although she does not talk much about them, puts her into the category of a top notch endurance sport champion. For five years she raced with South Africa’s top adventure racing team, representing the country in the Adventure Racing World Championships in New Zealand in 2005.
Erica has extensive experience biking, running and climbing across some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. She summited Mount Kilimanjaro in 1999 and has run and won many multi day desert Marathons, her personal favourites being the 250km race through the Sahara desert and the Wilderness extreme 270km run on the Wildcoast of South Africa.
Erica is a qualified adventure sport leader (winning the prestigious Veld & Vlei Leadership & Good Fellowship award). She is fluent in Afrikaans, English and ‘Bush’, and is a keen supporter of Whizz Kidz, a UK-based charity that provides wheelchairs for disabled children, for which she has raised considerable funds for over the years.
Ultra running: 1st lady Augrabies Extreme 255km desert marathon, 1st lady Sahara 250km 7-day desert running race – 2009, 2nd in London to Brighton 100km running challenge, 2013 (16th overall out of 2000 athletes), 2nd in 250km Atacama Desert race in Chile – 2010, 2nd overall in 220km Namib desert challenge, 2011 – so far raising £15,000 for Whizz Kidz in the UK, 2nd in ONER 136km running challenge Jurassic Coast, England – 2012; completed more than 60 marathons and half marathons, including the Comrades, the Two Oceans in Cape Town, London Marathon, Paris Marathon, Amsterdam, Om die Dam and many multiday running races in South Africa and England e.g. Endurance life coastal series and VOTWO 3-day 78 mile coastal races. First lady ONER 2015, first lady Lycian Ultra 250km marathon 2015, first lady Winter Dorking Nutter 2014, first lady London to Brighton 100km ultra 2015.
- Adventure racing: For 5 dedicated years competed extensively in South Africa’s top team, winning most 100km, 200km and 500km races ranging from 24 hours to as much as 132 hours non-stop. Also raced in Scotland and competed in the Adventure Racing World Championship in New Zealand
- Triathlon: Iron Man Wales (2011) and Iron Man Barcelona (2011)
- Bike touring: Cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats 1600km across the diagonal of the United Kingdom, biked London to Paris, plus many more biking reconnaissance expeditions in South Africa, Crete and Lesvos. My favourite – biked 10 000km unassisted through South East Asia
- Hiking: Have done thousands of kilometres of hiking in South Africa, the United kingdom, Spain, Greece, e.g. walked most of the established hiking trails in South Africa, Walked the Santiago de Camino and completed most of the 1600km Southwest Coast path in England
- Mountain bike stage racing (Sabie Extreme 250km, Sani to Sea 250km, Noon-to-moon 200km, etc.) and Cycling (Argus, 94.7 Challenge and many others, including the Dragon Verenti road race in Wales)
- Other bits… Addicted to surfing, swam the Midmar mile, lead an 4×4 overlanding tour through the Richtersveldt in 1998, learnt African Drumming, did many river rafting trips on the Orange, Doring and Breede Rivers in SA, love scuba diving – advanced qualification, amateur rock climbing, mountaineering and reached summit of Kilimanjaro in 1999
- A passion for travelling on a shoe-string budget, on foot or bike as to best experience local culture and to get off the beaten track. Best tour yet: hitch-hiked from Cape Town to Somalia on a budget of R750.
- Won the prestigious Veld & Vlei Leadership & Good Fellowship award
- Qualified and worked as a Youth Leader for National Trust working holidays, UK – taking kids outdoors on working holidays – pure magic
- Habitat House building in Khayalitsha, Alexandria and Orange Farm, invited to sit on their SA Board and also providing strategic guidance to the British Diabetic Association
- Studying for a degree in psychology – qualify in October 2013
- But her greatest love of all is Poetry – to capture beauty and speak to someone’s soul with a single word