Backstroke, breast stroke or even doggy paddle – it's all welcome at the Midmar Mile, the annual gathering acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the largest open water swim on the planet. It's a happy, vibrant community event, with champions swimming alongside newbies, and everyone out to have fun.
Three Cape Town scientists paddled more than 2 000km from its source in the Lesotho highlands, across the continent, and ended with the fishermen of Alexander Bay. They came back with great stories and vital data for conservation, botany and climate change.
• Paddling through Northern Cape paradise