First braai at Mafadi – Press release

Braai Information

For Immediate Release

First braai at the highest point in South Africa
On Sunday 15 September the man behind National Braai Day, Jan Braai (Jan Scannell) became the first person to braai on the top of the highest point in South Africa, Mafadi Peak. Standing at 3450 meters above sea level Mafadi Peak is located on the border of South Africa and Lesotho in the Drakensberg mountain range.
Braai everywhere in South Africa
An elated (and relieved) Jan Braai said that he is very satisfied with the outcome of the expedition. “When chartering unknown territory, there are always a few factors that make the mission interesting and risky. We planned and prepared this braai for a few months with a large group of professionals and experts on various fields and I am delighted to have braaied at the highest point in South Africa.” In earlier braais to promote National Braai Day, Jan Braai has also been braaing at all eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa, as well as on all four corners of the country. “These braais are not about any individual, this is to prove the point that braaing is the one thing that happens everywhere in South Africa, and hopefully millions of South Africans will do exactly that, light a fire and braai on National Braai Day this coming 24 September”, said Jan Braai. 
First civilian flight ever
Getting to the highest point in South Africa was no simple matter. This was the first civilian helicopter flight in history to Mafadi, and special permission was granted by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to fly over and land at the restricted and isolated area; making this historic flight and braai possible. Ms Lucy Erasmus, a Durban based professional helicopter pilot with years of experience decided to use a Robinson 66 helicopter for the flight. Similar to the iconic Bell Jet Ranger; the Robinson 66 is a much newer designed turbine helicopter. Making use of the latest technology, this machine allowed for the safe completion of this pioneering mission previously thought impossible.
Alone at the top
Due to the high altitude switching of the helicopter at the top of the mountain was not an option as it was unknown whether the turbine engine of the helicopter would be able to start again. Jan Braai, together with prolific cameraman Stephanus Rabie had to simply be dropped off at the top and hope for the best. The two spent 90 minutes alone at the summit, making a fire, braaing boerewors and eating boerewors rolls. “We had some goose down sleeping bags, more boerewors and steak and a bottle of water with us in case the wind picked up to a level where the helicopter could not fetch us and we had to stay the night”, laughs Jan Braai.
Extreme weather
With winds blowing at 20 knots when the pair was dropped at the top, howling at 40 knots when they were collected 90 minutes later and raging at 60 knots on the flight back down the mountain range, acclaimed pilot Lucy Erasmus proved a valuable member in getting the team home alive.
Celebrating the common South African Heritage
The event marks the fact that there are now only 9 days to go until National Braai Day on 24 September. National Braai Day, an initiative started in 2005 aims to unite all South Africans around fires on 24 September every year. The premise of the National Braai Day initiative is that there is one heritage common to all South Africans; to gather around fires and braai. It is the one activity every citizen of the nation likes to partake in. The initiative, headed up by Jan Braai aims to create a national day of celebration in South Africa to rival some of the biggest global days of celebration like St Patrick’s Day in Ireland and Queen’s Day in the Netherlands. According to market research, million of South Africans already take part in the annual celebration.
Jan Braai vir Erfenis
Video footage of the braai will form part of a special edition of Jan’s hit television series, ‘Jan Braai vir Erfenis’, which airs 19:30 this coming Friday 20 September on kykNET, (DSTV channel 144).


For more information on National Braai Day please visit:

  • Website:    
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  • Twitter:               @janbraai
  • Issued by National Braai Day
  • Hi-Res photographs of the braai are available on request, please contact Siya at National Braai Day on 078 2056 074 for interviews with Jan Braai.

Siya Simelela