Blogs from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Africa - page 3

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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Umhlanga August 31st 2013

• Woensdag 28/08/13: Dag 6 : Kruger - Swaziland Wij verlaten het Krugerpark via het zuidelijke Malelane-hek richting de grens met Swaziland. Vanaf de grens merk je dat alles hier op een andere snelheid draait. Grenscontrole gebeurt langs beide zijden even ernstig (behoudens een dansende douanière), maar langs de Swazi kant lijkt het papier- en stempelwerk wat archaïsch. De weg naar de hoofdstad, Mbabane, leidt ons langs de bosrijke streek rond Piggs Peak, waar we koffie genieten met een mooi panorama (neen, geen mist vandaag). Buiten een leuk 'Afrikagevoel' heeft Swaziland voor ons niet zoveel spectaculairs te bieden. We overnachten in het Mvubu Falls Hotel, (uitgebaat door Belgen, Greet en Marc) in de Ezulweni-vallei, vlak bij de hoofdstad. ... read more
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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Shelly Beach August 10th 2013

Next stop after Umkomaas was Shelly Beach. To do some more diving. This time, in Protea Banks. Protea Banks is one of the most famous spots in South Africa to do shark diving, just like Aliwal Shoal. Before arriving there, I asked a few contacts and I was recommended "Aquaplanet Dive Center". The dive center is owned and run by Kym Pollard. And so far, it's been the best dive center I've been diving with in SA (out of a total of 5 dive centers in the past month). For the whole week I stayed in a place that they recommended to me at Aqua Planet: "Cathy's Cove". This place is in a town called Margate, which is just 5km from Shelly Beach. Cathy's Cove is managed ... read more
Margate beachfront
Boat ride
Oceanic Blacktip

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Umkomaas August 8th 2013

After the three days in Durban I was very excited to go diving in Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. I had been expecting this for some time now. Both places are among the best dive spots in SA and have a worldwide reputation as well. This area is home to a number of different shark species. The most common ones are the Oceanic Blacktip sharks and the Sand Tiger sharks(raggies), which can be encountered year round. Depending on the time of year, Hammerhead sharks and Tiger sharks can be seen as well. And for the “lucky” divers, they’ll spot a Great White or Zambezi sharks (Bull sharks) from time to time.... read more
Aliwal Shoal Dive Sites
Oceanic black tips, Aliwal Shoal
Yikes

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Dundee July 31st 2013

Whenever I start to write one of these entries I always want to start, “wow what a day” so today after three years of blogging I am going to. Wow what a day, today has been; a day on the move as we are now in Zululand, and no nobody has come up with any Michael Kane quotes even among the UK guests, well until now “you’re only s’posed to blow the bloody doors off” I know it’s the wrong movie but I’ll save the correct quote until tomorrow after we have visited Rorke’s Drift. We left Hartford House this morning after forcing down another large breakfast and decided to battle with the maps again to try to find Spion Kop, where one of the crucial battles to relieve the siege of Ladysmith during the Boar ... read more
Wimpy - how we missed you!
Isibindi lodge - attention to detail
Favourite shot so far!

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Dundee July 31st 2013

Most of today was taken up with a battlefields tour. Although we didn’t cover much ground – much of the time was spent sitting down listening to our guide Paul – an amazing amount was learnt. Paul was careful to dispel the myths surrounding the famous battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, particularly those perpetuated by Hollywood in the films Zulu and Zulu Dawn. The real stories are in fact far more compelling and based around individuals and how their actions cause wholesale changes in the battles, some for the good; some for the bad. But these are the moments that change history. There was a sharp contrast between the sheer stupidity and arrogance shown by those in charge at Isandlwana and the bravery and selflessness shown by the few at Rorke’s Drift and the characters ... read more
Isandlwana Graves
Rorke's Drift Mission
Beer Delivery

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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Dundee July 31st 2013

As I am told I often start these blogs with the with the word well I thought I should stick with tradition and start; Well we have had another amazing day, and as it often is with our holidays this has been a day when we have gone off the traditional route and avoided guides and gone by word of mouth. After another fantastic breakfast this morning we went off to the local trading store. This is a very local shop designed and stocked as it should be to serve the local community, but whilst there we met the owner who explained the services they provide other than that of just a shop. They provide money transfer services where transient workers can transfer cash to their families, they operate as a post office paying pensions and ... read more
Fugitives Drift
Cairn
Lodge Cat

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Howick July 27th 2013

Today we have been doing the tourist thing, just to prove we do sometimes, despite what people think. We were awoken again this morning by the Egyptian Geese alarm clock as it got light, and as I sit this evening writing this they are calling away outside, but these geese must be unique as the roost in trees, particularly the tall eucalyptus trees. After a wonderful breakfast where the menu offers starters, main course and dessert we headed off on a leisurely drive down to Howick to see the spectacular waterfall which crashes 110 meters down the vertical rock face. As it’s a Saturday the locals were out completing the weekly wash at the top of the falls, seemingly oblivious that a step in the wrong direction could send them plummeting over the edge. Next stop ... read more
Weekly Wash
Mandela
Cheeky Monkey

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Howick July 26th 2013

Despite having been to Africa before, today has been the hardest day of travelling we have ever experienced. Ten hours on the road to cover 600 km, or to put it another way an average speed of 37 mph. For the cyclists among our readers we have had a total gain today of 22,000 feet and we are now up in the Drakensberg Mountains. Meg has been complaining of dehydration and altitude sickness! The Eastern Cape where we started this morning is very different to places we have travelled before in South Africa and Namibia; it has suffered from under-investment for many years and the road infrastructure is fairly poor. We had completed nearly 20km this morning before we were able to get into fourth gear. Today we had another first, something that we said we ... read more
Wild coast hills and valleys
Phelisa with her graduation pictures
Winding roads

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Howick July 26th 2013

After arriving late last we had time to grab a quick shower to wash away the dust then we were treated to sumptuous five course meal at the award winning restaurant here, with wine selected for each course. After so much time spent on the road it was a fantastic way to finish off the day. This morning after a posh breakfast we went on a tour of the stud. To explain, Hartford House hotel shares its site with Summerhill stud farm, with a grand tradition of producing racing thoroughbreds. No doubt those in the know would recognise some of the names of the horses that we were introduced to, i.e. paraded in front of us. Mick Goss who owns the place has met the Queen and is quite eloquent when talking about being a self-made ... read more
Early Foal
Throughbred on prarade
Sunset Lake

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Ballito July 20th 2013

From St. Lucia it was a short 2 hr drive to get to Ballito. “Monkey Bay Backpackers” was a place I was recommended by some people and that’s to where I set the GPS. It was a good choice. There were hardly any people staying there and both the owner Michael and the Zulu guy that worked with him (Lucky) were great hosts; very chilled and friendly. I was going to stay initially just 2 nights and ended up staying 3. The day I arrived there I drove around the town to get my bearings and get familiar with my surroundings. Ballito started out as a small holiday town, but it has grown considerably during the last years. It’s still a very popular holiday destination and there's a pro-surf competition held annually (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballito). In the evening ... read more
"Haunted" House of La Mercy
Monkey Bay Backpackers
Shaka's Rock




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