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

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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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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Sodwana Bay July 19th 2013

I decided to do the South African coast to coast drive from east to west; starting in Sodwana Bay and ending in Cape Town. Sightseeing and diving were the main goals. I gathered information from different sources about places, things to do, dive companies, people to meet and stay with, etc. I also picked up a copy of the "Coast to Coast Guide". This is the link to the guide's website: http://www.backpackingsouthafrica.co.za/index.php. It proved to be a handful little guide and it's oriented towards backpackers. While I was in Nelspruit a few days before, Avi, one of the guys that was temporarily running the guesthouse I stayed in, asked me if I could drive him to Sodwana. He wanted to spend the last bit of time he had left in SA doing some diving, before returning ... read more
Boat ride to the reef
Manta @ 2 Mile Reef
2 Mile Reef

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal June 30th 2013

Having left Hole in the Wall around 11am we headed for Maclear via Mthatha, and without any hassles along the way (despite concern on the airwaves due to increased traffic and people in the area due to Mandela’s precarious health condition), we were at Tsitsa Falls backpackers by late afternoon. We arrived to find an old, kind-of-out-of-the-way, farmhouse on a hillside with no-one there apart from a guy saying he was the manager. There were no other guests and the owners (and regular managers) were away on holiday for the week. All good, but it felt a bit spooky as it looked a bit run-down and rustic, there was no electricity and they had pet caracals and mix-bag of dogs who’d had a fresh litter of puppies (the previous night). Needless to say we made a ... read more
Drakensberg Amphitheatre picnic spot
Durban Shark Dissection
Pet Caracal

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Shelly Beach May 8th 2013

Hi folks, its been a while but we are are still going strong, we are back in sunny and warm KZN at a park near shelly beach (port shepstone area) called Lalanathi, realy a nice park. The owners took over this park 2 years ago and are really doing a good job,lovely green lawns and plenty trees, a nice little pool and close to a beutifull beach, the hole familly gets involved and interact with the campers every day,one or more of the familly (dad mom and 2 sons) just pop in to have a chat. Once again i find the parks in Kzn are more helpfull than anywhere else we have been, it seems standerd practice for these people to put up your tent and help set up camp as soon as you arive, at ... read more
Lalanathi 010
Lalanathi 024
Lalanathi 030


For so many years we always drove past Kosi bay, just wanting to get to Mozambique. This time we decided after spending a week in Mozambique we would spend a couple of days to see what we have missed all this time. Sunset cruise: After leaving Mozambique on the Wednesday, we drove into Manguzi to stock up on some fresh supplies and then headed for Kosi Bay Lodge where we were booked for 3 nights in a self catering chalet. Lovely rustic log cabins with a wooden deck in amongst the coastal forest. There was a sunset cruise on the lakes leaving at four with another couple, so we decided to go on that as well. We met Gavin and Lee, the other couple at reception and walked with them through part of a beautiful forest ... read more
Impressive palms
Hippos
Hippos

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Shelly Beach March 6th 2013

We were in Cusco on a Monday morning...and ready to re-settle in our flat on Monday night. Than Tuesday morning, I left for 2 weeks to Africa...via Sao Paolo and Johannesburg...direction Kinshasa. Everything should have gone smoothly, but it simply didn't. Congo, aka DRC is seemed to be ranked 192nd for "ease of doing business" by the UN...out of 192 countries....yes, doing business or simply travelling here is actually more complicated than trying to reach places like Afghanistan or Iraq....even if most of Congo is actually way safer. There is no Embassy of DRC anywhere close to where I live...so forget about applying directly for a visa. The solution is actually pretty simple...you've got the right paperwork and "they" apply for you for a "visa on arrival", valid 7 days once you enter the country...visa that ... read more
My first tiger shark!
Shelly Beach
potato bass




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