Blogs from South Africa, Africa - page 11


Africa » South Africa » Free State March 12th 2014

Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Glen Reenen Rest Camp to Howick (266 km or 165 miles), Wednesday, March 12th. This clear blue morning we started out driving the Blesbok Loop where we encountered many long tailed Widowbirds and watched them fly around and then into the long grass. It is hard to see how they can possibly fly with so long a tail--almost twice the length of the bird. We saw two different kinds this day: the Long-tailed Widowbird and the Red-collared Widowbird. At the first junction, we turned towards the Langtoon Dam, but very shortly the water was crossing the road and we couldn’t tell how deep it was, so we backed up and continued up the hill to the Zuluhoak Lookout. Very pretty view of the red/cream mountains across the way. Finished driving the ... read more
1403-214 Golden Gate Highlands Park--Blesbok Loop scenery-A
1403-215 Golden Gate Highlands Park--Blesbok Loop scenery-B
1403-216 Golden Gate Highlands Park--Yellow canary enjoying grain

So after our long long week of theatre lists, 26hr on calls and various illnesses and ailments we were done...finally a couple of days off to explore South Africa. On Alan's recommendation we were going to head to the Pilanesberg National Park rather than Kruger (a 2.5 hour drive rather than 9!) which was the 3rd largest game park in South Africa and around 50, and still had the spread of a Big 5 animals we were hoping to see. On a budget and hoping to catch a glimpse of bear-grills-esque living we packed tent, chairs, sleeping bags and monopoly deal into our premier game ranging vehicle (the Atos!!) and set off for the Pilanesberg. We managed to avoid taking a table, lighting system, BBQ grill and kitchen sink (!) despite Alan's best efforts to set ... read more
The Bakgatla Gate
Almost forgot our park ranger outfits!
Our first spot

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Hout Bay March 10th 2014

We've been here a week already!!!! My how time flies when you are having fun! We have been in Cape Town a week now and it has been a week filled with new sights, new smells, new people and new adventures! Friday March 07 Today was the day we decided to check out how we were getting to Jo'burg. We left the flat at about 10 am and went straight to the train station. I had researched transportation at home before we left and found a tourist class train called the Shoslalosha train that sounded like it was the way to go. I attempted to book our seats on line and the site wouldn't let me. No problem I thought!! Once we were in Cape Town we could book it right? Easier said than done!!! Got ... read more
The living room in our flat.
The National flower....Protea
Yes we do!!

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Pretoria March 10th 2014

The last few days of my stay in Kenya I spent in Niarobi. The first day I visited kibera which is a slum just on the outskirts of Nirobi town. I could only view it from a distance because I'm told it's not advisable to enter without a guide and I hadn't got time to arrange one. The sites of the slums even from a distance were a shock. Their homes, the overcrowding, the rubbish and the smell was discussing. Really hard to imagine living in such squalor. The following day, I've visited an elephant sanctuary set within Niarobi national park. I managed to find a motorbike taxi who took me. Asking each rider for a price to take me ranged from Sh5000 £35 to my eventual acceptance of Sh500 £3.50. It's approximately 20 mins from ... read more
Kibera Slums
Kibera Slums
Elephant sanctuary

Africa » South Africa » Free State » Bloemfontein March 10th 2014

Mountain Zebra National Park to Gariep Dam (245 km or 152 miles), Sunday afternoon, March 9th. Left the Park behind and traveled on N-10/R32 named the Merino route for the breed of sheep raised in this area. The countryside in this part of South Africa seems very arid and reminds us of Utah, Montana, and Arizona with lots of butte type formations. Lots of sheep and cattle ranches. Seems strange to look out among the cattle and see an ostrich or two. Lots of construction along this route. We were fascinated to watch the women personing the “right of way” haul a yellow plastic barrier on wheels back and forth across the lane to be stopped. About 200 km into the day’s drive, near the town of Colesburg, we came to an Engen One Stop with ... read more
1403-171 Rocks carefully laid to shut down already paved road
1403-172 Wyoming or Montana perhaps
1403-173 Or maybe Nevada


Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay March 9th 2014

An interesting week! Wednesday we met up with some "Scotiabankers" in Cape Town. Debra worked with Chris and Jan Little and they are touring South Africa. We had a nice dinner with them at the Victoria and Albert waterfront. In advance of meeting up with Chris and Jan, we took a 2 hour tour of the Cape Town Heart Museum at the Groote Shur Hospital (it means Big Barn and was a farm owned by Cecil Rhodes who gave it to Cape Town to build a new hospital). Dr. Christian Barnard conducted the 1st human heart transplant in 1967. This was very interesting and informative tour of an amazing event that took place 47 years ago. The tour and presentations were very well done and included a re-creation of the operating theatres in which the transplant ... read more
Operating Room -- 1st heart transplant
The Heart recipient
Arabella Golf Course

Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Cradock March 8th 2014

Addo Elephant National Park to Mountain Zebra National Park (222km or 138 miles), Saturday, March 8th. Completely overcast today. Before leaving Addo, we stopped at the gift shop to buy T-shirts and to look around at the various items for sale. We then hit the road going out the Park Gate and turning right toward the community of Paterson. Just outside the gate, was a troop of vervet monkeys, a herd of impalas, and several spur-fowl with red feet and beaks. We continued driving along the Park fence line for several miles. Fencing for these animal parks and reserves, in this part of the world, is FENCING in all caps. They must withstand a bull elephant leaning on them and keep antelope from jumping over and out and hopefully deter poachers, so they are about 6-8 ... read more
1403-141 Cape Mountain Zebra
1403-142 Red Hartebeest
1403-143 European Roller

The Addo Elephant National Park, Friday, March 7th. Sunny day. The third largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant National Park covers about 180,000 hectares or 444,700 acres. The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today, it is sanctuary to over 550 elephants plus lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique and rare Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. We drove around various dirt and tarred roads looking for animals first thing this morning. This is the wildest we will ever be able to see these animals even though they are in a fenced and gated area for their protection. Animals that have historically been in this environment ... read more
1403-117 Leopard Tortise alongside the road
1403-118 Looking out over parts of Addo NP and neighboring reserves
1403-119 Flightless dung beetle

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Gordon's Bay March 6th 2014

Tsitsikamma to Jeffrey’s Bay (113.8 km or 71 miles)—Wednesday, March 5th. Bright sunny day We made our way back onto the N-2, still heading toward Port Elizabeth. A couple miles down the road, we pulled into the parking lot for the “Big Tree,” which is a 1000 year-old yellow wood tree. Parked the RV in some partial shade and showed our “Wild Card” at the entrance. We then set out to walk into the forest for “ just a short way” on a boardwalk. As was usual, the “just a little walk” was quite a ways along with many steps going up and down. We could have been walking in any moist forest environment as the ferns and other woodland plants growing here looked really familiar to us. When we got to the tree, it was ... read more
1403-83 Walking along the path reminds us of Oregon
1403-84 Interesting fungus
1403-85 And Spanish Moss

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town March 5th 2014

The title of this blog is T.I A. I stole this acronym from the movie Blood Diamond. A movie that was filmed in South Africa in 2002. At one point in the movie, after about 20 minutes of craziness on the screen, Brad Pitt says to a fellow actor....TIA man...This Is Africa. So my family and friends here we are in Africa.....and T.I.A!!!!! Let me tell you first a little bit about our trip here! First I will tell you it was the longest continuous journey I have ever taken. Rene and I were up at 3:30 am. Our dear son-in-law Kyle, took us to the airport and we arrived at Edmonton International at about 5:00 am. We breezed through customs, and boarded our 2 hour flight to Minneapolis. We had a 2 hour layover in ... read more
IPads everywhere!!
Just hanging out!
Found Dick and Sue

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