Why beach, berg and bush?
After resigning from work, and Matt getting a sabbatical we are shortly off to Africa for a year of exciting experiences, mainly spent on the beach, up mountains (berg) and exploring the bush.
After saving for so long for a wedding it seemed ridiculous to spend a huge amount of money on one night so everyone else can get drunk. So we've decided to use it to broaden our horizions, and hopefully put some of it to better use than beer!!! Although is there a better use?
We leave on Aug 12th for Cape Town (Staying at the flat in Simonstown) where we'll be for 5 weeks before travelling to Ulovane in the Eastern Cape to undertake wildlife conservation work and hopeful pass a field guide course, starting on Sept 22nd and finishing on Dec 12th.
After that we plan on travelling through Lestho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi (to help in orpahanges), Zambia, Zimbabwe (maybe), back to South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, Nambia, then back to South Africa for Aug 09 - If the money lasts that long!!!!
October 21st 2009
Few more photo's from the park and surrounds - in Namibia.... read more
October 21st 2009
Time for a photo update as life has been keeping us busy. Attached are some awsome photo's from a trip we did to Namibia and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park which covers Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. Being in the Khalahari KTP is dry, technically its arid savannah with a lot of seasonal grasses. You'd expect a desert to be hot but as we were towards the end of winter (July time) the nights were bitterly cold - cue ice on the inside of the tent and a very cold wind until about 11am. Luckily Sandra had a hotwater bottle (unluckily it burst soaking her sleeping bag) - cue a very cold night in the rooftop tent! The wildlife (in particular the birdlife) is awsome we saw loads if interesting stuff like Pygmy Falcons (roughly the size ... read more
July 19th 2009
Ulovane and Amakhala Game Reserve Work is work as they say but working for Ulovane has been unlike any work I’ve done before, no massive commute to the office - just a 30 minute walk across the farm and the only rush hour traffic is game viewers all converging on a cheetah sighting. Working with Candice and Schalk has been awesome it’s great to be able to use our skills to help such committed and genuine people. I hope that we have been able to help enough to help them fulfil their dreams in the same way that they have taught us some much about running a lodge and a business. A Typical day consists of the following sorts of things: • Morning walk with the students at 7am focus on birds and trees. • Sandra ... read more
July 18th 2009
As we are currently stranded in Namibia and have an ADSL line, thanks Theresa. Its about time for a few updates. Its true getting married does change you, for instance it made me forget all about writing this blog and gave Sandra something to nag me about. It’s been exactly two months since the perfect wedding, I have included a load of pictures so you can see the big day. Obviously the wedding was superb and the service at Madikwe Safari Lodge couldn’t have been better. I won’t bore you with details the photos’ speak for themselves. Also included are some awesome pictures of the animals from Madikwe. After the wedding we headed from the Waterberg with Sandra’s mum, David, Reena, Andrea and Godfrey. Well prepared as ever I took us the scenic route arriving at ... read more
March 14th 2009
Its been a while so no doubt an update is well overdue, the last 6 weeks have been hectic, studying for our Level 2 FAGSA exams and sorting out the next 6 months but more of that later…..The last instalment left us in Mozambique, after leaving Tofo we moved on to Limpopo Transfrontier Park (which boarders Kruger NP) once again its rugged going and a 4x4 is definitely needed. The Park has suffered the same fate of most Moz parks, poaching encroachment and settlement in the park itself. But there is definitely a difference you can see the hand of SAN Parks (South Africa National Park Board) everywhere with proper camps (albeit empty) and clear rules and regulations governing the use of the park. Limpopo along with Kruger and Gonorezouh (in Zimbabwe) form a massive transfrontier ... read more
February 12th 2009
It was great to leave Maputo in a car that worked again, I was spo happy that on the way out of town I made the mistake of smiling at a policewoman in the back of a truck which pulled up next to us. Lesson number 3 of African travel - never smile at the police! We were summarily pulled over and the conversation covered the following points: • Driving without shoes is illegal in Mozambique - I pointed out that I had sandals. • Where is my license - always hand over the £5 international driving permit in case of request for money to give it back. • Where is my triangle - in the back • Fire extinguisher - also here in the back. • Are you carrying petrol on the roof - no ... read more
January 15th 2009
Welcome to Mozambique, as usual my border shirt (the Liverpool one) did the trick by giving me something to bond with customs officers over. Football truly is a universal language. Entry to Mozambique was smooth despite a disorganised border post, the SA side is pretty well laid out, the Mozambique side, well it’s a couple of sheds and lots of people standing about. The only exits from the border post were two sand roads one heading east and one north, no signs, but asking 3 different people identified that Maputo was the main road (that’s the sand road north to you and me). We are now truly in Africa, no tar, no signs and pretty soon a police stop, quick check for papers and a very friendly direction that Maputo is ‘straight straight’. The road however ... read more
January 13th 2009
Where is Bhanga Nek exactly? Well it’s definitely not a easy place to find. Basically if you head north along the coast towards the Mozambique border there are a series of estuarine lakes, which form part of the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park. Bhanga Nek is the spit of land which separates the sea from the lakes. It’s a very out of the way place with access from Manguzi settlement down a series of seriously rough roads which turn into deep sandy tracks. It’s only accessible by 4WD vehicles and you can see why. It takes low range with diff lock on to get up some of the hills and we were frequently stuck in deep sand which required reversing back and taking a run up. Having booked a campsite a long time back (since it’s ... read more
January 11th 2009
Leaving Lesotho we entered South Africa into the Free State, the day paned out into a 12 hour drive - on route we booked ourselves into a backpackers called African Sunsets, its in the Valley of a 1000 hills just outside Durban. Basically, the set up is an old coffee farm where the beans are harvested but then piled up and never processed, according to Derek an old Zimbabwean who also lives on the farm. The set up was pretty strange and it looked as if no one had stayed therefore a while, still we were able to drive our Landy into the garden and set up camp, making use of the backpacker lodge with TV, free pool (where I was once again whipped!) and hot showers. Sunday was spent on Durban beachfront having a trip ... read more
December 23rd 2008
Leaving Amakhala was difficult, not least because we had to work out how to get everything back into the Land Rover. This task was made more difficult by a serious hangover induced by our final night party. I won’t go into details but Chris fans should definitely get him checked for itches and scratches after he was taken in hand by an older lady. I think the scratches might have been sustained when he ran off through the thicket to escape the said lady. I’m not sure what the opposite of a MILF is, but if it’s in the dictionary then there is a picture of this lady next to it. So on to Lesotho it feels good to be back on the road again after so long, We left Sunday at around 11.30 and got ... read more