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

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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Saint Lucia March 17th 2014

St. Lucia, Surgarloaf Camp to Pongola. Monday, March 17th. We all drove our RVs down to the St. Lucia dock and parked so that all 14 of them would fit in the parking lot. We boarded the river boat and off we went to look at hippos mainly, but also to see what other wildlife we could see along the shore. Approximately, 1/3 of the world’s hippo population can be found in the area surrounding St. Lucia. It wasn’t too long chugging up the estuary before we were shown pods of hippos in the water. Lots of pods, with lots of hippos—generally 25-30 animals stay in a pod made up of females and young with one territorial bull who stakes out a section of the water. What you see is mainly a rough circle of heads ... read more
1403-332 Our first spotting was a hippo nursery near the landing
1403-333 Then came the monitor lizard
1403-334 An African fish Eagle

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Saint Lucia March 16th 2014

Ballito Bay to St. Lucia Sunday, March 16th. Very overcast with low clouds and fog. First thing this morning, is a stop at Wimpy’s for breakfast and to use the internet there. We then got back on the N-2 heading north paralleling the Indian Ocean. We are traveling in the sub-tropics now and the vegetation is like that of Mexico or Central America—palms, bananas, huge sugar cane fields. Labor is imported from other countries (in the past a lot from India) to work the cane fields and conditions are very poor with wages very low. The cane is still cut by hand here and when a field has been cleared, it is then burned. The drive was through planted forests as well as the cane fields with lots of cops out with speed cameras. Even with ... read more
1403-311 iMfolozi Game Reserve--Cape Bufflo
1403-312 iMfolozi Game Reserve--European Roller
1403-313 iMfolozi Game Reserve--Rufous-naped lark

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Durban March 15th 2014

Durban, Friday, March 14th At 8:30 we walked up to the campground’s reception area and caught the tour bus for an all day tour of the City of Durban. The tour guide gave us some information about what we would see and do as we made our way back onto the toll-way in the reverse direction and on the same roads we had traveled the day before. She filled us in a bit about the City. It is a rapidly growing urban area and is the busiest port in Africa and is currently ongoing expansion. Sugar refining is Durban's main industry. Sheep, cattle, dairy, citrus fruits, corn, sorghum, cotton, bananas, and pineapples are also raised. Vehicle assembly, tanneries, and oil refineries are also found here. Before driving as far north as Pietermaritzburg, the bus turned to ... read more
1403-255 Ballito Bay growth--construction and new developments everywhere
1403-256 Urban Durban growth--construction and new developments everywhere
1403-257 Urban Durban--Middle class houses

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Howick March 13th 2014

Howick, Midmar Nature Reserve to Ballito Bay (146 km or 90 miles), Thursday, March 13th. Left the campground and went back up highway 103 to the Nelson Mandela capture site to look at the museum there. The museum consisted entirely of large photos blown up with writings and sayings on them, hung along the walls. The photos detailed his youth, his family, his education, and other aspects of his life. After walking through the museum, we looked at the craft shops where the women were doing pictures out of beads and some other craft work. Valerie took pictures of the very interesting large, imposing, metal sculpture that stands in the front entrance by the road. It is a picture of Mandela’s face behind bars, but you only see his face in the work if you stand ... read more
1403-240 Mandela Capture Site Museum-B
1403-241 Mandela Capture Site Museum-C
1403-242 Mandela Capture Site Museum-D

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Saint Lucia February 12th 2014

Tuesday and it was time to leave again. The caravan park was a very nice one but I was really looking forward to getting out in the bush a bit more, and hopefully some more birds and animals. We stopped next at St Lucia campsite. One we've camped at many times before so it was going to be interesting to see what had changed. Well first we were told that we had to camp on the area near the gate for safety reasons. Not a good start. The camp was still lovely though and there was plenty of bird life around us. The monkeys were around and we had been warned that they are very troublesome so we went to great lengths to make sure they couldn't steal our food, locking away everything inside the caravan, ... read more
Troublesome vervet monkeys

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Saint Lucia February 12th 2014

We decided to take a drive into the Eastern Shores Wetland Park. This has been in existence for a while but this was our first time visiting it. With quite a lot of game having been introduced to the area we were keen to see what it was like. We were very pleasantly surprised. The roads are good and it is obvious hat a lot of effort has been put into making the area an enjoyable one for visitors. We visited the hide, the picnic spot and the aerial walkway which is a boardwalk at tree height with good views. But we opted to stop for our picnic at one of the waterholes with good views and plenty of shade, althouhg naturally we had to stay in the car. We weren't Lucky enough to see the ... read more

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Ballito February 7th 2014

Friday morning we hitched up the van again and set off for Ballito on the north coast. When we got to Dolphin Caravan Park Rae and Lorraine had already set up camp. That night Jolene and Pierre joined us and we all sat around the fire cooking our supper and catching up on the news of,the last year. Saturday and we got ready for some more to join us. Ken and Heather and Wendy and Barrie were staying the night but we had another seven join us for a braai lunch. There was lots of talking going on, some cooking, some drinking and much discussion of grandchildren as we all tried to find out all the latest news. After the day Visitors had left we sat around another campfire but it seems the years are getting ... read more
Tea and scones - how civilised!

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Umhlanga February 6th 2014

For the next two days we lived in luxury while eating out at some very nice places including lunch at the very opulent refurbished Oyster Box hotel at Umhlanga. Now that is luxury from the colonial days. They were setting out afternoon tea as we left and that is definitely on the agenda next time, looked delicious. We also took a drive around Durban to see the really nicely done up areas along the beachfront and by the harbour. Unfortunately they sit right next to some really derelict buildings so you could be sitting in a lovely waterfront apartment and overlook an abandoned building site. We also drove around Westville to see our old house but now a lot of the properties have electric fences, electronic gates or razor wire perimeters, a sad reflection on how ... read more

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Bergville February 4th 2014

Tuesday morning the weather was better and we hitched up and finally hit the road. A very pleasant and easy drive of about four hours took us to Weenen Game Reserve where we were going to stay the night. We were the only people there, I'm not sure the staff were really pleased to see us as they had been having a very restful time, they were very pleasant though. Andy managed to get in on the pensioner rate so he was happy. We quickly set up camp and took a drive through the reserve. We saw quite a few animals but no rhino. I am told that the rhino have been moved because it is too easy to poach them from this small reserve. Dinner cooked and eaten, sitting listening to the night animal noises ... read more

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Saint Lucia January 28th 2014

We got across the border and it is quite bit nicer than the crossing before. We had a long and boring drive to St. Lucia. We slept and played games for the time to pass. We eventually got there but were all tired by that time so we settled in. There was only a little time before we went on a search for crocodiles and hippos. We were going down the river when a hippo popped up and we took some pictures then as we started to leave it charged us. No one had their cameras out because we were leaving the hippo and going up the river. But you guys believe me right??? The guide explained why it went under the water then came back up. It is because hippos run on the bottom then ... read more
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