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


Yesterday, we almost float away from our campsite, and thereby we missed a change to discover a great area and the last “non-safari” National Park. From today; the national parks will be different: Hello safari! Yes, finally, the safari would started. It defiantly would be the highlights of my trip. This was a child dream; a safari in Africa and it shall be coming true! I could defiantly not wait to see the first animals in the wild, especially the giraffes! I like them, due the fact they have so long necks. Too bad, I had to wait two extra days to see them, but we saw quite a lot other animals, including 4 of the big 5? Which ones? Keep on reading! We left the Amphitheatre Backpacker Lodge, a time later than we planned. The ... read more
Feeding of the Bushbabys
The Indian Ocean
St. Lucia

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Northern Drakensberg November 11th 2014

Drankensbergen, the place of the rural mountains. That's sounds great; a great place to discover. Too bad we were not able to doing so, thanks to Rain, and Rain and even more Rain. Did I mention we had much Rain? So no, know you know. Actually, this is no joke and it was not even funny. We had to pack our bags and in a hurry we were able to leave our camping space and the rain behind. It started so nice. In the Drakensbergen you still can find the old paintings of the San people, you have very good hiking trails, and the nature is beautiful over there. If you visit South-Africa, the Drakensbergen are a “must” on your list. Also, it was the last park that we would visit without “safari” (except the Panorama ... read more
Hello little fellow!
The San Paitings
Ampfitheater Backpack Lodge

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Dundee November 10th 2014

The next section of our tour of South Africa found us centred on the now peaceful rolling grassland hills of KwaZulu-Natal in and around Dundee to follow the 'Battlefield Tour'. Initially we had a fairly long drive to Ladysmith to find out about the siege of the town, when 12000 British troops were besieged for 118 days by the Boers in 1899. The small museum was informative and presented the history very well. We travelled on to Spioenkop, a 4810ft high hill, covered with tussocky grass and large boulders, where the British forces suffered a decisive defeat to the Boers. We could easily see how the British soldiers had dug poorly positioned trenches in the dreadful terrain, which partly led to their downfall. Many monuments and graves were scattered over the summit as a grim reminder. ... read more
Boer war medal collection at the Siege Museum
Siege Museum at Ladysmith

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Umzumbe November 1st 2014

Probably one of the most beautiful backpackers place we went so far. The Mantis and Moon backpacker is next to the beach and at the same time in the "jungle". We slept in huts in the middle of this "jungle" between the monkeys 🐒. Our first night we had a Halloween party with life music and a lot of candies! We met two German guys 🇩🇪 called Mike and Norbert with who we went the next day for a trip to the mountains and see some waterfalls. On the menu, extreme sensations as they jumped from the cliff, which is called the swing 🙈. Not brave enough to jump, but gathered our courage to cross a bridge like you only see in movies wherefrom people almost fall in between the lats 😅. Afterwards we brunched at ... read more
Cliff for the swing jump
Leopard rock
Beach of Umzumbe

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Durban April 19th 2014

I departed Sandton, Johannesburg, as I had arrived: on the airport express service. The train breezed eastwards through suburbs, industry and intervening golf courses to Oliver Tambo International. I disembarked and scurried down the escalator to a help desk. "Where is the domestic terminal?" I asked of a young woman behind the desk. She pointed back upstairs in the direction I had seen various other people from the train heading. Feeling a bit foolish I took another escalator up to the next floor and found the SAA desk. I skirted the self check-in which I still find intimidating and joined a queue. It was being held up by a family who were taking advantage of the free cling-wrap service or whatever they call it, whereby your bags are wrapped in layer after layer of cling-film, allegedly ... read more
Suncoast Beach
Near North Beach

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

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