Blogs from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga , South Africa, Africa


Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit July 31st 2015

Tonight it really is a blue moon here. Ian our host is an amateur astronomer and he explained it. The expression is doubly appropriate, however, as today we have had a very rare experience: we have all been kissed by an elephant! Olivia said on our return, 'Today has been the best day of my life!' She was lucky as she was kissed twice--Caspar the elephant seemed to take a shine to her. He was quite scary really. The moment when the elephants were first brought to us was one to remember. Getting so close to such large creatures was awe-inspiring. Of course, we all knew elephants were big, but when you stand underneath or alongside one, you experience their size yourself. We were able to touch their tongues, ears, wire-brush tails, softer feet and hard ... read more
Robbie is kissed
Mr Mabbett takes a friend for a walk

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit July 30th 2015

Well, we shall have to come back again as Mrs Reeves still hasn't seen a lion. We have spent more than a week in the Kruger across our trips without ever seeing one--is that approaching the record, I wonder? Never mind, at least we have continued to see many other animals and birds. Today that included two (separate) leopards, quite a rare sight, as well as giraffes, zebras, warthogs, kudus, bush buck, Cape buffaloes, duikers, mongooses (two different kinds), crocodiles, hippos (several sightings), monkeys, baboons, fish eagles, storks (two different kinds) and many other bird species. Cameras were clicking all day--Charlie has passed one thousand photos now--and our guides were founts of knowledge about everything from related species (zebras are related to rhinos!) to the signs of gender differences, from elephant communications to rhino poaching, and ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit July 29th 2015

We have arrived safely in Ekukhanyeni after the long drive from Siya, punctuated by various stops en route, We said our goodbyes at the Mission after packing and clearing up, and left at 0830. We stopped at 0915 for some delicious fresh orange juice at the huge Schoemans Boerdery between Marble Hall and Groblersdal (for those who like to track progress on a map) and then drove to Loskop Dam, where we had to stock up on biltong, koeksusters and other South African delicacies, before driving to Middelburg. We were delayed by massive roadworks--they were going to start blasting rock at 1100 but we got through just in time, avoiding a four-hour stoppage, and we reached Middelburg in time for our Wimpy break at 1130. That was much enjoyed too--lots of lush milk shakes and cakes--and ... read more
Schoemanns Boerdery
Annabella likes milk shakes
Wimpy means this

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit March 16th 2013

Geo: -25.4797, 30.9699This morning we had a slow start to the day. We started the day with enjoying a huge breakfast on the deck. Today was planned to be more relaxed than yesterday. On the way to the National Botanical Gardens we stopped at a large Cape Union Mart store. Here we bought few things that we would need for our upcoming camping trip to Mana Pools National Park. We arrived at the gardens at about 1pm. The next three hours were spent slowly walking around and enjoying various themed gardens. I really enjoy visiting parks and gardens, a very peaceful time. Among the plants there was a sculpture exhibition of large, metal bugs. At the Nels River viewpoint we could see where the Nels River meets with the Crocodile River. There were also many Strangler ... read more
02 Round
03 Strangler
04 River

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit March 14th 2013

Geo: -25.4797, 30.9699Finally just after midday we left Johannesburg. To celebrate John's birthday (Paul's dad) we were going away for a few nights to Nelspruit. Paul and I were ready to leave at about 9am, but by the time his parents John and Noreen were ready it was about midday! We drove north and in a few hours we arrived. I was looking forward to this trip as it was a chance to see a new part of the country. Nelspruit was a large city. The BnB was very nice- a large, big open partly thatched house. By the time we checked in and went to our rooms it was already after 4pm. I loved our room, it was very unique, it had its own deck and a huge bath. We relaxed at the BnB for ... read more
02 Room
03 Bathroom

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit August 11th 2012

So, at 6am the alarm sounds and it’s time for us all to get up and go to school. Its dark at this time. And cold. Although it very quickly gets light and by lunchtime we’re usually complaining about how hot it is. These early starts also entail very early nights, which greatly amuses us as students, for by 10 o’clock (sometimes even 8 o’clock!) we are desperate to go to sleep. We take it in turns to cook the vast amounts of food needed for nine people, we wash our clothes by hand and in the evenings we catch glimpses of the Olympics with hilariously haphazard commentary. It is hard to summarise our time here and our experiences of school life. Unlike in England where one can go through days, weeks or even months without ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit August 8th 2012

On Saturday 21st July 2012, volunteers on the Lekazi project (Bethan, Bex, Joe, Jess, Kelvin, Tak and Tori) were met at Johannesburg airport, excitedly awaiting what the next 8 weeks would have in store. We were greeted by Winnie and Vuvu our driver and began the long trip from Johannesburg to Lekazi, which is located near the city of Nelspruit. We were instantly met by our first culture shock: a truck residing across the major road without any warnings. As a result, cars were driving across the sandy bank onto the nearest other busy major road. After a slightly dodgy off road transfer we continued the long drive. The scenery became steadily more mountainous, as we passed mixed scenes from fields of orange trees to small shabby towns and upcoming government housing. Eventually we pulled into ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit May 26th 2012

This little trip started few days before the flight with a little stress...who was going to take care of Leslie and Tiffany for 18 days. The problem was happily solved a week before my flight. Now that I'm back home, I can conclude that Tiffany and Leslie have gathered some more independance skills....these little guys are growing fast, and I'm an happy Dad! There are no problems, there are only solutions...I was going to apply this during my trip too! It all started with what should have been a little stop-over on the way to Congo. Few flights a week between Joburg and Lubumbbashi, fewer flights even between Bangkok and Joburg. Original plan was to stay for 23 hours in Joburg. I tried the new train direct to Sandton, the Gautrain, a pretty impressive ride. That ... read more
Blyde Canyon
more elephants...
Another sunny day in South Africa

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit September 20th 2011

Episode 4: 20..9.11 Title: Down by the Riverbank Starring: jackals, 65 vultures, a hear of elephants, some hippos, impala, warthogs, zebras, a 350 strong herd of buffalo, crocodiles, and one dead buffalo Special guest stars: A pride of lions. Location: A riverbank outside Satara Restcamp in Kruger Park. Script: We had heard that the lions had killed the buffalo the previous day. We first saw some baby hippos out of the water. Then the lion pride started to defend their kill from jackals and vultures,. A heard of elephants came down and drank, sensed the lions then took off. The jackals and lions played cat and mouse. Then, over the horizon, a huge heard of buffalo appeared. They amassed at the riverbank to drink, either not knowing or not caring about the lions resting in the ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Nelspruit September 19th 2011

After a short drive spotting giraffe towering above the trees along the way, we arrived at Nelspruit Cheetah project - an organisation for conservation of these speed demons and a visit which was included in our Acacia tour. We climbed aboard the elevated seats of the safari vehicle and toured the park seeing a nyalla merely hours old, wobbling on his legs that were not yet used to standing and hiding in the bush with his mother. The cheetahs have large fenced areas to roam and are encouraged into smaller pens to feed where they are locked in for a few hours to enable digestion and allow them to toilet. This keeps the large areas clean and enables the staff t clear up the waste and monitor the faeces for any mucus /blood that may signify ... read more

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