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Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Durban April 5th 2024

Our first stop on Mainland Africa was Mombasa in Kenya. That marked the 95th country I have visited. We had an overnight stay here to allow some passengers to go to a Safari park. We stayed in the city. On the first morning we went on a ship tour to see some of the sights of the city. Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya and Fletcher says it is much like Nairobi except for the number of tuk-tuks in the streets. Our first stop was on the main road to view the large crossed tusks which is the symbol of the city. Then we were taken to a local Hindu temple. There is a very large Indian population here. This temple had some very gruesome paintings on the walls depicting the horrible punishments which ... read more
Hindu Temple
Inside the temple
Gruesome punishments

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town April 2nd 2024

The waters between Fremantle and Mauritius were quite calm, not what we expected! After long days at sea we finally arrived in Mauritius a little earlier than planned....what a welcome sight Port Louis was and John and I were quite excited to be there as our bestie was picking us up at the Caudon Waterfront at 10am. So off the ship as soon as we could with Renate and Ivan and had a quick look around the waterfront and also the Central Market, I always like to stroll around markets wherever we go as it gives an insite as to how the locals live their daily life. Caudon Waterfront is relatively new with lots of shops, bars and restaurants a busy little area. Then a few blocks away to the Central Market to have a stroll ... read more
RESILIENT LADY
EXTRA VIRGIN
RESILIENT LADY


Thursday was our longest lie in for a week – we only had to be up in time for breakfast at 8.00am. We set off with Connor and our friends from the previous night for a boat trip in the St Lucia estuary. Further towards the sea there are lots of boats, but the lodge has sole rights to the water further inland. The boat was a small catamaran with an engine, designed for shallow waters. It was piloted by Warwick, a delightful and very knowledgeable chap of 84. He was recently widowed and taking people out on boat trips gave him the opportunity to meet new people. We saw plenty of hippos, but sadly none of them wanted to come out of the water, so all we saw were groups of bobbing eyes and ears, ... read more
Goliath crane
Coming up for air
Little and large


We enjoyed a positive lie in this morning, only needing to get up at 6.30 for a 7.00am departure. After a cloudy start the sun came out and the day heated up. We drove to the bottom of the western shores of the St Lucia estuary, then crossed over and re-entered the park at the main gate to the eastern shores. The landscape was totally different to Manyoni. It’s flat, apart from a row of hills by the shoreline, which turned out to be massive sand dunes, covered in small trees and bushes. The vegetation is also sparser, and broken up by pools of water filled with rushes and water lilies. We drove past a couple of groups of hippos, the first basking in the water with just their ears and nostrils visible, but the second ... read more
Basking hippos
Saddle billed stork
Heron

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal October 3rd 2023

Our last morning in Manyoni. It was another of those game drives where, as time goes by, you resign yourself to not seeing anything very exciting. Nonetheless it was warmer and the early morning light made for beautiful views. Suddenly Graeme’s radio crackled into life. A lion had been sighted. We turned round and set off in pursuit. When we got there, another jeep was just pulling away. We drove into the bush to get as close as possible, but the lion was still mostly obscured by grass even though he was less than 10 feet away. He was not about to get up, as he had killed a warthog and was noisily consuming it. As it’s a smaller creature, he was crunching straight through the bones. What looked like a rack of raw pork spare ... read more
Giraffe family
Dung beetles
Buffalo advancing

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal October 2nd 2023

We were both soundly asleep this morning when our 5.00am wake up call roused us. We dressed and stumbled to the lodge for our first cup of coffee in the hope it would revive us, then set off to look for hippos. Mercifully yesterday’s strong winds had subsided and it was at least a little bit warmer. As we drove along Graeme suddenly got a call on the radio to say the four cheetahs had been spotted, so we changed direction and headed off as fast as the tracks would allow. We were in luck! Instead of hiding in the grass as they had been on Saturday, all four were standing up and moving around in full sight. There were no other vehicles there. We sat entranced, taking far too many photos, as we watched them ... read more
Cheetahs resting
Elusive black rhino
Play fighting with mum

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Hluhluwe October 1st 2023

In the words of the Dinah Washington song, what a difference a day makes. It was at least 20C cooler than the previous day! The wind whistled around us all night, and we felt it in our lodge through the thatched roof. It was trying to rain, but mercifully never came to much. Having previously been too hot in just a thin shirt and trousers, today we added a sweater and a hoodie and, after a while, our rain jackets. We were glad of the blankets provided, to keep our legs warm and the cameras dry. Game drives are not so scenic in cloudy weather, but we were hopeful that the cooler weather would bring out more animals. We spent the first half hour unsuccessfully looking for hyenas, and began to fear this might be an ... read more
Male nyala
Posing baboon
Black rhino

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Hluhluwe September 30th 2023

We were woken at 5.00am by our early morning alarm call from Graeme. At 5.15 we were on parade at the lodge, with a cup of coffee to fortify us before setting off on our first morning game drive. The sun was just rising and the light was beautiful. It was already warm, with temperatures forecast to hit 41C by the afternoon – an astonishing change from the rest of our holiday. We stopped to watch some giraffe sitting down and eating. They cannot digest food in their stomach, so they swallow it while feeding then , once at rest, regurgitate it back up to chew more thoroughly. We watched balls of food travelling up and down their throats. We saw a leopard tortoise. Trivia quiz – how do you tell if a tortoise is male ... read more
White rhino
Cheetah at sunset
Early morning giraffe

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Hluhluwe September 29th 2023

We opted for an early breakfast ahead of a long driving day to our first game reserve. Our journey was going well until the Google Maps instructions took us onto a dirt road which petered out into a track with just a farmer shepherding some cattle. Clearly not the R68! After a 7 point turn we retraced our steps and found the right turning. At the next junction we were sent off onto a 20km stretch of dirt road, which was fine in places and somewhat hair-raising in others. We were both quietly thinking to ourselves that at least it was so quiet we would not meet a lorry, when what should appear around the corner but… We pulled across as far as we could, and allowed the lorry driver to steer past us with all ... read more
Female nyala
Bee eater
Vulture and crows on giraffe carcass

Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal September 28th 2023

We woke early and sat on our balcony with a cup of tea watching the birds in the trees just in front of us. Then we spotted some small brown creatures that looked like a cross between a rabbit and a guinea pig, racing back and forth. These turned out to be rock rabbits, which are not, in fact, rabbits at all. Dalton picked us up at 9am and we set off in the hotel’s 4WD for Rorke’s Drift, 23km away on dirt roads. We drove past the local primary school where the children were dressed in Zulu costumes as part of South African heritage week. As soon as they saw us they all abandoned their dancing and rushed to the wire fence to wave to and give us a little dance! Dalton was very amused ... read more
Rorke's Drift diorama
Rorke's Drift battlefield
Redoubt at Rorke's Drift




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