Blogs from South Africa, Africa

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Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg September 26th 2019

Hello everybody, and welcome to my travel blog! :) As i'm lucky enough to be travelling the world for work -and for leisure too- i thought it would be a good idea to start a blog and to share my adventures, experience and my tips with you lovely people. If you're a travel addict, you're up for adventures, looking for tips and places to see or things to do, or don't get the chance to travel, but would like to see the world through other travellers' eyes, I'm your person. I also love sports, so there will be occasions when I share training tips, hiking or cycling ideas. The things you won't read about very often are museums. Not because I don't like them, but as my visits are normally short, there isn't enough time to ... read more
Giraffe spotting
Giraffe spotting
Zebras

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng September 24th 2019

Even though we left the Thornybush Game Reserve today, there was still a 5am wake up call, bags out at 6!! And then there was the excitement of the morning - a frog in the shower! Lucky it was when Trina was in there and not me! We have had a great three days, in our lovely room (except for the frog), and seeing the Nyala {yet another sort of antelope) all around as we walk to and from our room. One of the males seemed to be always at our front door or on the footpath between us and where we wanted to go! We were transported by the same mini buses back to Hoedspruit (they were bumpier than the jeeps, speeding down the corrugated dirt "roads"). Three giraffe were near the roadside to say ... read more
The Nyala that were always wandering around
Sitting at the back of our room
Bourke's Luck Potholes

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Thornybush Game Reserve September 23rd 2019

When you come to Africa and go on safari, everyone is supposed to want to see the Big Five, this is the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. Not always easy apparently, but we did it today! Another early start, and very cold, and again we set out to look for the rhino! Headed to the north east of the park where rumour had it there were rhino to be found. Up till this point, the game drives appeared to be randomly driving the tracks that criss cross the park, accidentally coming upon animals, or going where others had sighted something. Today we saw the tracking skills of our ranger/driver and our tracker. They first saw rhino tracks headed to an area we were not allowed to enter. (Thornybush is a private game reserve, one of ... read more
Herd of wildebeest
Jacques & July off to track the rhino
Found them!

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Thornybush Game Reserve September 22nd 2019

We had a rude awakening this morning with a 5am wake up call. Game drive started at 5.30am after coffee and biscuits on the main deck. Game drives are early morning and late afternoon because that is when the animals are most active. Back into the jeep, just daylight and pretty cold. We didn't have to go too far before we saw hyenas, and the two lions we had seen yesterday (don't know how, but the driver seems to be able to identify the animals individually). And an amazing African sunrise. Then a couple more elephants, but then we drove around for quite some time, hoping to spot a rhino. No luck, seemed a bit like driving aimlessly around waiting for animals to appear (and sometimes they did), but the driver had a plan, and took ... read more
Hyena
Some sort of birds?
African Wild Dog and pups

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Thornybush Game Reserve September 21st 2019

Apparently "Cape Town is crying, because we are leaving"! This just means that it was raining and cold as we headed to Cape Town Airport for our flight to Eastgate Airport near Hoedspruit, the closest to Thornybush Game Reserve, our home for the next three nights. (It does have it's own airstrip, but only for tiny planes.) We appeared to land in the middle of nowhere in the African bush, and 36° was a little warmer than Cape Town. Three mini buses ferried our group (of 26) to the Thornybush Game Lodge, with a giraffe and elephants spotted on the way. Wow, and we hadn't even been on a game drive yet. We were met in the outdoor reception area with cold towels, and cold drinks. Very nice! Then lunch, and a briefing of what to ... read more
Inside our room
The bathroom!
Fancy jeep

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Boulders Beach September 20th 2019

A long and interesting day trip today around the Cape Peninsula, and even though we started out in cold, windy weather, we returned to Cape Town in bright sunshine, with a few spots of rain on the way (maybe we are really in Melbourne 😁). We first drove along the Atlantic coastline, through the expensive beach side suburbs (for the 3rd time, but heading south this time, so a different perspective). Couldn't see the Twelve Apostles today, too much cloud. After passing Hout Bay, we then drove along Chapman's Peak Drive, a scenic 9km road with 114 curves! Had a photo stop overlooking Chapman's Bay, then in to the middle of the peninsula, past an ostrich farm, to the Cape Peninsula National Park. There are virtually no trees, just "fynbos" as it is too windy. Between ... read more
Chapman's Peak Drive
Cape Mountain Zebra
Another one!

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch September 19th 2019

Day 2 of our "tour" started with Table Mountain and another drive through the city. (We decided to go up Table Mountain on Tuesday, even though it was included in our tour, because the weather was good, and the cableway closes if it is too windy or the cloud is too low. Happy to do it twice.) This drive took us through some different places in the city so quite interesting. Then up the mountain to the lower cable station. (So much for hiking mountains to see proteas at the gardens, they grow wild over the slopes of Table Mountain and when you are sitting on the other side of the bus, you can see them! The mountain is covered in fynbos - a word they invented to describe the vegetation on the mountains of the ... read more
On top of Table Mountain
Looking towards Robben Island
Yep, we were there!


Woke this morning to bright sunshine, and when we got to breakfast we could see Table Mountain (without any cloud). Yayy! So back to the Hop On Hop Off bus (red route this time) which also travels through the centre of Cape Town, and then part way up Table Mountain to the Lower Cableway Station. Off the bus, along with everyone else, to join the queue! Waited an hour to ride the cable car to the top. I guess (like us) everyone had waited for a clear day. There are two cable cars, one going up and one down at any given time, they each hold up to 65 people, have a revolving floor, and take 4-5 minutes to the top (or bottom). Once at the top there are paths around the mountain and spectacular views ... read more
Lions Head & Signal Hill
One of the cable cars
Both of the cable cars

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town » Constantia September 16th 2019

Our plan for today was to head for the Hop On Hop Off bus (red route) which goes to Table Mountain, and go to the top of the mountain in the gondola - however, there were even more clouds covering it than yesterday! Change of plans - swap the red route for the blue route (and the purple route). So after a lovely breakfast at the hotel, walked back to the Hop On Hop Off bus office (that we had found yesterday) and set off on the blue route. This goes through the centre of Cape Town, including Long St (the main street?) and then heads around behind Table Mountain. We got off at the Kirstenbosch gardens, a botanical garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Wandered around through various parts of the garden (it's ... read more
Gardens
More of the gardens
Still more


Arrived in Johannesburg in the dark - 5am, got our bags and then rechecked them through to Cape Town and were again escorted from the international terminal to the domestic, but this time by a representative from the tour company - a nice touch. And not so rushed - had a 3 1/2 hour wait for our flight to Cape Town. Arrived there mid morning, but could not see Table Mountain on the drive from the airport - it was covered in cloud (the tablecloth apparently). But we were able to get into our room at the Table Bay Hotel. It is a beautiful hotel, on the waterfront where the cheaper rooms have ocean views (ours!) and the expensive ones have views of Table Mountain (hiding behind the clouds). It was nice to be able to ... read more
Table Mountain (under the cloud)
Painted Rhino
Rhino




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