Blogs from Africa - page 11

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Today is more or less a carbon copy of the previous day. Wake-up at 5:30 am, coffee and rusks at 6, departure on safari at 6:30. Richard wants to see if we can find the elephant herd that lives in the next valley over. To do that, of course, we have to get over the mountain. As yesterday, we start in almost pitch blackness but the sun rises swiftly. Again, beautiful mists from the valley as the sun gradually illuminates and warms us. Highlights along the way include a beautiful kudu and a large herd of giraffes that materializes out of nowhere. I'm still not sure how giraffes do the magic trick of appearing out of thin air. They give us a stern visual inspection, then gracefully lope off in a row. Incredible creatures. We have ... read more
Amarula tree being strangled by a parasitic fig, as giraffes observe dispassionately
An impala harem
Zebra


We are up at 5:30 am for our first morning game drive. Coffee and rusks (similar to a biscotti) at 6 and in the land rovers shortly thereafter, just as the sun is starting to illuminate the backs of the surrounding hills. A word about the vehicles used on safari. They are modified land rovers, diesel-powered with separate gears for the front and back wheels. Obviously, they boast massive suspensions and extensive structural reinforcements. Besides the front seat, there are three rows of seats arranged in a staircase arrangement. Each row can accommodate three people. There's also a fold-out seat on the front left hood, where a tracker can sit precariously and survey the surroundings. An essential feature: everything is copiously padded. These babies can climb up a steep cliff, ford a stream, take a licking ... read more
Jo-Jo inspects rhino droppings
Landscape in the light of the morning sun
Giraffe and her calf


Today we say goodbye to Dunfeld and transfer to the Humala River Lodge in Songimvelo Game Reserve. By 9 we have eaten and our bags are packed into the two vans. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive almost due east. I plead for the shotgun seat this trip to ease the misery on my knees and behind. Bakkies has a treat in store for us. He stops by a local chocolate shop with an interesting specialty. You get to pick a a chocolate cup (and by this I mean a small egg-cup-sized cup made entirely of chocolate) with the choices being dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. The cup is then filled by hand from a milk chocolate fountain. Very tricky to eat, but absolutely delicious! Bakkies provides his usual entertaining dialogue on the ... read more
All aboard the land rover
Savanah landscape
Kudu and calf


Hello from Morocco! Adina and I are coming to you from our first country in Africa. After a very long travel day ending with a train in Marrakech and then making our way through the old quarter's twisting, weaving, and very confusing streets we managed to make it to our Riad. A riad is a kind of guest house with an interior courtyard. Part of the Islam faith is that you don't show outward wealth - so almost all of the buildings are as plain as can be on the outside but have immense tile mosaics, pools, terraced roof tops, and even plunge pools to escape the mid day heat. The old part of Marrakech - the Medina - is an absolute labyrinth of markets, shops, squares with markets, stalls, guys with monkeys, and even snake ... read more
Door at a Koranic School
Spice Store
Street Performer rocking out

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Dullstroom May 18th 2017

We wake up in Dunfeld Estates to another fantastic day. Perfectly blue sky. We have been so lucky with the weather on this trip. We can now see where we have ended up. The location is idyllic: a circle of cottages around a central pond surrounded by tall trees. The air is filled with the sound of birds. Buffet breakfast at Dunfeld. Standard fare with an egg station. But there's pap en sous, which makes the whole thing African. Bakkies brings the van out back and we pile in for our day's adventure. He starts with a tour of Dunfeld estates. It's absolutely huge, and actually comprises three separate adjoining operations, all family-owned, one of them devoted exclusively to equestrian pursuits. One yearly visitor is apparently Bruce Murray, Anne's brother. The roads around Dunfeld are lined ... read more
Petting an elephant at Elephant Whispers
Tambo, the largest living being I have ever met
Ride on Shawara

Africa » Ghana May 17th 2017

May 2017 Gonja - Funali - Lobi Feeling our work is done in the south, Kirk and I have been traveling the Northern Regions of Ghana searching for our new home land. We think we have found it. Recently, we took a family trip to the northern town of Damongo. We all fell in love with the tribes and local missionaries. The Lord willing, these three northern tribes will soon be our new neighbors! The Gonja people are asking a lot of questions concerning the gospel. There are few who have the biblical answers to give. In their villages churches are far and few between. Several villages have no church at all. Each and every chief we met asked us to return and stay with his people and teach the gospel message. Kirk certainly has his ... read more
Fulani Friends
Fried Fulani Cheese Sticks
House of the Lobi People

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Dullstroom May 17th 2017

Today we will travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and thence to a resort named Dunfeld. Unfortunately I am quite sick today. The cold/flu has its hooks firmly into me. But we soldier on. JP drives us to the airport and we say our good-byes. JP has been our almost constant companion for a week and has done his best to make our visit to Cape Town memorable in every way. Plane flight from Cape Town to Joberg on Kulula Air. Moment of panic when "now departing for Lanseria" is announced in the plane. But that is only the name of the destination airport. The plane is an older 737 and knee space is problematic for me. It's also apparently a super-economy flight, and you don't even get water unless you pay for it. I am ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-T├ętouan » Chefchaouen May 17th 2017

Geo: 35.1716, -5.27069We awoke this morning to the "call to prayer", such a characteristic element of the Muslim world. We enjoyed a nice breakfast of bread, cheese, olives, jams, honey, crepes and coffee, prepared by our Riad host. We then met Morad for a nice, leisurely stroll of the Medina and old town of Chefchaouen. This beautiful, mountain-top city has many buildings which are painted blue, giving the town a cool and unique feel. Unlike places like Egypt, here the shopkeepers do not aggressively try to drag you into their shops, and our walk through the city is most pleasant. We top for a coffee in a cafe on the main square, before heading out to drive back to Tangier.Upon arriving back in Tangier, Morad takes us to one of his favourite old restaurants, with all ... read more
Jim outside our hotel
Chefchaouen the "Blue Pearl"
A old way of washing clothes and rugs

Africa » Namibia » Windhoek May 16th 2017

Maandag 15-05-2017 21e vakantiedag Vandaag beginnen we aan de terugreis naar Namibia en komt het einde van de reis toch aardig in zicht. We staan om 6.00 uur op, terwijl het nog donker is en Bert maakt een vuurtje voor koffiewater en we bakken een paar pannenkoeken als ontbijt. Alles kan op de bbq Daarna maar weer de boel inpakken, toilet maken en dergelijke tot we reisvaardig zijn. We checken uit en gaan dan op weg naar Ghanzi onze laatste bestemming in Botswana. In Maun proberen we nog wat pula's te pinnen, ik wilde in een stalletje nog een mooi tafelkleed scoren, maar helaas maandagochtend: de ATM's zijn leeg. Dan maar op weg, we moesten eerst vanaf de camping het hobbel zandweggetje af, maar dan draaien we de asfaltweg de B3 op die we volgen tot ... read more
Vogels kijken voor het eten.
Veel vogels hier.
Een Koedoe dame komt drinken.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape May 16th 2017

Today is highly anticipated by us. On tap is a visit to the townships, the shantytown areas just outside Cape Town. Breakfast close by, after which are transferred to the care of Godfrey, born and raised in the township of Langa, our destination. He tells us, "So far, you've seen one side of the coin. Now you're going to see the other." On the drive, Godfrey provides the historical context to the townships. These are the areas where blacks and some coloureds were ghettoized under apartheid. In some cases (such as the case of district 6, discussed yesterday), entire neighbourhoods were moved to the townships. Godfrey also explains the importance of tribal identity, passed on through the father. The majority of blacks in this region are Xhosa. Now, as you may know, the first consonant in ... read more
Langa township
At the co-op preschool in Langa
My new best friends at co-op preschool




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