Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls September 27th 2019

Busy day today, started with a short bus ride to the entrance to the Victoria Falls National Park, then we "walked the falls" with our Zimbabwean tour guide, Mike, and our Scenic tour director, Katia. It is a 3km loop with many view points to see the falls. Also a statue of David Livingstone. Initially walked through rainforest, (complete with rain - spray from the falls), branching out to the viewpoints, some had dubious fencing, and got a little wet. Because it is the end of the dry season in Zimbabwe, the first part of the falls were flowing, (they are 1.7km wide), but the second part were dry. Walked to the viewpoint for the Victoria Falls bridge (the border with Zambia) and then completed the loop back to the entrance (and the shop and the ... read more
First part of the falls
Main falls
Another part

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park September 26th 2019

Breakfast with a view this morning - of the sunrise!! Am a little bit over these early mornings ?. Left the hotel at 7am for about an hours drive to the Zimbabwe border. Everybody off the bus, through passport control (a little faster than the airport), then back on the bus, drive a little way, everybody off the bus again, through passport control to enter Botswana, then back on the bus headed for Chobe Marina Lodge where we transferred to 4WD vehicles for a morning game drive through Chobe National Park. We were not too hopeful of seeing many animals, it was very windy today and apparently that makes them stay sheltered. But did come across a few. Firstly a herd of female kudu, who decided to cross the road in front of the jeep. Lots ... read more
Jeep in Chobe
View of Chobe river
Kudu crossing!

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls September 25th 2019

Yet another early morning for our flight from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. (And they keep giving us wake up calls when we don't want them!). A short flight then through the very long immigration process at Victoria Falls airport. (Think we were in the queue longer than we were in the air!) There were some traditional dancers outside when we finally exited. In Victoria Falls, we are only 75km from the spot where the borders of four countries meet - Zimbabawe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. A short drive to the Victoria Falls Hotel, a beautiful old colonial hotel built in 1904 by the British, where we are staying for the last three nights of our trip. A quick visit to our room (which you need a map to find) and then back on a ... read more
Champagne on the sunset cruise
Cocktails on the sunset cruise

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
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!

Africa September 18th 2019

Decided to have a relatively quiet day today, in preparation for the tour starting with dinner tonight, then day tours both tomorrow and Friday. After another lovely breakfast (which we had to queue for today) we walked to the Cape Town Clock Tower and found the Diamond Museum. We hadn't booked, so couldn't go in! A little further on we found the Lindt Studio (fancy name for a Lindt shop, but went in anyway). In the same area is the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary African Art). This is in a converted silo, and an amazing building. We walked through their current exhibit, think you need to be a bit more au fait with the art world than we are, to appreciate the art. Then up to Level 6, where there is a cafe, for a ... read more
Back of the MOCAA
MOCAA again
One of the artworks

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