Page 5 of MargaritaH Travel Blog Posts

Addo minutes after arrival at the camp around 445pm, we checked in to the very comfy log cabin, and then impatiently set off on our initial exploratory self-drive jaunt. Almost instantly, on leaving the enclosure and entering the wild, we encountered a giant bull elephant in the bushes, then a family of 3 elephants with accompanying heaps of poop on the road. Soon becomes obvious to anyone that the heaps of giant size poop are tell tale signs of elephant life. Elephants are enchanting. I could happily sit and look at them feeding or at the watering hole for hours. With their thick grey wrinkled skins, stringy swishy tails, thick unshapely posts for legs, big flapping ears and floppy long 'snouts' reaching the ground, you'd expect they would be clumsy. Far from it. They are delicate. ... read more
Entrance to Addo
Our first sighting within minutes
Landscape of wide rolling plains with shrubs

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 23rd 2015

The truth is that I've been struggling inside to know How to begin telling the story of my visit to the Townships. How much to say. How much to leave out. This is not your usual tourist experince but nevertheless it is an unforgettable Journey that anyone willing to be open to what they will encounter must not miss. The Townships are in stark contrast to the "leafy suburbs" of Cape Town, two worlds apart, on two different planets. Nhoza our guide opened doors for us to go through. She is articulate and soft spoken, a well informed Township resident and a very talented singer with Daniel's band Black South Easter. Singing is her passion, touring is her income. Daniel is the son of Alison, our gracious hostess and old English friend of Judy. Nhoza is ... read more
The inclusive approach to community development

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town » KIrstenbosch February 21st 2015

What a perfect day for a garden visit! Clear blue skies and warm temperatures as we head out early to visit the famous Kirstenbosch Gardens the national botanical garden of South Africa. We wanted to get in ahead of the big groups later in the day. And there is the much anticipated visit to the Townships in the afternoon. Kirstenbosch was est. in 1913 after it was left to the nation in 1902 on the death of Cecil John Rhodes - he wanted to protect the slopes of Table Mountain from urban development. Today it is one of the great botanical gardens of the world, it's first curator having trained at Kew Gardens Alison had booked a shuttle (golf) cart buggy with a guide to take us on a one hour tour, and that's the best ... read more
Kirstenbosch Gardens
Camphor ave
Nelson Mandela tributes everywhere

Here is the highlight of my time at the Two Oceans Aquarium..... when Claire called her little buddy who came skating out of the penguin enclosure and her followed her around everywhere..... ( My first try at this so let's see what we get... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 18th 2015

Robben island. A moving experience. Monday afternoon. 1pm ferry to Robben Island off shore Cape Town. There were hundreds of passengers who looked like tourists waiting, and a good sprinkling of passengers who looked like Black South Africans. I don't know the accents so I can't tell. There were Japanese, and Germans, Americans, Brits and Italians plus a Trini for good measure. As we queued to enter the crowded waiting room, to have our bags scanned before boarding the ferry, I noticed the mood was somber befitting the pilgrimage we were about to make. Reminding me of my visits to Ann Frank house in Amsterdam. Even that normally unruly lot- a teenage school group from England- weren't actually behaving in an outrageous manner. The waiting room walls and stairwell were chock full with several visual representations ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 18th 2015

Here it is, Monday report ... It was bright and early, and we are heading to the waterfront area for today's discoveries. In the morning the time will be spent at the Two Oceans Aquarium featuring enormous aquarium displays of the indigenous fish and marine life of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which wash ashore on South Africa's two coastlines. I won't visit the Indian Ocean coast as thats too far away, but have already seen the rugged and beautiful Atlantic landscapes. At the right time of year - or the Southern Hemisphere winter months - it is common to see whales and sharks in the waters off the coast here! but these are the summer months now. The Aquarium gives me the best opportunity to know what's in these waters. But neither Great Whites nor ... read more
Trying a selfie
Judes and Alison
A pond with Rays, young and small

Africa February 16th 2015

On Sunday we were taken around by Daniel the son of Alison our hostess. He was a trooper and got us what seems like everywhere. We saw so much awe inspiring scenery And we Saw about 50 Warning signs BABOONS! But actual baboons seen ... Zero. Disappointing. We saw small groups of Pelicans - this is the mating season and they are highly protected. Still they are so sweet.... Surprisingly small though. The African Pelican is only about 20" tall. We wanted to get to the top of Table Mountain but the wind was too strong. Here are some of the photos of our Sunday drive. And a map of the Cape so you can spot where the trail took us. Claremont is the start point..... It's nearly midnight now and I have an early start ... read more
Daniel and Alison
Lions Head part of the towering mountain formations overlooking Cape Town
Looking down on the city from the mountains

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town February 15th 2015

Finally, I can just sit on something that's not moving! So much to say… Fun things and serious stuff. Left Bago and had a short and sweet flight over in excellent time. Dropped bag with two jackets at the left luggage room, with a Red Shirt porter, any of them will do…. Got a receipt and left. Charges are $5.00 TT per bag/hour or $25 for the day. Then over to the Bus Stop outside the international arrivals main exit gate . Today the bus arrived late so the passengers gave the driver a rough but good natured time, heckling Trini style. Everyone seemed to know everyone. One old girl sitting in the front row even knew the names of passengers waiting kerbside at the bus stops and hailed out a greeting to them. During the ... read more
Meeting the friends and families of Alison, Jean and Dave
First home 1
First home 2

For almost forty years when I worked in the hotel and tourism sector, international visitors invariably asked the same question ... Where do you go for vacation if you live on such a beautiful island? the answer is obvious. I go in search of what I don't have here.... Continents, teeming cities, large landscapes, ancient and prehistoric existences and the like. South Africa is 471,845 sq miles vs Tobago's 116. That's four thousand times bigger. Populations compared - 44million in 2002 vs 50,000 is 880 times bigger. it contains renowned prehistoric antiquity, awesome wild life, proud tribes people their cultures and turbulent colonial history, beautiful landscapes and cities teeming with lively action. So Africa here I come for the ride of a lifetime!!!!... read more

Fourteen days to go.... I haven't been this excited for quite some time... and it's not just because I will soon be travelling. I have done that for years and always loved doing it. This time it's because I'm going somewhere I never dreamed I'd visit - to the African continent. Now, here I am on the threshold - soon to be climbing the steps to board the aircraft. Wow!! How did this happen? Simple. My sister has a long time Uni friend from the UK who now lives in the Western Cape. Her name is Alison. She visited us at home in the Caribbean last year and now we will visit her in Africa. And just like that, in a snap, I'm about to visit where I'd never imagined going. My tiny peaceful island neighbourhood ... read more
Flowering yellow poui and flambouyant trees
Goats in training for the Buccoo goat races
The day's catch

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