Page 2 of RamblingRosies Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Botswana » North-East March 30th 2014

Southern Sun Garden Court Tambo Hotel to Chobe River, Botswana--Sunday, March 30th Another early start with breakfast at 6:30 and our tour starting at 7:00. We were picked up in the same vans that brought us from the airport for the short drive to the River that is the border with Botswana. There was the usual line of trucks that wait at any border crossing. Here truckers wait longer as they can ferry across only one truck at a time. The river was so full that the ferry could not dock as it usually did so, you were to wade in the water to get to the ferry. We watched a group ahead of us do this, then someone realized that the van could drive in the water down the concrete ramp to get close enough ... read more
1403-626 Crossing the Zambezi River into Botswana
1403-627 All of the trucks waiting for hours and perhaps days to cross
1403-628 One ferry coming from Botswana

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone March 29th 2014

Southern Sun Garden Court Tambo Hotel, Johannesburg--Saturday, March 29th Ugh, another early morning with breakfast at 7:00 and the bus leaving for the airport at 8:00. Our flight is not until 10:40, but this tour’s schedule is one that we have to “hurry up” to then “wait.” Boarded the plane, had a bumpy short flight, and arrived at the Livingstone Airport in Zambia at 12:30 ish. Small, but new airport you could see was still under construction. No gangways to the planes, so you have to climb down steps and cross the pavement. Why the pilot was instructed to park the plane a mile away from the gate is beyond me. There wasn’t another plane on the tarmac. We soon cleared passport control and customs and paid our $80 fee for each of us. Fee was ... read more
1403-592 Livingstone, Zambia--As in 'Dr. Livingstone, I presume'
1403-593 Livingstone, Zambia--Street scene-A
1403-594 Livingstone, Zambia--Street scene-B

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Soweto March 28th 2014

Southern Sun Garden Court Tambo Hotel, Friday, March 28th We were up early to have breakfast at 7:00 in order to be ready to get on the bus for an 8:30 departure. Our first stop was at the Apartheid Museum that opened in 2001. As you entered, your ticket randomly assigned you as a White or a Colored person. You then entered the museum in those separately marked entrances and wandered through reading narratives about conditions you faced as a white person, or as a colored person, if you were, Colored. I understand the point they were trying to make, but I felt I wasn’t getting the other ½ of the story, no matter which side I was assigned. It is a difficult museum to navigate, especially for people with limited mobility. You never were sure ... read more
1403-545 Highway scene-B--our only view of Jo'burg downtown
1403-546 Highway scene-C--inland port
1403-547 Highway scene-D--homeless

Manyane Caravan Camp, Pilanesberg to Johannesburg to the RV Depot. (196 km (122 miles) Thursday, March 27th. Rained in the night. As we left camp at 7:15, the baboons were raiding the garbage cans of the food stuffed inside from everyone cleaning out their units. We drove to the Center again to have breakfast, since we had given our food away and to see what was going on there in the morning. A troop of vervet monkeys was all over the building roof-tops, both mothers and babies. Not many other animals out this morning but, we did see a Crimson-breasted Shrike, which is a beautiful bird. One of our group said that when they drove up in their RV, we had monkeys all over the top of our RV and they were trying to get into ... read more
1403-527 Vervet monkey
1403-528  Mousebird, Red-faced
1403-529 Myna, Common

Africa » South Africa » North West » Mafikeng March 26th 2014

Manyane Caravan Camp, Pilanesberg--Wednesday, March 26th. Drove through the gate after getting out and buying a pass and map book. This park, for some reason, isn’t part of the “wild card” pass system. We were not sure how much rain this park had gotten so we were concerned about the condition of the off-paved roads. We started out on the Tshwene Drive. When we came to the Tilodi Loop, we decided it looked ok and was only about 2 km long, and so we proceeded to a lake/dam to see what was there. We were able to see a number of birds along the shore and on branches in the water, so after a while we continued slowly along the loop. We shouldn’t have. Finally, after a jarring, bumpy, rocking good time, NOT, we joined back ... read more
1403-493 On the better road, a  Spurfowl. Swainson's
1403-494 Possibly a lark
1403-495 This is what happens when you take a road you shouldn't

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Cullinan March 25th 2014

Kaia Manzi to Pilanesberg--Tuesday, March 25th. 227 km (137 miles) Misty this morning but was mainly burned off by the time we left the campground at 7:30. Worked our way back through the road construction to the N-4 toward Pretoria. At exit 27, we left the toll-way and turned on R-515 toward Cullinan; then turned to the 513 into the Cullinan Village. The Village is comprised of the individual homes, built mainly of rock in a Dutch style, that were used by the bosses/managers to live in, while employed with the Cullinan Diamond Mine. Valerie walked around the Village as the homes have been turned into cute shops for artists to show their work. There was also a small park with used/old machinery and information about the history of the mine set out behind a cafe. ... read more
1403-468 Park with old equipment in village
1403-469 Diamond mine truck
1403-470 Sorter to separate diamonds from' blue mud'

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop March 24th 2014

Panorama Rest Camp near Graskop, Mpumalanga Province--Sunday, March 23rd. Pretty, clear day today. Got out our local map of the area and decided which of the attractions we wanted to see along the Blyde River Canyon. It was easier to eliminate those we didn’t wish to see or do, like river rafting, bungee jumping, and something called, the “swing” that seems to go out between two canyon walls. We decided that we would start at the site the guide books said, “not to miss,” which was located the greatest distance away, and then work our way back to camp. That way, if time and/or energy ran out, we would have seen the best view. The Canyon was formed by the Blyde River cutting through the northern part of the Drakensberg Escarpment. Here the inner South African ... read more
1403-439  Blyde River Canyon approach to three rondavels
1403-440   Three Rondavels (wives) next to Mapjaneng, the Chief
1403-441 Sharon overlooking canyon

Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger National Park to Graskop. Saturday, March 22nd. 92 km (55miles) We studied the map of the park and decided to go by the native plant nursery and lake that was about 4 km away, off the road we would take out of the Park. There we discovered a wet-lands walk that was a short boardwalk over a small stream. (I think there was a continuation of this walk around the golf course). In the trees, we spotted a Purple-Crested Turaco–unfortunately, he was in the tree top preening himself and it was impossible to get a clear photo of him through all the tree branches. Really pretty blue, red, and green bird about the size of a crow. Continued our short walk and went into the plant nursery where we didn’t stay long ... read more
1403-419 Golf Course wetlands
1403-420 Lizard
1403-421  Weaver bird nest

Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger National Park. Friday, March 21st. Started out this morning with big plans to drive a big loop staying mostly, we thought, on the H1-2, which is the paved road. As it went along the river, we stopped at each pull-off spot to look down at the sides of the river banks. At the first one, I spotted the Goliath Heron in the reeds. We then looked at a funny looking tree with small green/grey fruit hanging off the limbs and trunk. We continued up the road, and then turned off on an open dirt road to look at some water holes noted on the park map. We kept going and spotted many animals and birds ON OUR OWN along this route. We began to get a bit uneasy at the fact we ... read more
1403-401 Lapwings, Blacksmith
1403-402 Spurfowl, Natal
1403-403 African sycamore fig tree

Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp to the Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger National Park. 71 km (44 miles) Thursday, March 20th. We were up this morning while it was still very dark out, to take a sunrise (left at 4:30am) game drive. Frankly, we saw nothing new being out that early. We might have seen something unusual if the Park’s dirt roads were not washed out and several of them closed to even their own staff-driven vehicles. After it got light, we did see a pack of wild dogs who paid no attention to the vehicles in the road and moved around them. Something had their attention on the side of the road for some time as each sniffed at a spot. We did see a female lion lying on one of the side roads, elephants, wildebeest, zebras and ... read more
1403-384  Lioness on closed side road looking at all of us
1403-385 Herd of Burchell's Zebras
1403-386 One of several giraffes we followed on morning drive

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