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THE GARDEN ROUTE WILD FIRES

The past two weeks towards the end of October 2018 we saw some hectic raging wild fires in the Garden Route.  The once green belt of South Africa, known as the luscious Garden Route, was turned into a black belt – no, that is not a karate black belt, but burnt black by a fire monster. The raging fires did not leave a green inkling in its wake.  Everything was devoured by flames and hot air.  Now they say it is good for fynbos to burn once in a while, and I agree to that, but not like the wild fires that devoured thousands of hectares of plantation and indigenous forests which were home to century old Yellowwoods.. Our region, renowned for crisp mountain air and clean beaches was covered in a haze of smothering smoke.  The smoke followed you everyone – in your house, in your bed, in your… Read more >

THE BIG HOLE @ KIMBERLEY, SOUTH AFRICA

by Inge Triegaardt Upon entering Kimberley, one might find that the capital of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, is just another dull, dusty town with heat waves in summer and cold, winter nights with temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.  The impression one gets when driving down the streets of this once “rich” town, is definitely not one of glamour and shiny diamonds.  Being the host city of the De Beers Mining Company HQ, Kimberley still preserves the rich history that made this town one of the most sought after places to be during the early 1900’s. One might think that visiting a big hole in the ground should be nothing spectacular these days, given that we have seen comets create big craters all over the world.  So what makes the Big Hole in Kimberley so special that one will pay to take a selfie in front of a… Read more >

THE AFRICAN SUN IS NOT FOR SISSIES!

The summer is once again upon us and most of us love the sun, whether we are going to the beach or the bush, but remember Africa is not for sissies. Be a sissie and slap on the sunscreen, put on your hat and slip on some long sleeves.  Always be prepared for the unexpected when you take on mama Africa’s sun. THE HOT AND THE SHORT We all know that we should not embark on a walking trail without a bottle of water in  your backpack, but  this also applies when you are in your vehicle searching for those elusive birds or animals to tick the checklist.  As soon as you start feeling thirsty you are becoming dehydrated.  Remember to consume enough fluids even if you are not very active. I always have to keep an eye on myself to consume enough fluids, especially when we are travelling, as… Read more >

PAYING HOMAGE TO HEROES

2018 marks the 70 year celebrations world wide of the icon Land Rover brand.    Now the mere words “Land Rover” is a bone of contention, because it stir up opposite emotions – love or hate.   The word “hate” sounds a bit harsh so I will rather refer to it as a “no love for a Land Rover”. At the celebrations held at the southern tip of Africa it was only love for Landies that was going around the whole weekend.  Everyone was discussing and checking out other Land Rovers, smiling and waving the Landy wave to your fellow stalwarts.  Make no mistake there were also the “no lover of Land Rovers” that were curious (and maybe envious) who made their way to the festival to have a look at the goings and doings of the Landy lovers. What an iconic weekend it was!  Sharing your story  (everyone who drives a… Read more >

WINSTON LE ROUX CABLE WAY, BAVIAANSKLOOF

THE STORY At the time that the farmer, Winston le Roux, embarked on building this cable way in 1967 on his farm in the Baviaanskloof (Eastern Cape) he was 33 years old. He set out identifying the right spot for the cable way by consulting aerial photographs of the Department of Agriculture. This was before GPS’s arrived on the scene.     Winston sourced the components of the cable from the nearby EP Cement quarries at Lime Bank, Loerie who operated an 11 kilometer cable way from the quarry at Lime Bank to Loerie station. The quarry did maintenance at regular intervals and some of the components of the cable way became redundant and Winston saw the opportunity to salvage it and build his cable way. More than 1 200 meters of cable were needed to cross the gorge at ground level. To bring the first wire cable through the… Read more >

VANISHING KINGS – LIONS OF THE NAMIB DESERT

Right from opening the cover of the book the golden glowing pages spells out that a high quality research work complimented with breath taking photos awaits.  Even if you take off the dust cover no effort was spared – you are greeted with the same high quality images as on the dust cover – a magnificent male lion with a waving mane posing in the desert wind. So, let us  start turning the 360 pages of the book. It is evident that a lot of love and dedication were put into the research for this book by Philip Stander who has a lifelong interest in the lions of the Namib.  Philip literally lived in his equipped vehicle in the desert to follow the roaming desert kings.  The journey takes you through the history of the lion species (Panthera Leo).  As with Philip Stander these magnificent beasts also captured the mind… Read more >

10 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT TRIP

I am quite sure everyone can do with some extra cash when on holiday for the simple reason that you can experience more at your destination and take more memories home to feed the soul until the next trip.   The key issue for me is that saving starts the moment you start planning your trip while still at home.  Setting up a budget For me this is the number one in the planning process.   This normally determines where I can go in the world, what to do, what to see, etcetera. For me as a South African certain countries are just too expensive to visit due to the FX rates and travel times, visas, etcetera.  Setting the budget eliminates those countries immediately, although it is on my wish list and I religiously check them out every single time in the hope that something changed from the previous planning session.  … Read more >

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