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TRAVELBUCKET

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VLEESBAAI 4X4 ROUTE

We have been to the Vleesbaai 4×4 route many, many times in the past, but each and every time that we go it is something special as the dunes constantly shift and change its look with the seasons.  It is time for sun sea and sun and happy holidays again.  Vleesbaai 4×4 route is the perfect destination for those windy and cloudy days when the weather does not want to play along for a beach visit.    Early morning when you are first on the route you will encounter many fresh spoor ­– some very cat-like (I was thinking in the direction of a vaalbos kat), small antelope, mice and birds.  As they say the early bird catches the worm or is it spoor in this case?  The interesting thing about this route is that it changes according to the time of day that you visit.  Early morning the sand… Read more >

GONJAH AND TOLBOS IN GAMTOOS VALLEY

It sounds like a children story title or, if you are adventurous, it might sound to you like the adventures of two travelers in some remote area. Well, you might be right whichever way your thoughts take you. All our special days, including birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas and any other special day we can think of, is spent exploring different places. The Gamtoos Valley is quickly becoming one of our favourite places to explore. It was thus a no-brainer to spend Felicity’s birthday in the citrus capital of the Eastern Cape. Except, this time around there were no citrus involved, but instead we discovered another secluded campsite not to far off the main road. After spending a night in Baviaanskloof, it was time to meet the parents for a weekend camping and spoils for mom on her birthday. So after stopping of at Tolbos (more about this quaint… Read more >

PARING ELUSIVE FOREST ELEPHANTS AND MYSTICAL PHANTOM GIN

Reading the invite in my mailbox my imagination was immediately triggered.  This time around we were not invited to Phantom at the Opera, but to a Phantom ginning night in the mystical Knysna forest. It was time to broaden our horizons and travel to Knysna for the experience.  And what an experience it was!    The setting at The Cabin at Simola was exquisite with a view over the estuary to the one side and the haunting beauty of the Knysna forest on the other side, while sipping on some handcrafted gin. Life cannot get any better! The story of how the husband and wife team of Karel and Chantal started off in Worcester distilling gin in their living room to where they arrived at the name of Phantom for their gin is truly an inspiring story interlocked with all the mysteries the Knysna forest has to offer.  This includes the… Read more >

….. AND WE ARE OFF TO THE BAVIAANSKLOOF MEGA RESERVE

This will be our eighth escape to the magical world of the Baviaanskloof!   From all of our trips we entered only once from the Eastern access gate and all the other times we entered through the Nuwekloof pass on the Willowmore side.   It does not make any difference from where you enter, the rugged beauty is always special to us.  On 15 March 2019 the catchment area of the Baviaanskloof had a down pour of about 75 mm in a time span of 40 minutes which caused huge damage to roads and alike.  Once through Raaskrans and crossing the first “drif” we noticed that big amounts of water rushed through the kloof.  Debris was hanging from trees to indicate the water’s reach.  This was the trend for the next two days – short and easy water crossing, longer water crossings, washed away water crossings and then there is the (in)famous… Read more >

LET’S GO CAMPING INNIKLOOF

by Inge Triegaardt Nestled in the heart of the Gamtoos Valley, 12km outside the town of Hankey in South Africa, lies the perfect spot to spend the weekend. John and Catherina Wait have outdone their selves with providing an enjoyable camping spot for the whole family at inniKloof. Whether you are looking for a place before you enter Baviaanskloof or have just exited Baviaanskloof or even just a nice breakaway weekend, this is the place to be. inniKloof offers a campsite with grass and multiple electricity points. The ablution facilities are neat and clean with an attached scullery. A big undercover platform is available with a built-in braai for those who do not wish to make use of the big round braais in the middle of the campsite. Might I add that these big braai pits becomes the centre of attention when a big group descends on inniKloof. With awards… Read more >

WHO DID WE MEET AT THE KNYSNA LITERARY FESTIVAL?

So, who DID we meet?   We met well-known Australian (or is it New Zealand?  😊) author Tony Park.    And what a nice guy he is!  The Knysna Literary Festival, hosted by Pam Golding, celebrated its 10th year in 2019.  Although living around the corner from Knysna I never even knew this festival existed.  So, what do you learn?  That you are never too old to discover new things.   Sounds a bit like travelling to me; you keep on discovering new things. The two lovely ladies of the Travelbucket team was invited to the event where Tony was speaking at the Knysna Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa on Thesen Island in Knysna. The invite to attend was extended as personal guests of him, even though I only met him the Friday before the event!  Apart from being an author who researches his books extensively he is also very concerned about nature… Read more >

PART 2: KEEP CALM AND TRAVEL SOUTH AFRICA

This is a following up on a previous post about travelling South Africa and some basic tips on what to do and expect. Money and the ATM   Plastic money (ie credit and debit cards) is widely accepted.  However, make sure you have some cash on you for tipping parking attendants, etc.  Do not you stuff your wallet with a wad of notes where everyone can see it.  Just keep a small amount in your wallet where it is visible to the public.  Keep the wad stashed at another secret place.  This also ensure that you have money left if things turn out for the worst! Take care when drawing money at ATMs.  In busy areas, there will be a security guard on duty.  Of course, Avoid ATMS that are in dark corners.  Be aware of accepting help from persons at the ATM as a lot of scams happen in… Read more >

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