TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

THE BARE BEAUTY OF THE KAROO

The Karoo with its long dusty roads may seem quite barren and desolate and without life if you visit for the first time, but do not be fooled.  Here you will discover fossils and interesting plants, look closer and you might be surprised at what you see and hear.  Make return trips, in different seasons, and you will experience the Karoo like never before! Heading north or south Graaff Reinet is sort of the resting point and leg stretch for motorists.  It is the heartbeat of the Karoo with blue skies and wide open spaces yet it has a beauty and a charm of its own. Make that trip, even in the middle of the winter, when it is freezing cold and the water stops flowing in the waterpipes because of minus temperatures.  This is a time to dress up nice and warm, muffled against the cold with  beanies, scarves,… Read more >

WHICH ONE? ROOFTOP VERSUS GROUND TENT

It is quite difficult to decide which is best: a rooftop tent or a ground tent. The truth is that both have advantages and disadvantages and there are a few factors that will determine which one will work best for YOU.  So let us have a look at the broader picture. A rooftop tent is the easiest way to sleep off the ground.  You will have to decide why this is important for you and your family.  We as a family prefer to go for a ground tent as we do not want to carry all the weight on Wallace’s roof as it becomes a bit top heavy then.  Top heavy in a Landy spells danger going down slopes – it always feel like Wallace is going to topple over. The pro’s and con’s One of the pro’s of a rooftop tent is it helps when your campsite is uneven… Read more >

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker or… Read more >

YOU HAVE MAIL IN TWEE RIVIERE

If you mistake Twee Riviere for Twee Rivieren you will end up in a totally different province of South Africa.  The one is on the R62 in the Eastern Cape, but you can easily overshoot it as well, and the other one is in the Northern Cape where you enter the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  Today however we are visiting Twee Riviere in the Eastern Cape, about a two hour drive from the friendly city of Port Elizabeth. The little hamlet has its origin as far back as 1765 when land  was first allocated to Jacobus Scheepers.  Once a blooming farming community over the years it also fell victim to the economic trends and hardships and today it is a real rural community.  One beautiful feature of Twee Riviere is the Belfry Kitchen in the hoofstraat.  Make sure you pinch yourself, because you can soon forget that you are in the… Read more >

GOING SOLO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK?

Going solo off the beaten track is not for every off-road traveller whether you visit Botswana, Namibia or venture further into Africa past Zambia, going north.  There are pros and cons to it so you need to consider everything.  If you are a social person and like the company of fellow travellers and hate being alone then going solo is definitely not for you.  Groups also provide some security and you can share costs of planned activities. If you like your own company and have some travel savvy then going solo is for you.  Going solo gives you freedom of choice and total independence to change your travel plans on the spur of the moment if something interests you on the wayside. Things that you need to consider when planning your next solo African trip are the following. You will need the ability to navigate.  There are not many countries… Read more >

A LOADED FARM STALL – DASSIESFONTEIN!

South Africa has great farm stalls dotted all over our beautiful country and Dassiesfontein is one of he top notch ones.   It is hard to miss the Dassiesfontein farm stall on the N2 whether you are approaching from Caledon or Botrivier.  It sort of sits in the middle of nowhere. From the outside it looks rather small, but once you enter one is amazed on how well it is stocked to the brim.  There are way more things than you can dream of – vellies, garden goodies, funky clothes, black stoves, woven baskets, pretty chandeliers, wooden cheeseboards, crystal glasses, etcetera.  Imagine something and I am pretty sure that you will find it somewhere in the shop.  The best of all is that you can visit often, as the merchandise regularly changes and something new and interesting is added. You really need more than an hour to browse through all… Read more >

SPITSKOP ON PRINCE ALFRED’S PASS

Take a day trip to Spitskop and enjoy the scenery deep in the Knysna Forest.  If you follow the Prince Alfred Pass that links Avontuur to Knysna you will pass the turn-off to Spitskop.   Take your own refreshments as there are no facilities along the road.  It is a slow drive as the gravel road may not be in a good condition and in any way, you should not be in hurry because the road is at times very potholed and maybe, just maybe, you will spot an elusive Knysna elephants. Along the route you will find a couple of picnic spots with the beautiful names like Valley of Ferns, Ysterhoutrug and Diepwalle.  In the shade of some indigenous trees at Ysterhoutrug picnic spot you can light a fire for a braai as there are designated areas.  This is also a good stop for the children to stretch their legs as… Read more >

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