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TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

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 >

HOW TO ACT AROUND WILD ANIMALS

Your trip is planned and you are about to set off on your overland trip!  Excitement is big and contagious, but on the other end of the scale you are also a bit nervous as you are unsure how to act around wild animals. Let me, as an experienced and seasoned African traveller, give some basic do’s and don’ts when you are out there: Zip up your tent – no matter how hot it is in side, zip up for various reasons. It keeps out bugs, mosquitoes and slithering things like snakes.  A lion will not bother you in your tent.  They do not realise that they can rip open the canvas with a quick stroke of the paw and no, an elephant will not trip over your tent.  Elephants are amazingly gracious when they walk. When you go to bed stow all food (and garbage) either in your tent… Read more >

FULL THROTTLE

Knysna was and is one of South Africa’s favourite holiday destinations and these days another different attraction is added to the scene. At first you will think this is all about bikes, but while browsing through the display you will notice there is much more than wheels to this living museum (if you want to call it that).  You will notice the passion, the history and a story behind each bike on display. The Motorcycle Room is Colin Studen’s happy place.   He takes old and new bikes which were heading for the dumpster, regardless make and model, and turn it into a memory (like the one of a kind model, Copper). It is his happy place and not only filled with his happy memories, but also happy memories of every boy, no matter the age, that visits the room.  When we visited on hubby’s birthday I kept an eye on… Read more >

THE OLD TOLL HOUSE, GEORGE

Wondering what to do on a wet or beautiful sunny Saturday morning in George? Take the gravel road up the historic Montagu Pass, –  it is one of the four passes that traverse the Outeniqua mountains – and you will stumble upon the old Toll House.  The gravel road leading up the 8km long pass is signposted from the N12 towards Oudtshoorn.  Starting from the George side and travelling up the incline the first and only building that you will come across on the pass is the stone Toll House. Until the building of Outeniqua pass as we know it today the Montagu pass was the main route between Cape Town and Grahamstown. The Toll House dates back to year 1855.  According to old records the toll was a whopping two pennies per wheel, a penny per draft animal, two pennies for losloop animals, and half a penny for each… Read more >

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 >

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