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TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

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 >

10 ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR A VISIT TO KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK

At first glance the Kalahari is harsh and hot, but once it gets under your skin it is hard to forget the beautiful scenery that was etched into your memory on your first visit. To make a visit to the Kalahari easier and more enjoyable I am sharing a short packing list for your visit: 1.       The number one slot is filled by a good body lotion. The air is dry in the Kalahari and the water do not treat your skin gently either.  Unless you want to look like the dry riverbed of the Nossob river, pack enough of it.  You will certainly need it. 2.         And while on the lotion and potions pack the sunscreen, especially during the summer.  You will spend most of your time in your vehicle, but even then make sure you cover up with suntan lotion to protect you from the African sun. 3.        … Read more >

A DAY HIKE IN WABOOMSKRAAL

As you approach from Oudtshoorn you will traverse a beautiful valley  surrounded by the Outeniqua mountains where hops are grown.  The name of this valley is Waboomskraal.  It is home to about 75% of South Africa’s hops farms.  There is a lesser known hiking trail called “Doringrivier” that takes you all the way to the Ronbinson Pass, which connects Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, but today we only planned to take a shorter day hike up and over the mountains to a nearby trig beacon.  Just as well, because with my unfit state I will never be able to complete a strenuous hike of 50 kilometres.  Even the hike to the trig beacon is uphill all the time.  (Remember that a trig beacon is normally at the highest point on a mountain!). Reading a description of the hike they mentioned that you can maybe see  klipspringer, grey rhebuck, leopard and also… Read more >

ABOUT SMALL TOWNS AND CHURCHES

Every small town has a certain ambiance when you visit it.    Some of them immediately speak to me and others, well they do not actually speak to me … and I just observe and pass by. However, there are small towns with tons of history dating back hundreds of years.  And then there are churches with unique architecture and some interesting history on the why, what and how it came about.  With its rich history and influences from the Dutch, French and English, who all reigned South Africa at some period in the early years, you can just imagine the different church styles that came about.   Each church structure tells a story.  One can feast on some fascinating stories that at times can be humorous or a bit shocking, this includes that has been set alight by deranged persons and destroyed by fire, and steeples collapsing.  Looking up the history… Read more >

OUDTSHOORN – MORE THAN FEATHERS AND CAVES

CATCH UP ON HISTORY Did you know that the town of Oudtshoorn once had the biggest Jewish (originating from Lithuania) community in South Africa?  About 100 immigrant families arrived in Oudsthoorn between 1881 and 1890, after fleeing persecution in their country, as the town held many business propositions due to the feather boom. In Baron van Reede street, tucked away behind some trees and almost unseen, are a beautiful sandstone synagogue. SWARTBERG CIRCLE ROUTE Take your time and drive over the famous Swartberg Mountains, lying just to the North of Oudtshoorn,  to Prince Albert in the Groot Karoo while marvelling at all the different cliff formations and the Cango valley down below.  Return via the spectacular Meringspoort and De Rust.  Allow a whole morning to complete this route.  You can either have some morning tea or lunch in Prince Albert or you can pack a picnic basket and enjoy it… Read more >

KEEP CALM AND TRAVEL SOUTH AFRICA!

South Africa is a beautiful country and there are many reasons to visit our Rainbow Nation as there is something to see for everybody – whether you like luxury accommodation and pampering, have your first encounter with wild animals in their natural habitat or even if you are an adrenaline junky.  There is something for everyone,   come and experience it! This being said, it does not mean that nothing will happen to you.  South Africa is as safe as any other tourist travel destination in the world as long as you use your travel savvy.  Crime does happen anywhere in the world if you do not take care. Being a local myself, and having travelled quite a bit in my own country and abroad, I am going to share some tips and tricks with you. When travelling by car Keep all doors locked while travelling in cities and even passing… Read more >

A LAST MINUTE WISH LIST WHEN YOU HAVE WANDERLUST

Five days to Christmas! If you still have some outstanding gifts to buy and all the holiday makers, tinsel and Jingle Bells are freaking you out, so that you cannot think properly, I have some quick and easy travel gift ideas for you – and no you do not have to spent a fortune to impress someone.  Think about the person’s personality and his/her love of travel and voila you have many options to choose from!  I am leaving some of my thoughts for gift shopping …. For the friend that loves travel into remotes places where electricity is not always an option – how about a power bank to keep them connected to the world and social media? For the loved one (friend or family)  who is an adventurous coffee addict – Veer from the well-known coffee brands and try something from the African continent.  You will be surprised… Read more >

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