TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

A WEEKEND VISIT TO HOGSBACK

During December of 2013 we took a quick pre-Christmas break to Hogsback to celebrate our daughter’s successful academic year.  The road took us high up into the Amathole mountains amongst cloud and rain.  As we arrived at the beautiful Hogsback Arminel Inn the rain was pouring down and our hopes to do some walking diminished.   So we were on to plan B at J R R Tolkien’s place of Hobbits and fairies! Plan B included driving the road (indicated on maps as a normal road, but do not be fooled as this has degraded to a 4×4 track) from Hogsback to Seymour, which was on hubby’s to do list,  as well as picking up some caches in the area.  However the weather did not have a sunny outlook so we followed the road less traveled  through the forest to Keiskammehoek Thanks to Geocaching we passed traditional huts and villages,… Read more >

KENYA – CROSSING THE EQUATOR

I visited Kenya for the first time in 2007 as part of a life long dream to overland Africa from South to North.  We entered through Namanga border post in the South and the whole process on both sides took us a mere 30 minutes – not bad for Africa!  My first introduction to Nairobi was, to say the least, very interesting.  The bumper to bumper traffic is nerve wrecking, but my Better Half was not intimidated at all by this as he is used to driving in Khartoum, where he worked, with even worse traffic.  Thumbs up to him!  You really have to have nerves of steel and adapt or die to cope with the aggressive African drive style, but our trustworthy Garmin GPS took us all the way to Upper Hill campsite in the middle of Nairobi without any glitches. As I had a “fly in” visa for… Read more >

ZANZIBAR

‘n Spur of the moment besluit die Sondag om die Maandag ‘n vinnige draai by die reisagent te gaan maak om kaartjies te gaan koop en  dan Dinsdag op die vliegtuig te wees vat ons Zanzibar toe.  Omdat die ander helfte van my in transit moes bly op OR Tambo moes ons die lang roete via Nairobi neem na Zanzibar.  Die eiland was al  baie lank in my travel bucket gewees en nou was dit ons  kans. Gewoonlik is die besige Afrika lughawe ‘n miernes van mense wat kom en gaan en drentel en wag maar vanoggend is Jomo Kenyatta aan die stil kant en ek wonder of dit die gevolg van ebola is aangesien dit ‘n aansluitingspunt is vir vlugte vanuit Wes-Afrika.  Maar voort na Zanzibar.  Hier op Jomo Kenyatta moet jy amper alles uittrek om deur sekuriteit te kan gaan – skoene, geld, horlosie, belt, oorbelle, enigiets wat… Read more >

SUDAN

When hubby went to work in Sudan (before the divide into Sudan and South Sudan) I had to grab a map and look closely where exactly in Africa  it is located! Then I started to Google all the lesser known but interesting facts about Sudan. As the temperature rises to 50 degrees Celsius in summer time the first thing that strikes you as you get off the plane in Khartoum is the oppressive heat whether it is early morning or late at night and then the different culture and way of living due to the extreme temperature where the tarmac melts during midday.   However the Sudanese people are very friendly and always willing to share what they have at their disposal even if it is just cup of sweet tea or a glass of water.  Everywhere you will find clay pots on the street where people can have a… Read more >

AN EPIC JOURNEY WITH A 1962 LAND ROVER

A classic 1962 Landy was an item that was on hubby’s bucket list for a very long time.  So it happened that while he was working somewhere in Africa he bought this old lady over the internet and had to pick it up at O R Tambo on his homeward journey. So off I go on a Kulula flight to O R Tambo to courier the necessary tools, several other items as well as some warm clothing that (we thought) would be needed  for this epic journey after the late snow falls that had the country buzzing.   A bit of TLC here and there and we set off on a 1 200 km road trip to take her home. All went well until just before Kroonstad where our first of 42 unplanned mechanical stops started.  With a speed of about 20 kmph and a stuttering Landy we arrived at the Shell… Read more >

A WEEKEND IN MONTAGU

An all girls weekend wandering took us to Montagu in the Boland region.  The town was named after the former secretary of the Cape Colony, John Montagu.   It was also known as Agter Cogman’s Kloof. With its picturesque setting Montagu is famous for the mineral springs nestled on the verge of the town, impressive rock formation as you drive westwards on the R62 towards Robertson, outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and rock climbing,  good food and local wines and of course the Montagu Dried Fruit Company. We used Paul and Shirley’s Koo Karoo Cottages as our base and explored the town and surrounds.  Our first wandering took us to the Old English Fort – declared a monument in 1999 – perching on top of the “tunnel” in Cogmanskloof about 4 km from Montagu as you drive towards Ashton on the famous R62. The fort was built by stonemason William… Read more >

THE LANDLOCKED COUNTRY IN THE CLOUDS

We have visited Lesotho a couple of times before, especially the eastern side coming up with Sani Pass from KwaZulu Natal, but this time round we visited Malealea Lodge in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and entered from the more developed western side at Wepener. Arriving at the border post at Van Rooyen’s Gate (hours 06:00- 22:00) near Wepener all was quiet the day after Christmas and the formalities were done without a glitch and off we go. Our plan was to camp at Malealea Lodge and explore the vicinity during the last week of the year.  Since our previous visit to Lesotho we noticed that the main road network improved a lot, but as soon as you get onto the gravel things are still the same = the further from civilization the worse the roads. The roads are potholed and maintenance non-existing.  After all this is why we come… Read more >

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