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TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

SEEKING SOLITUDE

If you look on a map you will see that Botswana is dotted with many salt pans, but early morning on Deception pan is a magical place.  It is cold (if you visit during winter) and it is quiet.  It is time to reflect on life while you wait for the sun to show its face on the horizon, but soon you will be taking off your jersey and enjoy life under the Botswana sun. First things first.  As always when you are in the bush you first need to scan your surroundings, while standing close to the vehicle, to see what is moving or not moving ….  You never know what lurks in the grass and is watching your from their hideout! As the soft light of the rising sun turns the landscape of the pans into all sorts of beautiful colours it is time to take out the… Read more >

WE LOVE OUR LANGUANGE

LET ME INTRODUCE some typical South African words to you and when next time you are having a braai with some of the locals you can pop in a couple of these words and they will be more than impressed with you!  Are you ready to learn some of our local lingo. If you understand the word“ja-nee” (yes-no) you are truly South African.  Absolutely no one else in the world would even consider putting two opposites next to each other to express confirmation, but we are familiar with that expression. The same goes for the meaning of the word “tjaila”.  This word, originating from Zulu, has been adopted into all South African languages and used to tell everyone when it’s time to go home. “Jislaaik” – (pronounced yis-like). It is normally uttered as a surprise or in outrage.  I cannot think of any English word with the same descriptive meaning. … Read more >

THE LIFE OF A LANDY WIFE

    It has been almost a year now since we sold our trusted Hilux, which gave us many kilometres of pleasure in Africa without a glitch, but the time has arrived to look for something else.  Some new adventures await. Boys are boys and they need challenges.  So, the scout for something “new” was the challenge – the price had to be right (we cannot buy new), it had to meet certain criterion as the vehicle will be used to take us to some far away places, preference of make and model  ……. and so the list expands. To tick most of the boxes (as all is not a reachable equation) some time or rather a lot of time was spent on the internet searching posts, zooming in on pictures to look whether dust accumulated, more or less combing everything in detail. This became a daily routine for more… Read more >

THREE TRANQUIL BEACH GETAWAYS

                NATURE’S VALLEY Nature’s Valley is a feast of forest, sea and lagoon scapes.  Situated at the mouth of the Salt River it has a sheltered lagoon for those unpleasant windy days but you still want to take out your canoe. This beach haven lies within the De Vasselot Nature Reserve, which forms part of SANParks, and has a shady campsite under indigenous tree frequented by a lot of birds. There is only one access road that brings the visitors to this sleepy village. To appreciate Nature’s you need to appreciate the bush, the sea and be able to entertain yourself. SEDGEFIELD The fossilised sand dunes are what makes Sedgefield so special. For centuries already  they keep guard over the residents and visitors of this “slow town.” Beach walks and Saturday markets – my favourite is the Wild Oats market – bring this… Read more >

GO SLOW IN SLOWTOWN

Life can be fast – get up, go for a jog, a quick shower, drop off the kids, grab breakfast and coffee on your way to the office to start your day. This is not what Sedgefield is about.  Take your time, because you are in a slow town.  A town does not choose to be a slow town randomly; you need to meet certain criteria as set out by the Cittaslow movement in Italy, before you can adopt the name “slow town”.   Sedgefield earned this name in 2010 and was the first town (and thus far the only town) in South Africa to be awarded with that title.  South African now joins the list of slow towns of the world.  These towns can be found in some unexpected countries like Japan and South Korea in the East to Denmark and Finland in the North and USA and Canada… Read more >

CATCH OF THE DAY

This holiday we were exploring our own region to see whether there are still spots that we have not visited before and to my astonishment we did found such a place – Gullilule bird hide near the Fairy Knowe Hotel! The Pied King Fishers is one of my favourite birds as they have magnificent hovering and diving skills.  With their black and white plumage, they are not as colourful as the rest of the King Fisher family, but still very pretty. On arrival we found a pair perched on some dry branches right in front of the hide and shortly thereafter they started their display for us.  It was time to get out the camera and start clicking! First their super hovering skills were displayed, then with perfect timing a quick dive into the water was executed (alas too quick for me to get the shot) and when it surfaced… Read more >

WILDERNESS CAMPING

Through social media I noticed that a woman was recently attacked by a beaut of a leopard in the Matopi campsite in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and there is a bit of a hype amongst campers at the moment.    As usual there are a lot of accusations flying around on the how, why, do’s and don’ts.  I want to stress that we have camped in the wilderness for the past 20 years and never ever had any incident/accident while camping in an unfenced campsite in Africa.  We encountered hyenas skimming our tent in Moremi, a shy leopard watching us from the dark behind our tent in Central Kalahari, elephants stepping over our tent ropes in Mana Pools, hippos grazing on the green grass in front of our tent in Nkasa Rupara and monkeys trying to steal our food In Hwangwe, but nothing turned out as a bad situation. If you… Read more >

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