TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

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 >

FOUR PRETTY COOL INVENTIONS!

A new year brings new challenges, travels and discoveries.  Maybe it is a good idea to enlighten you of some pretty cool inventions coming from South Africa – some of it you will probably recognize. 1) The Kreepy Krauly The funny swimming pool vacuum cleaner was invented by Ferdinand Chauvier from Springs. Chauvier tried to figure out a way to take the hassle out of pool cleaning. The result was the Kreepy Krauly and the first one was created in 1974. I think he was just tired of cleaning the pool and thought of all the pool sweepers out there, so he made them happy! 2) Dolosse Created by Eric Merrifield, a harbour engineer from East London. Dolosse is that large, unusually shaped concrete blocks weighing up to 20 tons that you sometimes notice on the shoreline.  Initially they were called the “Merrifield block.”  A Dolos resembles the knuckle bones of… Read more >

SPOTTING BLACK AND WHITE IN ADDO

          Addo Elephant National Park is one of the smaller parks in South Africa, but did you know it is the only park in South Africa that boasts the Big Seven?  Are you able to name the Big Seven?  What better way to start this post with an appropriate shot of an elly! Situated in the adventure province of the Eastern Cape it is within easy reach of the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth and is a firm favorite for a day escape from hectic city life.  I feel like experimenting as 2017 is drawing to an end and thus decided on an all-out black and white theme. One of my favorite objects to capture is zebras as they are really patient while you are zooming in and set your focus to snap that perfect moment.  This was another black and white shoot done and dusted. … Read more >

KHARTOUM – WHERE THE WHITE AND BLUE NILE MEET

As I am sitting behind my computer writing this I am missing Sudan.   Yes, Sudan! Hubby was stationed there for about three years and I was fortunate enough to visit Khartoum four times.  As you approach from a southerly direction you get a glimpse of the White Nile embracing the sprawling city when peeking through the aeroplane’s window.  The below video that I found on Youtube of a Qatar flight approaching the airport is exactly what I saw on my first visit! Stepping off the aeroplane at Khartoum International Airport the desert heat bounces from the tarmac and hits you in the face no matter what time of day or night you arrive.  Immediately I realized that Africa is throwing a totally new experience at me.  Driving from the airport back “home” introduced an unknown world to me – tuck-tucks and taxis negotiating melting tar surfaces, interesting vehicles  and cool… Read more >

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