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TRAVELBUCKET

2014

WANDERING IN WILDERNESS

When you visit the beautiful village of Wilderness, that lies in the heart of the Garden Route, you will experience rivers, lakes, beaches and forest, all within easy reach of each other.  With many accommodations to choose from this is a perfect base to explore from.   You can spoil yourself with some good eateries, adventure activities (kloofing, abseiling, paragliding), excellent farmers markets and beach strolls.  So, why NOT visit Wilderness? This is South Africa’s own lakes district.  There are various bird hides along the lakes system that you can, well, hide in, to watch some bird life along the lakes.  Find Gullilule and Malachite Bird hides for some splendid bird activity along the lakes. The chances are good that you will be the only person in the hide.  By far one of the best kept secrets still in the Garden Route! Stop at Dolphin’s Point and enjoy the view both… Read more >

TIPS ON HOW TO NEGOTIATE AFRICAN ROADS

This post is mostly for the inexperienced first-time visitor/driver to the African continent.  Always remember that Africa is quite different than any other continent.  So be aware that you sometimes need to come out of your comfort zone to survive the continent.  Things that seems abnormal on other continents is sometimes quite normal in Africa! Check your tyres before you drive off. It sounds a bit foolish, but this can safe you some embarrassment if you just walk around your vehicle once to check if all your tyres are still okay and inflated to the correct pressure.  Now you are ready to hit the road and enjoy the rest of your trip.    Tyre compressors and gauges at garages, especially in remote locations, are not always correct.  Be aware of that.  We have a habit of using our own tyre pressure gauge that we carry in our cubbyhole.   Part of… Read more >

….. AND WE ARE OFF TO THE BAVIAANSKLOOF MEGA RESERVE

This will be our eighth escape to the magical world of the Baviaanskloof in the adventure province of the Eastern Cape!   From all of our trips we entered only once from the Eastern access gate and all the other times we entered through the Nuwekloof pass on the Willowmore side.   It does not make any difference from where you enter, the rugged beauty is always special to us.  On 15 March 2019 the catchment area of the Baviaanskloof had a down pour of about 75 mm in a time span of 40 minutes which caused huge damage to roads and alike.  Once through Raaskrans and crossing the first “drif” we noticed that big amounts of water rushed through the kloof.  Debris was hanging from trees to indicate the water’s reach.  This was the trend for the next two days – short and easy water crossing, longer water crossings, washed away… Read more >

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 >

ADDO ELEPHANT PARK

This is one of SANPARKS’ 19 national parks and situated in the adventure province of  the Eastern Cape.  At the moment Addo Elephant Park ranks third in size following on the famous Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi in the Northern Cape Province. It is not as big as Kruger and as crowded as Kruger, but still give you a wildlife experience like none other.  Here you can not only see the Big Five but also, hyena, warthogs, various buck species, zebra, smaller creatures and birds (more than 417 species have been listed).  Remember that you will see lots and lots of elephants – it is after all Addo Elephant Park – and do not forget the smaller creatures and birds. The park is within easy reach for a day drive from Port Elizabeth.  Pack a picnic basket and leave early as the gates open at 06:00 during summer and closes… 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 >

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