TRAVELBUCKET

GEOCACHING

FOREST LEGENDS

While everyone else was hanging out on the beach for the first day of  January 2016 our family went to visit the Forest Legends Museum on the gravel road as you traverse the Prince Alfred Pass from Knysna to Uniondale. What a pleasure to drive through the damp forest and then unexpectedly arrive on top of the hill at the coffee shop.  It was a lot busier than we expected.  Families with grannies and young children were having something to bite in the shade of a tree, others were taking hikes and on the decks families camped out and were just relaxing and enjoying nature.  This is far from the maddening crowds and cell phone towers. First we ordered something to eat from the coffee shop – a vetkoek stuffed with curried mince, a home made hamburger and toasted bacon and egg sandwich washed down with delicious home made gemmerbier. … Read more >

CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE (CKGR)

We were camping in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) in the central of Botswana.  As it was our first visit to CKGR and I did not know what to expect at all – barren flat open areas with sparse vegetation – that is what I had in mind.   How pleasantly surprised I was!  The Kalahari was not green, but the yellow grass was waving in the wind and trees dappled the hills. After filling up at the Shell in Rakops (only three pumps for different types of fuel – luckily we could fill up before they ran dry a couple of days later) we set off on the sandy road leading to Matswere gate.  After driving about 500 meters we decided to deflate the tyres to enhance a more comfortable and easy ride on the corrugation with the fully laden bakkie. As you have to be self sufficient in… Read more >

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE

With the ongoing ebola outbreak in West Africa I am pretty sure most of the world now knows where the once forgotten Sierra Leone is located.  My first experience of Sierra Leone in 2011 was ten years after a bloody civil war (1991- 2001) and before the horrendous ebola outbreak in 2014 which is the largest in history.  Sierra Leone – a struggling country filled with friendly people with warm and welcoming hearts. Crossing Africa on my flight from Johannesburg (via Nairobi and Accra with Kenya Air) to Freetown I sat next to a proud soldier who was on holiday from Afghanistan. He was super excited to see his family back home in Freetown after an absence of three years from his home country.   His eyes were shining bright and he could not wait to put his feet on home soil and hug his family once again. Oh yes, and… Read more >

GRYSBOK TRAIL @ NMMU

It was an early rise and shine on a Saturday morning for a walk on the Grysbok trail.  The whole of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) campus was declared a Private Nature Reserve in 1983. The 830 ha is dominated by the St Francis Dune Thicket vegetation.   This fynbos vegetation is highly threatened due to agricultural clearing and coastal development. Despite some problems with invasive Australian Acacias the vegetation is in very good condition.  The trail meanders through the reserve, providing opportunities for observing the exciting fauna and flora of the area. Do take time to visit the reserve on different times of the year to experience the whole spectrum of the flora and fauna.  There are two trail options that can be walked, a 3.2 km or a 2.5 km loop. Both trails cover relatively flat terrain and are suitable for moderately fit people and no bundu… Read more >

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

While we were on holiday in Thailand we made a quick dash across the border to Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit the ancient Angkor Wat and at the same time pick up some geocaches along the way and get a new visa stamp when we enter back into Thailand. What immediately strikes you when you cross into Cambodia at Aranya Pratet is that life is quite different from Thailand – different modes of transport, different language (Khmer) and even less English speaking people than in Thailand, more poverty, but all over very friendly people.  One thing that does not differ however is the humidity and the heat. We left our vehicle for the weekend in the parking lot at Aranya Pratet and crossed per foot into Cambodia and rented a taxi (which uses gas as fuel) in Poipet to take us to Siem Reap for the weekend. What we… Read more >

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 >

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 >

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