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TRAVELBUCKET

COUNTRIES VISITED

KEEP CALM AND TRAVEL SOUTH AFRICA!

South Africa is a beautiful country and there are many reasons to visit our Rainbow Nation as there is something to see for everybody – whether you like luxury accommodation and pampering, have your first encounter with wild animals in their natural habitat or even if you are an adrenaline junky.  There is something for everyone,   come and experience it! This being said, it does not mean that nothing will happen to you.  South Africa is as safe as any other tourist travel destination in the world as long as you use your travel savvy.  Crime does happen anywhere in the world if you do not take care.     Being a local myself, and having travelled quite a bit in my own country and abroad, I am going to share some tips and tricks with you. When travelling by car Keep all doors locked while travelling in cities and… Read more >

A LAST MINUTE WISH LIST

Five days to Christmas! If you still have some outstanding gifts to buy and all the holiday makers, tinsel and Jingle Bells are freaking you out, so that you cannot think properly, I have some quick and easy travel gift ideas for you – and no you do not have to spent a fortune to impress someone.  Think about the person’s personality and his/her love of travel and voila you have many options to choose from!  I am leaving some of my thoughts for gift shopping …. For the friend that loves travel into remotes places where electricity is not always an option – how about a power bank to keep them connected to the world and social media? For the loved one (friend or family)  who is an adventurous coffee addict – Veer from the well-known coffee brands and try something from the African continent.  You will be surprised… 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 it 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 at 18:00,… Read more >

KOUGA DAM, BAVIAANSKLOOF

On our recent trip to the Baviaanskloof – another World Heritage Site ticked – we made a slight detour to visit the Kouga Dam. The dam is situated about 21 kilometres outside the village of Patensie on the R330 in the beautiful citrus growing area of the Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape. Although the end of the citrus season was near the air was still heavy with the smell of oranges as we took the gravel road of about 7 kilometres to the dam wall. Some of you will know the dam by its former name of Paul Sauer who was a prominent politician on the South African scene. However, after 1995 the name of the dam was changed to the Kouga Dam. The dam was built in 1957 for irrigation purposes in the valley and to supply drinking water to the greater Port Elizabeth area. Something that I… Read more >

THE GARDEN ROUTE WILD FIRES

The past two weeks towards the end of October 2018 we saw some hectic raging wild fires in the Garden Route.  The once green belt of South Africa, known as the luscious Garden Route, was turned into a black belt – no, that is not a karate black belt, but burnt black by a fire monster. The raging fires did not leave a green inkling in its wake.  Everything was devoured by flames and hot air.  Now they say it is good for fynbos to burn once in a while, and I agree to that, but not like the wild fires that devoured thousands of hectares of plantation and indigenous forests which were home to century old Yellowwoods.. Our region, renowned for crisp mountain air and clean beaches was covered in a haze of smothering smoke.  The smoke followed you everyone – in your house, in your bed, in your… Read more >

THE BIG HOLE @ KIMBERLEY, SOUTH AFRICA

by Inge Triegaardt Upon entering Kimberley, one might find that the capital of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, is just another dull, dusty town with heat waves in summer and cold, winter nights with temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.  The impression one gets when driving down the streets of this once “rich” town, is definitely not one of glamour and shiny diamonds.  Being the host city of the De Beers Mining Company HQ, Kimberley still preserves the rich history that made this town one of the most sought after places to be during the early 1900’s. One might think that visiting a big hole in the ground should be nothing spectacular these days, given that we have seen comets create big craters all over the world.  So what makes the Big Hole in Kimberley so special that one will pay to take a selfie in front of a… Read more >

HOW TO ACT AROUND WILD ANIMALS

Your trip is planned and you are about to set off on your overland trip!  Excitement is big and contagious, but on the other end of the scale you are also a bit nervous as you are unsure how to act around wild animals. Let me, as an experienced and seasoned African traveller, give some basic do’s and don’ts when you are out there: Zip up your tent – no matter how hot it is in side, zip up for various reasons. It keeps out bugs, mosquitoes and slithering things like snakes.  A lion will not bother you in your tent.  They do not realise that they can rip open the canvas with a quick stroke of the paw and no, an elephant will not trip over your tent.  Elephants are amazingly gracious when they walk. When you go to bed stow all food (and garbage) either in your tent… Read more >

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