TRAVELBUCKET

South Africa

THROUGH THE MOORDENAARSKAROO TO SUTHERLAND

This time we took the little Jimny a bit further into the Karoo on our ladies trip.  We had a look at the map and said, yes, that road through the Moordenaarskaroo, that is the one we want to take to Sutherland and the Roggeveld Karoo, little did we know that we chose a shake rattle and roll road! We were wondering what was happening in the Moordenaarskaroo to be blessed with such a name … so we went to explore.  As the road snakes through the harsh and washed-out landscape there is not much to see – no animals, no man, no murderer – yet, there is a certain beauty to the stark scenery.  There are a few theories about the name Moordenaarskaroo.  Firstly, that  it is named so due to the extreme heat and cold, because both can kill you.  The second theory is that a couple of… Read more >

HELL ON TWO-WHEELS

by Inge Triegaardt I was just out of school when the unexpected happened. I was getting ready to go to university and become a chic business woman, when I woke up one day and my adventurous father decided to spoil me with an old Yamaha 250XT scrambler. Gone were the days of working so hard to get rid of my sporty, tomboyish style and wearing my high-heels (which I never managed to master anyway) were put on hold. I was all to happy to follow in the footsteps of my forefathers. Exploration and traveling was in my blood, I was born that way. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity and nothing could stop me. I was going to ride around the world with the wind in my hair and not a care in the world. Dad started out with lessons in safety and responsibility (doing his parental duties),… Read more >

ANN’S VILLA – A GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST

This national monument, formerly known as Webster’s Hotel, was built in 1864 and lies at the foot of the Zuurberg Pass has a colourful history spanning decades.  The year 1867 marks the year that diamonds were discovered along the Orange River and fortune hunters flocked to the mining sites via every known route.  The Webster Hotel was conveniently situated and benefitted from this as they offered accommodation, food, a smithy and a well-stocked retail shop on the premises.  Business was good.  When and how the name changes from Webster’s hotel to Ann’s Villa came about is not clear from old papers, but today it is still known as Ann’s Villa.  From old records it seems that a school was started 24 years after the villa was built.  The teacher for the school, stayed in the first room upstairs in the villa.  It seems that the Websters also paid the teacher’s… Read more >

BRITSTOWN AND BEYOND

On our flash pack trip in February, we travelled along the N10 that stretches all the way to Upington and beyond to the Namibian border. Britstown is more or less a dot on the map that is never an option for us to stop in.  Although it was a flash pack trip, I quickly Googled to see what comes up on Britstown and ta-ra-ra there you go!  Something new that I discovered so we had to stop to take the picture before we moved on.  Britstown was named after the local farmer J J F Britz (with a Z), better known as Hans.  Now what made Hans so important that a town was named after him?  Hold your hats!  The platteland never disappoints and always come up with some interesting facts and stories.  Hans Britz met the Dr David Livingstone, who visited his father-in-law, Robert Moffet, when he was on… Read more >

ONCE IN A LIFETIME SPECTACULAR – 10 TIPS FOR AUGRABIES FALLS

The past weekend we made a quick road trip to see the Augrabies Falls in flood.  This was a flash pack trip, packing as light as possible, as our time was very limited.  We needed to be back in office on Monday with bright eyes and bushy tails, but, hey, we love a challenge!  To make everything smooth sailing on your visit we are sharing some handy tips to keep in mind.  Here we go: We stayed in nearby Kakamas, which is only about a 20-minute drive from Augrabies, but do get up early and arrive early at the gate.  We arrived at about 06:20 and there were already about 20 cars in front of the gate.  The other option is to rather go late in the afternoon, it is hotter then, but there will be less visitors as well.  Plan your trip beforehand The gates for day visitors open… Read more >

A STEP BACK IN TIME – MATJIESFONTEIN

Matjiesfontein owes its existence to one single person who had the vision and mission to create something from nothing in the middle of nowhere.  This man was James Douglas Logan, a Scot, born in 1857 and arrived by accident in South Africa when his ship was wrecked near Simonstown in the Cape Peninsula.  He found work as a porter at the Cape Town Railway Station and later became district superintendent.   He married Emma Haylett and bought in farm in the Karoo, called Tweedside, sunk some boreholes and planted fruit trees, against the advice of some local farmers, and made a huge success of it.  At the same time Logan was involved in developing Matjiesfontein as a recuperating facility for suffers of respiratory problems.  But this was not the end of Logan; he had some more plans up his sleeve!  He was also the proud owner of the longest private telephone… Read more >

LADISMITH TO LAINGSBURG

Our first trip of 2021 was a ladies only trip to explore the village of Matjiesfontein, but first we want to share the beauty of the road that lead to Laingsburg.  Beauty of another kind. We were up early as to be ready to hit the road at 06:00 when the curfew lifts and before the Karoo heat creeps into the day.  Our first planned stop was to have a champagne breakfast in Seweweekspoort to welcome some new things that we had worked hard on to get into place.  A first stop of many during the day to to capture some moments and moods. The pass is approximately 17 km long and and crosses the river no fewer than 23 times. Almost all the bridges over the river have been upgraded and completed.  Do take care still, because you might encounter the odd roadworks in progress.  First back to a… Read more >

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