Monday, August 31, 2009

Durban to Berg en Dal. Lost in Transit

Wednesday 26 August

A day remembered for both good and bad.

Durban accommodation


Our first stop after leaving our accommodation was to visit Dougie

Dougie lives with his mum and dad who run a Bed and Breakfast.


Dougie was rather sad, because they were off visiting KNP

Durban and Dougie far behind we made a stop in Richards Bay to meet another forumite.

Spotted Cat is a one in a million very special lady.

Our thanks to her for her hospitality and beautiful gifts for all of us.

We were then on our way to Berg en Dal in the Kruger National Park.

Lady Luck deserted us on this section of our journey and we managed to lose our way.

We were granted a late entry into KNP and eventually entered the park at 10.40pm

Our first sighting was a hippo followed by large spotted genet, white rhino, small herd of buffalo, a young lion(18 months) and this lion.

I will load the video clip of him even though the quality is not good


This still from video is the best I can do tonight

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A “Mite” Meet

Tuesday Evening 25 August

Tonight we were welcomed into the home of Penny and Bob the Builder to renew old friendships and meet new friends.

Another night of good food and great company

Great tales of KNP were shared and we were left with lasting memories of all who attended

A heartfelt thank you to all who made the night so special for us.

Read about the meet


A huge thankyou to everyone who attended, Elsa for the organisation and Penny and Bob for hosting.

Appreciation as well for the beautiful gifts we received.

The loooong drive to Durban

We were barely on the road and encountered a road block for vehicle inspection.

So much to write about this journey.


Livestock sheep goats cattle horses donkey and carts

Herders on horseback

Continuous uphill and downhill roads

Huts clinging to the hillsides and lining the ridges

Washing on fences

Painted faces

Chaotic towns

Food stalls

Clothes and shoes for sale

Vegetable stalls

Throbbing music

Grass fires

Livestock on road

Women cutting grass

Finally Kwa Zulu Natal

Speed camera

Pine plantations

Saw mill

Sugar cane harvesting

Burning the cane fields


Hillsides scattered with tiny houses

Selling fish by the road

The closer to Durban the stronger the winds

We really hit Durban at the best possible time…peak hour.

Taxis and buses and mayhem

We arrived at our apartment and unpacked only what we needed for the night.

We had “mites” to meet…..

Finding the elusive Dinky Bird

Monday 24th August.

Reluctantly we left our bush hideaway and set off for East London.

The trip was uneventful and some of the landscapes rather breathtaking.

My cameras were having a rest, and in hindsight I should have taken a few photos.

As we approached E L we were sent comprehensive directions by SMS to our overnight stop.

Our hosts for the night were a Dinky Bird and a Hawk aka Darlene and Neil Preston.

We were welcomed and made feel part of the family.

We are all members of a “forum family” and I know we are always warning our kids about the dangers of the internet, but the forum we belong to is a great place to make friends with the common interest of  South African wildlife.

We enjoyed home cooking good wine and chatted late.

Tuesday 25th August

A not too early start today and we were again reluctant to leave.

Goodbyes over it was time to leave and even though we had spent less than 24 hours with this wonderful couple it was as though we had known them forever.

Durban was calling us and we knew we would be meeting more forum friends tonight.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cheetah Heaven

Sunday 23 August .

Anyone who knows me will know I have a passion for cheetah.

Scarves,shirts,pants, bracelets, key rings, tattoos…….the list could go on forever.

The Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre was a little piece of heaven for me

Cheetah Encounter


Up close and in the same enclosure with caracal, serval, african wild cat,and black footed cat.

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A young rescued leopard was also in residence

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Did I also mention we were in the enclosure with 4  adult cheetahs.


I love to click away with my camera, but with the cheetahs so close I didn’t want to take my eyes off them and only took a few photos.

After this warm up experience we were introduced to Chaka and Thandie in preparation for our 90 minute walk.

We also met a Marabou stork.Young and in rehab.

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Now that is a face only a mother could love.

The walk with Chaka and Thandie was the icing on the cake.


Everyone took a turn at leading.


When the cubs ran , the leaders had to run as well.

No, I didn’t run I took the option to drop the lead.

I calculated that after 90 mins they would be tired and I would take my turn to lead then.


We played soccer, walked, flopped to rest,patted while resting, more play, walk .

I managed to lead both brother and sister for at least 20 minutes.

The cubs finished the walk knowing their dinner would be waiting and we finished with drinks and nibbles.




Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coming Soon


Walking with CHEETAHS.

Finding the elusive Dinky Bird.

The Looooong drive to Durban.

A “Mite Meet”


Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay

Sunday 23rd August.

Oh no!!!

Out of bed before the Ibis and Guinea Fowl today.

Must be crazy to be up and moving at 4.30 am.

Bags and cameras and laptops and more cameras are stowed in the van.

The daily call to prayers rang out from the Mosques below, a few minutes past 6am.

On previous days we were still under the fluffy white duvet, planning our outings, when the muffled chants echoed around the Bo Kaap.

We were given a plate of finger food for our journey (Muslim tradition),and I was looking forward to sampling the delicacies

Cape Town behind us and a new untravelled road ahead.

Fields of canola, sheep and grazing dairy herds reminded us of home.


Blue Cranes feeding on a farm.


We passed through Plettenberg Bay at 1.30 and drove to check out Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre where we would be taking the wildcat experience and cheetah walk at 3.30

At 2pm we checked into our accommodation…Moon Shine on Whisky Creek.

One night was not enough to enjoy this hideaway in the bush

Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek


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I am saving the Cheetah experience for my next post.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Final day in CT.

It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of our stay in Cape Town

We were greeted by a soft sunrise



Entertained by the locals


A quick trip to Canal Walk for breakfast and supplies for our trip to Kruger.

We won’t mention that someone forgot to get a pin on her credit card.

Too late and too far from home to worry now.

This afternoon we(David & Lorraine) were collected by a “forumite friend” Billy and we attended a rugby game at Newlands Stadium.

Western Province were the eventual winners over the Lions

I enjoyed listening to  the comments and barracking around us and even though I couldn't understand what was being said.

Passion for the game was evident regardless of the language spoken

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Our final day was capped by another softly blushing sunset

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another rainy day in Cape Town

Who knows what today will bring.

Table Mountain has vanished in the mist.


In the street below us primary school children scurry to school trying to dodge the puddles.


The Ibis are not as noisy as yesterday and the Guinea Fowl have deserted their foraging area near the school playground.

Goodness me the mobile phones are not working either.

Mid morning the rain had gone, the phone and internet problems fixed.

Time for a quick bite at the Waterfront and walk to the Clock tower area to catch the ferry to Robbin Island.

The queue was long and just as we joined it the announcement came that the 1pm trip was cancelled due to the swell.

I can’t say third time lucky because we will have moved on before the next available trip.

When the best of plans go out the window the only thing left to do is shop.


Shopping done.


Table Mountain re emerges.