Sunday, July 27, 2008

Enthralled by the waves

This is one of my favourite photos taken of my kids. It is of my son standing on the rocks in the Tsitsikamma National Park totally enthralled by the waves hitting the rocks. I wanted him to pose like that and struggled to get him to stand just the way I wanted to. I think after a while he got bored with me and started concentrating on the waves. Just what I wanted.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Garden Route

The area between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town is known as the Garden Route. The specific area stretches from Mossel Bay to the Tsitsikamma, but PE and CT are seen as the two gateways to the area. The reason it is called the Garden Route is not because of fancy manicured gardens but because the area truely is nature's garden. The area consist of beautiful coastlines, mountains, forests, lakes and popular holiday towns. The Garden Route is seen as one of South Africa's main tourist routes and destinations.
The Tsitsikamma is probably one of the most beautiful areas in the whole of South Africa. Most of the area is covered in indigenous forests wedged between the Indian Ocean and the Tsitsikamma mountains. The main attraction of the area is the Tsitsikamma National Park.


Plettenberg Bay is seen as a millionares' playground and is a very upmarket town on one of the most beautifull bays on our coastline. The town is flanked on the one side by the Keurbooms lagoon and on the other side by Robberg peninsula. One of the main landmarks of Plett is the Beacon Isle Hotel.

Twice voted South Africa's favourite town, Knysna is the most popular town on the Garden Route. Wedged between the lagoon and the forests, Knysna has a big population of artists and hence loads of galleries, studios and curio shops. The Knysna lagoon is the main feature of the town and one of the most popular activites to do is to take a ferry ride from the Knysna Waterfront to the Knysna Heads.
Wilderness is a quiet spot situated on a long stretch of beach. I have always said that if my boat had to come in, I would like to retire on the hillside overlooking Wilderness. The town is a good central spot to use as a base to explore the area.

Mossel Bay is the last town you get as you go west before hitting the farming areas of the Overberg. It was voted South Africa's favourite Town in the last competition is has just about any activity possible in a 100 kilometre radius. You can do everything from Shark cage diving to quad biking on a game reserve in the area. One of the main attractions of the town is the Dias Museum complex pictured above. Amongst others it houses a lifesize replica of the boat Bartholomew Diaz sailed around the Cape with in 1488.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Croak, croak

This little guy was sitting in a shallow pool in the Tsitsikamma National Park. All the streams are coloured brown because of the tannin in the water so I nearly missed him if it wasn't for a splash.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweet nectar

Greater Double Collared Sunbird on an aloe taken in the Tsitsikamma National Park

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

PE Monuments 2

Today I want to continue showing off some of better known monuments and historic buildings in Port Elizabeth.

Situated on Market Square in the historic heart of the city is the Port Elizabeth City Hall. Completed in the 1862 and with the clock tower added on in 1883, the building burned down in 1977 and was restored to its former glory shortly after. The tower sticking out behind belongs to the Old Post Office, opened in 1900, while the cross in the front is a replica of the cross planted by Bartholomeu Dias in 1488.

Probably one of the best known monuments in the city, the Horse Memorial was erected in 1905 in rememberance of the horses and mules that died during the Anglo Boer War (1899 - 1902). Port Elizabeth was the main port of entry for the British forces and the thousands of horses that were used by the British during the war.


The Prince Alfred's Guard Memorial is a monument to the memorary of men from the guard that died during four different wars around South Africa. It is situated in St Georges Park and is actually a large ornament on top of a water reservoir.

The Cenotaph in front of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Gallery (previously known as the King George VI Art Gallery) was put up to commemorate those men from Port Elizabeth that died during the First World War. The men who fell during the Second World War was also later added to the list.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

PE Monuments 1

Port Elizabeth is a city with a rich historical and cultural background. It has many monuments going back to the colonial days as well as some more recent ones. Todays I want to show of a couple of our better known monuments.


Fort Frederick is the oldest building in the city. It was built by the British in 1799 to defend the Bay from French invasion and still overlooks the Port Elizabeth harbour.


The Pyramid or Donkin Memorial is situated on the Donkin Reserve and was commissioned by Sir Rufane Donkin in the memory of his wife Lady Elizabeth Donkin after whom he also named the town. The Lighthouse was built in 1861.

The Main Public Library was constructed in 1901. The interesting fact of the building was that the stone facade was constructed in England and shipped down to Port Elizabeth in numbered crates. The statue of Queen Victoria was erected in 1903.

The Campanile was built in 1921 on the landing beach where the 1820 British Settlers landed. It has 203 steps to the top and a collection of 23 bells.

The salmon coloured building is the Feather Market Centre and was built in the 1880's. Today it is one of PE's premier conference centres and exhibit venues. It also has a great concert hall with a pipe organ. The cross is the only monument in the world dedicated to the the mythical king-priest Prester John. It is a relatively new monument and was only erected in 1986.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blue Flag Beaches

See that I have been showing off some of our beaches so far, I decided to stick to the topic today and show you two more.


Humewood Beach is the oldest Blue Flag beach in South Africa. It is a very family friendly beach situated next to the old slipway pillars. Before the construction of the harbour in the 1930's, the Humewood slipway was used to repair boats. Boats sailed in between the pillars before being pulled up the slipway. Today the slipway and pillars are popular for snorkeling and scuba diving training.

Kings Beach is seen as Port Elizabeth's main beach. It is a long stretch of sandy beach stretching from McArthur Pool up to the harbour wall. Another of PE's Blue Flag beaches, it is very popular for both bathing as well as just taking a long walk. The beach is also popular for lifesaving competitions. Our 3rd Blue Flag beach is Wells Estate on the northern side of the city.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment Complex

The Boardwalk is situated just accross the road from Hobie Beach and has over the years become one of Port Elizabeth's prime beachfront attractions for both local as well as international visitors. The complex was built around the man-made Boardwalk lake.


The main feature of the complex is the casino, although you don't have to go to the casino to go to the Boardwalk. There are also numorous restaurants, cinemas, shops, a craft centre, amphitheatre as well as kiddies entertainment on offer to keep the whole family busy.


The one part of the complex was built in the Japanese style and houses two Eastern restaurants. Other restaurants in the complex include a Greek restaurant, a steakhouse, pizza joint, a couple of coffee shops and some franchise restaurants. Something for everybody.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cape Recife


The western point of Algoa Bay is called Cape Recife. The whole surrounding area forms part of the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, but more on that another day. The beach area around Cape Recife is a mixture of sandy beaches, rock shores and reefs. The main reef at the point is Thunderbolt Reef and have become the last resting place to many ships over the years. On the right of the photo is the Cape Recife Lighthouse and on the left is one of the shipping beacons used by ships in the past when navigating into the Bay.

The Cape Recife Lighthouse was commissioned on April Fool's Day, 1 April 1851. It is a 24m high masonary tower built on a rock foundation and has a light of 4 000 000 candle power with a 29 sea mile range. The area around the lighthouse is one of the best seabird and wader watching areas in South Africa. It is also a very popular fishing area with local fishermen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hobie Beach

Yesterday I posted the photo of the sunrise over Hobie Beach. Today I am actually showing you Hobie Beach. Hobie is one of the main and most popular beaches along our beachfront. The photo was taken from Shark Rock Pier, which is situated to the one side of the beach. Right accross the road is the Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment Complex which adds to the popularity of the area.
This pic was taken on the same day as the one above. This time we are looking back at Shark Rock Pier. Before the pier was built, Hobie Beach was a little rocky beach used by local Hobie Cat sailers. After the pier was constructed, sand started building up against it (that was the idea) and a very nice beach was born.

If you go down to the very far southern end of Hobie Beach, just before Pollock Beach, and you look back, this is what you will see. Shark Rock Pier by the main swimming area can just be seen in the left hand side distance. The main city centre are those buildings way on the horizon while the buildings on the left are mainly hotels and apartments in the upmarket suburb of Summerstrand.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sunrise over Hobie Beach

I was wondering what photo to use as the first photo on the blog, so I decided on a sunrise. And what better place than a sunrise over Hobie Beach here in Port Elizabeth. I don't often get a chance to get down to the beachfront for sunrise, but when I do I always try and get a couple of photos. You never know when that perfect shot shows itself. This photo was taken in April at the start of Ironman South Africa.

My first Blog entry

Here I am, this is me, there's nowhere else on earth I'd rather be. Here I am, just me and you...
Well any more of that Brian Adams song and it won't have any relevance to this blog. I spend a lot of time in Cyberspace. Places like Facebook, Flickr and MyPE.co.za as well as Blogs like Port Elizabeth Daily Photo knows me very well. I have made loads of cyberfriends that I probably would never have met in real life. People who you can share things with even though you may not know them in real life. Some of my cyberfriends I have met and it feels like bumping into people you know well, although you are meeting them for the first time.

I decided to start my own photo blog and share with anybody interested the world I live in. At one stage I considered doing a daily photo blog, but that has its limitations. This way I can post a number of photos on one day or I can disappear for a while and not post anything. I also started a personal blog where I talk about things that happen to me, friends, family and whatever I feel like.

So who am I. To my cyber friends I am Firefly. I live in the friendly city of Port Elizabeth, part of the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area, in sunny South Africa. I work in the tourism industry and love traveling, the outdoors and photography. Photography is just a hobby at this stage and my camera is nothing more than an entry level Kodak Easyshare, but I love taking photos. Most of my pics are travel and nature photos so stick around and allow me to show you more the beautiful city and and country I live in. I am married to a wonderful woman and have two lovely children (well that is when they aren't plotting something). Enough about me.

So, welcome to my blog