Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A mother elephant is leading her baby and two other youngsters to a waterhole. The one walking in the back is probably also hers while the little bull (you can see his little tusks already) could be her nephew.
One of Addo's big bulls taking a mud bath at the Hapoor waterhole. There are several reasons for throwing mud on their backs. Firstly elephants don't have sweat glands and throw mud and water onto their backs to cool down. Secondly because they have a lot of wrinkles in their skin, they have a lot of tics, lice and bacteria that live in those wrinkle. The mud hardens on top of the skin and it kills of all the unwanteds. Thirdly the mud also act as a protection against the sun. Now I understand why women like to have a mudpack on their face or go for a mud bath at a spa. Go figures.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The lounge, dining room, bar and other public areas are normally great areas to relax in after your game drive or meal or just to pass the time of day.
Although this lodge is very smart, don't think they are the exception. The game reserves all have fantastic lodges, each with their own charm and feel and all offering something slightly different from the rest.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Visitors to the Red Location Museum are not treated as consumers but active participants. The conventions of representing history as a single story are challenged through the design of the Museum spaces. The past is represented as a set of memories that are disconnected yet bound together by themes. The concept of the Memory Box is used to achieve these ends. The Museum comprises a series of 12 unmarked, rusted boxes offering a set of different memories of struggle in South Africa. The boxes are housed in the main exhibition space and each box is 6 meter by 6 meter and twelve meters tall. The contents of the boxes are revealed only on entry and while there is no sequence the experience in each box is a total one.
Some of the most historically significant events took place in the Red Location in New Brighton. Liberation struggle activists such as Raymond Mhlaba used to hold secret meetings in the cellars of these cottages.The cottages are rare in that they are preserved in their original form. But if the vandalism continues on these priceless structures, the municipality says it will have no choice but to break down what remains of them and reconstruct them in a more secure area.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
The land the ferry about a kilometer upstream from the river mouth from where passengers can disembark and start up the dunes. The first section is a very steep climb up the first dune.
From there it is a constant climb up and down the dunes to get to the top of the highest dune. From here there is a great view across this section of the dune fields, to the river mouth and across the bay to Port Elizabeth. The land across the river is part of the new section of the Addo Elephant National Park. The hope is that this section will be fenced and hopefully in a couple of years elephants will be roaming along that section of the dunes.
A good idea is take take a couple of boards along to slide down the dunes or if, like us, you don't just run down at full tap and hope you don't buy a piece of dune on the way down. This is an awesome experience and our Chinese delegation said that the visit to the ferry and sand dunes was one of the highlights of their visit to Port Elizabeth.
This was my second trip on the ferry. On my first visit to the dunes I took a picture of a "snail graveyard" between the dunes.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Ok, so not indigenous to South Africa, but a very awesome cat. Kwantu Private Game Reserve has a predator centre where they breed with endangered animals. They have a pair of Bengal Tigers and the male was quite content with his picture being taken. He even posed and looked straight into the camera.
This lion is called Mufasa. He is one of a couple of "tame" lions being rehabilitated to be reintroduced into the wild of the reserve.
Our visit to Pumba Private Game Reserve was soured by the fact that it rained the whole time we were there. It was a pity because I was looking forward to see their wild white lions. Well it was not to be. What we did see quite unexpectedly find was a pair of Cheetahs. It was raining consistently and I was one the wrong side so the lens kept on getting wet. At least I got of one or two shots.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This young guy's hands were moving so fast on the drum that it took me a while to actually get a shot where his hands are both on his drum. The rhythm these guys keep on these drums is unbelievable.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've done a post about the Boardwalk before. It can be seen here:
Sunday, October 19, 2008
First the sheep's heads get thrown into the fire to burn off all the hear and loose skin. This is where the name smiley comes from. Because the lips have been burned off, the teeth are visible and it looks like the head is smiling.
Here the ladies in blue is using hot wrought iron to burn off the remaining air and skin from the ears and whatever else needs to be removed. As you can see its not just the heads, but also the feet. The lady in the back has a pot full of cooked chickens and just sold on to the lady with the pink cloth on her head. The whole chicken is put into a plastic bag for easy transport home.
This guy was sitting against the wall enjoying his half a sheep's head which is sold at R15 (just less than 1 Pound Sterling or 1.50 US Dollars). He was telling us that he worked an early shift and was heading home. He also said that it tasted great. I believed him as the food was clinging to his beard all the way to his ears, so he must have been enjoying himself. He offered me some but I declined gracefully. I did buy one, though it was for an elderly gentleman who was short of change.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
The first one is The Cape of Good Hope, the most South-Western point of the African continent. Just over 2km away is the second, and more spectacular point, Cape Point. Both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point offer spectacular scenery. Indeed, the whole of the southernmost portion of the Cape Peninsula is a wild, rugged, scenic and generally unspoiled national park.
The area was called the Cape of Storms by the Portuguese and later renamed The Cape of Good Hope. The name also referred to the new beginning that many people from Europe came to make at the southern tip of Africa during the 1600 and 1700's.
The sign at the Cape of Good Hope is a very popular tourist attraction and people line up on both sides to dash in for that obligatory picture. So who am I to argue.
From the Cape Point car park a funicular railway takes visitors up (or you can walk up) to the old lighthouse on the highest point overlooking the sea. The old lighthouse was replaced by a new one because it was at a height where it was ofter shrouded in fog and clouds. Due to this problem many ships was wrecked along this point. The best known one was the Lusitania which ran aground on Bellows Rock in 1911. The view from the top is awesome with towering cliffs falling away more than a hundred meters.
The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point is also the location of the legend of the Flying Dutchman. The Flying Dutchman, according to folklore, is a ghost ship that can never go home, and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.
The new lighthouse is at sea level and is the most powerful on the South African coast, with a range of 63 kilometres (39 mi) and an intensity of 10 mega candelas in each flash. It can be reached via a pathway that leads down to the point.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this endangered bird can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment.
Although the colony at boulders beach is the best known colony, its not the biggest. The biggest breeding colony of African Penguins (previously known as Jackass Penguins, although that name is now deemed "politically incorrect") is found on St Croix Island in Algoa Bay right here by Port Elizabeth.A boardwalk takes visitors to within a few meters of the birds. On the day we were there last week the wind was blowing and most of the penguins were hiding or taking shelter. A big number of them where sheltering right next to the walkway which made viewing them up close possible.
Here is an interesting story of an event that happened a couple of years ago involving African Penguins.
Disaster struck on June 23, 2000, when the iron ore tanker MV Treasure sank between Robben Island and Dassen Island (just north of Cape Town) oiling 19 000 adult penguins at the height of the best breeding season on record for this vulnerable species. The oiled birds were brought to an abandoned train repair warehouse in Cape Town to be cared for. An additional 19,500 un-oiled penguins were removed from Dassen Island and other areas before they became oiled, and were released about a thousand kilometres east of Cape Town, near Port Elizabeth. This gave workers enough time to clean up the oiled waters and shores before the birds could complete their long swim home (which took the penguins between 2 and 3 weeks). Some of the penguins were named and radio-tracked as they swam back to their breeding grounds. Tens of thousands of volunteers descended upon Cape Town to help with the rescue and rehabilitation process which took more than three months to complete. Although this was the largest animal rescue event in history, more than 91% of the penguins were successfully rehabilitated and released - an amazing feat that could not have been accomplished without such a tremendous international response - Wikipedia
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The garden includes a large, indoor conservatory exhibiting plants from a number of different regions, including savanna, fynbos, karoo and others. The centre piece of the conservatory is a baobab tree. My favourite part of the conservatory is the fact that there is a big amount of succulents on display from all over the country.
The Strelitzias are in full bloom and looked awesome. There were both orange and yellow varieties in flower and I had to get a closeup of one. The Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants native to South Africa. The common name of the genus is the bird of paradise flower and in South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower.
Monday, October 13, 2008
As posted yesterday, there is several trails that you can follow once you are on top of mountain. (In actual fact you don't only have to go up with the cable car, you can also hike up the mountain via one of many different trails). The trail on the mountain is a circular route with various lookout points along the way.
The lookout points give visitors several different vistas and views of the city below as well as the surrounding mountain range. The view is awesome from the top of the mountain and you can see Cape Point, Robben Island, the whole city as well as the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the distance. he view above overlooks the City Bowl with the city centre as part of it, the harbour, Blouberg Strand on the other side of Table Bay and the mountains in the distance.
And just in case anybody was wondering what it actually looks like on top of the mountain. Lots of rocks, fynbos (plants that form part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and translated as fine bush) and not much else. So what is the conclusion from this. People go up Table Mountain to look at the view.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The highest point on Table Mountain is marked by Maclear's Beacon and is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level.
The flat top of the mountain is often covered by clouds or fog spilling over the top to form the "table cloth".
Table Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula which continues southwards to Cape Point.
The Table Mountain Cableway takes passengers from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road, about 302 m above sea level, to the plateau at the top of the mountain. The upper cable station offers views overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.
Construction of the cableway was first started in 1926, and the cableway was officially opened in 1929. At the top cable station visitors will find walking trails of various lengths, viewpoints, curio shops, a restaurant and a view you will never forget.
In 1997, the cableway was extensively upgraded, and new cars were introduced carrying 65 instead of 25 passengers. The new cars give a faster journey of only about 4 minutes to the summit, and rotate through 360 degrees during the ascent or descent, giving a panoramic view over the city.