Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Full moon shining

Before anybody says it. I know its not full moon at the time of posting this pic, but I took it a couple of weeks ago so its been uploaded and waiting to be posted for a while now.  I wish I had a big fancy camera with which to take a proper moon picture, but this just shows that even a superzoom amateur camera can take a moon pic if it wants to.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pumba Game Reserve lodges

I absolutely love visiting private game reserves, who wouldn't? Luxury accommodation, excellent food, personal service, sipping drinks around a camp fire under the stars and, my ultimate favorite about game reserves, going on game drives in the late afternoon and early morning. I've discovered photos I haven't posted before and here are three from the magnificent Pumba Game Reserve between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown showing some of their accommodation.  I got to visit Pumba while showing some media around in the middle of 2012.
 
Pumba has two excellent lodges.  I got to stay at Msenge Bush Lodge with a site inspection at Pumba Water Lodge on my visit.  My room was stunning with glass doors that open all around.  Makes the room feel even bigger than it really was, and it was big.  The bathroom also has big windows so you can enjoy the view while soaking in the bath.

Each of the suites at Msenge has its own private deck and plunge pool which means its possible to sit out there and watch nature (and some game) go by in peace.  I did try out the plunge pool very quickly, but the water was a bit chilly at that stage what with it being the end of winter at the time.

Pumba Water Lodge... Now there is a stunning place and here's to hoping that somebody in their marketing department invites me to spend a night there one day.  The lodge overlooks a big dam with the bush and mountains beyond making it a very beautiful setting.
Waiter - "Would you like a drink, sir?"
Me - "Oh yes please, don't mind if I do.  I'll be spending the rest of the day, until its time for the game drive, right on that middle chair." 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rust en Vrede Waterfall

When I was in primary school we did a tour to Oudtshoorn and one of the places we were supposed to visit was the Rust en Vrede (Rest and Peace) Waterfall.  The visit was cancelled due to bad weather and I've always wondered what I had missed.  When I started working as a tourist guide about 15 years ago I noticed the turnoff and sign to the waterfall on the way to the Cango Caves, but as it wasn't included in any of the itineraries I still didn't get the opportunity to go and see it.  That was until a visit to Oudthoorn with the family when on the way back to town from the caves I decided that today will be the day.
 

After paying a small entrance fee and driving a couple of kilometers on a fairly good dirt road we got to a small parking spot from where we proceeded on foot along a trail into the valley in front of us.  The environment changed very quickly once you are on foot and although it was close to 35C in the open it got cooler and cooler the further we went up into the gorge.  The valley into which the trail lead is covered with ferns, wild flowers and undergrowth with towering cliffs above.  Along the way we crossed over bridges and pass a small dam wall and pipes.  From later research I found out that water was piped from Rust en Vrede to supply drinking water to the town of Oudtshoorn from as early as 1900.  Apparently it still supplies water to a reservoir in town. 

 
The valley suddenly opens up to a stunning waterfall plummeting into a refreshing pool.  The photo really doesn't do it enough justice.  It truly is a magical spot and the waterfall really lived up to its name.  If I was on my own without anywhere else to be I could easily sit there all day.  A group of Dutch youngsters stripped down to their cozzies and swam out into the pool to get a closer look of the waterfall.  I just sat on my rock like a Dassie cursing the fact that I didn't have my costume on hand to enjoy the pool as well.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jozi skyline

South Africa has two very recognisable skylines.  The one is Cape Town with Table Mountain and the other is the Johannesburg skyline, easily identified with the Hillbrow Tower in the middle.  The picture was taken from Midrand, north of the city.

Monday, March 18, 2013

People watching

Taking a walk along Port Elizabeth beachfront I spotted this kelp gull standing on a light pole along the walkway looking at all the sun worshippers go by.  People watching. That's the life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Lion Matches lion


When I saw this lion at Kuzuko Lodge near Port Elizabeth it immediately reminded me of the lion on the Lion Safety Matches logo. 

 
There is a bit of a resemblance.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Moss seed

Have you ever wondered what moss seed looks like?  On a visit to the Tsitsikamma I was taking a couple of macro pictures of moss between rocks when I found that a patch of it was seeding.  I've noticed it before but never realised what it was I was looking at.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Calm waters

Late afternoon on a windless summers day in Montagu in the Western Cape...

... paddle boating on the Montagu Caravan Park's dam

Friday, March 1, 2013

British Fort at Cogmans Kloof


On top of the Cogmans Kloof tunnel outside Montagu stands an old English fort built by the British in 1899 during the Anglo Boer War.  The fort has a great view of the approaching road and kloof through the mountains and one can immediately see why the British chose the spot.  To get to the top there is a steep little path from across the road from the parking area and after a couple of minutes of huffing and puffing you get to the top and that awesome view.