Sunday, September 10, 2017

Table Mountain and the Cape.

Today the fog had cleared so we had an early start and joined the queue prior to the first cable car to the top of the mountain, The 'tablecloth' was still spilling over the edge but it was a bright sunny day. The tablecloth is the fine fog that falls off the mountain and quickly dissipates.  The cable car rotates as it climbs to give everyone a 360 degree view.

                         The view as we were about to go to the top.A real feat of engineering.

The views from the top are spectacular.We walked around to get the different views of the city and beaches.

The area has very interesting vegetation but much is very windswept limiting what will grow.

                                                           Views in all directions.

                                     Tiny wildflowers growing in a windy, desolate place.

                                                     Even the birdlife enjoy the great views.

We drove around wonderful coastal scenery with the occasional stop for photos.

 At times large fences were in place to protect us from the boulders rolling down the slope.

At Boulder, the African Penguin sanctuary there were lots to see. we walked on wooden pathways but at times they bit at our ankles.

                                           Down behind Gail there are lots of penguins.

                                                             Beaches of penguins!

We had lunch at the Black Marlin overlooking the Simon's Town beach. There were Southern Right Wales breeching.

Our final destination was as far south as you can go. We went to Cape Point the southern most point and went up by Funicular then walked to the old lighthouse. We could also see the Cape of Good Hope and later drove around to take photos of this landmark. There were wild ostrich and Eland .
We also saw they monuments to Dias and Da Gama the great Portugese sailors.

Cape Town

We have had four days in Cape Town. There is a lot to see but you need to pick the right day to go up Table Mountain. We put it off due to cloud and the wind.
We had an early morning visit to Kirstenbosch, The National Botanical Gardens. We were familiar with many of the plants some of which grow in our garden and others that are considered a noxious weed in Australia. Some beautiful flowers in early spring.

                                                              Soft as a feather.

                                                     So many species of Proteas.

We visited an interesting street in the Muslem sector with colourful houses and a great little spice market.

We spent time wandering the waterfront area ..The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and even did a little shopping.

Later in the afternoon we walked the city looking at the colonial history and major landmarks.


                                              Colonial architecture and gardens.

      The St George Cathedral where Desmond Tutu was Archbishop from 1986 to 1996.

 We enjoyed the markets and streetscape of St Georges Mall and Green Market.

Back in the hotel we enjoyed some South African sparkling wine thanks to the hotel.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Ostrich Capital of the World

Today we left the coast and headed inland to Oudtshoorn in the Small Karoo or desert.
Our first stop was at Kaaimans River Pass with impressive coastal scenery.

We drove through Oudtshoorn and on to The Cango Caves where we had a tour. The caves are very large and impressive. There are also other caves in the series that are not open to the public

Several of the caverns were huge and in the past have been used for musical performances.

Our final stop was at an Ostrich farm . We also had lunch there. Guess what was on the menu!

Each egg is equivalent to 2 dozen chicken eggs.

The eggs are tough! Robert standing on them!

The males have black feathers.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


 We continued down the coast to a beautiful town of Knysna. Well that is until it suffered major damage in June when bushfires destroyed many homes and the wildflower gardens that we were to visit.

The damage was extensive but we still enjoyed a cruise on the waterway.

 Many homes were destroyed. It must have been similar to the fires on the Great Ocean Road.

                                               The coastal scenery was stunning.

We boarded our "Paddle wheeler" for a short trip on the waterway and to have lunch. We didn't travel very far!

The entrance is so dangerous that it is no longer used for shipping. It was once the centre for the export of native timbers. The hillside on the right is the burnt remains of the World Heritage listed wildflower gardens.

The town was very touristic but we did have a walk through the shops. Some returned in the night to enjoy the specialty seafood restaurants.

Garden Route to Knysna

We had a flight from Durban to Port Elizabeth, known as the friendly city. We had planned a swim on the local beaches but were late to arrive and after a drive around the historic areas of the town settled for an easy night. The cuisine is very sea food oriented!

                      The British heritage remains in great old buildings along with place names.

The next morning we were driving down the garden route to Knysna. There are beautiful wildflowers and rugged terrain

Even the toilet stops were interesting and an opportunity for a short walk.

This quaint little thing is actually the closest living relative to the elephant. It's common name is a Rock Dassie.

 Our next stop was at Tsitsikamma National Park at the Storm River Mouth. The surf was up.

We did the walk up and down hundreds of steps to the river mouth. Lots of stops required this one at a little waterfall.

We made it down and across the suspension bridge. It was built in 1969 but rebuilt in 2006.

                                                              Great coastline walking

Next stop is Knysna

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Cats of Emdoneni Lodge

Great accommodation. It also has an African Cat program where they breed 4 of the 8 African species and return the young to the wild. A great opportunity to interact with several new species.

                                    A beautiful cheetah. They are the fastest animal on land!

                                 Robert and Gail with a cheetah. A real kodak moment.

                        An African Wildcat. Similar to a domestic. One of the 4 could be picked up .

It was close to dusk and time for them to be fed. Robert had a wonderful game with this one and waiting for a friend to send us the photos.