I came across this song about the Hartbeespoortdam on youtube… I don’t know the artist… but it’s a funny song… if you listen to the artist, you will hear a very distinct “accent” which is very typical of some Capetonians… he sings a mix of Afrikaans and English and it’s an accent which you get in Cape Town from the Cape Coloureds ( a mixed race)….. it’s beautiful. The Hartbeespoortdam is near Pretoria and if you travel from Johannesburg…(also Jo’burg/Johies/Jozi)… it’s about 30 min travel… When I was a student, we used to go for a day to this dam to try catch some fish… not that we were lucky though…it was more for the fun of it… Once a friend also scared me with all kinds of tricks in his helicopter! We flew over the dam and he perhaps tried to impress me with all his tricks, but I felt sick most of the time and sat with a paper back on my lap! LOL! There is a little zoo at the dam which you can visit. If you want to do some hang gliding….then this place is just the place to do it, you have to go up the mountain with the cable car! If you watch the video, you will see some great pictures of the tunnel and the road across the dam…. be prepared for weekends…this place is PACKED!! with visitors and travelling through the tunnel can be a nightmare…don’t say I didn’t warn you…there are all kinds of curious shops to visit too….places to have some scones and tea!! Yummy!
Click HERE to book your holiday at Hartbeespoortdam or surrounding areas…The link will open in a new window.
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Posted in holiday, Kaaimans River, Knysna, Outeniqua choo choo, South Africa, tagged holiday, Kaaimans River, Kaaimans River Bridge, Knysna, Outeniqua, Outeniqua choo choo, South Africa, South African tourism on 11/12/2007|
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Photo of the Kaaimans River
This is for Meghna…and anyone planning to visit South Africa…DO NOT MISS the Outeniqua Choo Choo!!
Click HERE to read more about the Outeniqua Choo Choo. You can follow the “photo gallery” link to see beautiful photos on that link too.
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Click on the images for larger views ….
Trip to Edinburgh to the Botanical Gardens, called the glass houses. You will find biomes from different parts of the world. On the first two pictures you can clearly see plants from South Africa.
Edinburgh is a clean city and easy to get around. I would love to go and live there. The place looks so ‘calm’ and everybody seems to be very happy to live in such a ‘quiet’ place.
On this page you can visit the Edinburgh Botanic Garden and there is a pic of the Palm house.
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Posted in Blyde River Canyon, holiday, Mpumalanga, nature, South Africa, spiders, Swadini, tagged Blyde River, Blyde River Canyon, Canyons, Mpumalanga, nature, South Africa, spiders, Swadini on 18/09/2007|
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I think this pic is really great…the thorns….I like the focus here…just what I wanted….
And of course….the leaves and the colours were the focus here…I love Autumn, for all the changes during Autumn…
If any South African can leave me the name of this plant…I would appreciate it…I don’t know what it is called, I only know that it got seeds on the end of the branches….they make a lovely scence, though the colour looks a bit dull…
Waterfall sign post alongside the road from Swadini Forever Resort on your way to the Blyde River dam. This waterfall is about 20minutes’ walk into the forest…stunning!
And…as you can see…ET! When you arrive at the waterfall, ET meets you there…look at that eye!
I know these pics are not that great…if you are in a hurry, this is what you get! That’s the only pic I have with this rock tied-up in the tree…
And this little mini-beast!!! He wouldn’t let me photograph him properly, I tried everything to enhance the pic for you to see what I tried to capture…this little naughty spider, was a bit curious and even played dead! on the last pic…he suddenly turned over and aish! he thinks I’m dumb! He must have known that I know he plays dead…silly little creature…but I love them, I can watch them for hours! I wish it was my job to go out in nature to photograph these creatures or just to do research on them….I would love it…
Next pictures to blog…a Tufa waterfall…the third longest in the world, called the Crying Tufa…in the Blyde River Canyon and I’ve got some very good pictures on it! A tufa waterfall is formed when water running over dolomite rock absorbs calcium. Mosses which grow on the rocks in the stream extract carbon dioxide during photosynthesis which precipitates the calcium from the water to deposit it as layers of tufa on the surface of the waterfall – a process that takes millions of years. The waterfall continue to flow underneath this rock-hard outer shell. There are only a few active tufa waterfalls in the world – one of which is at the Blyderivierspoort Dam.
Here is a fantastic link to keep your mind busy while I’m sorting my pictures…
Here are two links to spider websites, South African spiders and I’ve sent an email to Norman on the one site to identify the spider on this pic for me!
This one is Science magabout spiders
Bio Museums about spiders with Norman.
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Posted in England, holiday, Isle of Whight, King Henry VIII, The Needles, United Kingdom, tagged British Isles, England, holiday, Islands, Isle of Wight, King Henry VIII, The Needles, Tudors on 18/09/2007|
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Posted in Blyde River Canyon, holiday, movies, Mpumalanga, River, South Africa, Suid-Afrika, Swadini, Tufa waterfall, tagged Blyde River, Blyde River Canyon, Blyde rivier, Canyons, holiday, Lydenburg, Moholoholo, movies, Mpumalanga, Pilgrims Rest, Sabie, South Africa, Suid-Afrika, Swadini, Tufa, Tufa waterfall on 13/09/2007|
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During our holiday in August – South Africa, we were really lucky to find accommodation at a place next to the Swadini Forever Resort (previously Aventura). I grew up in the Eastern Transvaal -now Mpumalanga, which means:”place of the rising sun.” We drove through Lydenburg, spent time on the farm where I grew up.Krugerspost lies between Lydenburg and Pilgrims Rest, the historical town and from there we then ventured off to the Echo Caves. First we stopped at Ohrigstad to fill-up the car. We first thought to stay at the Echo Caves Motel, but changed our minds and headed for the Blyde River Canyon. We initially thought that we would just pop-in and have a place to stay! But, as we were on holiday and didn’t take any notice of dates and public holiday days in SA, we didn’t know it was a long weekend!Thursday was Women’s day and the Friday was a public holiday! Anyway, we got at Blyde River Forever Resort: “Sorry…we are fully booked!” Well, we didn’t expect to hear that, but then realised why we heard such unexpected words! OK! It was 7pm, not very late you know, but we’ve been on the road for a very long time by then. There were loads of B&B places, which we saw on random roads, not very far off, so, we decided to take the road, looking for some decent B&Bs.
Just as we took a turn-off, stopped to look at an entrance of a B&B, Andre stopped next to us. He was our angel! “Hello…are you lost?” he asked very friendly and with him was his partner.”No, but we’re looking for a place to stay”, we replied anxiously. “Come with us! You can stay in Marius’s lodge!” We didn’t wait for a second invitation. Tired of being all day on the road basically from Groblersdal, we followed him, for only just about 80 m! What we got, was a fantastic lodge, place for about 10 people to stay. We could pick and choose where to sleep, like Goldilocks!! haha..I tried different beds…playing Goldilocks…! It was fun…2 bathrooms, showers …huge kitchen…(if you keep coming back to my blog later, you will see all of this) It was fantastic.”Because you don’t have any cleaning services for the weekend, you can pay R30 per person less…,” he continued through all the non-stop talking! I wanted to say: “Shus, you’re talking too much,” because Andre was talking non-stop about all the places we can visit and the more he talked, the more excited he got!! He also told us about – click here: – Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre, but our time was limited and you have to book to go there. Our boat trip was already booked for the same time we could go to Moholoholo, so sadly, we couldn’t go there, as we were heading for Pilgrims Rest and Sabie the following day…If my memory hasn’t gone lost…”moholoholo” means something like…”falling rock”…or ‘rolling rock.’
Enjoy this movie about the area of the Blyde River, which I put together using some of my pictures, not a great camera, I need to warn you. Our video camera perished a few days ago and we need to wait till we’re back in the UK to try and get it fixed.
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Posted in cities, holiday, Pretoria, Pretoria roads, Pretoria Zoo, South Africa, wild life, tagged Capital cities, cities, Pretoria, Pretoria roads, Pretoria Zoo, South Africa, wild animals, wild life, Zoo on 11/09/2007|
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I’m still busy sorting zillions of pictures, here are a few pictures from Pretoria…I liked this taxi..the yellow was striking and the number plate…just right!
This is where the road from Akasia split, turn off to Gezina and the Market and other routes….when you take this turn off and turn left again, you cross the Apies River, before entering Gezina ….I think from Van Heerden Street…is the one way …from West to East…”Apies” is the Afrikaans for “ape”….the river is named after the many apes that were found in this area when Pretoria was founded in 1855…this Apies River can be a “mighty” river! With heavy rains, places alongside the river get flooded, but that doesn’t happen very frequently though.
This is a very familiar “landmark” ….the cement factory as you leave Pretoria and you travel north to Pretoria North/Akasia….or on the Mabopane highway..traffic on the road can be quite heavy…if you look at the lanes on the right…you can see….rush hour is a nightmare on this road…! We were heading towards the city….and it was after rush hour….
Traffic in Pretoria, paper boy on his way to his post…just sold us a paper!
.Gezina if you turn left…Harties (Hartbeespoort) if you keep going…..more traffic, 10-ish in the morning…
I know this road like the palm of my hand! Travelled this road for a couple of years from school in the afternoon…..Zoo coming up on your left….Langenhoven High school as the sign board indicates…always a speed trap when you go down! I missed them most of the time, but got ONE once….it is a 60km/h zone and I drove 70….think my fine was something like R60! wasn’t much anyway….
Now, if you live in Pretoria, you know Boom Street very well!! Buses…zillions of them, because, this is Zoo-area ….and….a main route for the buses to travel to other areas easy accessible for them. There is parking for coaches at the Zoo…and as you can see by looking at the trees: It was Winter!! July/August…”boom” is the Afrikaans word for “tree”….this is also a VERY busy and “dangerous” street…crime! Though the police claimed that crime isn’t anymore that high in this area, they (the police) also claimed that they are very visible….because of all the tourists visiting the Zoo…we didn’t see them…perhaps they were around….
This is the same road…the one I travelled a couple of years from my school, just a few meters back…all these pictures were taken from inside the car…perhaps yo can see the wipers of the car!…..there wasn’t time to stop every now and then to take a shot….so, they are not as good as they should be! I was in a moving car!!…hahaha…
ZOO! entrance….Boom Street…this is really a MUST if you go to Pretoria. I’ve been to London’s Zoo and it’s not a patch against Pretoria’s…I must truly say, I was a bit disappointed the day when visiting London’s Zoo….visit the Pretoria Zoo WEBSITE here.
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