Posts Tagged ‘Mpumalanga’


Wat is a Tufa waterfall? and where can I find one in South Africa? and how can I get there…this post and this link here, give you all the answers! enjoy!
https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2007/09/19/what-is-a-tufa-waterfall/ The Link will open in a new window.

I hope you enjoy this “movie” about South Africa. The images are from the Eastern part of the country… the Mpumalanga province, previously called the Easern Transvaal. It was August…end of winter…and not holiday for South Africans, so we were lucky…. places were not crowded…. You will see mostly images about the third largest/deepest canyon in the world…the Blyde River Canyon. As it was the end of winter, the area wasn’t as green as it used to be during summer! The Grand Canyon is the largest, then the Fish River Canyon in Namibia… This canyon is the greenest canyon in the world. You will also see the potholes at Bourkes Luck. Then, in this canyon, there is a waterfall, called a Tufa waterfall. On one of the images I tell you in short what a tufa waterfall is… where other waterfalls wear away the soil…this kind of waterfall does the opposite! This tufal waterfall is called the “weeping tufa”, as it looks like a face with an eye…and the water flows from the “eye”…A Tufa waterfall is a waterfall where the calcium rich water builds the rock face over which it is flowing as the calcium and mud hardens in beautiful forms, that’s why it’s a “growing” waterfall. This link HERE has got a brilliant picture of the Tufa waterfall – the one you can see in my post too – in this canyon and awesome pictures and many links to places/resorts in that area. Here you can see the “face” of this waterfall…brilliant! The link will open in a new window.

You will see a cave, which can only be seen on the boat trip. You will also see some images from the Sudwala caves. You can put “Swadini” in my search box to find those fantastic links and to see more pictures of that area. I focused on this movie mostly on nature images …do enjoy! On THIS LINK you can see more pictures and links to sites to book a holiday! and on THIS LINK you can see pictures of Pilgrims Rest area and maps/info if you want to tour that are…really beautiful to visit!
If you have enjoyed this movie…Links will open in a new window. Click
HERE to see another movie about South Africa which I posted a few days ago.



Somewhere my love…by the
Ray Coniff singers.

Somewhere, my love,
There will be songs to sing
Although the snow
Covers the hope of spring.

Somewhere a hill
Blossoms in green and gold
And there are dreams
All that your heart can hold.

Someday we’ll meet again, my love.
Someday whenever the spring breaks through.

You’ll come to me
Out of the long ago,
Warm as the wind,
Soft as the kiss of snow.

Till then, my sweet,
Think of me now and then.
God, speed my love
‘Til you are mine again.

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All links in this post will open in a new window. Read on THIS LINK more about Pilgrim’s Rest with beautiful pictures and links to other posts on my blog. It was our second time in the Royal Hotel although we’ve been to Pilgrim’s Rest a zillion times. As a child I grew up on a farm just about 30 minutes’ drive from Pilgrim’s Rest and I don’t think I have to say more!
And of course…if you are in this area, you can’t go wrong by MOUNT SHEBA which is a resort situated in the northern part of the Drakensberg mountains near Pilgrim’s Rest. On the link you can see this map enlarged.



By looking at these pictures, you can see how beautifully this old Hotel has been decorated and I love this bath tub! You feel like spending hours in a bath like this! Everything in the rooms was really very neat and tidy and we couldn’t complain about anything. The service was outstanding and the cleaners very friendly and helpful. They were ready at hand to carry any luggage from the car and it was such a relief to find some fresh tea ready after a long way of travel from Blyde River!




These are the rest rooms of the Hotel it self. I found it very clean and tidy. p8100839.jpg

And, very odd, still in August – which winter in SA, but this plant was in bloom, so beautiful

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I’ve posted before about before about Pilgrims Rest and don’t want to bore you again with the history of the town. In short – for those “lazy” readers… – oh yes, HERE is a link! – this is a historical town in the Eastern part of the country… Mpumalanga. Mpumalanga means… place where the sun rises..so, it’s the East! Previously, it was called Eastern Transvaal and you were lucky (like me!) if you grew up in this part of the country as it is one of the most beautiful places in the country. This historical town – Pilgrims Rest – was founded during the Gold Rush in South Africa and the town is now a tourist attraction and really a “must go” when you go to South Africa. I’ve got some fantastic pictures that will get posted tomorrow about views of the town and more about museums in the town and from the displays in the musems and also from the Hotel itself. So…keep watching this space!


The Royal Hotel was THE place to be – I guess for those miners after a hard day’s work! If you walk into the Royal Hotel, you can “hear” them talking “gold”!  The atmosphere is really a relaxing atmosphere. The main road doesn’t go through the town anymore like before and that makes wondering/lingering through the town quite safe and less stressful!



These two pictures are some old posters and it grabbed my attention immediately!




I got permission from this art shop to take some pics inside and they sell the most wonderful art/pottery! Just have a look at all the designs, rich in colour and rich in Africa! I love these designs!






These menus can’t be ignored! You have to sit down and have something to eat, my favourite of course…scones and jam+cream! and those Koeksisters!! how can you resist it!




On these pics you can see evidence of the mining that was going on. There’s museums in the town that is very informative about the area and the “Gold Rush”.Read HERE MORE about the Gold Rush in Pilgrims Rest.



Click ON THIS LINK to see more beautiful pictures of Pilgrim’s Rest and take a tour through the eastern part of the country!

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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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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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This daisy is called a Baberton-daisy…what’s in it?! My favourite colour!! Baberton is a town in the Eastern part of the country…Jock of the Bushveld – country….a legend of a dog…read it!! Search my site for Jock of the Bushveld…it is there…

The GREENEST canyon in the world!!! All other canyons are dry!!! And..this is the THIRD biggest…in the world! The Blyde River Canyon….Grand Canyon is the first…then…in Namibia!! the Fish River Canyon…and then ours…do you know where Namibia is…it borders South Africa…! Windhoek is the capital of Namibia…once called South West Africa and before that…do you know what is was called before THAT!! YES! there is another name….try find out….

This is the Blyde River dam….this is about 1/2 of it on this pic…
and here….ladies and gents…can I introduce you to…the very famous POTHOLES!! In the Blyde River!!
And…I hoped there was a spider here…can you see one?

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This is the school which my grandpa founded. The original school is actually about 2 km down on the road. It was really my first time visiting the school though I always wanted to! On the 2nd picture is the original 2 classes before they extended the school. My granddad was Head at this school. There are about 5 or more new classes – you can’t see them on the picture, but they are at the back. It’s a pity we visited it on a Saturday, because I would have liked to see the inside of the building as I have been told that there are pictures of my Grandpa in the school’s office and foyer. I will have to go back one day to see those pictures!  My grandpa left Holland as a young teacher to teach in South Africa. He started teaching in his own home first. I have a picture of the children he was teaching on a veranda of his house. My mum used to tell us that he was a very caring person and if he could, he would have built schools for the whole nation. His one son, my uncle, became the Education and Culture Minister in the 1960s till the late 1970s. You can google him: J J P Op’t Hof. He lived in Cape Town all his life. My grandma on my dad’s side was also a teacher.
The word: bosfontein — if you break it up, it’s bos..in English=bush/shrub and fontein=fountain

This is an Afrikaans news-article found on the Internet about the school – a very positive article.

‘n Berig raakgelees op die Internet oor die skool: [Link na die einde van die berig]

Goudstad hét warm hart, toon Bosfontein Ná brief sorg Johannesburgers vir feesjaar.
Jacobus Mokoena wys sy sertifikaat en geskenk wat hy by die akademiese afsluiting van die Laerskool Bosfontein naby Lydenburg ontvang het. Personeel van die skool: mev. Sylvia Mokoena, onderwyser; mnr. Obed Modisha, onderwyser wat einde vanjaar uitgetree het; me. Christa Muller, waarnemende skoolhoof; me. Hanlie Bette, onderwyser; en mev. Anna en mnr. Johannes Mokoena, faktotum en administratiewe werkers.
‘n Besondere band het vanjaar ontstaan tussen ‘n klein plaasskool tussen die groen Hoëveldse heuwels naby Lydenburg in Mpumalanga en ‘n gemeenskap in Johannesburg. Deon Sonnekus berig.

`Ek is ‘n junior primêre on derwyser, ek hou vir 30 agtergeblewenes skool. Terug hok toe is vir my soos ‘n berg.

“Ek wil graag onderrig van gehalte bied, maar hoe gemaak as die ouer so arm is dat skoolgeld van R15 per maand te veel gevra is?

“Ek het die afgelope twee jaar my eie benodigdhede net die nodigste gekoop. Nou is die strop te styf met al die pryse wat styg. Is daar nie iemand of ‘n instansie wat begrip sal hê vir die behoefte van ‘n arm kind wat nie gevra het om hier te wees nie?

“Ek sal graag die nodige inligting gee aan iemand wat begrip het vir my situasie.

“Help tog, asseblief.”

Dít was die pleidooi van me. Hanlie Bette, onderwyser aan die Laerskool Bosfontein, in Beeld se briewekolom vroeg vanjaar. Sy en me. Christa Muller, waarnemende skoolhoof, het vanjaar saam met mnr. Obed Modisha en mev. Sylvia Mokoena vir die 89 kinders in die skool, die meeste uit plaaswerkergesinne, skoolgehou.

Die brief het die aandag getrek van die ouers van leerders in die Leicester Road School in Kensington, Johannesburg. Die pleidooi is ook onder die aandag van die Johannesburg-Noord/Andrew Murray-gemeente van die NG Kerk gebring. Dit het gelei tot ‘n insameling van onder meer gebruikte skooltasse, penneblikkies, inkleurpotlode en ander skryfgoed en skoolklere.

Kort daarna is mnr. Ivan en mev. Michelle Basson, ouers van kinders in Leicester Road School, met ‘n kombi vol skooltasse, klere en ander benodigdhede na Mpumalanga om die Laerskool Bosfontein te help toerus vir ‘n skooljaar waarin hy met ‘n kwart van die vorige jaar se begroting van die provinsiale onderwysdepartement moes klaarkom.

“Bring vir ons jul weggooigoed,” was die versoek. “Die ou penne as jy vir jou kind nuwes koop, die ou tas, kryte, penneblik dit wat in die stad weggooigoed is, is seldsame hulpbronne by ‘n skool soos Bosfontein en honderde ander soortgelyke skole in die land waar dit selfs moeiliker gaan.

“Ons wou juis nie geld vra nie ons almal weet hoe ons sukkel met al die eise van buitemuurse bedrywighede die meeste van hierdie buurt se mense kom net-net deur,” sê Muller.

Die ouers het saamgespeel en een kleinerige skool in ‘n laer- tot middelklaswoonbuurt en een kerk het genoeg bymekaargemaak om die Bosfonteiners elk met hul eie penneblik met kryte, penne en potlode toe te rus.

Ná die tweede bymekaarmaaksessie het elke Bosfonteiner ‘n paar skoene gehad en nie net een nie, maar ‘n hele paar truie. Die winterinsameling het minstens 500 truie en 200 langbroeke opgelewer. Outjies wat winter en somer kaalvoet moes skool toe die bytende Hoëveldse koue ten spyt loop nou soontoe met ‘n nuwe wip in hul stap. Die bywoningsyfer het sommer ook die hoogte ingeskiet.

Maar dit was nie bloot net ‘n uitdelery nie. Die kinders moes ‘n skooltas byvoorbeeld “verdien” deur sekere take te verrig, onder meer in die skool se groentetuin. Kort voor lank het elkeen in die skool ‘n behoorlike sak vir sy of haar boeke gehad. Voorheen het hulle inkopiesakkies van plastiek gebruik.

Baie van die ouers kan nie die skoolgeld, wat R15 per maand beloop, bekostig nie. Een van die maniere waarop skenkers gehelp het, was deur bloot een kind se skoolgeld vir die jaar te betaal. Ouers wat in Johannesburg R450 skoolgeld per maand betaal, het besef hoe relatief min dit kos om ‘n Bosfontein-kind vir ‘n jaar op die skoolbanke te hou.

Muller sê in 2000 het sy nog ‘n begroting van net meer as R11 000 gehad. Vir verlede jaar het dit gekrimp tot net meer as R3 000.

Water en elektrisiteit vir die skool kos reeds sowat R800 per maand, en die telefoonrekening is hier by die R300. Daarby moet fotostaatpapier en ander uitgawes nog betaal word.

“Ons is geseën met skenkings wat ons ontvang het,” sê Muller op die vraag hoe die tekort verhaal word. Die ander oplossing was om hulp te vra, soos in die brief.

Maar hulp en betrokkenheid by Bosfontein het nie net by die insameling van skoolboeke, tasse en hulpmiddels gebly nie. Op die jaar se afskeidsgeselligheid het die kinders gekyk na ‘n video van een van hul hoogtepunte van die jaar ‘n besoek in Augustus aan Johannesburg, en spesifiek die Leicester Road School. Hulle is ook dieretuin toe en het ‘n gratis rolprentvertoning in ‘n Ster-Kinekor-teater bygewoon. Die SAUK was by om die geleentheid vir ‘n nuusinsetsel te verfilm vandaar die video wat vir die skool saamgestel is.

“Die Johannesburg-besoek het ‘n geweldige invloed op die kinders gehad. Dit het hul oë oopgemaak vir die wêreld daarbuite. Nou weet hulle waarna ‘n mens verwys, of wat hulle in boeke sien of daarin lees,” sê Muller.

“Dit help ook om hulle te laat besef hoekom hulle skoolgaan en ‘n opvoeding kry. Nie baie van hulle gaan soos hul ouers op die plase bly werk nie.”

Volgens Modisha, wat einde vanjaar ná ‘n onderwysloopbaan van 28 jaar afgetree het, maak dit hul onderwystaak ook makliker omdat die kinders se verwysingsraamwerk skielik soveel groter is.

Dit was Modisha wat by die afsluiting van die jaar aan elke kind ‘n sertifikaat oorhandig het. In elkeen is gesoek na ‘n karaktereienskap wat uitstaan. Só het party leerders vir vrygewigheid ‘n sertifikaat gekry, ander vir toegewydheid, verantwoordelikheid, vasberadenheid of oplettendheid, en sommige bloot omdat hulle “altyd beskikbaar” was.

Die akademiese uitblinkers is ook vereer met wisseltrofeë, en verskeie het pryse vir gereelde skoolbywoning gekry. Daarna is geskenke uitgedeel wat gebring is van die gemeenskap in Johannesburg wat dié skool aangeneem het, en die partytjie het begin.

Met die terugry stad toe tussen die groen bulte en heuwels deur het die kinders ná hul laaste skooldag huis toe getou met hul geskenke en pryse in die hand, en plek-plek het ‘n string seepborrels die lug ingesweef deel van ‘n geskenkpakkie wat wys daar ís mense wat omgee en wil help

Die Leicester Road-ouers was verwonderd oor hoeveel verskil hul klein poging gemaak het. “In die stad het ons nie ‘n idee van hoe arm die kinders regtig is nie,” sê Basson. “Ons dink armoede is ‘n ou tas en stukkende skoene . . . ons besef nie daar is gemeenskappe waar dít nie eens beskikbaar is nie. Maar nóg belangriker was die idee vir hierdie arm kinders dat iemand genoeg omgee om te wil help: hul horisonne is wyd, wyd gemaak.”

This is from a Facebook group: Laerskool Bosfontein. These children were in Grade 3 and Grade 4 in 1980.

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