Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cape Town - South Africa

The Place: Spent four days in Cape Town staying on the beach in Muizenberg.
Highlights: Our busy agenda was as follows with everyday beginning with a surf at surfer's corner. 1st day: Morning surf after a breakfast at the Empire. Hanging out at Rob's with some beers and then going out on the town in Cape Town's long street (Neighbourhood and Zula bar) with Liz, Rob, Grant, Jo and Tiz. 2nd day: Morning hangover surf at Muizenberg, a quick stop at UCT's campus (to reminisce and take some photos), a quick browse through green market square in Town, and then an afternoon at the beautiful Clifton 4th beach followed by a dinner with Colin, Caryn, Ryan, Jenna and Gran. 3rd day: A day out at the wine farms of Stellenbosch with Gordon, Jason, and Liz after the mandatory morning surf, followed by sundowners at Cape to Cuba, an amazing fish braai meal at 'The Outspan' near Kalk bay, and ending with a night out in Obs for old times sake (Scrumpy Jacks and then the Roots (previously Cool Runnings)). 4th day: The last day was spent chilling at Muizenberg beach after our late morning surf and then taking the very very scenic drive back to the airport - via none other than the incredible Chapmans Peak.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Rhenosterpoort - South Africa

The Place: Near Ryman's pass in Limpopo, spent an active 8 days in the relaxing game farm Rhenosterpoort.
Some Highlights: Day hikes through the waterberg, so named because of how the water seeps through the hillside rocks. Spending time at the waterfall which is great for swimming, cliff-jumping, swinging into the rock pool and bird watching. Game drives to see the wildlife as shown below. Hot sun and plenty of natural swimming spots. Helping Anton on the farm, one day with his sheep and the other herding the bramen cattle to get their tick spray. New years around a camp fire. Potjiekos, corn on the cob, biltong, potbrood, braaied lamb, boerewors and ribs! Spectacular sunsets, night walks to spot bushbabies, playing card games at night (up and down the river) and brilliant company!

Wildlife - Rhenosterpoort South Africa

The Wildlife that we spotted: Antelope on the farm include Nyala, Kudu, Blesbok, Klipspringers, Impala and Eland. Other wildlife include Zebra, Bramen cattle, Baboons, Blou Ape, bush babies (we could spot only their eyes shining in torchlight at night), chameleons, rock monitors, dassies, and warthogs. Insects of interest were various interesting types of dragon flies, wasps and spiders including the parachute spiders. The types of birds spotted at rhenosterpoort count up to 143 of which we spotted Kites, Paradise fly catchers, European bee-eaters, Fish Eagles, various types of Kingfisher including pygmy, half collar, woodland.
What we missed: The farm has numerous predators including leopard, rooikat, serval, and jackals. Bush pigs, porcupines, and aardvarks come out at night and their burrows and holes can be seen on the day hikes.

Stellenbosch - South Africa

The Place: Together with Liz, Gordon and Jason visited the 3 wine farms Avontuur, Muratie and Delheim out on the Stellenbosch wine route.
Some highlights: Love the old cob-webbed cellar of Muratie which looks like its been left as is for decades! Muratie is the first place where South Africa's own pinotage was made. Delheim, a family run farm is a great spot to sit and taste some wines and not feel rushed. They have a great selection of wines and an interesting bottle of sweet wine called Spatzendrek (Sparrow droppings) - tasty.