Looking at those Namib Desert sand dunes, I never imagined that there could possible be more than a few creepy crawlies living under all that sand…. I had been told to watch out for scorpions and I expected there to be a couple of ants….what else could possible survive living under such harsh conditions?
To find out, I went on an amazing tour where I found out that the Namib Desert is very much ALIVE with LOTS of little animals.
The fog was still very much hanging over Swakopmund when we were collected at 07h50 and I must say, I wondered if I had made the right choice. Ten minutes later we met up with Chris, our guide and the owner of Living Desert Adventures, that’s when I knew my choice had been spot on! Chris is absolutely passionate about the flora and fauna of the dune desert belt area between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. His enthusiasm and energy are boundless and we were immediately caught up in his excitement of looking for the “little five”.
Chris (with the blue shirt) and his associate followed tracks and searched for those little animals that we would normally just drive past or walk over and never see – I promise you, after seeing what actually lives under the sand, I will never ever even think about taking a quick loo break. Take a look at what we found…
Although this looks like a little snake, the Fitzimons Burrowing Skink is actually a legless lizard. It “swims” through the sand very much like a snake would slither through grass. This is made possible by a shiny layer of wax which covers it’s body. It is blind and spends most of its time buried under the dunes where it looks for small insects to eat – as it can’t see, it relies on feeling for any movement an insect may make.
Can you see the eyes of this Sidewinder Snake peeping though the sand? One would never see this simply walking on the dunes on your own (thank goodness….) Chris had to actually take my camera from me, take a picture and then show me what we were looking at, only then could I see it. With its eyes located on top of its head it can bury itself below the sand keeping its eyes exposed and thus check out the landscape for any food…. it rather enjoys lizard as they have a high water content and, being in the desert, water is rather important.
One of the common names for this small adder is Namib Dwarf Sand Adder which seems to describe it best. It gets it’s proper name (Bitis Perinqueyi) from Louis Peringuey, a South African entomologist. Its called a sidewinder because it is able to move in a side winding way up the sides of a dune where the sand is fairly loose and soft – they also use this technique to keep most of their body off the sand when it is very hot – quite amazing!
I found this superb video of a sidewinder catching it’s prey, go take a look!
The beautiful Tyne Shovel Snouted Lizard is best known for its “thermal dance”. In the heat of the day, when the sand is very hot, it tries to keep its feet cool with the “beat the heat” dance It lifts two of its feet into the air and then alternates with the other two feet making it look like its dancing. It is also known as the Sand Diving Lizard because when it feels threatened it dives under the sand as far as it can to escape the danger. It will though also raise itself up and bite anything that it detects as danger, like this little one is doing below. They eat beetles and insects obtaining all the moisture they need from their food.
The Horned Adder below is often confused with other Southern African adders. It hides in the sand waiting to ambush lizards…. and me…. again, could easily step right onto it, so camouflaged, quite amazing. Note its triangular head with little “horns” above each eye. Its bite can be painful but will only cause swelling so not life threatening but still…..
What about this pre-historic looking guy? The Desert Chameleon has used its ability to change colour to adapt to the desert. When its cooler in the mornings, its black so that it can more easily absorb heat and as the day progresses and it becomes hotter, it becomes lighter in colour so that it will reflect the heat and stay cooler, pretty clever. Chris had some juicy worms with him which, as you can see, our tongue welding chameleon rather enjoyed.
This cute little E.T. lookalike was my favourite! This is the Namib Dune Gecko also known as the the Nude Gecko or the Web Footed Gecko. Just look at those big webbed feet, a bit like snow shoes which I am sure help him to get around the softer sand dunes with ease. He is almost transparent, one can actually see the blood vessels. His eyes are what they call “fixed lens” eyes and he does not have any eyelids which I find rather interesting, not sure how those eyes cope with the harsh sun? Apparently he uses his very long tongue to clean his eyes, a sort of windscreen wiper tongue
What a wonderful adventure this was, so interesting and fascinating. I also loved driving through the sand dunes – felt like we were on a roller coaster, a real adrenalin fix!
The Living Desert Tour was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Namibia, if you get the chance to visit Swakopmund, then I would highly recommend that you make time to do this tour.
Did you know that all these creepy crawlies lived under the sand? I now certainly look at the Namib Desert through different eyes.
I have been trying to visit Namibia for quite a while now but, something else always came up that seemed more interesting or exciting and, quite frankly, being a countryside / ocean kind of person, I wondered if all that sand and desert was really going to rest my soul….
Rest my soul, not quite! But fed and excite my soul, spot on!
Oh yes, there is an ocean but its freezing and right next to a desert! I did not see any fresh food markets but there was a bakery in every little settlement with the most amazing goodies, especially the apple pie! Cold beer was more the order of the day and my “soul” was fed with amazing scenery from the red sand dunes in Sossusvlei to the colonial German homes in Swakopmund, indulgent lodges, gorgeous sunsets, huge herds of game in Etosha, and don’t forget those gravel roads that simply go on forever.
These are just TEN photos to whet your appetite, I will be writing in more depth over the next couple of weeks with lots more pics – Namibia is a photographic dream or…. nightmare…..very difficult to take pics of the dunes and the changing colours, the glare from the sun is just so bright but everywhere you look, your finger just wants to keep snapping… good or bad, I just wanted to capture every moment!
The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert claim to be the highest in the world, and who am I to even want to argue – they are spectacular! Dune 45 is considered to be one of the most photographed dunes in Sossusvlei and one of the most difficult to climb. Alas, this is not me on my way down, we somehow arrived here at midday, definitely not the best time to climb a dune…. but these intrepid youngsters did and although the young lady told me she thought that she was going to have a heart attack, she lived to tell the tale!
Ancient Layered Mountains, red sand dunes and the last of the green grass…
The layers of colours from sand dunes to mountains captures your eye and mind – you begin to wonder how old those mountains really are and how often can the colours change. Namibia made me think and ponder but also forced me to look at colours differently
Moose McGregor’s Desert Bakery
On our first day on the way to Sossusvlei, we stopped off at Solitaire, a sort of small settlement with the only petrol station for miles. There is some accommodation, but more importantly for us at lunch time, a wonderful bakery that has fresh apple pie and these delicious chicken pies….. keep your eyes peeled for my “story” about Solitaire
Swakopmund, with the Namib Desert on one side and the cold Atlantic Ocean on the other. The German influence is very strong, quite mind blogging, one could be forgiven for thinking that you are in the wrong country….
Oryx antelope or Gemsbok – such beautifully marked animals. You find them all along the roads…
Views to die for
The views, well, what can I say? This was taken from our chalet at Grootberg Lodge, we had to negotiate a very steep, rocky road to get there (engaged in 4×4 drive) and although a little hairy at times, was so worth it – felt like we were on top of the world!
Etosha National Park
The waterholes in the Etosha National Park are a bit like Jurassic Park…… honestly, there is just so much game around, one could choose just one waterhole and sit there for hours and never be bored for a minute.
I have loads of pics of sunsets and sunrises…. can’t resist taking them and always think they next one will be more beautiful. But, they are all so special, just looking at this, I can smell the hot air, hear the birds and taste that gin and tonic!
We spoilt ourselves by staying in some wonderful lodges – this was our suite at Ongava Lodge situated on it’s own private Reserve right next to the entrance to the Etosha National Park. I took this picture just before sunset as we wondered down to the lovely hide they have next to a waterhole which is overlooked by the lounge area of the lodge – simply stunning!
Beautifully dressed woman in full Herero dress have stalls alongside dusty roads that seem to lead to nowhere. The dolls they make and sell are immaculate and very reasonably priced. Be sure to always have extra bottles of water with you as these ladies always ask for water and no wonder, it’s about 35 to 40 degrees and not a river in sight..
Unending gravel roads, mostly unfenced give one a sense of freedom – sometimes we did not see another soul or vehicle for a couple of hours
So, yes, Namibia has seduced me….
Have you been to Namibia, did you fall in love?
Leading up to this Easter weekend, my mind had been wondering around Easter bunnies, which got me thinking about our Rock Hyrax commonly known as the “Dassie” or Rock Rabbit. The fascinating thing about them though is that although they may look a little like rabbits, they are…..can you believe it…… related to elephants!!
I came upon this interesting fact while doing some research on our beloved “Dassie” which can, almost without fail, be found lazing in the sunshine on the rocks of Table Mountain.
Locals and tourists alike are always fascinated by the Rock Hyrax and tourists especially wonder what kind of animal it is. It can be quite amusing to come across a group of tourists all animatedly discussing what type of animal they are madly photographing…..some think it is some sort of rabbit or a type of guinea pig. It does in fact also resemble a badger which is where the name “Dassie” originated from. The Dutch word for badger is dasje. Apparently, the early Dutch colonists mistakenly thought the Rock Hyrax was a badger.
But, let’s get back to the African Elephant… how, I ask myself, can the Rock Hyrax possibly be the elephants closest living relative? The one is monstrous and the other is, well the size of a rabbit!!!! The similarities are apparently in the structure of the feet and the teeth.
Can you see the similarities in their feet? Padded, same amount of toes? In case you are confused, the top pic is the Rock Hyrax’s foot…
What about their incisors / tusks? Elephant tusks are enlarged incisor teeth and the Dassie has very prominent mini tusks or tusk-like incisors….. just slightly different in size
Further research on my part also reveals that a 60 million year old skull dug up in Morocco was identified as the earliest species of elephant, it was trunk less, measured less than 50 cm and weighed about 5kg and…. it also had mini incisors….and so we come back again to the similarity between their feet and teeth…. I am not sure I am totally convinced!!!
What I enjoy most about the Rock Hyrax is that it spends at least 95% of its time resting…. or lounging about in the sun But, they are not just lazy….. there is a reason for all this sun worshipping, Dassies apparently cannot regulate their temperatures very well which means they need to warm themselves up in the sun so…. two very good reasons why I would like to be a “Dassie” in my next lifetime
Read more about these interesting little mammals by clicking HERE and take a look at this video of the very cute Table Mountain Dassie.
Anyone know what a group of Rock Hyrax / Dassies are called? Have you been up Table Mountain and seen our very popular and loved Dassie?
I have always wanted to use the word “quintessential” but how and where, then, while I was writing an article on trees (don’t ask..), the Baobab Tree sprung to mind and, in particular the Sunland Baobab Tree. This perfect example of a Baobab Tree is located on Sunland Farm, near Modjadjiskloof in the province of Limpopo in South Africa and, to me, is the quintessential of all Baobab Trees.
I came across this tree when on a road trip through Limpopo on the way to the Kruger National Park. Just past Tzaneen there is a sign simply saying “Big Baobab Tree” and, on the spur of the moment, we decided to go have a look-see. We were amazed at what we found, literally the biggest tree I had ever seen!
REASONS WHY THE SUNLAND BAOBAB TREE IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL OF ALL BAOBAB TREES
- It is the widest species of the Baobab in the world, 47m in girth – try hugging that! And 22m high
- It is possibly the oldest tree in the world. Carbon dating has been used to estimate it’s age at +-6000 yrs
- The Sunland Baobab Tree has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal
- When the owners of Sunland, the van Heerdens cleared out the hollow centre of the tree in 1993, they found evidence of both Bushman and Voortrekkers
- Whilst removing the masses of compost build up they uncovered a floor about a metre below ground level, squared off a natural vent in the trunk to make a door and built a pub right there inside the trunk. It has draft beer, a music system, even a telephone and many a party has taken place here right inside this quintessential of all Baobab Trees
- In another hollow trunk, a wine cellar was installed; natural vents keep the temperature at a constant 22 degrees!
QUINTESSENTIAL LEGENDS AND SUPERSTITIONS SURROUNDING THE BAOBAB TREE
- Pick a flower from the Baobab Tree at your peril! There is a belief amongst certain people that the flowers are inhabited by spirits and picking a flower will result in you being eaten by a lion…..
- Want protecting from being attacked by a crocodile? Easy, just soak the seeds of the Baobab Tree in water, drink the water and hey presto, you can swim across any crocodile infested river completely confident that all will be well……. but…..
- Make sure you do not EAT the seeds, this apparently attracts the crocs!!!
- Men, do you want to become stronger? Well, drink some Baobab bark infused water and you could soon be Superman…
- Some of the local people will bathe their baby boys in the bark infused water to help them to grow up strong but, again, there can be a downside to this, bathe them for too long and they will become obese!
In addition to Sunland being a nursery which sells Mango and Palm Trees, they also, alongside the tourist attraction of the Sunland Baobab Tree Pub have accommodation in a couple of lovely chalets called Jungalows. It’s a great stop over on the way to the Phalaborwa Gate into the Kruger and a MUST SEE.
Have you seen the Sunland Baobab Tree or any Baobab Tree?
Even in these days of digital photography, my hubby always prints out a selection of photos from every trip and painstakingly puts them into albums…..and, although, we mock him about this, I am always so grateful that we have a whole cupboard full of memories…. Paging through photograph albums on a balmy Sunday afternoon is much more pleasurable than sitting in front of a computer!
This is exactly what I was doing when I came across the photos of our first “cruising” adventure – guleting on the turquoise coastline of Turkey. Talk about being transported back in time. Granted, it was only to the year 2000, but still, it feels like ages ago.
I immediately wanted to share that memorable holiday, but, to do this, I have had to scan in all the pics…. What a chore! It also made me realize what absolute amateurs we were at taking photos (not that we are professionals now). Cameras have also improved so much that almost anyone can take a “good” pic these days….. but still, please don’t be too critical about my old Fuji pics….
Guleting on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey
We travelled in a fleet of two magnificent vessels (known as Gulets). I remember arriving in Bodrum and thinking that I must be dreaming. The Gulets were just so beautiful; built of Mediterranean pine, African mahogany and teak, all gleaming, glorious and oh so romantic. From the moment you kick your shoes off to step on board, you know you are about to start an adventure of a lifetime.
Turkish Food is Fresh, Healthy and delicious
Each boat was crewed by a Master, Cook and Steward – all lovely, friendly local people who quietly went about their business to make your stay onboard as comfortable as possible. Meals were healthy feasts of local cheeses, fresh salads, yoghurt, beautifully prepared dishes of meat, fresh beans or aubergine and tomato, wild rice, pasta or couscous. Depending on your choice of “poison”, you could choose either the light, but delicious EFES beer or a bottle of the equally excellent local wine.
Take me back to that crystal clear blue water…
Turkey’s Southern Coastline is not known as the “Turquoise Coast” for nothing – I can never forget seeing that crystal clear water. I don’t really enjoy swimming in the sea or at least, not in our rough and tumble sea, but, I can remember feeling quite nervous stepping off the boat and wondering if I might drown….. But it was pure bliss and I am afraid that after that trip, only the Med would do for me!!!
Most days after lunch, we would put on our walking shoes, go ashore and explore the ruins of Greek, Roman and Byzantine cities. It was dry and hot but hiking up into the mountains where the only people you came across were perhaps the odd shepherd with his herd of goats or another tier of ruined terraces was amazing. You were simply transported back in time and could only imagine how those ancient people lived.
I remember meeting some people living high up a mountain. They humbly welcomed us to sit in the shade next to their makeshift home and offered us some cool apple tea….
Another day we visited a local carpet “co-op” in a small village. All the carpets are made by the villagers and sold at the co-op. Each carpet was a work of art, perfection and perseverance. One could only wonder how much longer these ancient skills would survive in this modern world of instant gratification.
The taste of sea fresh calamari..
One day, we weighed anchor in a tiny inlet and went ashore in search of some fresh calamari - I can still taste that calamari and those ice cold beers….
I truly believe that the secret to happiness could be as simple as remembering the good times – I know I have a smile on my face looking at these old photographs.
Happiness in remembering balmy nights, turquoise days, blue seas, and gentle breezes
Have you visited the Turquoise Coast of Turkey? What about those magnificent vessels, the gulets, have you been on one? Time to make memories!
You just got to love South Africa – we have something for everyone! Many people will come to see our “Big Five” (Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, Elephant and Leopard) and then, unexpectedly, while visiting the small Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, fall in love with those quirky looking ostriches!
You can of course see ostriches in the Kruger or Addo National Parks, in fact, they can be found in most of our Game Parks, you sometimes even see them on a road trip but, Oudtshoorn is the “ostrich capital” of the country.
The Ostrich Boom
Way back in about 1870, Oudtshoorn experienced an “ostrich boom” – this may seem hard to believe in this day and age, but back then, ostrich feathers were the height of fashion in Europe. Woman’s hats and dresses were decorated with these feathers and such was the demand, that the local Oudtshoorn feather merchants became “Barons” overnight. One can still see the many stately sandstone homes and buildings from that period in the town, a tourist attraction all on its own!
That Over the Top Feather Clutch Bag….
Ostrich feathers may not be such a fashion item any longer though I did notice that at the opening of Parliament last week, that the leader of the opposition, Helen Zille was sporting an ostrich feather clutch bag…. perhaps this will spark a “comeback” Shoes, handbags, purses and even jackets are made from ostrich leather…and then there is the benefit of eating their cholesterol-free meat….
Flying versus Sprinting
Ostriches are the world’s largest flightless birds, but forget about pitying them for not having the benefits of soaring over mountains like their cousins. Instead, they have been given the ability to out sprint most animals, including us poor humans. Who needs “flying wings” when one can run at on average at 50kmp or if need be, sprint up to 70kmp!!
Males do Funny Stuff…
The ostriches’ wings are not totally redundant though, when running at speed, they use them to help them change direction, sort of like a steering mechanism. The male ostrich also flaps his wings about in a “courtship ritual dance” when trying to get the attention of the love of his life…. quite hilarious and a great experience if you are lucky enough to catch him in the act.
I want those Legs!
What about those long skinny legs? Do not be deceived by their appearance, they are very powerful and, with one kick, can actually kill a human. So, although the ostrich may look a little silly, just remember, they have been known to take on even the most dangerous of predators and outsmart them with those very strong legs.
And those Eyelashes…..
The feature that I love the most about ostriches are their eyes – they are huge, measuring up to 5cm across, apparently their eyes are the largest of any land animal. And then there are the eyelashes…. what us poor mortals and in particular, we women would give to have those amazingly long eyelashes…..
Not for the Faint-hearted!
Last, but not least, ostriches lay the biggest eggs of any species of bird….up to 10 times bigger than the average hen’s egg. This is definitely one reason I do not yearn to be an ostrich, imagine laying an egg that big…
Oudtshoorn is a charming Karoo town where one can while away a couple of days and, although visiting an ostrich farm would be top of the agenda, there are many other attractions to keep you occupied. Click here to see more activities like visiting the Cango Caves or the Cango Wildlife Ranch and don’t forget about the meerkats – read about my wonderful experience with the meerkats here.
Have you been seen an ostrich or visited Oudtshoorn? I have visited Oudtshoorn quite a number of times and each time have found something new to experience, even did my first hot air balloon flight there – if you are visiting South Africa, put it on the list and if you are a local, well don’t bury your head in the sand… Oudtshoorn has a lot to offer!
PS For more Posts on my Personal A – Z of South Africa, click here
At last, after hearing about “FYNBOSHOEK CHEESE” about 3 years ago, I was eventually on my way to see and taste if everything I had heard was true….
When I called to make a booking, Alje (he is the award-winning owner / cheese maker) answered the phone to take my details. I asked if he could email the directions but was politely asked to rather write the directions down – Alje does not do email or even have a website…..so here we are, with my scrappy piece of paper and equally scrappy directions which read:
N2 Storms River Bridge (Total) – cross 7kms – turn off N2 to right, Fine Bush Stall, 200m T-junction, turn right, 400 m farm road, left small sign “Fynboshoek”, 1 ½ km neighb hse pass that road forks, keep left, ends at house.
Who needs a GPS? Certainly not us, I just love a bit of a treasure hunt, the scenery was beautiful, our wine was in the boot and we were all hungry after spending the morning at the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Although my hubby and friends were a little sceptical, the directions were spot on and there, literally at the very end of the farm road stood a beautiful old farm homestead. We had arrived at the Fynboshoek Cheese Farm. It felt a bit like arriving at a friend’s house, which, in fact it is, as the house is Alje and Ima’s home and they invite you in to relax on the terrace or in the sun room where you are served a wonderful cheese lunch. Everything is grown on the farm or as local as possible and the cheeses are all made by Alje.
What an amazing find…. Deep in the countryside, surrounded by trees and overgrown shrubberies, overlooking a dam with birds tweeting, wine in hand and delicious food shared with friends – BLISS!
You are welcome to bring your own wine, but should you forget, Alje will have a choice of red or white on hand, there is definitely no wine list, you accept what is on offer!
First up was a steaming hot rosemary focaccia bread which unfortunately I did not get a photo off – I am afraid that photos were the last thing on my mind as everyone grabbed a piece of this delicious bread and I certainly did not want to be left without my slice! Yummy melted mozzarella topped with herbs was next on the list – there is also no menu, one just sits back and waits with mouth watering for the next surprise…
Caprese Salad with mozzarella and red ripe juicy toms - YUM!
A huge salad bowl filled with freshly picked leaves and topped with Parmesan crisps – I can actually taste those Parmesan crisps by just looking at this photo, it offset the green salad leaves beautifully, fresh with a salty smack in the mouth!
And the Piece de resistance, the Cheeseboard!
Should you still have space….and of course, we all do…. there was a delicious lemon tart with home-made ice-cream to finish it off…
Only 20 guests (no patrons here, definitely a guest) are seated at any time which is why one cannot simply arrive, you need to make a booking – you may think that a place in the “bundu” with no website or advertising will always have space…do not make that mistake. Call (042) 280 3879 well in advance.
- Take your own beverages, an ice cold bottle of champagne would go down well
- Give yourself at least 3 hrs to enjoy this delicious meal and the surroundings
- Make sure you have cash, there are no credit card facilities
- Purchase a tasty reminder to take home
Interesting Fact: Alje Deemder is a microbiologist turned self taught award-winning cheese maker – Isn’t it interesting what we study at University and what a lot of us eventually land up doing…
As the alphabet moves along, so does my journey down the Garden Route. The Tsitsikamma National Park, which is just a couple of kms down from Storms River Village is actually part of the greater Garden Route National Park.
There are more than two reasons to visit the Tsitsikamma National Park with its forests and stormy shoreline, but, if you only have one day available, then these are the reasons you should not by-pass this wonderful site.
Hiking Trails and the Suspension Bridge – Tsitsikamma National Park
The Tsitsikamma National Park is where the famous Otter Trail starts, 42 kms long, 5 days and 4 nights. But, do not fear, there are several short trails from 1 – 3hrs, all signposted and easy to do in a couple of hours. The Waterfall Trail is a great one as it follows the first 2.65kms of the Otter Trail. The Blue Duiker (a blue duiker is a miniature antelope found in the forest) and Lourie Trail (the Knysna Lourie birds are common in the forest) are a little longer. You will see waterfalls, streams, fantastic birdlife and amazing outlooks where you can spot dolphins and, in winter, the whales.
The Suspension Bridge and Lookout Trail must be done! It’s the most important reason for visiting the Tsitsikamma National Park! All levels of fitness can do this as the whole pathway is beautifully laid out with a boardwalk. There are quite a lot of steps but, if you take it easy, even the most unfit or older person can definitely do this.
You walk through indigenous coastal forests with superb views of the shoreline and ocean.
Your reward is walking across the heart-stopping suspension bridges which span the Storms River mouth, high above the the rather “furious” looking sea…
If the wind is blowing, the bridge does tend to move around quite a bit and of course, just other people walking on it, makes it wobble about. It’s a pretty amazing structure and something not to miss.
Marine and River Activities – Tsitsikamma National Park
Once you have earned your stripes on the suspension bridge, it’s time to take to the waters. For the not so energetic but who still enjoy an adrenalin punch, the “Spirit of Tsitsikamma’s” 30 minute boat ride gives you a nice rush as you zoom through the waves under the suspension bridge into the Storms River mouth.
This narrow gorge with its towering cliffs is spectacular.
One can also hire a canoe and meander down this same gorge or what about some snorkeling or SCUBA diving – all are on offer…. Just depends on how much time and of course, energy you have.
There is a great restaurant with a lovely outdoor area and a cute little beach in case you need to cool off in the summer months. Of course, if you have more time, then I highly recommend a couple of nights at the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp. Be sure to book one of the cottages right on the sea, there is nothing quite like drifting off to sleep with the ocean pounding at the front door!
Have you been to the Tsitsikamma National Park? What about that suspension bridge, isn’t it a wonderful piece of engineering?
Some interesting facts:
- The Tsitsikamma National Park is one of the largest single unit ‘no take’ (including fishing) Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the world. In 1964 when it was proclaimed, it became the first Marine National Park to be proclaimed in Africa.
- The Knysna Lourie (tauraco corythaix) is endemic to South Africa
If you are after some adventurous activities, look no further than Storms River Village. Set in the middle of the forest at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Forest on the Garden Route, this tiny village oozes character. It tells a story going all the way back to the 1800’s when elephants once roamed the area, then the foresters arrived and slowly a village developed. From the Tsitsikamma Village Inn which began as a hunting lodge in the mid 1800’s to the many guesthouses and backpackers, there is accommodation to suit every budget.
To add some spice, or is that sauce? Make sure you pop into Marilyn’s 60’s Diner – this American inspired diner will take you back to rock ‘n roll with its pictures of Elvis and Marilyn and don’t forget to pop into the “museum” next door where there are Cadillac’s and Chevys on display. The food and service was spot on too!
Storms River Village is the place to park off for a couple of days while you go swinging through the Outeniqua Yellow Wood Trees on the Canopy Tour, hike through the forests, horseride, go tubing, zip lining, kloofing or mountain bike riding – it is not called the Adventure Capital of South Africa for nothing….
Have you been to Storms River Village? What activities did you do? I did the Canopy Tour! Go there, have some FUN!
PS : Click HERE to read more about the GARDEN ROUTE
Plettenberg Bay, or Plett as the locals refer to it, is undoubtedly the “jewel” of the Garden Route. Ultimately known for its beautiful beaches and even being named as Africa’s “best beach destination”, Plett is the place where the locals like to hang out over their holiday season.
As a family, we were no different to thousands of other Capetonians who have spent wonderful holidays in this seaside village. Each year though, we would always drag ourselves away from the beach for at least one day and go do something “different”.
These are my recent TWO “finds” – they are not necessarily new activities, which makes it rather easy to perhaps bypass them – take my advice, take the morning off from the beach to walk through a “real” Garden of Eden and then relax in the vineyards with tapas and bubbles – Priceless! Continue reading