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Come with me and enjoy wildlife,landscapes and some cities of South Africa
Posted By: traveler57, 07-24-2017, 04:02 AM

What a beautiful and diverse country.
And it's really a truth, when another person says: "When you come to Africa and you get the virus in your body, you'll be back as soon as possible."
This is how it happened with us. Since 2013, we visit this beautiful country for the third time.
The first time we started our trip from Cape Town, drove along the coast from the Garden Route and spent 5 nights near the Kruger NP.
The whole trip was self-booked, - flights, hotel, B & B and the car for our self drive.

And believe me, there are so many places to discover things and nature, there that would suffice for so many journeys.
For us Europeans, it is always impressive to be able to experience this wide range of landscapes.

So again, my invitation to discover this country.
I will not always appear in chronological order.

But now, we are starting ,- January 2013


1. Amazing view: from the Table Mountain, down to Cape Town City




2. Another Place : on the way to the Cape of Good Hoop

Cape of Good Hope - Wikipedia

Look to Hout Bay, from the Chapman's Peak Drive

Chapman?s Peak Drive ? Wikipedia


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08-14-2017, 03:55 AM - 2 Likes   #16
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Kruger National Park

After the Tembe Park we drove to the Kruger National Park.

The Kruger Days:

Driveway and drive to the Lower Sabi Restcamp:
Good 55 km on a side road - Left and right times.

I think the pictures speak for themselves:


On a footwalk at the begin, near Crocrodile Bridge:



Hippopool.....





After various antelopes and zebras, we discovered these two giraffes. They were so unusual that we stopped for a long time and watched them.
I had a guess, but for a long time nothing happened and we really wanted to continue. When finally movement came into the scene:













It was a battle between two giraffe bulls. It was not so clear to us how seriously this was carried out, or whether it was more a matter of "trainings".
It is certainly, however, that such disputes in the worst case, can ever end deadly!


later....a Secretary Bird




African Fish Eagle





Southern Carmine Bee-eater




In the late afternoon, we were still at a vantage point, where we could observe the hippopotamus, and in the far distance, a large group of elephants.

We had been at the Viewpoint all by ourselves. In the beginning it was rather a bit weird as we could not see the terrain around us.
But after a while we relaxed and sat comfortably on the existing chairs under the thatched roof and enjoyed the activity around us.









What a great day ......

08-14-2017, 04:19 AM - 1 Like   #17
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great photos, thanks

I saw the original post and haven't been back so I have a lot of catching up to do

it will be fun.
09-08-2017, 09:30 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by traveler57 Quote
What a beautiful and diverse country.
And it's really a truth, when another person says: "When you come to Africa and you get the virus in your body, you'll be back as soon as possible."
This is how it happened with us. Since 2013, we visit this beautiful country for the third time.
The first time we started our trip from Cape Town, drove along the coast from the Garden Route and spent 5 nights near the Kruger NP.
The whole trip was self-booked, - flights, hotel, B & B and the car for our self drive.

And believe me, there are so many places to discover things and nature, there that would suffice for so many journeys.
For us Europeans, it is always impressive to be able to experience this wide range of landscapes.

So again, my invitation to discover this country.
I will not always appear in chronological order.

But now, we are starting ,- January 2013


1. Amazing view: from the Table Mountain, down to Cape Town City




2. Another Place : on the way to the Cape of Good Hoop

Cape of Good Hope - Wikipedia

Look to Hout Bay, from the Chapman's Peak Drive

Chapman?s Peak Drive ? Wikipedia
Beautiful views!

Adam
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09-09-2017, 03:55 AM - 1 Like   #19
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Beautiful, some truly wonderful images here.

09-16-2017, 12:57 AM - 1 Like   #20
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The next morning it was as usual in Africa, early with the car in the wilderness.
Not at 5.30, but just before 6.00 we were on the slopes.
Overall for 55 km, with very poor success, - there is also the stop .....

2 white rhinos were granted to us - next to a few antelopes.













Dwarf mongoose



The day should still develop into a highlight, we certainly did not know,
as we sat after 2 hours back in the camp at the breakfast table.
We planned a route for the day and discussed, what we would do the next day companies.
We opted for a long tour and two shorter ones for the following day.

So we drove off in the morning, rough direction - to Skukuza via gravelroads, from there
on another route back - a total of about 130 km.
But one after anonther.
After a few kilometers we left the tar road and turned left.
A safari car did the same before us ......... crap ..... not alone on the track.
We held a longer distance and saw that he suddenly braked.
Traffic jam........
4 cars and a safari car, ........ meant there is something to see.
We approached slowly, a passing through was not to think anyway, since the whole way was blocked.
But what was there to see?
Dense bush obstructed our view.
All before us in the vehicles and on the open car, looked to the left ....
Still we could not find anything, ...... Lions ....?

No car in front of us moved, only the safari cars in the second row made a short gap.
Nothing like in this, - between two cars we caught a view.
What was that ?
- Skin,- was in the grass and behind the bushes to see--, brown black, .... white --- there are wild dogs, I noticed how I was properly excited.
I had to leave however from the position, which was very unfavorable again.
So I sat in front of the first car in the row and drove so far back to him, which was hardly any space between the bumpers.
Now we saw what was happening here:
A group of 8 - 10 wild dogs, lay in the half shadow under the bushes in the grass.
Only the guards for the group could be seen better.

What luck !! - Considering that there is a wild-dog population of about 100 animals in the Krüger according to the statistics of 2012/13 in the entire Krüger.
Times for comparison, - in the same statistics, leopards are led with about 1000 animals.














The fact that everyone wanted to savor was clear, even the rangers on the jeeps, were so fascinated that no one drove away.
Heavy hearts, we left the place after a long time, as we could not "fight" a better position.

Still "blissful" of the event, we rolled on. After a couple of kilometers, they came across a terrain wave.
On the highest point arrived with sight forward on the road, what I see there, - a leopard!
And then everything went very fast, - braked, with my camera, torn from the lap and pictures made by the front disc.
This would not be perfect, I immediately realized.
There was no time, however, when the leopard turned out to be the "arable" road at the same moment as we saw him and he us.
He just stood there for a few seconds, but he was there and we had seen him.





(note - 2 years ago we had the luck we had a leopard for a long time before, at and behind the safari car
for us alone - 10 -15 minutes! )

We rolled to the spot where the leopard had disappeared and ...... nothing like swallowed.
Too bad, we would have liked to see him longer.
Just before Skukuza again a group of vehicles, - there were lions "to be seen"
but hidden behind dense bushwork.
The group wandered so that we had here also only a few short moments of the view.
At noon we were at Skukuza Camp, totally busy there, bustle everywhere, not our world.

We set off again, visited a nursery and then went on our round trip.
Discovered some baboons, elephants, driving through completely different terrain forms and vegetation.

We ended up looking for the picnic place from the previous day and enjoyed the peace on the viewpoint, along with some elephants at the water.
On the last kilometers we saw a loner in the evening sun.



Reunion, from the previous day





What was wrong with us? - Right to get the Big Five, get full, we still needed Buffalo.
We still saw from our accommodation, right on the river.






What a day !
09-27-2017, 04:54 AM - 1 Like   #21
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On the way to the Olifants Restcamp:

155 km up in the north direction in the Kruger NP, along a mountain chain, through the bushland, which was sometimes more or less open.
However with little, - very few game stock.
Over a mountain with a beautiful view, we passed the Satara Restcamp.



open land



Saddle Stork




Marabou




southernmost monkey tree / Baobab

A few kilometers to the north we left the main road and drove to a resting place, which is located directly on a river, we had already visited two years ago.
The river was completely dry, the paths there, completely dusty.
After a short break, we drove into an area, in wich we had a great memories.
At that time we saw on the kilometers, giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, water buffelo's very, very often.

What a contrast this year.
By chance at a hide on the riverbed, a giraffe, a long time later, terrified zebras, (4 +2) who were noisy, calling the other two animals to collect themselves.
We had quite different ideas for this area!
We saw that we had to lower our expectations significantly.

For a long time nothing happened until we saw circling birds in the sky.
There had to be vultures and also a few marabous turned their circles with the others.
The number of gathered animals in the air suggested, that a larger crack would have to lie somewhere.








Signals in the sky

I hoped this would not be in the "no mans land", far from our street.
The course of the stone and sand piste left everything open .......
We were getting closer and closer to the birds, soon they were right over us.
Here it had to be somewhere ....

We approached a guide, a few yards, and we could see them.
Vultures and marabous stood there in the shallow water and drank -?
It was not so clear, except for an undefined mass in and around the water and on the way there was nothing.
It was excrements who lay there.
The situation did not really open to us.
On the other side, a little higher, stood three vehicles.
One of them came down and the big birds started our way.
What a mess.
I made the road clear, as I was there with our car, for the recordings transversely.








There was a brief exchange of information,
-- We were lucky".

For what followed now belongs also to nature ......




















My wife did not like it all so well, but bravely persevered.
The giraffe had been dead for three days.
The smell and the flies, kept within limits.
The hyenas had left the carcass shortly before (unfortunately) and the eating birds, took command.
Not without fierce controversy.
Bird after bird landed now on the dead animal and the sky was swept as empty.

With these impressions, we reached the Olifants Restcamp, lying on a mountain.

Last edited by traveler57; 09-30-2017 at 02:19 AM. Reason: insert the pic's new- before no shown.... :((
09-29-2017, 11:44 AM   #22
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Question !! - Can you see all photos here ?
In a another thread , there was a problem with a photo .
Please give me a short reply. Thank you...
Bernd
09-29-2017, 12:41 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by traveler57 Quote
Question !! - Can you see all photos here ?
In a another thread , there was a problem with a photo .
Please give me a short reply. Thank you...
Bernd
I can't

sent you a pm on how to attach photos and post them to the forum

I hope that helps

09-29-2017, 01:08 PM   #24
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Thank you Allen !
Make a update in the next days .
Change the pic's ,- then it will be fine for you all,- sorry for my mistakes.

Bernd
09-30-2017, 01:08 AM   #25
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Olifants Rest Camp - Kruger NP -

First: I changed the photos above,- now I hope you can see these all.......

and the story goes on.......



What about the Olifants Restcamp?

Opposite Lower Sabie, the silence reappeared. Everything was much more relaxed - at the registration and at the camp. When we came to our bungalow, the language slipped.

What a view !




# 174




# 175




# 176




# 177

Wonderful, fascinating, - simply great!

Just sit there and see what's going on at the river. (a good binoculars or a telephoto lens, were very helpful here)

We saw more animals over the 3 days than at our exits. Animals were around Olifants and northern to Letaba, really lackware.
Only on a tour south we were more successful. Besides the usual suspects, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceroses, various birds, we finally saw a family of jackals




# 178


We met a film crew, who turned from a safari car with a huge camera directed at the grassland.
Just for what?
Did they see something we could not see? We stopped and asked what there was so special about.
In the smalltalk it turned out, that it was a documentation about falcons, which was shot here.

A short time later, a buffalo herd was impressive, which crossed our way and watched the flanks securely to protect the cows and calves better.
After 80 we stopped counting.




# 179

The great location on the mountain and the almost daily changing guests, the Velvet Monkeys used in the area. The closets in the outside kitchen had all the locks, only the refrigerator was not.
That it should be turned to the wall, so that it could not be opened and trimmed, opened to us only when it had already happened.
The note for the "turn" was in the small print on the signboard, which was placed between the insect door and the entrance door leading into the house.
A sign on the refrigerator, would have been the better solution.

We came back after a short time from the shop and saw the gift.
Juice pack and the floor floated. There was also a raw egg on the ground, the other eggs were still intact in the carton. Two chocolate cakes we had to write off, only the white cream licked (Oreo).
So seen a not so great loss.
Someone from the housekeeping cleaned the floor and we now secured the refrigerator.

For the breakfast nothing happened, even though we had so many delicious on the table.
One afternoon, we were then again victims of an attack by an animal.
My wife had taken a mango out of the cupboard and laid it on the sideboard. Turned to our table to take a knife.
At that moment, a monkey jumped between the refrigerator and the table, grabbed the mango and jumped over the wall, and he was with the fruit.
We behind him and chased him the fruit again, but unfortunately she was already given ......

We were not the only victims in the three days.
At noon the monkeys kept their posts and watched the "new arrivals".
Everyone around us was a victim in the first minutes or hour.
The animals were so brazen that they also ran into the houses, in order to purposefully steal things there.

Every day we saw small or large groups of elephants crossing the river in both directions.
Sometimes leisurely, while others in fast-paced or completely relaxed taking a bath.
Giraffes, waterbucks, antelopes and hippos were always guests in the and at the water.




# 180




# 181


Beside the nightly start of the bats, from their hiding places shortly after the sunset, I have a different experience especially remembered.
I discovered a sea eagle with binoculars and followed him on his flight. Deeper and deeper, he flew down to the river and drove his claws, which pierced the surface of the water.
With a fish as a catch he started again and pulled off.
This all in the perfect evening light and frontal to my observation position, ... and exaggerated there, the cam lay not ready for me beside me.

As I said, a great place for rest and relaxation - and everything else was ticked off as "new" experience.
10-06-2017, 04:24 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Balule West - Masodini Private Game Lodge -

7 days (6 nights) we were in the Kruger NP and experienced many great things.
Now it was time to say goodbye to this national park, to our last Accommodation to drive, the Masodine Lodge, on the edge of the Kruger in the area of Balule West.
There we have been 2 years ago for 5 nights and we have had great drives with the Ranger Bert,- he is the owner of a part of this area.

In addition to the great accommodation and the food from the cook Rebecca., we were looking forward to seeing you again with Bert.
At about 1 pm we were at the gate, drove another 20 minutes to the lodge.
What had changed the area over the years!
Sure, here everything is very dry, but broken wood, where we only look. The character of the wilderness had changed so much.

Arrived at the lodge, we were warmly welcomed with hot towels.
We moved the house and with a drink, the innovations were shown and explained.
We immediately felt as if we had not left.



# 184



We discussed the dates for the drives with Bert, - 2 x for evening and 1 x in the morning.

About Masodini- only these, - great food, great accommodation, rest in the day and a few animals at the house
Waterhole, which one could observe from the deck chair in the garden as well.
Karin, as manager, who arranged everything and with her kind was a great enrichment for all guests.

Home - Masodini Private Game Lodge




# 185




# 186 Mutual observation




# 187 before, all had respect




# 188 Head to head


The most important, were the excursions on the car with Bert.
The first evening drive was for us also a new experience.
With 9 + 1 persons we had never been on a tour.
Ascending to the car and Bert came up to me.
"You come to me forward" - this is better for you with the cameras "- OK, I thought ......
My wife, therefore, in the middle row outside and I at the front next to Bert already started.

Radio reported, past a fur and clean bones of a giraffe, we drove deeper into the terrain.
It was clear that we were looking for rhinoceroses to be in a certain area.
We drove off the road - without success.
Then the message about the radio, - Lion with cubs ......

Should we really still see lions, close and clear?
So far our sightings had been rather modest on the journey.

And then we were there .....!
6 small, 4 of them in open terrain, the mother animals and the two other small hidden in the tall grass.
To cuddle !



# 189



# 190



# 191


Then the fun again, and off it went.
In the same area we had searched, the pointed mullets were now found.
A bull and a female animal with a small rhinoceros.
However, in a very difficult terrain, we could not get close to the mother animal and the small one.
As we know Bert, it went straight into the bush, to get a good or better position.

Black Rhino.....



# 192



# 193



# 194

It does not always have to be a large telephoto lens
and no, it was not aggressive, but completely relaxed at the bush nibbling


The further "yield" in the evening, buffalos, elephants ......




# 194
downwards and the track times designed ........
A drink in the open ground in the dark, with eating elephants nearby, had finally also something exciting.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For a short message, I would be very grateful to tell me, especially the photos are now to be seen. Thank you!

I can not check the unfortunately from here, since also with the other contributions, which were faulty,
I always at my PC, whether logged in or not, the contributions were always displayed completely. (Photos and text).
Bernd ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10-08-2017, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #27
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Looks good to me - still enjoying your trip Hopefully we'll visit either East Africa or South Africa in January. We just have to get around to start planning Time files!
10-10-2017, 04:26 AM   #28
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The 2nd drive in Balue West- Masodini Lodge -

The 2nd drive in Balue West- Masodini Lodge -

The situation was quite different for us the next day.
We were alone in the car.
Question by Bert: "Do you have special wishes?" Answer from us: "Cats would be beautiful, - leopards?"
We had heard that in the last days before our arrival, 2-3 leopards were in the area and had also hunted.
In the last two days, however, they had not been seen.

Our "Privattour" now went off and shortly afterwards, there was the message, rhinos sighted.
OK. - since it was very close, we went there and lo and behold.
2 broadmouth goats( white rhino) ran around.
Visibly annoyed by the visitors, they quickly moved back into dense bushes.



# 198



# 199



We drove on over the hard, very bumpy roads. Here I would have had 3 or 4 hands, 2 for the equipment and 1-2 for the own stop.
We slowed and stopped. We waited a while before the news came, the lion went to a waterhole.
Once there, we saw the group of yesterday evening again. This time, however, all 6 cubs with the 3 lionesses.
The females kept listening to the bushes, and occasionally made short, deep sounds.
Bert said, " the man must be nearby".



# 200





# 204 listening




# 205 first water, then still look up


Then we went on and went to a distant corner in the dark for signs of leopard, the drink was not enough, which was not tragic for us anyway.
However of leopards or the like nothing to find.
At a dam, we stopped, the engine was turned off and we listened to the night.
Calm, silence - nothing could be heard.
We waited a long while, the moon gave some light.
The waterhole, which was filled with water two years ago, was dried up this year, except for a small muddy corner.
We drove on as we heard a deep roar.
The lion-mouthed! - we had to be close by.
Another vehicle discovered the lion first, we were hardly there 30 seconds later.
What a luck! - although not necessarily optimal for photos, but so dense!



# 206



# 207


An unbelievable feeling, all around a dark one, only the hand-lights of the two drivers, illuminated the place.
We were left for a long time .........



# 208

And at the next dinner, we had a lot to tell.
10-13-2017, 04:12 AM - 1 Like   #29
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Last drive, the third and penultimate day of the trip:

The morning drive, - shortly after the departure, came the first reports from other drivers over the radio.

"What would you prefer to see? - buffalo or lions, both equal" close ", to the left or right"
We decided for the lion group, assuming the lionesses were with the boys.

When we arrived, oh miracle, a group of six adolescents (4 female - and 2 male lions) who were still quite sleepy.
Slowly they became more lively, cuddled among themselves, the morning toilets were done, and they made ready for the march.
We followed the group and watched as they split up to hunt.
But there was no game in the thick bush, and we left the group.



# 209 just before 6am and life awakens at dawn ......




# 210




# 211




# 214


Here and there a few zebras, and then to the buffalo herd to come.




# 215

We looked for more animals in the open terrain and so we got to the alpha lion from the previous evening.
As a second vehicle, we had to wait a while to get a different position.
The male was so full and just wanted to sleep! - (2x we got it but then again half-high .......)
One speaks of a "Flat Lion", an animal that does not move, still wants to run.
This condition remains for 2-3 days, after which the animal becomes more active again.




# 217




# 218




# 219




# 220 always freshly styled





# 221 good dreams ......

The drives with Bert had again something special, not only the sightings were decisive, but also the way the drives run off.
The rough terrain and the detours into the bush, where there were no paths, fascinated one after the other!
At the end of our trip, we had so many lions (16 and the group of 9 and the male 2x), and we were able to get a close look at this,
the crowning conclusion of an almost 3.5-week tour of the eastern part of South Africa ,
To match the days, there was a Braai on the last evening, - satisfying, plentiful and super delicious.



# 221

At the same time, there was a bit of sadness as we were not only saying good-bye, but also the volunteer and in a few weeks the manager would leave the bush on the journey back to Germany after one year.
With a big Amarula we came upon the beautiful time.





# 222 Visiting the last breakfast at the waterhole


The return to the airport in Johannesburg was very quiet.
With a longer break in Dullstoom, we were around 4pm at the airport, gave up the car and were able to check in immediately.
Looking at the rolling field and a light meal, we let the past weeks and days pass by.

A journey that was characterized by nature observations in the different vegetation zones, different animal stocks and accommodation.
A trip that was not "everyday" for us - with random encounters of different people, whether locals or other guests from so many different countries.

Many talk about dream trips and want to be able to undertake such a trip once.
For us, who we have seen in the last few years so much outside of Europe, this was such a dream trip.
Not coined by cultural centers or big cities, but only surrendering to natural events.

Speaking for me-a dream has come true-I have read very much about Africa's fauna in my childhood and schooldays, and have devoured the animal feedings.
So the first trip 2 years ago to South Africa was the beginning of this childhood trajectory and with the weeks now, the fulfillment of this dream.

South Africa is for tourists, as we are, simply an ideal travel destination!

(taking into account some safety precautions - not only for South Africa!)






# 224

These were mainly the travel impressions of 2015, - in the following we briefly go back to the beginnings from 2013.

Impressions of the Garden Route and the first visit to Masodini and its surroundings.

If you do not get too long, then you can continue with the still fresh experiences from 2017 .....

As I said, an exciting country with so many different nature parks and nice people.

Here also a thank you, to all who accompany this report and also sometimes write or comment it.

lg traveler / bernd
10-21-2017, 02:42 AM - 1 Like   #30
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It's time to go back to our first trip to South Africa.
Since now the pictures are available from the region around Cape Town and the Garden Route.

# G 1 Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope, - so famous and yet somewhat unspectacular, as it is not so impressive in size. It was an important landmark for seafaring at that time.




# G 2 - Cape Point-

Cape Point is a cliff at the south end of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa and not the Cape of Good Hope, which is 2 km further west.
The Cape Point forms the tip of the Cape Peninsula.





# G 3 - on the way to Boulders -




# G 4 - South Cape penguins on the beach of Boulders - in Simos Town -

- back from hunting




# G 5




# G 6 - Bo-Kaap - Quater - Cape Town -




# G 7 - at the Greenmarket Sq.-



# G 8 - Camps Bay Beach with the Twelve Apostles -




# G 9 -The tablecloth above the table mountain in the evening light -


Last edited by traveler57; 12-21-2017 at 05:54 AM.
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