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Come with me and enjoy wildlife,landscapes and some cities of South Africa
Photo Location: 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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07-25-2017, 03:59 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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A long jump to the end of the Garden Route.
Area around Port Elizabeth.
Next to the Addo Elefanten Park, where we only watched a three-quarter elephant. https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/
It was windy and all the big animals were in the bush. Not a lucky day.
But on the same day, in the late afternoon, we drove to a rearing station for cheetahs.
There we went for a walk with a sibling couple - unforgettable!

It was a very special walk.
First we had to climb to the loading area from a pick up, where the two animals were already.
Nobody really wanted up from us 6 people.
The head of the rearing station calmed us, but we should not step on the tails of the cheetahs ....
So we drove a few hundred yards, then began to cross our walk with the animals.
We were allowed to take pictures all the time and also in front of the animals face.
It was like big house cats, only the coat was rather hard and the tongue was very rough, when an animal licked my hand.
This has also made it clear to me, how the robber cats get so clean the bones ....




What an experience for over an hour.

http://daniellcheetahproject.com/

Critical viewers are rather disapproved of the animals' exposure.
It is also for me, the only animal species I consider appropriate, since these hand-raising were.
Offers for lion walk - or lion petting show or on ostriches to ride,
I find completely unsuitable and I would never support this.
Likewise, the tiger temple, now closed in Thailand, was only geared towards money. The animals were then drugged, later slaughtered and the animals sold expensive to other Asian states, because of the so-called "healing effect".
The same applies to the killing of the rhinoceroses in Africa.

Humanity is and remains the greatest enemy of the planet and its creatures.

Last edited by traveler57; 07-25-2017 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Link inserted
07-25-2017, 08:55 PM   #3
Des
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Thanks for sharing the story and the wonderful photos.
07-26-2017, 02:07 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing The "Africa bug" is definitely the most pleasant bug I've caught! And I agree, South Africa is a marvelous and incredibly diverse country. Also very easy to get around and to orginise things yourself. I'm not sure how many trips there have been now, but I know more will come in the future.

07-26-2017, 03:36 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Thank you for the first answers.
I hope, it will be even more, in a while.....

Since many recordings were made in 2013 with an Olympus in the telephoto,- I change to the year 2015.

From Johannesburg, we drove straight to Clarens, which is close to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
In addition to visiting the little beautiful town, we hiked and walked around the park for a day.
The weather was with us, so we enjoyed the day.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park - Wikipedia




A beautiful view at the beginning of the hike.
It went up to the shady spot in the upper right corner of the picture.
Unfortunately not quite on the plateau, since the last meters were very sharp.
Overall, we were a good three hours on the partly narrow hiking route.
A nice holiday start, after the flight- and arrival day.

We didn't have snake sightings, but as another hiker with a lower bite guard passed us, I looked more closely .....

On a loop , which we drove with the car, we saw some antelopes, zebras and a secretary bird .
07-26-2017, 06:08 AM   #6
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My last visit to Africa was to Cape Town in 2008. Stunning place and I don't just mean Table Mountain though the sight of it was wondrous in it's many aspects depending on the weather. I have an image of a football stadium being built for the 2010 World Cup.......on my favourite little golf course. Imagine teeing off towards Table Mountain! Taken in passing from a car.
I lived as a schoolboy for three years in Nairobi in the late 50's early 60's up until Kenya got independence and remember the Rift Valley, Ngorogoro crater, Mt Kenya, game parks............and the Murram dust.
Africa is a special place, so are many others.
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07-27-2017, 04:05 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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on the way to St. Lucia - Kwa-Zulu Natal

After two nights in Clarens and a night in Durban, we traveled to St. Lucia, to the Indian Ocean.
A great little place, good for relaxing and for excursions.
Whether in the Wetlandpark to the hippo tour or the seldrive, followed by a bath stop at Cape Vidal.
Therewe have had wonderful days there.
Restaurants are good and even the Hluhluwe NP, can be reached from there.

Durban:

Beach view from the Belaire Suites Hotel




St. Lucia: St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal - Wikipedia


iSimangaliso Wetland Park


Shakabarker Tours - St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Hippo- Tour: earlier sun, then very cloudy, wind and rain....




Yellow Billed Kite






Giant King Fisher - female




Wetlandpark and Cape Vidal








Hluhluwe

Hluhluwe - Wikipedia

Safari Tour: Start in the morning at 4 .00 am to 2.30 pm.
Tourguide and 6 people on the car, bush breakfast and a barbecue at noon.


attentive



Cape Buffalo








Dung Beetle



Our "yield" was beautiful.
In addition, some rhinos, elephants, giraffes, monkeys.
We also saw many different birds and early, a group of lions, which however was further away and so unphotogenic.
Early getting up, was worth it.

Last edited by traveler57; 07-27-2017 at 02:11 PM.
07-27-2017, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Thanks for the tour. I had a wonderful time.

07-27-2017, 11:46 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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Great shot of the Cape Buffalo, if the lens you used was less than a 300mm you are a braver man than I could ever be.
07-27-2017, 02:00 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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Excellent trip report Hluhluwe is still one of my favourite parks.

QuoteOriginally posted by Skodadriver Quote
Great shot of the Cape Buffalo, if the lens you used was less than a 300mm you are a braver man than I could ever be.
The exif says 500mm

But really, not all buffalo are out to get you. It's the old, grumpy bulls roaming around on their own you should be scared of. They'll try to kill you given half a chance. I guess being evicted from the herd does that to you... The big family herds are ok. Sort of the opposite of the behaviour of elephants.
07-27-2017, 02:03 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skodadriver Quote
.....if the lens you used was less than a 300mm you are a braver man than I could ever be.
There were 500mm and I was safe, protected in the safari car.
Highly seated behind a sturdy door....
07-28-2017, 04:24 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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Tembe Elephant Park

From St. Lucia, we went about 230 km to the Tembe Elephant Park.
This is located in the southeast of the country, right on the border with Mozambique.
A resort run by local people, with big safari tents and a round supply with a very good price performance ratio.

Home Page - Tembe Elephant Park

4 nights we spent there and undertook 8 game drives.
The Elenfanten meetings were clearly in the foreground here.
In order to anticipate it at once, it was a confession with the gray giants, which we shall not forget.

So close, one comes to wild elephants, never again!
Here so relaxed, - - - that is another NP completely different.
This means that a safety distance and escape route must always be taken into account. !! VERY IMPORTANT !!

Tembe is quite different, especially with a good guide.

A bit off the normal tourist routes, but worthwhile for a stay of at least 3 nights or more

Now to the photos ...

our tent:




our first meeting




road blocked...








If it 's itching, - a scratching tree




in the wetland area....












That was a little insight into the afternoon - what a drive! What impressions!

- The landscape is very different, sometimes very dense sand forest,
With deep sandways. Then solid, hard, stony stretches with dense tree and shrubbery.
Or the wetland, with high grass and wide open areas.
Approximately 20% of the NP, are open for touristic purposes.
The other 80% of the area is pure nature reserve and resting place for the animals.
Only special rangers may enter there, some heavily armed, to protect the animals
Against the poachers.
The once-high stock of rhinoceroses has almost been completely destroyed.
(Exact numbers, how many were destroyed and how the stock is today, is top secret!)
As our ranger told us, there was a 100% guarantee in the Wetland, to see one or more rhinoceroses on a game drive.
Today no more, since there is no more in the public part!

Another word about the Tusks,- the old giant bulls with the enormous tusks.
Most of the animals do not stay in the public part.
We were lucky enough to see a beast, depending on the view.
However, further away, hiding in a bush & Tree, at a waterhole,
But that was in the area already locked for us.
We waited a long time to see if the bull would come out to the waterhole.
He did not please us.

Nyala male at the end of first drive....




This was the first drive of eight, we were curious for the next days.

At the dinner we had enough conversation at the table,
Where we sat with an English couple.
(When you arrive at the camp, you can choose whether you want to sit alone, or with others at a table)

Last edited by traveler57; 07-28-2017 at 08:30 AM. Reason: insert :curious
07-31-2017, 06:00 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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Tembe, the second day:

The next days were very quiet, as we were driven.
We were woken up against 5.10 with a friendly "good morning, this is your wake up call", which was handed over personally by one of the staff.
5.30 first light breakfast tea, coffee, milk - cereals, yoghurt, rusk (hard bread, very delicious!) Ect.
Shortly before six they went to the car and left.
The morningdrives were mainly about finding feral cats, so there were longer stakes and different areas.
To make it short, we found every morning fresh traces of lions and leopards, the animals unfortunately never. That 's life!

On the first morning, there was a great encounter with a young bull, who separated from a group and came very close to our car,
In order to "sniff"
He sucked in the air as he led the trunk along the roof and then examined the bonnet, along with the car's front.
We sat complete silence on our seats.- and took a few photos .......
Great start to the day!








In a few distant, giraffes, here and there a few antelopes, there was no more to see later.
So we went to the Hide, (see left above), got a drink and rusk's and looked at the waterhole.
So much was not there in the morning ..... - "animals on holiday" so Patrick our guide.

Back at camp, second, English breakfast, ect.

The next afternoon journeys were transferred to a later departure, because it was much too hot at 15.00 and the animals were in the "cool" shade
hidden.

Towards 16.00 it went however, in the Sandforest .....- the wetland area.








-not friendly-
-this was the only time we'd put the car down a bit to give the bull a place that had to pass us angrily.
In the distance of 5-6m in the bush and directly behind the car again came to the road .-- snorting and shaking his head! -
He pulled away.



In the marshland it was much more relaxed:






profile soles....






Then we heard the news about the radio , lions are in the Hide , --- "do you want to see them"? -- and whether !!
The sun was already very low and Patrick told us that we would have to drive very quickly ...
Last light there.

"That will be a rough driving - hold on tight" - and off you go.




After these 20 minutes, we gave Patrick the title "Best African driver".
That says it all.
From braking maneuvers for animals and ground waves, sprinting trumpet elephants, short stop for a sun-downer picture,
With the multiple demand of radio, whether the lions were still there - everything was there.

Really with the last daylight we reached the Hide, running quietly to the stairs.
And-?
There they were, still in the twilight, a lion with 2 gr. Boys.
For me to see bad - (spectacle wearer and I had only my sunglasses with me , which was now very "helpful"),
Nevertheless simply "blind" on it held.

08-05-2017, 01:11 AM - 3 Likes   #14
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The Tembe days......

The events of the next drives & I prefer to take days together.
Every day and drive, to describe individually could be boring, since you, the readers, the live experience is missing.



Synchronous - Nyalas female



Double

We stayed 4 nights in Tembe, - too long?
This can be judged completely differently.
Many of the visitors stayed 1 - 2 nights, which we would definitely consider too short. 3 nights should be already (which would be 6 drives).
We had fallen with the weather, no rain. According to the weather charts, rains are normal in the afternoon, in February.
Also our sightings and "meetings" at the first three drives, are not the rule, - so were the large elephant groups in the Wetland, from the 3rd evening no more in this area to see.

What was special.
We found fresh elephant trails in front of our tent on the third morning ...?!? - in the camp!
We asked at the first breakfast the camp manager. "Yeah, that's right, after midnight a bull has penetrated, who has a trick on pushing the fence, without getting a blow.
4 weeks was now quiet, but the Marulatree fruits are now ripe .
It's magical for the elephants "
We had not heard of the "visitor" during the night.



footprint at the camp












Wetland / Sandforest

What else was there?

An Extratour to Hide, after the second breakfast. Since the morningdrive was not so productive, our "Patrick" asked us if we would still like to go with him in the Hide. What a question, - and whether! The new couple on the car meant that they had booked massages and could not be with .................... So we drove alone and had 2 hours, an excellent guide At our side, who told much about the behavior of the animals and the park. Extremely pleasant. .... and so many animals in time.

/

/

If it's itching





sand bath



Nyala Group











Our conclusion, after four nights and 8 rides:

Great natural camp, with everything you need, without exaggerated luxury, great value for money, attentive care by the staff and not to forget the guides, which made the days a memorable experience.
All this is embedded in an area that is not crowded.
Embossed by dense forest and scrubland, hilly to flat ending in the green marsh. Revisiting visit not excluded!

Home Page - Tembe Elephant Park


Last edited by traveler57; 08-05-2017 at 01:16 AM. Reason: pic. removed- double post -
08-07-2017, 12:52 PM   #15
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Thanks for a winderful trip around South Africa. It is a wonderful and diverse country with a vast selection of landscapes and activities to choose from. Whenever I leave this country I never wonder if I'll come back, just when I'll come back
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