Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunset over the pretty lagoon at the mouth of the Knysna River.

I woke to pouring rain in Knysna and even though it was supposed to be 23 degrees it really was fleece weather then to my dismay the sky stayed grey the whole day but at sundown, just as I was about to down a glass of delicious Chenin, the sky briefly cleared and coloured red, forcing me to grab my cam, ruining my moment of peace. :)
The above photo was the fabulous view from my hotel room

See this view on webcam here
I was at Cornuti's a super nice but very busy restaurant at lunch time, its on top of a hill over looking the limestone cliffs of the Heads which dramatically separates the tranquil lagoon from the pounding surf of the Indian Ocean and while waiting for my table I shot this tiny lighthouse, warning sailors of the dangers ahead
The Knysna lagoon at low tide on a rainy day

Friday, July 10, 2009

Passing through the Transkei

I have been traveling most of the day from East London and have now arrived in Knysna in time for the oyster festival
Since it was such a long journey there was no time to stop and take photos, these 2 were taken from the car

Transkei the Wildcoast has its own eery beauty with its gaily coloured rondavels dotted around on grass covered hills and warm coloured rocks and sand but it also looks like a desolate place
Interestingly 2 ex presidents were born in the Transkei: Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Walk the Oribi suspension bridge Not a place for fertigo sufferers

This is the first thing you see when you arrive at the Oribi swing bridge
You can survey the bridge from the lookout house and decide if you want to risk your life walking it :) or rather take the path leading to the other side
Only 6 people are allowed on it at the same time and believe me people strictly adhere to that rule

Walking the swing bridge didnt bother me, even though it sways with every step but the metal bridge jutting out over the gorge (you need to click on the photo to see it better) was moving when I walked to the end and I must say I didn't linger too long :)

To see this vantage point one of several you need to pay R10 admission fee to the Oribi Gorge Conference Hotel and Adventure Resort.
Here you can peer down over the edge at the awesome grandeur of the gorgeThe KwaZulu-Natal landscape seems endless from here

I just discovered this cool virtual website it shows the view from the Oribi Lookout house Click and drag on the picture to take a look around. (tip: Click on fullscreen mode)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Abseil Slide or Swing into the 100 m deep Oribi Gorge, a place of echoes

Jump or step off the top of Lehrs waterfall, the little edge in my photo, to swing into the depths of the gorge in a 100m arc (33 Stories) its the highest swing in the world

Or abseil into the gorge The first 45m is a cliff abseil and the remainder 65m is a free abseil or if thats all a bit much then just choose the slide you slide 120m long a steel cable 160m above the ground similar to what I did in Tsitsikamma
Click on photos to enlarge
There wasn't much water because its the dry season now
The Oribi area is beautiful, I visited the Lake Eland Game Reserve which is close by in the morning, saw and photographed many giraffes + other animals then had lunch in the ghastly "flintstone" Oribi Hotel and paid the obligatory
R 10 pp to use the trail for seeing the special sights of
1. The Overhanging Rock
2. The Chimney
3. Camel Rock
4. The Needle
5. Baboon’s Castle
6. Lehr’s Waterfall
7. The Heads
8. Lovers’ Leap

Then visited the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve walked along the river
A pair of African Crowned Eagle have a nest virtually over the road in a tall tree on the left-hand side about 1.5 km down the gorge from the reserve camp turnoff. Park at the layby about 100 m further on and walk back up to the nest its Africa’s most powerful bird of prey.
And ofcourse walked the swing bridge over the gorge its amazing how many epople are frightened of heights and take the path around someone was even crying of fear in the middle of the bridge :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Life is a beach in KwaZulu Natal This is Southbroom on the Wild Coast

I wanted to see the Oribi area of the South Coast in KZN and when I arrived at my accomodation late afternoon there was just an hour of day light left (17.15 pm was sundown)perfect to saunter along the beach with my camera hoping for a nice sunset

It was an average sunset compared to what I am used to see in Cape Town but it was nice nevertheless and the beach was glorious

Note the full moon...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Zimbali in KwaZulu Natal is pure bliss !

Once you walk through the foyer this is the view which greets you A friend recommended this piece of paradise, tucked away in the lush green sugar cane fields of the KwaZulu Natal North Coast,the plan was to go sightseeing but in the end I only left the estate once to go shopping in Durban its the perfect place to chill out
The view from the room couldn't have been better
The estate is so huge they ferry you around in golf cars but there are also walking trails, I walked from the room along the lake to the beach it took me hours since I had my camera with me and I just couldn't get enough of photographing the scenery and birds

Walking the trail was like being in a tropical jungle
unfortunately there are deadly snakes in the bushes, otherwise I would have gone off the path to sneak closer to the birds

This tree was constantly festooned with an array of birds it was so funny I saw a mother bird showing the baby how to fly , flapping her wings time after time, screaming and squeeking :) I watched for quite a while but the kid refused to move,I could't blame him, it was a very very high tree !

Zimbali is a 370 hectare (925 acre) tropical coastal residential and resort estate located on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in the heart of Zulu land

Hill Top Camp restaurant while I had lunch and a cold glass of wine on the terrace we spotted a huge herd of elephants down in the valley this was only part of the group when I had finished lunch we drove around seeing loads of animals then when it was time to leave we drove slowly in the direction of the gates when suddenly a whole family of elephants appeared from the bush and wanted to cross the road As soon as the bull noticed the car he immediately let us know he wasn't pleased to see us his ears went up and he gave us a vocal warning then proceeded in our direction !
So we hastily beat a retreat till we were at a safe distance to watch them cross

After Durban I stayed in St Lucia for 4 nights and 1 of those days went to the oldest game park of South Africa Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
to see the big 5, lion, rhino (back & white), elephant, buffalo and leopardClick on photos to see them jump at you ;)