Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Meerkats at Oudtshoorn

(Retrospective post)

Our overnight stop was at Oudtshoorn. There were two scenic options here; the Meerkats or the Elephants. Both were early morning activities and I took the Meerkats. There was no guarantee of a sighting which was dependent on whether the morning would be fine and warm. If not, the Meerkats might not leave their burrows.

Luckily the weather was favourable and gradually these funny looking animals emerged from their burrows. It is a fairly static display given that they spend what seemed to me an inordinate amount of time to satisfy themselves there were no dangerous predators about. For all of the 75 minutes we observed them they were on guard. Eventually they would start on their day's activities which seems to be engaged in burrowing work but we had to move on before they felt sufficiently safe to let their guard down.

Our viewing vehicles
Off to the burrows
Meerkats on guard
More Meerkats on guard
And for something different, Hippos submerged in the nearby lake.

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Mandela Statue

(Retrospective post)

A mandatory stop outside the Victor Verster Prison to capture photos of and with a statue of Nelson Mandela. Victor Verster was the last prison placement for Mandela and the statue depicts how he was dressed and appeared, fist raised, when finally he was released after 27 years of imprisonment. This was not us in the photograph but a group who had arrived at the spot before us. I think they were members of an Australian orchestra (but this may be wrong).

Sunday, 8 October 2017


(Retrospective post)

We weren't supposed to visit Stellenbosch, a name familiar even to me, a non-drinker, as a noted wine region of South Africa. However when our bus arrived at a mountain tunnel headed for something called the Garden Route we were diverted because of a lighting failure which authorities deemed to dangerous for buses to manage. Instead of a sprint through the tunnel, our bus crawled up and then down a very winding mountain pass stuck between heavy industrial vehicles diverted for the same reasons.

As a consequence we passed through Stellenbosch where we made the quickest of comfort stops. It is a pretty university town which deserves better photos than what I snapped whilst toilet queuing.

The mountain pass route did provide us with some spectacular views of countryside although the winding trip made it difficult to capture those views well. This photo is the best of a poor bunch.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Cape of Good Hope, Funicular and Cape Point

(Retrospective Post)

It was quite cold and very windy at the Cape of Good Hope and nearby Cape Point. Both locations were photo opportunities for the hundreds of visitors scrambling for best locations.

Cape of Good Hope
The photo above gives no indication of the numbers present. The signage just visible mid-right read

Cape of Good Hope
The most South-Western point of the African Continent

34' 21' 25" South
18' 28' 26" East

It was almost impossible to secure a photograph alongside the signage without being photobombed by hordes of strangers.

Just around the corner from the Cape of Good Hope is Cape Point which I think is the southern most spot and also, I think, the metaphorical place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. I'd read numerous times that there is quite a visible difference between the two oceans at that spot but if there is truth in that notion it wasn't evident to me on this day. Perhaps it was just too stormy. I would imagine though that such stormy days and worse would be very common.

Above Cape Point
Looking back at Cape of Good Hope from Cape Point

Travel to and from the top of Cape Point can be effected by foot for the fit and/or foolhardy but I joined the masses in taking the Funicular up and down. The Funicular journey is about three minutes each way.

I had hoped to take some good photos of and from the Funicular, particularly for Andrew's benefit, but the photography circumstances were just as difficult as getting a clear go at the Cape of Good Hope sign. This is the best I could manage.

Heading up
The passing section
Coming down
The passing section
Entering the bottom station

Friday, 6 October 2017


(Retrospective post)

Our first encounter with Baboons in South Africa. They are protected and we saw them all around the Western Cape and elsewhere. This sighting was just down the road from Boulders Penguin Colony.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Boulders Penguin Colony

(Retrospective post)

Boulders, the African Penguin Colony at Simon's Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens

(Retrospective post)

I'm not greatly into flora and fauna but I did enjoy the visit to the Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens on a cold and wet day. I was especially taken with the statuary mostly made up of black rock from Zimbabwe.