Saturday, 01 December 2007

Holiday in Mpumalanga

Yes, I know that this is really a late entry, but I have just been so busy and I recently got hold of a programme to assist with blogging photos {thanks Sophia}. So here goes about our holiday ...

We left Pinetown at about 08h30 and got on our way after being stuck in a major traffic jam for about an hour. We went the route which took us through Harrismith, Warden, Vrede, Standerton, Ermelo, Carolina and then to the Sudwala Caves. We eventually arrived there at about 5pm. We unpacked and then just wondered around to get the feel of the place. We decided that we would go to the local restaurant for supper and I had chicken liver pasta while Dereck had chicken schnitzel - both very yummy.

There were quite a few peacocks and peahens around and every morning they would wander around the chalets looking for food. When they saw our chalet open, they just wondered in and pecked crumbs off the floor. The one evening I broke up a roll into my hand and they even came and ate from my hand - very funny and quite amazing. Only in Africa!!

The one day while walking around the area, this peacock just flared out his tail and started flapping it at me. I could not resist taking some photos. We left him and a while later on our wanderings, he was flapping at a couple of females. It was quite spectacular and we were up quite close to him.

On the Monday (10-10-07) we went to the Sudwala Caves. We had quite a humorous tour guide and the tour took about an hour. We had seen a documentary on these caves on Carte Blanche a few weeks before, and what they said then was very true. The caves were quite dry compared to other caves I have seen and there is loads of plantations around the area a lot which had been burnt in the recent fires. Here are a few pictures from inside the caves ...

After the caves we went to the Dinasour Park which was just next door to them. I think Leanne and Grant would have enjoyed this as they had learnt all about these creatures while at school and both had quite a fascination for them.
Tuesday, 16-10-07 was the day we had decided to go to the Kruger National Park. After a few days of rain and hail and no electricity in the evenings, this was a welcome sight. We set off at 08h30 and arrived at the Malelane Gate at 10h00. We managed to see the following animals - elephants, rhine, giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala, klipspringer, waterbuck, bushbuck, nyala, tree quirrel, dwarf mongoose and also the following birds - glossy starling, yellow-billed hornbill, laughing dove and a helmeted guineafowl. It was an amazing experience to be so close to these animals. We saw two elephants having a bit of a tussle and got a bit nervous when they started coming down the road - they eventually wondered off into the bush - which was a relief!! While we were driving I spotted something small moving in the road and after Dereck had reversed it was a dung beetle rolling his dung ball. Dereck managed to get a few pictures of it as well and that for me was rather funny seeing this tiny beetle rolling this huge dung ball!On Wednesday, we had to move to a different chalet as the geyser in our one was leaking and they needed to fix it. After we had moved all our things we left to go and see the views from God's Window - very impressive.

Then we went to Bourkes Luck Potholes. The water was very dirty, but it was just as I had remembered it from when I went there with my family when I was a little girl.Thereafter we went to the view sight of the Blyde River Canyon - again as I remembered it - awesome!!

View of the three rondawels:We then went on to Pilgrims Rest, were we had lunch. I had a cheese burger and a chocolate milkshake and Dereck had a pepper burger and a milkshake. These were the best burgers ever! This is a very quaint little town that has been left to look like the old days. It was also as I remembered it from my trip there as a little girl.

On the Thursday, Dereck had decided that we would just laze around, but I had seen a brochure about the Chimpanzee Eden and convinced him that we should go there. What fun and what an interesting place. They rehabilitate rescued chimpanzees and are doing a great job. We saw 10 of the 70 odd that they currently have there.

The chimp that is standing often puffed himself up and then came running and threw stones at us - quite scarey!!

On the Friday, we left to come home. We really had a lovely break and got to see some beautiful places.

Well relaxed signing off ....


Sophia said...

Sure looks like you had an awesome holiday, wish it was us. Maybe when Chloe is a little older we can all go on a family holiday somewhere nice...but for now it's "Home Gerome"

Desire Fourie said...

This was definitely no relaxing holiday ... looking at all the places you managed to visit. The photos are stunning ... would love to see the real size pics and the scrapbooking layouts that you are going to create with these pics. You must definitely enlarge the ones of the rampant Peacock showing of his colours to the females. So where is the next breakaway going to be? Jealous Desire