Category Archives: Trip Reports

Whoo-hoo! Owls and Holidays

Whoo-hoo! Owls and Holidays

Posted on: 12th December 2019| By: Marielle

The call of the Spotted Eagle-Owl is one of those typical owl sounds that appear again and again in mythology, fairy tales and spooky stories — and it’s also one of the cries we make when we’re happy. As in Whoo-hoo! It’s the December holidays! And Thesen Islands has just celebrated the third brood of…
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What a difference a (season) makes

What a difference a (season) makes

Posted on: 14th November 2019| By: Marielle

… with apologies to the original song by Dinah Washington (and Natalie Cole). “… what a difference a day makes, Brought the sun and the flowers, Where there used to be rain … There’s a rainbow before me” The singer was talking about the effects of love and kisses, but I’m talking mountains and weather….
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Greece? Caribbean? No, Knysna Beach Bar!

Greece? Caribbean? No, Knysna Beach Bar!

Posted on: 31st October 2019| By: Marielle

Only the elegant old Paddlesteamer gives the game away … [thank you to Jenny Wolhuter for this photo!] So, while the rest of South Africa was watching the Springboks/Wales Rugby World Cup face-off, three of us went AWOL. The tension was simply too much. And then the Boks went and won the game!!! Well, then,…
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Gallery on 103, Groot Brak

Gallery on 103, Groot Brak

Posted on: 22nd October 2019| By: Marielle

My few days in Groot Brak were spent with two very artistic “tuned-in” women … oodles of talent, thought-provoking conversations, and an appreciation of the magic in nature. Laurinda Smit, besides her day job producing a monthly local news publication with two associates, is also a mandala artist. Using a pointillist painting technique among other…
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Eyes on Groot Brak, Garden Route

Eyes on Groot Brak, Garden Route

Posted on: 17th October 2019| By: Marielle

A short, gentle sojourn in Groot Brakrivier (or Great Brak River to the English) opened my eyes recently to how we sometimes underestimate what very long stretches of silky-sand beaches (in a still-pristine state) we have in South Africa. We walked for kilometres on broad ribbons of powdery sand, sometimes flanked by high dune ridges,…
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Kgalagadi Crossroads

Kgalagadi Crossroads

Posted on: 3rd October 2019| By: Marielle

Kgalagadi is a hard nut to crack. Yes, yes, it’s the best wild precinct for Big Cats. Cheetah, leopard and those amber-eyed lion with beautiful dark manes. Put it down to the swathes of lustrous-gold grasslands to hurtle through and broad open riverbeds to stake out, filled with giant herds of springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest….
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Dylan Lewis and Paradys (kloof)

Dylan Lewis and Paradys (kloof)

Posted on: 17th September 2019| By: Marielle

Overwhelming. Awesome. Sensational. World class. These are all words that describe South African sculptor Dylan Lewis’s sculpture garden on Mulberry Farm in Paradyskloof (a very apt name, that!) in Stellenbosch. He started the garden himself way back in 2009, using an excavator to dig and pile up earth and mould it into dips and mounds…
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Think you can see me?

Think you can see me?

Posted on: 15th August 2019| By: Marielle

When you’re in the wilds, often what’s more special than major tick-off sightings is simply to sit quietly and observe animal behaviour, their interactions with each other … and you … as the case may be. You are now in their territory, where it’s the wild animals that direct operations and call the shots. Clearly…
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Too-whit-too-whoo!

Too-whit-too-whoo!

Posted on: 8th August 2019| By: Marielle

There is something very special about owls … an air of mystique, an ability to see beyond the surface of things, the perceived wisdom in those very big, very bright, very piercing eyes. When they lance you with a look, it’s as if they see right through you. Which is why they appear in fairytales,…
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The surprise … Haak-en-Steek Camp, Mokala

The surprise … Haak-en-Steek Camp, Mokala

Posted on: 31st July 2019| By: Marielle

We’ve been to Mokala many times, and loved it, but what we weren’t prepared for was the absolute magic of Haak-en-Steek, a reasonably recent addition to the park’s accommodation options and one we’d never tried before. The word ‘camp’ is misleading, although there are three small very basic camp sites nearby. But we were expecting…
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