A day exploring iSimangaliso Wetland Park, RSA

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I spent a day exploring South Africa’s oldest World Heritage Site- established in Dec 1999. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is quite beautiful but I think you need a 4×4 and a few days to explore the areas further from St Lucia. I … Continue reading

3 days in Durban, South Africa – Photos

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3 weeks ago I was in Durban for 3 days. 🙂

Durban is bigger than I imagined, with a population of 3 million. That’s almost the entire population of Liberia which is estimated to be 3.9 million. For a city that large it is amazingly well organised and easy to get around in a hire car with street directory. After being in Liberia I always notice the normal infrastructure that is lacking here – Durban has painted lines on its roads, working traffic lights (why they call them ‘robots’ in RSA I still don’t understand!), electricity, highrise buildings in the city centre, and everything that makes for a sophisticated city, allbeit, some parts are looking a bit faded and run down. The sports stadium for the World Cup is pretty awesome and stands out on the skyline. The best bit however, is the beach, which runs right the length of the city and there’s a strip of hotels called the ‘golden mile’ which caters for the tourist. That was all very nice but what surprised me was that its a surfing beach and because of the piers jutting out into the sea you can actully watch the surfers surf right past you! I didn’t expect that!!

Apparently its also the biggest cargo port in the country, but for all of that the water looks inviting. It was novel to watch the surfers up close and fun to try some action photography. There was the challenge of the reflected light from the water and the fact that the surfers were often backlit so it was hard to get a really decent shot. Sometimes half the fun is in trying!

I stayed in B&B guesthouses throughout this holiday and found it a refreshing change from big hotels. I did stay in one of the best – Rosetta House in a very nice part of Durban. It was excellent! Best breakfast in town! Run by wonderfully friendly people. I might try this more often as its a nice way to meet other guests, get local tips about the city, and in this case to enjoy luxurious comfort for a reasonable price!

Durban was fun. It might be the only place in South Africa where it still feels like summer, even in winter! maybe the surfing vibe does that  🙂

Stay tuned for more photos from RSA…St Lucia, whale-watching, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and iMfolozi Game Park.

Weekly Photo Challenge – WATER (and wine)

these photos were taken at a winery in the Stellenbusch region of South Africa – a water fixture at the winery where we had nice food and average wine, and then at Peter Falke winery where we had gorgeous wine in funky glasses.

i was playing around with my Canon 50D trying to capture water at fast and slow speed. i like the fourth foto best, and this is definitely my fav south african wine.

i’m heading south to johannesburg

its time to revisit holiday memories! on thursday i’m outta here, heading south! back to the cape of good hope, table mountain, and the vineyards of the Republic of South Africa! yum! and my first time to Jo’burg and krueger national park, and much more! so to whet my appetite, i delved back into my flickr album for a few highlights…

my last trip to RSA was in december 2009 and the gorgeous summer weather will have passed, but still i expect its going to be beautiful. the plan is to meet friends, head straight to krueger national park for 3 days and then drive along the garden route to cape town for a few days and then fly back from there.  it will be fun to be with a friend and i hope i get the chance for a few sweet fotoz which can duly be shared with all!

so i’m going to set myself a holiday photo challenge. 12 days of holiday! 1) i want to take a sharp beautiful landscape photo; 2) i want to take photos with patterns and shadows; 3) i want to improve my portrait shots by capturing some natural poses of my friends; 4) i want to document the holiday with  snappy video; and 5)  i want to photograph a ‘kill’ while on safari – but that one doesn’t depend on me!

Today’s up-date from Liberia’s international airport. I’ve got malaria, for the first time. No wonder I’ve been feeling lousy these last weeks. at least i had the sense to follow up the blood tests becoz the clinic didn’t chase me to let me know! So, in order to post some words today….that’s the latest news….i’m off on my latest blue sky journey!!

cape town holiday

perhaps u can glean from an analysis of my posts that the thing i enjoy the most about working in liberia is the time i spend out of liberia exploring different places on the vast african continent!! thankfully we get a break every 2 months, so i’ve had the opportunity to see a lot in 2009…ghana, uganda, kenya (twice), tanzania, and the latest – cape town, south africa!!

if u want a holiday in africa to a place that does not feel like africa, cape town is the place to go! i think there are so many westerners and tourists there that you feel as though u have suddenly landed in australia or europe. it wasn’t at all what i expected, but i certainly enjoyed it as a change from liberia and a holiday without safari! mind u, we did get to see penguins, peacocks, ostriches, seals and whales, so there was still a lot of wildlife on offer. also i ate springbok, ostrich, and kudu steak – all very tasty!

in order to provoke debate, i will declare here that south african wines do not compare to australian wines – or austrian wines either, or so i’m told!! if you want to have a very nice Sth African wine you have to know the right vineyard and the right vintage and the right grape…and pay more than the right price. what is the point of that? too much like the french pretensions for me! australian wine is far more consistent and you don’t have to be so particular about the years and grapes. most wines from any decent winery in australia will be able to give you a very nice wine for a quite reasonable price. and that is what most people want, hey!  naturally, if you want very good wine, then you can know more and pay more to enjoy more…

i will however grant the south africans one thing – the scenic backdrop to the Franschoek and Stollenbusch vineyard region is absolutely spectacular!! u can forgive the average wine because of the above-average scenery!!

after 2 days searching for good wine, we went to explore the western cape – Boulders Beach, coastline, Cape of Good Hope, Robben Island and Table Mountain, most often ending our day with a nice meal in the Waterfront! life is definitely a safari!