Monday, February 28, 2011

Well rested? [Massingir Part 3]

Early morning visitor outside my rondavel.

I do hope those of you who stayed overnight at the rest camp are well rested?  I heard lions roaring during the night!  An incredible, blood-curdling sound, I thought they were only metres away from my rondavel. 

Waking up to the many bird calls just before dawn this morning was sheer magic.  I snuggled down a little longer, until the first ray of sun touched the curtain.  I had to get up then and sip my coffee out on the deck taking in the splendour of the new day.  Such peace and tranquility.  I could have sat there for hours quietly absorbing it all!  The song of Africa! 
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Massingir [Part 2]

For the benefit of those of you who have been taking the roadtrip to Massingir Dam with me, I think we deserve a short 'pit stop'.

It looks as though we'll be able to buy a Coke at the little roadside stall just ahead, but I can't guarantee it will be ice cold and, with a journey of this length travelled for the most part on dusty roads, I know your parched tongues will be hanging out by now and eager to wrap themselves around a really COLD drink!  This is Africa, though, and we're really bundu bashing here, so it's best if you don't get your expectations up too high, OK?
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Massingir Dam [Part 1]

Evening descending at a waterhole.

Part of the mystique of the Southern African continent derives from the majesty and variety of our wildlife.  Many foreign tourists come here solely with the objective of seeing 'The Big Five' (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros).  Indeed, a visit to one or more of our many game parks and wildlife reserves is regarded by many South African citizens themselves as a 'must-do' holiday destination.  Massingir Dam is one such spot.  It is a little more remote and less well-known than others and is located in the Gaza District of South-western Mozambique, bordering the Kruger National Park of South Africa and falling within the Limpopo National Park's Trust.

In April 2010, my husband and a colleague of his were commissioned to undertake an ecological survey of the Massingir Dam and the Olifants River.  At the time, I was unfortunately not able to accompany them, so my husband promised to take as many photographs as possible, of both the area and wildlife, to share with me afterwards.  It was the next best thing to being there myself and I thought I would share some of these delights with you, over the next couple of posts.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lichens at Large

Lichen growth on old Prunus tree February 2011

The annual appearance of a particularly spectacular lichen that grows at the base of one of the flowering prunus trees growing on our pavement (directly adjacent to our driveway and, therefore, visible to us upon entering or leaving our property), is always a delightful discovery.  We view its emergence with particular excitement, as it always seems to appear as if out of nowhere.  Herewith I present February 2011's's roughly the size of a rugby ball! 
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Friday, February 11, 2011


Wemmershoek Dam, Franschhoek, Western Cape with flowering gum in full bloom.

I have time this evening to prepare a post in advance, something I've not yet had to do, but with puppy-face now very much 'on the scene,' I don't want to end up, as happened this past week, not being able to feed my blog...lest  thereby  risking its untimely demise.  As a gardener, I know all about the importance of regular watering and feeding and I'm fairly certain a blog requires similar care and attention.  So, to be sure that I at least keep up an appearance of being a regular 'poster' of new blog material, I'm going to take the necessary precautions and prepare this ahead of time.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Heartbeat At My Feet

View across the Constantia Glen vineyards from the verandah of the estate's Tasting Room, which we visited on Sunday.
Aside from feebly trying to keep abreast of all the wonderful blogs I follow, this has been a most unproductive week for me, blogging-wise.  Since last week on Thursday, my life has been usurped by an adorable, fluffy-eared, little sweetheart and it's not even mine!  It belongs to my daughter, but as she works away from home for two days a week, and has other intermittent commitments on some weekends, I've been coerced into puppy-sitting this bundle of love, both here at home and at our daughter's home, until he's fully house-trained and able and ready to be left alone at home for short periods of time.

Hi!  Pleased to meet you...I'm the new pup on the block!
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Garden Route [Part 2 - Herold's Bay]

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder, forever! ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau ~
Today, I'd very much like to introduce you to Herold's Bay. The little village is situated around a picturesque, sheltered rocky cove, a mere 20 minutes  drive from the city of George.  George is the only city within the famed Garden Route. Other popular towns and villages worth visiting along this magnificent stretch of South Africa are Mossel Bay, Glentana, Victoria Bay, Knysna, Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay.  In addition, there are several little hideaways and seaside resorts dotted along the coastline between these larger centres.  

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