Tuesday 29 January 2013

Field Trip Part One

This is surely one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. On Sunday The Hubcap and I went to check out some of the surrounding areas so we can advise our guests with firsthand knowledge. Basically that was just an excuse to go for a walk on the beach.

The village of Hluhluwe is situated smack dab in the middle between the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This huge complex has a number of attractions and we decided to visit Sodwana Bay which is one of them. Getting there from The Fever Tree takes about an hour, but it sure is worth the drive. The water is warm and as it was off-season, the beach was not crowded. The wind blew a bit too hard for my liking, but I will most certainly be going back, and soon.

We left when the wind became too much for me and decided to go home through uMkhuze Park. We have been there many times before so we knew what to expect. What we did not expect was the condition of the road.
The rough bits on the right is what is left of the tar road.
The powers that be of iSimangaliso are going to have to see to this soon. I know we have had a lot of rain which does not help but this is not good.
The Nguni cattle in the area is a sight to behold. 
In Africa we use whatever we can find if we cannot afford to buy what we need. This ingenuity produces some truly picturesque building projects.

As we got near the park we had to cross the Mkhuze River. I have never seen it flowing as strong. Hopefully we will not have the same drought as we have just come out of this winter. We found this gorgeous
Pied Kingfisher sitting on the bridge.

In the park we were treated to some wonderful sightings.
During the dry season the edge of Nsumo Pan is the line of reeds behind the hippos, but the water level is so high that there is space enough for them in front of the reeds.
They were getting a bit agitated as we were quite close to them, so we left. BTW, more people are killed by hippos than by lions.

The number of young animals in the park is astonishing. We came across impala, wildebeest and giraffe nursery groups.

We left the park at exactly 7 pm and had to brave the shortcut in the dark. This road used to be the main road from Durban to Maputo.

All in all, a day of seeing beautiful sights, bad roads and fabulous wildlife.

Wednesday 23 January 2013


No, not the halucinatory kind, but the dreamy kind. When we started renovating this property, I had a vision, or maybe I should call it a dream, or maybe a wish.... never mind, I just knew how I wanted the place to look.
In the beginning we spent so much time and money just fixing what was wrong that we sort of lost track of what we wanted. Now we have done most of the have to's and have started on the want to's.
The back courtyard was a desolate place. Four walls and a paved floor with a couple of pots with herbs.
The Hubcap is very handy though. In no time we had beams cut to size and ready to go up.
Already the space looks a lot more inviting, even if it is just the bare beams. We got them all measured and made sure they fitted. Then we took them down and painted them.

Getting closer and closer to my vision.
We made a trip to Kwambo Poles and bough a load of laths. What a job to get them painted! But so worth it. Thank goodness for electric screw drivers. If we had to do this by hand it would have taken forever. So we are 99% of the way there. Just a couple of things to go on the wall and Phase 1 would be complete.