South Africa and Victoria Falls

We undertook this voyage in South Africa with our  friend Josette with whom we had done the Lofoten islands in 1997.

This country is famous dangerous and to undertake to do it independently claimed a preparation without fault.

Each stage was calculated not to arrive at the night falling into our place from lodging which had been reserved by

Internet or by fax. We did not want to return back from this part of the world without visiting the Victoria falls (video),

 it was done the first day of our arrival. Our plane landed in Johannesburg and we took the correspondence

for the falls. We bought a package because we did not find a plane ticket to go to the

falls and the price of this 2 nights escapade was the most important station of our budget.

We took again the plane for Johannesburg where we remained because we did not have correspondence for Upington.

The next morning, we flew away for Upington and travelled by our rented car reserved on Internet.

We went directly to Twee Rivieren in Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. At the time one could

to correspond by  Internet with the national parks but the reservation of lodging must be made by fax???

 

PLACES WHERE WE STAID

Augrabies Falls

Kruger Park

Mount Sheba Hotel

M'kuze game Reserve

the park Hluhluwe - Umfolozi

Zulu People

Addo Elephant

the Cape Province

The Cape of Good Hope

 

KALAHARI GEMSBOK NATIONAL PARK

 

This national park is the most important of East Africa because it also extends on Botswana with a surface from 3,6 million

hectares. The gemsbok or oryx is the attraction of the park but one meets there also all the large predatory ones like the lion,

the cheetah or the leopard.

 

 

For our first stay in South Africa, we appreciated

our lodging with Twee Rivieren. We made a night

excursion  without seeing only one predator.

 

the horns of the gemsbok are frightening

 

and vis-a-vis a lion, the combat is balanced.

 

 

 

The springbok is the only gazelle of South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gnou is an antelope. These ritual combat , never dangerous,

 are made to indicate the male dominating.

 

 

the bubale is recognized by its horns in the shape of quadrant.

It would have its streaked flesh and would not be worried too

 much by the  predators.

 

 

 

 

The ostrich is largest of the birds but it does not fly.

On the other hand, the bustard of Kauri is the largest flying

 bird from Africa.

 

 

 

 

thousands of tisserins live in these Community nests.
 

 

thousands of tisserins fly of one tree to the other

 

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From Twee Rivieren, we went to Augrabies Falls where we remained 2 nights.

 

AUGRABIES FALLS 

 

 

 

the Orange river

 

Here, it makes a jump of 191 meters

 

 

there is only the “Quiver tree” which can grow in this arid

landscape where the temperature often exceeds the 40° celsius

 

 

The daman of the rocks would be the animal which would

 resemble more with the elephant. Gestation lasts 7 months

 what is surprising for an animal of this size.

 

 

the oréotrague is a small antelope which does not exceed 60cm

with a weight of 12kg

 

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From Augrabies Falls, we set out again for the airport of Upington where we returned our car before taking

our plane for Johannesburg. We did not have correspondence for Skukuza in the park Kruger and we went

 in a hotel  near the airport. The next morning, we took our

plane for Skukuza and took possession of a rented car which we will keep until Durban.

 

 

KRUGER PARK

Large like 2 times Corsica, the Kruger park is the field of “BIG FIVE” to knowing:

the buffalo, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the lion and the leopard.

We saw 4 of them . We  scaned each tree but we did not see a leopard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are 4 of the 5 large big five met in the Kruger park.

We even were likely to film the hippopotamuses

on the ground closes what is very rare during the day.

The rhinoceroses met were white. Some years ago they

were threatened of disappearance, to day it is the black

rhinoceros  which is in the process of disappearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living in groups, the baboons live more on ground than

in the trees. The meetings of delousings allow

to reinforce the bonds between the members of the community.

The Vervet monkey, with gray peeling has the arms of same

length that legs.

 

 

This large mammal appreciates the high sheets of the acacias.

The giraffe can reach 6 meters in height and its neck of 2 meters

 comprise the same number of vertebrae as a man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is the zebra of Burchell which exists in the Kruger park.

In the Kruger Park, we do not attend the massive

migrations as in Tanzania or in Kenya. Here groups

do not exceed 30 individuals .

 

Impala

 

Cob de Fassa

 

the Kudu

Some antelopes met in the park:

the fastest impala, and most elegant

The cob which is recognized with its tail surrounded by

a peeling of white hairs.

The recognizable  kudu with its horns

 with broad whorls, its dorsal bump and parallel white

 scratches on its peeling.

 

 

The mottled hyena  awaits wisely the end of the meal of the lions.
 

 

The phacochere is the wild pig of Africa.

Its very developed canines are used it to be defended

against its predatory: the lion and the leopard.

 

the guinea fowl is originating in Africa

 

the calao

 

le

an eagle

 

the vulture located a died impala

 

It will be attacked in first with the tender parts like the eyes

The vulture will wait until the other predatory ones like

 mottled hyena break the animal before continuing its

meal.

 

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Mount Sheba Hotel 

 

The African southern tourist bureau in Paris warmly recommended us to remain in Mount Sheba Hôtel,

 a "relais et chateau", located beside the small village of Pilgrim's Rest. From there, we visited

Blyde River Canyon and Mac Mac Falls

 

 

Pilgrim' S Rest, the rest of the pilgrim was the theatre of

 the gold rush in 1873. The site was exploited until 1972.

 

 

 

 

 

The hotel is located within the Veld mountains.

The evenings were cold and the fire of chimney was welcomed.

It is a place very appreciated by the South African and

the restaurant is excellent. We ate one there

cheese Roquefort worthy of ours.

 

 

The falls of the river Mac Mac bear their name because

many prospectors shelled who worked here

at the time of the gold rush.

 

Bourke's Luck Potholes

 

God's Windows

 

the 3 Rondavels (huts)

On a route of 26 km along Blyde River Canyon,

you have the possibility of discovering the potholes,

windows of god  and the 3 rondavels

who looks like the Zulus huts .

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M'KUZE GAME RESERVE 

 

 

 

From Mount Sheba Hotel, we went in the small kingdom of Swaziland and we slept in Ezulwini

in a hotel of chain SUN. The following day, we finished the crossing of Swaziland and arrived in

Zulu country and in the park Me Kuze Game Reserve.

 

the guinea fowl

the lorie

 

an ibis

More than 350 species of different birds live in the reserve
 

the zebras of Burchell

 

the Nyala antilope

 

the Nyala

M'kuze Game Reserve offers observatories arranged near

water points. It is in this park that we met

the Nyala antelope for the first time.

 

 

a couple of Kudus
 

 

This white rhinoceros is common in the park. It is distinguished

black rhinoceros by the shape of its jaw. Square for

white rhinoceros, it is made for brouter the grass, whereas the

black rhinoceros has a pointed jaw which allows him

brouter sheets of the shrubs. Name “WHITE” does not have

 absolutely nothing to see with the color who is similar for

both. It is a mistranslation. “Wide”,  was

translated by “White”, white. The white Rhinoceros is 2 times

larger than the black rhinoceros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before presenting at the point water, the giraffe supervises its

environment. The attitude of the giraffe when it drunk

makes it vulnerable to the predators. But the fact of putting

out one's tongue shows the great pleasure of

having appeased its thirst.

 

a gnou which is watered

 

2 Vervet monkeys

 

 

 

hippopotamuses in the lake Msumu

 

 

the vultures share the remainders of a gnou died since

a certain time because of the odor which emerged around.

 

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HLUHLUWE AND UMFOLOZI GAME RESERVES 

 

In Kwazulu Natal, we also visited the park Hluhluwe - Umfolozi, which is regarded as the second park

from South Africa after the Kruger park for the richness of his fauna.

 

 

Park view fromHilltop

the Lodge Mtwazi

 

our living room

In Hilltop, we remained in Mtwazi Lodge which was

residence of the first director of the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is about thirty years, the white rhinoceros was in way

of extinction and one did not see it any more except

 in the park of Umfolozi. On these 3 sights of rhinoceros,

you distinguish the jaw square white rhinoceros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A group of young Impala males

 

A group of Impala females

 

with their dominating male

 

the Gnous

 

a Vervet monkey

 

a phacochere

 

Nyala

 

the great Kudu

 

a baboon

 

buffaloes

 

the ombrette

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ZULU PEOPLE 

 

After our stay at Hilltop, we went to Shakaland, a village or "Zulu kraal"  reconstituted for the needs of

televised series Zulu Shaka. Zulu king Shaka is regarded by African as Napoleon. He has constrained them

young men to carry out a military service, it modified the warlike techniques in use at its time while equipping

each warrior with a long shield in skin of cow and a shorter lance. He used the strategy of surrounding

said “horn of buffalo”: the attack on the sides to weaken the center and to gain the battle. English underwent

most severe correction of the colonial history on January 21, 1879 with 1300 died on the British side and undoubtedly

2 to 3000 Zulu side. King Shaka will finish his reign assassinated by his half brother. Shakaland belongs to

southern  African hotels Protea which made a place  where the Zulu culture is explained to the tourists. Lodging

be carried out in the huts. We did not have place in Shakaland and the Protea hotels directed us towards another

Zulu village,Simunye, a more authentic village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For many bus of tourists who visit this place, the Zulus are proud to present their culture and their traditions to us.

Principal attraction is the tribal dance which takes place several times per day.

 

 

    

Click on the picture to see the movie

 

 

 

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SIMUNYE

 

We arrived in front of a small dilapidated building where we left our car and took some luggage

and especially our battery loaders.

 

 

 

 

We were not never ridden on a horse and chose the oxcart to go to to the camp where we were

accomodated by Mr Louis, Zulu, the administrator of the camp

 

 

Mr Louis

 

 

Then, it was the attribution of the rooms, comfortable beds, but candles to light, not windows, a water room

without running water. A great surprise!!!!

At the restaurant, we appreciated the Zulu cooking

 

 

 

In the sunrise, Mr Louis joined together us to explain us the culture Zulu and we drank the Zulu beer.

At the night, we assisted at an exceptional tribal dance, but unfortunately without lighting for good to film it.

After the spectacle, we were entitled to the restaurant with its specialities and the next morning at 6 a.m., hot water was

poured in the bath-tub dug in the stone with a light breakfast in the room before

to return to the restaurant for a copious breakfast.

The chance made us discover the camp of Simunye but we let us have still today an excellent memory of it.

GO THERE!!!!!

We leave the camp of Simunye to return to us to the airport of Durban where we returned our car

and taken the plane for Port Elizabeth where we rented a new car that we will return to the Cape.

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ADDO ELEPHANT

 

From Elizabeth Port, we went to Addo Eléphant where we remained. On the road, we have

seen the townships made famous sadly for the period of apartheid. At the beginning of the 20th century,

the elephants are regarded as a calamity by the colonists who sharpen a professional hunter

Pretorius to eliminate them. Its success was complete but the public opinion is moved and obtained creation of

national park Addo Elephant in 1931 with the 11 survivors. Today the park of 9000 hectares is saturated

with more than 200 pachyderms. This is made possible with the density of the vegetation and with the food value of the tree

“spekboom”. The elephants are difficult to see because of the vegetation and it is necessary to settle early the morning near

of a water point to observe them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the picture to see the movie

 

 

The ostricht male is recognizable by its black feathers

The feathers of the female are maroon

 

The bubale

 

The Serpent eater

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East of Cape Province

 

 

FromAddo Elephant, we went to Drostdy hotel at Graaff Reinet  . To go  there,

we passed by Cradock to see Mountain Zébra National Park without seeing the famous zebra of the mountains.

 

the historical city of Graaff Reinet

It is starting from Graaff Reinet that you visit the valley of desolation in Karoo Nature Reserve

Here, you could make a film of western

We then joined the Jardin road by the bridge Paul Sauerr

We remained 2 nights with Knysna and made the excursion at the day of the island of Featherbed.

Sight of Knysna and its area from the island of Featherbed.

 

From Knysna, we travelled towards George, the end of the Jardin road. Many tours operator go on

 road Jardin, but for us it was the least interesting part of our voyage. It is an edge of sea, undoubtedly very snuffed

 by the South-African ones. We, we were sensitive to the flowers which decorated the beautiful residences and all that recalled us

a landscape already seen in France. Of George, we were in Oudtshoorn, the capital of the breeding of ostriches and discovered

hills of small Karoo.

 

It is in small Karoo that the very pretty house of Jans and Almeri Rautenbach is located. We met a lot of difficulties

to find it. We telephoned several times at Jans to ask him for the road and ended up finding the house late in the evening

where awaited us Jans and Almeri and an English family which remained this evening in Oulap .

Jans is a producer of African southern cinema and it made build a modern house decorated with old pieces of furniture

and a collection of African southern art. Today it organizes exposures for the young painters of the

underprivileged communities.

 

 

 

Jans et Almeri offer a excellent hospitality to their guests. They prepared us a meal with the products of their country like

the springbok. And wines… Marvellous!!!!! during the meal, Jans animated the conversation and the principal subject was Europe

 with the entry of the single currency, the euro. Jans favoured very this idea. We keep still today

an immense memory of this evening passed with Oulap. A very good address. Do not missing if you pass in

 in the area. From Oulap, we were in Stellenbosch while passing by the caves of Kango.

 

 

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Around the Cape of Good Hope

 

In Stellenbosch, we remained 2 nights in Caledon Villa, an excellent address. Johan and Ode Krige  received

us with heat and much attention and Johan were proud to present the living room to us where are exposed the

paintings of the Krige family on 9 generations. From Stellenbosch, we drived on the wine trail until Franschhoek,

where we visited the huguenot museum  which shows the influence of the French vine growers in this area of the world.

 

 

We are ridden to the table mountaintable to discover the city of the Cape, then we travelled towards Houtbay,

a small fishing port where we spent the night. We intended to go on the cruise of the island to the seals but,

 unfortunately  we were there at the bad season.

 

the small port of Houtbay

pont of view from the Chapman Road

 

Houtbay is dominated by Chapman' S Peak. The road which skirts the hill is called “Chapman Road”. While following this

road you arrive in the natural reserve of the Cape of Good Hope, famous for the richness of the flora of which proteas

the flower emblem of South Africa.

 

 

 

Cape point

Cape Point

 

the good hope cape

the road finishes at Cape Point, a place with the high

cliffs. We took the way which skirts the sea and

who arrives at the Cape of Good Hope.

 

We took again the road for Simon' S Town, a small village where a colony of penguins resides.

 

 

and we finished by Hermanus, a place where the whales are visible from the coast.

 

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