Win a Two Night Stay for Two at Abalone House in Paternoster… Continued
Article by: The SA-Venues.com Team
Win a Two Night Stay for Two at Abalone House in Paternoster… Continued
KwaZulu Natal is a wonderful destination to visit during winter, since its mild temperatures allow you to escape the chill of other parts of the country. As part of our travels, we chose a visit to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, which was established in 1895, and is the oldest game park in Africa … Continued
Restore my faith that not all travellers are only interested in the Big 5 … submit your favourite game reserve or nature photo and win! The only spec is that it cannot be a photo of a Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino or an Elephant. Oh, and amateur photographers only please. Your photo will be featured and credited in our January 2010 newsletter and in line with our Theme for November 2009 (Going Wild in South Africa … The Big 5 and Beyond), you’ll win a special something which will make it that much easier for you to spot game, though they’ll also come in handy at the next rugby match you attend.
Photographs submitted will be featured here for all to admire (so bookmark this page and come back daily to check out your competition). Continued
Something that always amazes me is the modern day traveller’s overwhelming desire to spot the Big 5. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate such a sighting and relish every moment watching Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo and (for me, the as yet unseen) Leopard in the wild, but when lucky enough to spend some time in South African Game Reserves, any sighting fills me with joy … Continued
After a tiring journey, admittedly just a 3 and a half hour drive from OR Tambo International Airport, we had finally arrived at the West Gate of the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve (near Vaalwater in the Limpopo Province) for a long-awaited game holiday.
We happily abandoned our rental car (no private vehicles are allowed in the reserve) and scampered into the back of the open 4×4 safari vehicle, while our game ranger collected and stowed our luggage. Then we were off on our +/- 30 minute “transfer” to the lodge. Within minutes, Welgevonden lived up to the meaning of its name (well found), as we sloughed off the tiredness of the trip and found that sense of peace and the true relaxation that can only be experienced in the bush, with an almost immediate sighting of a Zebra mother and foal … Continued
We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between August and October every year. Countless visitors to South Africa come to our shores to catch sight of these gentle, but huge beasts, and many of them manage to do so virtually face-to-face.
You can imagine the experience of getting close to a whale – longer and definitely wider than the boat on which you find yourself, with a tail that spans roughly 5 metres, and a body weight of a mere 40 tonnes! Have that mass fling itself into the air alongside you and life is quickly placed into perspective! Continued
Aside from the fact that it feels as though one drives forever from Durban to get to Mkuze Game Reserve along the N2, it was this journey that prepared my mind and soul for the necessary unwind that must first take place before spending any time in a reserve. And by that evening, I could appreciate the transition that took me along the northern coast of KwaZulu Natal into the heart of Zululand for what it was – a journey into stillness countered by the wild and untamed beauty that is the Zulu heartland … Continued
It’s dusk when we arrive at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve in the Garden Route, the sun beginning to set beyond the distant purple mountains, the cool air descending. Our welcome at the lodge is warm and comforting and the walk to the reception area full of promise. I’m immediately distracted by the appealing décor, which effortlessly combines colonial grandeur with shabby chic to give a perfect Out of Africa feel.
The beautiful Baroness Luxury Safari Lodge was built in 1822 by Baron von Pletten, an early South African pioneer and conservationist, who used the original, smaller Lodge as his base to explore the then untamed African landscapes.
Built from local stone, the 10-suite lodge has lost little of its original style and is both romantic and luxurious with spectacular views across rolling lawns where zebra and antelope roam freely, to the indigenous forests and majestic Tsitsikamma Mountains in the distance … Continued
SA-Venues.com talk to Dave Estment, intrepid wildlife photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
What first inspired you to pick up a camera?
Racing Superbikes, strangely enough! I raced professionally from 1979 – 1985, so got to know some of South Africa’s top motorsport photographers, from the other side of the lens. Later this led to working with them on test rides for motoring magazines and the odd TV show, eventually being invited to join the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists as a photographer myself. It was a natural progression from there into my other passion, wildlife, and then on into commercial photography.
I see the need for the caption to that pic! Before moving on, do you have any particular highlights to share with us about racing? Continued
Said to be the fourth largest game reserve in South Africa, the ever-increasingly popular Madikwe Game Reserve is also the country’s best kept secret. Despite this, the name is increasingly on people’s lips – perhaps because of its close proximity to Johannesburg (it is but a 3.5 hour easy drive on well-tarred road), or the fact that despite being practically on the Botswana border its Big 5 game viewing is in a malaria-free zone.
Whatever the reason, it was with ‘oh, so you’re off to Madikwe!’ ringing in my ears that I hopped on a plane and headed off for Gauteng, the envy of my colleagues. Despite a flight that was anything but effortless, my hired car and I made it with a half hour to spare on the journey to the North West and Impodimo Game Lodge … Continued
Those of you that have investigated a visit to a game reserve, may have come across Game Walks as an optional activity which can be enjoyed when staying at one of South Africa’s luxurious game lodges. What exactly do they mean by this? Well, you get taken deep into the bush and track wildlife by foot (fortunately under the expert guidance of an armed game ranger) … Continued
The almost perfectly circular Pilanesberg national park, due to its lying literally in the void of a 1200 million year old volcano crater, lies 150 kilometres north west of Gauteng, virtually on the border of Sun City – one of the biggest draw cards to the area – and, by comparison, receives little of the acclaim it deserves … Continued
The Big 5 Photo Series gives you a chance to show off your wildlife photos. When last did you take a trip down memory lane to the savannahs of Africa? With the introduction of the digtal camera, so few of us actually print our holiday photos anymore and photo albums are a thing of the past. Take a trip with us now … find that folder (or CD) of your South African holiday and share your experience with our visitors.
Want to contribute? Just go to the appropriate page and upload your photo.
Enjoy and/or contribute to our photo gallery of the Lion. We asked visitors to share their holiday snaps with us. Below is a gallery and some of the experiences that travellers had while game viewing in our beautiful country.
Click on any photo to enlarge and view a slideshow. Continued
Enjoy and/or contribute to our photo gallery of the Buffalo. We asked visitors to share their holiday snaps with us. Below is a gallery and some of the experiences that travellers had while game viewing in our beautiful country. Click on any photo to enlarge and view a slideshow. Continued
Enjoy and/or contribute to our photo gallery of the Rhino. We asked visitors to share their holiday snaps with us. Below is a gallery and some of the experiences that travellers had while game viewing in our beautiful country. Click on any photo to enlarge and view a slideshow. Continued