The Anton Smit Sculpture Park just north of Bronkhorstspruit Dam is a feel good place. You can walk around in the garden and enjoy both the enormous and small sculptures. You can sit in the shade of the trees and you can drink the beautiful surroundings in. You can delight yourself further in the art gallery and when you are done, you can enjoy something at the restaurant on the premises.
The place is easy to find and the entrance is free. Give yourself enough time for this experience. You can find all the details at www.antonsmit.co.za.
Ongoye forest is situated in the Ngoye range of hills in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. It lies at an altitude between 305 and 455 meters and the annual rainfall is between 800 and 1100 mm. It is located approximately 15 km from the coast and 150 km north of Durban, between Mtunzini, Eshowe and Empangeni. You can just follow the signs.
After you leave the tar road, you will go onto a gravel road that is not good in some places, so, you need a high clearance vehicle. It is still worth the effort to go there. The forest is surrounded by grassland. There is 130 bird species and the Green Barbet is endemic.
When you arrive at the park, you must report at the office and you can also ask for a guide here. You can drive through the forest, but we drove to the edge of the forest and then left the vehicles and walk further. The guides know exactly where the barbets usually are and I also saw a magnificent sighting of a Narina Trogon here.
There is a house that you can rent on the premised, but we stayed in Mtunzini. I give Ongoye forest a high five!
Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park is on the R511, just east of the tunnel. You can park in front of the park and there are guards that watch your vehicle. The park is larger than what it look from the outside. The park is neat on the inside and the cages are clean and the animals had fresh food to eat. There is a variety of snakes, reptiles and exotic animals.
You can take a boat cruise from there and the boat looked new and safe to me. The dam water is green as usual. I do have a problem with parks like this. You cannot keep wild animals in small areas like this and I think it is cruel. I felt sad when I walked out of the park and I wished that I could free all the animals out of the park.
Myself and a friend who lives overseas had a master plan for our Christmas 2015, holidays. Christmas holidays in South Africa is in the middle of summer. Our master plan was the Kruger National Park and we camped in a camp called Pretoriuskop. Logically speaking, it is not a good idea, because of the heat and the malaria mosquito. Well, there were no mosquitoes because of the drought, the rivers and water holes had dried up and mosquitoes breed in water.
We pitched our tent next to the communal bathroom, only because that was the only available place in the campsite. The campsite was full to maximum capacity. So, everyone and everybody had to walk past our tent to go to the bathroom and they obviously checked our camping style out. One day someone asked us if we had an air conditioner in our tent, but we did not, we slept with the tent windows open and that was good enough for us.
So, we then, walked around in the campsite and observed what the others are doing and they all had air conditioners in their tents and caravans. Camping has become very sophisticated and it is still a very economical thing to do in South Africa. When I camp in winter, I shamelessly take my electric blanket with, but I could never have thought an air conditioner out.
The N14, the highway between Pretoria and Lanseria, is currently undergoing roadwork in both directions. From the beginning of 2016 it was only on the eastern section, but since 08 February 2016 it is on the western section as well. There are very long delays during peak hours and the driving behaviour of the taxis and some other drivers will leave you speechless.
Allow yourself plenty of extra travel time, listen to soothing music, practice deep breathing and enjoy the nature around you. The veld is very colourful at the moment.
On 30 January 2016 we visited the Makapan's Caves just north of Mokopane in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is part of Makapan Valley and it is a cultural heritage site. There are 72 caves, but we could only visit 3. There is also site guides available. The caves are important Stone Age sites and it was also a site of repeated refuge from conflicts in the past. Limestone was mined in the caves, it stopped now, but the caves were damaged by this mining practice.
From the caves we went to the Eersteling Monument, but it is not possible to access it. It is locked up. Mining activities took place there in the late 1800's.
Just south of Mokopane is the Moorddrift Memorial Site which is much neglected. The site is next to the road and is easy to reach.
I am the owner of Flycatcher Travel and my idea with this blog is to report on sites that we visit. I am also very interested in South African history.