The Zonderwater Prisoner of War Camp is about 40 km east of Pretoria and just outside Cullinan in Gauteng, South Africa. During WWII, more than 100 000 Italian soldiers were captured by the British in North and East Africa and they were detained in South Africa. The Zonderwater POW camp was the biggest detention camp built by the Allies during WWII.
The duration of WWII was 1939-1945 and Zonderwater POW camp was from 1941-1947. The Italians had good skills and they could choose between hard labour and practicing their skills for the benefit of South Africa. They were treated well and they were such a benefit to South Africa.
At the Zonderwater POW camp, there is once a year a memorial service and you can view the graves and there is a museum on site. You must arrange with the curator to open it for you. It is worth the effort. (www.zonderwater.com)
Sterkfontein is a set of limestone caves and is located in the Cradle of Humankind, in Gauteng, South Africa. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. Mrs Ples and Little Foot have been found here and if you go on a tour through the cave, then they will show you where it was found.
Tours, with very competent site guides, at the caves, start above the ground and then you go down into the caves via stairs. There is a walkway with lights inside the caves and at the deepest point, there is a lake. Apparently, a diver has died in this lake. After the lake, there is one place that is a little narrow and then you will gradually rise to the surface. The tour runs every half hour, seven days a week and it lasts about one hour.
There is a restaurant, conference facilities, exhibition area and it is easy to access the caves. It is overall a very friendly place and the guides make you feel welcome. The nature around the site is pleasant for the eye.
One of the best places in the world to view mud volcanoes is Azerbaijan.
Mud volcanoes are associated with oilfields, Rich oil and gas fields are usually in the territory of mud volcanoes.
I traveled to Azerbaijan and one of my missions was to see the mud volcanoes. There are some great sites just south of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The mud volcanoes are not a tourist attraction in Azerbaijan and it is quite a story to make the taxi driver understand where you want to go to. It seems as if the locals do not do nature things. When you arrive at the site, the taxi driver waits in his car. He has never been there and he is not interested to see it either.
It is like arriving on the moon, I think. It is desolated and dead silent and around you are these boiling mud pots. The mud and water that boil out is ice cold. I have stuck my finger into it! You can see the big bubbles cook out and it pop with a soft 'blob' sound.
The mud volcanoes look like ant hills on steroids. I am happy to say that I saw it and it is a must do thing if you are in Azerbaijan.
The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in South Africa. The highest point is 3 475 m and the range is more than 1 000 km from northeast to southwest across the landscape.
The Drakensberg offers panoramic views and it attracts hikers, mountaineers, absailers, parasailers and skiers. You can do one day or multiple day hikes and you can rent a guide at any accommodation site. It snow in winter and ice climbing is also possible.
The Drakensberg is divided into the northern, cenral and southern 'Berg'. The central part is my personal favourite because it is so dramatically beautiful.
In the 'Berg' you can see animals, birds, San rock paintings, interesting plants and rock formations and it is also a World Heritage Site.
There are many different accommodation types to choose from.
Cosmos is for me a sign of approaching winter. If you drive on the roads on the Highveld of South Africa, then you will see these colourful flowers. They flower late summer to late autumn, so it is roughly February to April.
There is a Cosmos Route - you just drive in the direction of Secunda and then you will see these masses of colourful flowers.
Historians believe that the seeds of the cosmos flowers were brought in with bags of feed for English horses during the Anglo-Boer war. Cosmos is native to Mexico, where most species occur. They also occur in the US, Central and South America.
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.