Joahnnesburg newcomers often ask me about Parktown Prawns, Joburg’s most legendary insect. What do Parktown Prawns look like, people want to know. How big are they? Do Parktown Prawns really exist?
The answer to the last question is a definitive yes. You can read all about Parktown Prawns on Wikipedia. Definitely check it out because it’s a particularly entertaining Wiki entry. My favorite line is: “Accordingly they [Parktown Prawns] frighten nervous persons and they may chew carpets and fabrics.”
I’ve been wanting to write a Prawn post for years. Even though they are not actually indigenous to this area, Parktown Prawns have become a part of Joburg’s culture and folklore. Part cricket-on-steroids, part giant cockroach, park prehistoric monster, Parktown Prawns — much like this massive city that they have adapted to so well — are one-of-a-kind. Continue Reading
The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is an unusual place. It borders Sun City — a glitzy, Vegas-like resort in South Africa’s Northwest Province. Pilanesberg is small by African game park standards, and Pilanesberg’s animals were originally introduced from other parts of Southern Africa when the reserve was created in 1977. (Read more about Pilanesberg’s interesting history on Wikipedia.)
For all of these reasons, in the eyes of many South Africans, Pilanesberg is not a “real” game park. And even though I enjoyed a great trip to Pilanesberg when my mother visited two years ago, I had also recently convinced myself that Pilanesberg is somehow not legit.
I went back to Pilanesberg with my dad last week, and my attitude changed. Continue Reading
We round a bend and see a white rhino, browsing through the tall yellow grass.
“I’ve taken so many rhino photos already,” I announce sanctimoniously. “I’m not even taking my camera out.”
Another rhino. Ho hum.
On my recent visit to Etosha National Park, I learned that you can’t just rock up to a game park, drive around, and expect to take fabulous wildlife photos. Good wildlife photography is a lot of work and requires equipment that I don’t have, like binoculars and a telephoto lens. It’s also difficult to take good wildlife photos while simultaneously driving a car.
So instead of taking “good” wildlife photos in Etosha, I took quirky, comical wildlife photos.
This shot of a mother and baby wildebeest pair is not necessarily good. But it’s funny. At least I think so. Continue Reading
The guessing game is over. In the unlikely event that you haven’t figured it out already, I spent the Christmas and New Years holidays in Namibia.
Me in Namibia on Christmas morning. There was a lot of sand there. (Photo: Michelle Stern)
I was in Namibia for ten days, traveling around by car with my friend Michelle. We visited three major destinations: the beach town of Swakopmund and its surrounding area, Etosha National Park, and the Waterberg Wilderness (plus one night in Windhoek on each end). Continue Reading
From the Melville Cat:
This morning I was hanging out in the kitchen of the Lucky 5 Star, minding my own business. Then Heather and Lucky snuck up on me with that terrible plastic box. Next thing I knew, I was at the horrible place called the vet.
Strange hands pulled me out of the box and put me on a cold metal table. (How rude.) Then I heard Heather speaking to the doctor, whose name was Clare. They were discussing my tail.
“The tail isn’t broken,” Clare said to Heather. “It’s an ABSENT.” Continue Reading
From Smokey, the Melville Cat:
There’s something wrong with my eye.
Yeah, so my face looks a little funny. What’s it to you?
I often find myself trying to explain what blogging means to me — how it’s helped me connect with people, both here in Joburg and around the world. It’s hard to convey though. The only people who truly understand are other bloggers.
I have this blogging friend named Francis. I don’t know Francis personally; in fact, I hardly know anything about him. I know that he lives in Northern Ontario, about as far from Johannesburg as you can get. He suffers from serious health problems that keep him housebound most of the time. I know that Francis writes a blog called Niltsi’s Spirit, and I know that he is an artist. He writes stark, gut-wrenching poems and takes beautiful photographs. I know that Francis loves animals and nature, and his WordPress username is Spiral Dreamer. Other than that, Francis is a mystery to me. Continue Reading
This post is co-authored by the Melville Cat and 2Summers.
Hi everyone, it’s Smokey here. I’ve been meaning to introduce you to a special person in my life: Ms. M.
The lovely and mysterious Ms. M.
Ms. M used to be my human, before I decided to move into the Lucky 5 Star with Heather. Ms. M is a very special lady. I visit her often, as she lives around the corner from Heather. And who knows…If I tire of living with Heather, I might make Ms. M my human again someday. I am His Lordship, the Melville Cat, and I do as I please. Continue Reading
There was a time when I didn’t believe in fate. I used to think life was one big coincidence. Then I came to Africa and changed my tune.
Five years ago, if I had visited a psychic and she had predicted where I would be today, I would have laughed in her face and walked out without paying. The life I’m leading now is so extraordinary — so utterly impossible – that I don’t believe it could be a coincidence. There must be some reason, some explanation. There must be some plan, of which I’m not yet aware.
A month ago, I wrote a blog post called ‘Land Rover on a Swazi Mountaintop‘. The post was about a photo I took three years ago in Swaziland’s Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, at the top of Nyonyane Mountain. I visited Mlilwane with Jon in June 2008, and it was a very special place for us. Continue Reading