I am so f-ing lucky. I am so f-ing lucky. I am so f-ing lucky.
This mantra drifted through my head (with a few letters added), over and over, during the two days I spent at Leobo Private Reserve.
I occasionally get offered free trips because of my blog. When I was asked to visit Leobo, which is in the Waterberg district of Limpopo Province, I nearly said no. It was last-minute and I had some things planned for the weekend. Thank god I came to my senses.
I’ve been to some pretty amazing places during my time in South Africa. But never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined staying in a place like this. 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.
South Africa is a geographically diverse country with eye-popping natural wonders everywhere you look. We all know the big ones: Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, the Karoo, the Drakensberg Mountains. But if you dig deeper into your travel book you’ll find dozens of lesser known places, offering their own unique versions of dramatic South African beauty. De Hoop Nature Reserve is one of those places.
De Hoop seascape.
Last weekend I spent three days at De Hoop, which is a three-hour drive southeast of Cape Town. Full disclosure: The trip was sponsored by the De Hoop Collection. (Trips like this are what blogging dreams are made of.) Continue Reading
I spent the weekend at the De Hoop Nature Reserve, a seaside wilderness in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. It will take me a day or two to get my photos together and write a full post, so here are a few Instagrams to whet your appetite.
The view from our farmhouse at De Hoop. Continue Reading
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
While in Namibia recently, I spent three days in Etosha National Park. Etosha is considered one of the best places in Southern Africa for game-viewing. (Although if you are really into seeing animals, December is not the best time to go to Etosha. There’s a lot of water in the park at this time of year so the animals aren’t forced to come into the open and drink at the waterholes, as they are during the dry season. In December you have to look a bit harder.)
Anyway, we did see lots of amazing animals and I will show you my best animal shots in the next post. For me though, the best thing about Etosha is not the animals, but the sky. Continue Reading
When it comes to beautiful views in Namibia, most people think of sand dunes. I didn’t make it to Sossusvlei — Namibia’s most famous sand-dune viewing destination — on my recent trip, although I did check out the dunes around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (coming up in a future post).
The dunes are indeed beautiful. But the breathtaking view from the top of the Waterberg Plateau in northeastern Namibia will give even the most dramatic sand dune a run for its money.
Beat that, Sossusvlei. Continue Reading
I’ve been attacked by an end-of-year malaise. My blogging motivation — and motivation in general — has flagged. So I thought I’d return to my quick-and-easy Instagram for Art’s Sake project today.
The agapanthus is one of my favorite indigenous summer flowers in South Africa. I love the word, too. So exotic.
This lone agapanthus bloomed in my backyard last week. I took several photos of it but this is the only shot I’m happy with.
This is my third summer in Joburg and I’ve yet to write a post about jacarandas. The jacarandas bloom around October or November, and the Jozi suburbs become shrouded in purple for a couple of weeks. We need to appreciate jacaranda season while we have it. Jacarandas are an invasive species in South Africa and the public is banned from planting new ones.
A couple of weekends ago, I thought the time had finally come for my jacaranda post. My friend Jackie scheduled a late afternoon jacaranda photo stroll through Saxonwold, Joburg’s leafiest and most jacaranda-filled suburb.
I showed up ready to shoot purple, but there was very little purple to shoot. It’s been a weird jacaranda season in Joburg this year; the blooms came late, and in some places they hardly came at all. We seemed to have missed the peak in Saxonwold. Continue Reading