SANParks, which is the South African National Parks authority, lists a remarkable amount of species living in the Kruger National Park: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. And with almost two million hectares of protected flora and fauna inside its borders, the Kruger is a treasure for local and international tourists and holidaymakers, as well as conservationists and biologists.
While the 'Big Five' are undoubtedly the main attraction in the Kruger, there are also the 'Little Five', the five must-see trees, and the 'big six' for birding enthusiasts.
Most people know Cape Agulhas as the official dividing line between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, but the southernmost tip of Africa is more than a place of geographical extremes... It is a place rich in stories, many involving shipwrecks, castaways and ghosts. In the 15th century, seafaring Portuguese vessels would round the Cape and discover that their compass needles would swing, unable to determine true north from magnetic north. It is for this reason that Bartholomew Dias named this ocean site ‘Capo das Agulhas’ (Cape of Needles). For its mystery and adventure, Cape Agulhas still captures the imagination of contemporary explorers.
As one of the least known regions in South Africa, the Richtersveld is a spectacular mountainous desert landscape characterised by a desolate and forbidding backdrop of rugged kloofs and high mountains. Those who travel here find a starkly beautiful world filled with surprisingly diverse scenery, from sun baked plains, to sharp mountains of volcanic rock, sliced through by the lush Orange River. Though barren and desolate at first glance, closer examination reveals a rich collection of specially adapted desert life forms. It’s no wonder that the landscape has been described by travellers as “martian”.
Nestled between the Drakensburg mountain range and the town of Pietermaritzburg in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), the Midlands Meander is an 80km route that is a delight for patrons of South Africa’s local artists and crafters.
The first route of its kind in the country, the Midlands Meander is the perfect weekend escape for city folk, as its only one hours’ drive from Durban and five hours away from Johannesburg – neatly signposted along the N3 highway with its trademark butterfly emblem.
Just whisper the name “Hogsback” and someone’s bound to pipe up: “Isn’t that where Tolkien grew up?”
It’s a common misconception that Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien grew up in rolling green hills of this lush corner of the Eastern Cape – and the Hogsback locals don’t do much to discredit this. In fact, there is such an atmosphere of magic about this quaint village that it’s not disappointing in the least to find out that, in fact, it is the Amatola Forest that’s in the same area that is claimed to have inspired this iconic writer’s dark, mysterious Mirkwood in his classic novel.
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|Last week was my birthday and I didn't feel very well waking up that morning. I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my wife would be pleasant and say "Happy Birthday", and possibly have a present for me.
As it turned out, she barely said good morning, let alone, "Happy Birthday". I thought....well, that's marriage for you, but maybe the kids will remember. My kids came down for breakfast and didn't say a word.