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Highlights

Table Mountain has to be one of the most spectacular sights towering above any city. The walk up it is just as rewarding. After you've marvelled at the view, take the revolving 'cissy' cable car down and it's sundowners at 'La Med' followed by a superb pizza at 'Posticino'.

The long journey up north to the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is well worth the effort.

Entry 29 August 1999
Tripometer 19,110 kms
Currency Rand (10 = £1)
Language English / Afrikaans
Time GMT + 2
Hornbill sits on the door mirror

Previous "Ghana"

Our arrival in Jo'burg was a bit of a culture shock. There was an ATM - instant cash and there were signs so we sort of knew where we were going. Most impressively there were people speaking in a way we could understand them. It was when we were bombarded with touts from backpacker hostels that we realised the mobile phone had gone. Lost or stolen? We decided to go to Brown Sugar Backpackers which offered a laundry service, full English breakfast and was cheap. When we arrived we were greeted by a thick wall of fag smoke out of which emerged an arm holding a bowl of something that we are not meant to grow in England. Within seconds my eyes started streaming and my nose felt as though it was going to explode. Back to healthy living!!

The temperature here was considerably less than we were used to. It was winter and Jo'burg is further chilled by its position on a high plateau. After a freezing night in the worlds creakiest bed and with a bunged up nose I was not the happiest bunny in the morning. Anyway we took a minibus tour into Soweto to learn about apartheid, the 1974 Soweto uprising and the difficulties that the townships are having in the post-apartheid era. We had been warned that the area was now safe but that we would be shocked by what we found. Wrong on the latter. We were pleasantly surprised. After West Africa the township of Kliptown looked clean and organised. The people we met were incredible. We spent the day with Bobby who is a local voluntary worker determined to improve the education and living conditions of the children. His girlfriend Karen is working to improve the role of women. They were so focused and so determined to achieve their aims but were disillusioned by the governments lack of effort to help despite their claims of improving townships. Their greatest bugbear was that Soweto has an international reputation and was Mandelas childhood home. One would have expected this town to be the showpiece for post-apartheid improvements. We were impressed by the sight that everyone was working to improve their town. There was no-one lying around or sleeping on the pavements as we found everywhere in West Africa. Over the next few days we were to discover that the despondence felt about the ANC was a common feeling by everyone we spoke to, whatever their colour or occupation.

That night we discovered that Cape Town had been hit by a tornado which wiped out three of its surrounding townships. Thank goodness the high flight costs direct to CT from Accra had prevented us from flying into CT on the 29th. Had a hot bath for the first time since our stay with Jean-Francois in Abidjan.

In the morning we booked our six berth sleeping compartment for the 26 hour train journey to Cape Town for the following day. The journey takes you through the spectacular Karoo Desert along the same route that the famous "Blue Train" takes. At the Eastgate Centre, out of town, we spent the afternoon oggling at western goods and catching up with "Star Wars" at the cinema.

Jo'burg is such a strange town. The crime rate here is higher than anywhere in South Africa. Muggings and car-jackings are common but statistics apparently show a recent decline in number. There are certain "no-go" areas at all times and some "no-go" areas at certain times of the day. We were constantly warned about not going here or there, that we must take a taxi everywhere....etc. Houses are surrounded by electric fences and have alarms, dogs and automatic gates. The level of paranoia here is enormous and I believe that the rumour industry has got a bit carried away. The place feels fine yet you are told something different. We even had a security escort to buy the train tickets!  We walked around and felt quite safe but we were very vigilant at all times. It was inevitable for us to absorb some of the paranoia.

Brown Sugar turned out to be an amusing place full of weirdoes. We were not sad to leave and were excited to board the "Trans Karoo" train. The long haul trains are all given names. Looking for the 12.30 to Cape Town would be wasting your time. There are three classes on the trains. We opted for 2nd class and paid 24 each for the sleeping compartment. The first class was only 31! We had to kick out a 3rd class opportunist before we could get into our compartment. With loads of room and storage space we got out one of our fourteen big bars of chocolate and settled down for the long journey taking us through spectacular scenery reminiscent of the US wild west. A glorious sunset was followed by a meal in the buffet car with a fine Bellingham wine. Oh yesssss - we are in the wine capital of the world!!!!!!

Even though the bunks were comfortable the night was disturbed by the regular stop-start of the train and the even more regular knocks on the door by pestering dining car staff hoping to flog us drinks and food throughout the night. Waking up to the sights of the beautiful Karoo Desert and the even more spectacular wine regions was just superb. As Table Mountain became visible in the distance I could hardly hold on to the excitement. We were here three years ago and loved it. Now it felt like we were going home. Cape Town greeted us with beautiful weather and fish 'n' chips. We all piled into a minibus which took us to the Aardvark Backpackers (part of Lion Head Lodge) in Sea Point. It is a bit of an upmarket backpackers with the most comfortable beds and was a real treat after Jo'burgs backpacker experience.

Friday morning saw us walking to the great tourist attraction - the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. It is a posh shopping mall built around a series of quays and has beautiful shops, restaurants and ...a cinema. Whittards provided us with a new tea infuser to replace the one that got trapped in the car door. After a fantastic Italian lunch we spent the afternoon establishing the whereabouts of our container ship, taking the Psion organiser into a shop for fixing and falling asleep whilst trying to watch a one hour film at the Imax cinema.

The visual experience at the New York Bagel Bar where we went for breakfast the next day was incredible. In fact, there was so much to choose from I ended up with only stewed fruit and a croissant. After a day of jobs we headed off to La Med (bar by the beach) for the South African tradition of "sundowners". The sunsets here are spectacular especially when you have Table Mountain behind you and crashing Atlantic surf in front. We watched the sun drop whilst discussing how much we like it here, then went off for a steak dinner.

The next morning was Sunday and we had arranged to go on a fishing excursion. Our host was Graham  - off his head would be a mild description of him, but he was a great entertainer. The beach was beautiful and despite being early spring we had a lovely day of sunbathing and whale watching. The sea is freezing. No fish were caught but lots of weights and hooks were lost which had got tangled in the kelp.

Rooibos - the beach with whales

The coastal road back to CT is beautiful and the road surface similar to that of Castle Donnington. We were very very very envious of the motorbikes whizzing past us, in particular a Fireblade doing the biggest wheelie I have ever seen. I thought it might have been my dad! Oh, to be back on a bike.

Back at the backpackers we had a few beers, a few games of pool and watched the highlights of Foggy win the motorcycling world championship.

Monday morning meant time for Punda and Turtle retrieval business. The ship was due in that day so we speedily took our documents (passports & carnets) over to Mohammed, our freight forwarder. He was out but we left the documents at his office then went for a walk up Table Mountain. The track up that we chose was apparently one of the easier ones but was still really challenging. I think determination rather than fitness is required but it was still very hard work. An hour and a half later we were glad to reach the top and were rewarded a million times over with spectacular views of the peninsula and its bays and the feeling that this must be the best place on earth. After an ice cream or four we took the easy way down - the new rotating cable car and were at the bottom within about two minutes.  Later that afternoon we were still unable to see Mohammed but went to La Med for sundowners and dinner.

We had hoped to be able to collect Punda on Tuesday but the ship arrived late Monday night so we would have to wait another day. There was still no news from Mohammed about prices and as it was a miserable day we took ourselves to the cinema. "Notting Hill" was just the entertainment we required. Some of the comments had us falling off our seats with laughter. Heading back to Aardvark we stopped off at Giovannis Deli and stocked up with cheeses and treats for that nights dinner. A bottle of Boschendal for 2 went down well too. The sight of rows of bottles of delicious South African wines at a quarter of the UK prices just send me all of a quiver.

The next two days were just horrendous. We had a telephone call from Mohammed to say we could collect our cars so we dashed down to his office with great excitement. There were various sources of frustration that morning - the greatest being the invoice which Sally eventually managed to wrangle out of Mohammeds secretary. Mohammed had got all the paperwork done and the cars cleared through customs but not quite through the gate before entering into discussion about the bill. He was trying to charge us 4-5 times the normal rate for his clearing and forwarding services. We refused to pay that amount, he refused to budge, he had all the paperwork and without that paperwork we could not get the cars through the gate. At this point we sought the help of P&O who were absolutely fantastic. For one and a half days we had people in the UK, Abidjan and Cape Town working very hard on our behalf to resolve this issue - and they did. A huge thanks to you all. Also a big thanks to Kathy and staff in the Lion Head Lodge where we spent one day hogging their reception area making and receiving calls.

By Friday lunchtime all was sorted out and we collected the cars. There was no sign of Mohammed (Mr M.N. Diederics of Trade & Tariff Consultants, Suite 1012, Pearl House, Adderley Street, Cape Town) who, if he is still in business, should be avoided at all times.

The cars were filthy. Absolutely disgusting. Mould was growing on the seat covers. Despite the muck it was great to get Punda back and it wasn't long before the local laundrette was being bombarded with huge amounts of festering material.

Miserable weather prevented us from doing lots of work on the car on Saturday so we made the most of the backpacker facilities to get the paperwork up to date. On Saturday night we went down to Mariners Wharf at Hout Bay with Sally and Noel and splashed out on a slap-up scoff to celebrate getting the cars back. We had been to this restaurant on our last visit to SA but were still astounded at the sight of the seafood platter.

Sunday saw us doing more paperwork, a bit more on the car and a fourth visit of the week to Posticino where you can get pizzas which rival that of Delizia in The Kings Road.

Not a lot happened over the next two weeks. We spent a considerable amount of time both updating the website and eating pizzas at Posticino. Sally started to work at the backpackers and Noel went off to Tanzania for three weeks of scuba diving and sailing adventures. I started to become a "wine aisle junkie" spending ages walking up and down the aisles in amazement at the selection and prices. A Boschendal Chardonnay costs the equivalent of two quid fifty here. The last time I bought one of those in Sainsburys I paid almost nine pounds.

On Friday 17th there was a big dormitory shift to accommodate a huge pre-booked group. Andrew and I had to move into a posh hotel room for the night. We didn't complain. That evening we went to see the latest Tom Cruise film "Eyes Wide Shut". I had been looking forward to it for ages but ended up being rather disappointed - mainly because he hardly got his kit off!

The next day we moved back into a different dorm with a fantastic view of Table Mountain.

Andrew needed some new shoes so we set off to do some shopping at the Waterfront. He ended up with trousers x 2, socks x 3, t-shirts x 5 and no shoes! The next day Andrew needed some new shoes so we set off to do some shopping - this time at Tyger Valley. Thankfully within ten minutes the job was jobbed.

It was low season and there weren't many tourists around. Consequently the few of us that were at the backpackers formed a family-type group. We regularly had meals together in the bar, played pool, watched the movie channel and went out to various restaurants. The bar became our lounge and was really good fun particularly as the bar fridge was stocked with beers and wines that we bought from the cheap liquor store over the road. The fact that the bar temporarily lost its beer license benefited us considerably. The current bar is soon to become a travel centre when the new bar opens - with a booze license.  

Andrew had organised a few days work so I went out on a girlie shopping spree and had a new haircut. Very trendy which was rather unusual for me. Wearing perfume and a little bit of make-up was so nice. You really appreciate it after six months without it. The prices here are so cheap for us Brits but for the locals who earn an average of 200 per month the cost of living is quite high.

The next day Sally and I went off to a matinee of "Tea with Mussolini". It was a thoroughly enjoyable film (although not to Andrews action packed taste so it was just as well he didn't go), particularly as it was filmed in Florence - my second favourite place after Cape Town. At the backpackers Dave cooked us all a delicious fish dinner which we enjoyed with a few bottles of wine and candles in "our lounge" before settling down to watch the late night movie.

On Wednesday night we were invited to dinner with Andrews workmate Paul and his wife Gerry who took us to a fabulous Thai restaurant in Constantia. What a delicious feast.

The following morning we went to the local Safari Centre (address below) and quite frankly felt absolutely pig sick. Humpf. The preparation for this trip took two years and involved immense amounts of travelling between various expedition centres to buy, or have tailor-made, the bits we required. We walked into the Safari Centre here and our jaws dropped. Here you can buy everything, absolutely everything, every little thing you could ever want, directly off the shelf. The things that we had spent months searching for were just there in front of us. We could have cried with amazement...and frustration. The South Africans are very much into off-roading and as such the gear is readily available unlike in the UK where us off-roaders are an abnormal breed. There were aluminium roof racks for every type of 4x4 imaginable. There were roof tents galore, water tanks to fit places even we hadn't thought of, the biggest range of fridges I have ever seen and all sorts of electronic gadgetry to keep Andrew happy for a few hours. The prices are not cheap though (for SA standards) - about the same as in the UK but the convenience of it all and the design concepts are outstanding. If I was planning a trip now from scratch I would seriously consider shipping the car directly here and spending a week or two kitting it out. It is possible to buy cars down here too but diesels are hard to come by (they're in great demand) and Cape cars are usually rusty from being in the sea air for too long.

At the centre we met Gary Haselau who runs the off-road academy. He invited us to join a group for the long weekend at a private park in Kouebokkeveld (Afrikaans for cold buck field).  It sounded like fun and we dashed off to stock up on braai (bbq) food and a load of beers. That evening we joined our friends Paul and Kobus for a go-karting session. I managed to avoid a black flag this time and had to make do with a black and white one for dangerous driving.

We were up early to check out of the backpackers before the 2.5 hour drive up to Groenfontien. The route was fantastic taking us through beautiful mountain scenery and along a number of passes with spectacular views. Once at the park we met up with the other off-roaders and set off along a number of tracks alongside unusual rock formations and streams. Hardy vegetation grew in clusters and the national flower, the protea, could be found everywhere. That night Michiel made the campfire over which we placed a grill and the braai food. This was the most spectacular barbie I have ever seen. Wow, what a selection of grub.  There were steaks, wors (huge curly sausages), roasted butternut, etc. Needless to say I have a number of new ideas for a barbie when we return. It was freezing cold and we were glad of numerous layers of clothes, the campfire and Mitch's coffee liqueur. Getting back into the tent that night was heavenly. Oh we had missed the tent so much - it is so cozy and comfortable. The rain poured and the wind howled outside throughout the night but we were dry and toasty in our canvas house.

The morning temperature reached 7 degrees C. It is like Arctic weather compared to West Africa. The off-roading today provided us with an opportunity to play in the sand dunes. We deflated our tyres and off we went. Of course, I got stuck but that is all part of the fun - afterwards when you are safely out of the hole! During - it is not as amusing. The evening temperature was a lot warmer than the previous night so we replaced the cocoa with gin and tonics around the campfire and had another spectacular braai.

A beautiful day followed and saw us taking on some more challenging tracks in and around canyons. As usual Punda performed beautifully but unusually I didn't get any earache from Andrew about his perception of my off-roading ability. After lunch amongst prancing springbok and stern looking wildebeest it was time to pack up. What a fun weekend.

We drove through torrential rain towards Hermanus, then fog on the high grounds. The camping option didn't appeal for some reason so we opted for the warm beds, hot shower and kitchen facilities of Moby's Backpackers. This place only recently opened and I would highly recommend it. In the morning we spoke to Iain who runs a backpackers in Kruger. He was touring the Cape Town area to promote his business. If we get to Kruger we will stay with him. The day in Hermanus was spent whale watching. Southern Right Whales return to Hermanus for about five months each year for breeding and their enormous forms can be seen very close to the coast. It was such a fantastic sight.

The return journey to Cape Town along the coast road was spectacular. In fact the whole coastline is incredible. Back at Aardvark we received a wonderful welcome from the cronies and Iain was there too. We all went out for a seafood nosh at Camps Bay.

The following morning Sally and I went off to the Natural History Museum. We didn't expect to stay long but it was such a fascinating place that other commitments forced us to leave four hours later. Four floor of displays of African history, including giant whale skeletons kept us entertained. The attached planetarium provided an opportunity for a half hour siesta! That night another meal at Posticino called and Andrew and I started making plans for our journey to Namibia.

The following four days were spent dashing around doing final modifications on the car. We had a rear awning made in preparation for the extreme heat in the Namib Desert as it can get a bit hot under the sun cooking off the back door. By the time the trip comes to an end the car will be perfect for an expedition! The social scene was rather busy too. On Wednesday night we spent a lovely evening with Gary and his wife Patti at their home. On Thursday we had a fish braai at Aardvark. Andrew was in charge of the cooking whilst Graham poured the Schnapps. It wasn't long before we were drinking shots of the most disgusting 74% alcohol and the Brits were singing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" to the other guests. Actions included, of course. Then they had their turn to serenade us with some national tune. On Friday night we went out with Paul and Gerry to the Cape Malay Kitchen at the 5 star Cellar Hohenort Hotel. It is set amongst beautiful tranquil grounds in the Constantia wine region and is the perfect setting for afternoon tea on the veranda whilst pretending you are really rich. Had a scrumptious meal of Cape Malay food.

By Saturday 2nd it was time to move on. After spending almost a day packing we said a sad farewell to Aardvark and our mates and made a swift exit whilst they were having a braai and watching the rugby. We spent the night with the Moutons (parents of friends Carine and her hubby Andrew) in Yzerfontein where we had an indoor braai. What a smashing idea.

After a delicious breakfast the following morning we were off. Just the two of us. Back on the road. Fantastic. The scenery around the Cederberg Mountains is spectacular. We passed tortoises crossing the road, flamingos in marshland, flowers galore and numerous boks along with a dead something or other with its legs up in the air. Found a peaceful campsite at Clan William amongst mountains and greenery where we spent the evening watching South Africa beat Scotland. The site then became far from peaceful as the South Africans celebrated.

Plains around Cederberg

In the morning we took the scenic route to Vredendal - the 150 km bumpy road instead of the 50 km tarmac road. The landscape of vast flat plains interrupted by flat topped hills all of the same height was the perfect example of the seabed of long ago as I have only ever seen in books before. Such an awesome sight. At one point we stopped for tea amongst a dense flowery patch.

Later that night at the campsite I realised I'd left the tea infuser on the back step of the car. It is probably now flat lying in that dense flowery patch 100 km away. We have had terrible luck with the infusers. The first broke, was welded then got squashed in the car door. The second went to an early grave in the flower patch. That evening we had a visit from Musti from NamaSafaris who presented us with a couple of bottles of local Klawer wine and an atlas showing us 4x4 tracks around the area. He gave us some advice about suggested routes.

In need of some adventure we followed Musti's suggestion and drove towards the sea where numerous tracks run for approximately 100 km in a northerly direction taking you near to the sea, up sand dunes and through miles and miles of flowers. The sand became very soft and at one point my driving turned Punda into a kangeroo. At that point the tyres were partially deflated and Andrew took over the driving. We spent about fifteen minutes watching a fascinating display of Dung Beetles at work - rolling balls of about ten times their size and then burying them. This area is known as Namaqualand which is famous for its spring flower display - about 200 km long. Flowers of all colours were everywhere and this was supposedly not a good year for them following a lack of winter rain. At one point as the track led down to the sea we came across a group of seals. There were about fifty of them playing on the rocks and jumping in and out of the water. As the wind was blowing towards us we were able to creep up really close to them without them smelling us. Being so close was fantastic. It was like being in an Atenborough documentary.

Spent the night bush camping near some enormous caves. Sadly, they are a national monument so we couldn't camp inside them and do our caveman impressions.

On Wednesday 6th we celebrated six months of travelling. Beautiful weather greeted us in the morning and only the sounds of the birds and the boks could be heard. There was no-one around for miles. Our journey continued along the tracks north towards Springbok. Careful driving ensured we didn't run over the many tortoises in the road. We decided to play with one of them and as Andrew picked it up it squirted out a load of piddle. During the day's travels the landscape turned mountainous and dry. We stopped for lunch but only managed five minutes in the 42.8 degree sun. We hadn't travelled far north but these spring temperatures were a bit of a shock after the cool coast. It is quite understandable though because we are now at the same latitude south as the Mauritanian Desert in the north.

At Springbok Caravan Park Andrew replaced the wheelbearing (the one that required roadside surgery in Guinee) whilst I had a go at lighting a campfire. What a disaster. The first one went out. The second one burnt the spuds and by the time the steaks went on it was cold. So we started  again and had a very tasty late night tuck with a lovely bottle of bubbly courtesy of Sally and Noel. We had to chase off three scorpions and save one of the chairs following its windy leap into the fire. It survived.

The next day we brought some braai tongs to prevent further damage to the winching gloves that we had used to turn the spuds in the hot coals and to shuffle the coals around. The journey to Augrabies Falls was dull. So dull that we couldn't get beyond ten words in I Spy. Four hours of lunar landscape and we were practically braindead. Thank goodness for the fridge full of chocolate. The distances here are vast and the roads are generally pot-hole-less. A big change from West Africa and not half as much fun. We eventually reached the park and set up camp in the site shared by thieving baboons, a multitude of colourful birds and scurrying dassies (big rat-type things also known as Hyrax).

The "Orange River" at Augrabies Falls National Park

The forty km drive through the park takes you through rivers, sand, rocky bits and more barren moonscapes. Fortunately the sight of klipspringer, springbok and masses of baboons made for a memorable journey. The afternoon at the camp was spent relaxing and eating ice cream before a late afternoon walk to the waterfall. The Orange River (longest in SA) should be called the Brown River but its descent through the canyon was impressive.

Another day of driving followed. Another tiresome journey along a straight road through semi-desert. Today there wasn't enough scenery for I Spy so I had to make do with Andrew in the back of the car strumming away on his guitar. We arrived at the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in time for sundowners before watching England deservingly lose their rugby match against New Zealand. Dinner followed whilst sitting under a very starry sky on a very warm night. It was difficult to imagine that lions and the like were roaming around nearby.

Despite getting up early we were the last out of the campsite. In comparison our fellow travellers were very keen and up at the crack of dawn to watch the animals wake up and walk around in the cool morning. The 164 km journey alongside the dry Nossob riverbed provided ample opportunity to view gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest and squirrels in abundance. Giant birds of all types flew overhead too. It was wonderful to see the animals and birds roam freely.

At Nossob camp we made friends with Gordon (from Scotland) and Brit (a local). Gordon had just bought and kitted out a Landy for a journey back to the UK. They invited us to join them for an evening game drive to find the cheetahs they had spied earlier that day. We left the camp at 5.15pm unaware of the excitement that was to follow. By 5.50pm the others spied the cheetahs - four of them. To us they looked like rocks in the distance. The cheetahs were hunting and within five minutes, from our viewing points in the cars, we witnessed a failed attempt at catching a springbok. The chase was so exciting though - so fast. Within a few minutes another seven cars turned up and stopped beside us. No-one could contain their excitement and despite all park rules none of us were able to stay in the cars. We got up onto the Landys roof and sat and watched the cheetahs reposition themselves and the springbok return to their earlier places. Stupid animals! At 6.20pm mother cheetah who was lying to our left sprang up and started the chase. The three cubs (almost fully grown) joined in and entered the herd in the middle, directly in front of us. The chase continued towards our right and ended within seconds with a huge groan from the captured springbok. We all shifted our cars to get a better view of the cheetahs having dinner and to watch the faces of the jackals in anticipation of a morsel. What an incredible sight. To see one cheetah would have been good but to see a four cheetah kill within half an hour of arriving at the scene was spectacular. It was all over in about eight seconds but it was amazing. Apparently cheetah can run at over 110km/hr and springbok slightly slower at 90km/hr. Gordon got the lot on video and for the rest of the evening we relived the experience with a few G&T's. Didn't have a very good nights sleep - probably resulting from the excitement, the booze, the wind blowing fire embers around the site and the free roaming jackals.

The park looked so different the next day. It was sombre as if it was in mourning from the previous days kill. We returned to Twee Rivieren camp but didn't see a great deal of animal life with the exception of two hartebeest. We failed to spot a black manned lion which are indigenous to the Kalahari Gemsbok.

Despite the sun streaming into the tent at 6.30am it was freezing cold. Had to put coats and woolly hats on whilst helping Gordon to repack his Landy with the benefit of our vast exped knowledge. Ha, ha. A long day of driving followed through not very exciting landscape towards the Namibian border.

Next "Namibia"

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Our first view of Table Mountain from the train

An impressive mountain from the train

26 hr "Trans Karoo" train

Sunset by the beach

Girls half way up the table . Noel 'Billy Goat' Avent is off in the distance somewhere

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Awesome view of lion head and the bay from table

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Jac goes carting in lucky 7

Table Mountain gorge.  Nearly made it to the top !

Sally tries to feed the local rat (Hyrax), without loosing a finger
Awesome view of lion head and the bay from Table Mountain

Slap up seafood platters at Mariners Wharf

Jac goes carting in lucky 7

Mullen gets a black flag after a storming performance

The route to the <span class="tpara">Kouebokkeveld</span>

Jac takes on the tricky bits

One unlucky inhabitant

Jac on the edge with Punda

Mullen gets a black flag after a storming performance

The route to the Kouebokkeveld

Jac takes on the tricky bits

One unlucky inhabitant

Jac on the edge with Punda

Punda takes a look

Doing our best bergie(mountain man) impressions

Playing in the dunes

Some not-too-old rock paintings

A new look for Punda ?

Punda takes a look

Doing our best bergie(mountain man) impressions

Playing in the dunes

Some not-too-old rock paintings

A new look for Punda ?

Funny old houses on the coast

Every few miles we play gate games

Lovely white sand

Lucky inhabitant - we saw him in time

Some natural caves- good place for the night

Funny old houses on the coast

Every few miles we play gate games

Lovely white sand

Lucky inhabitant - we saw him in time

Some natural caves- good place for the night

The Namaqualand flowers - V pretty

I always knew it was in the blood

6 months on the road tonight !!

It's big and hairy - so's the spider

We get to use the new braai tongs

The Namaqualand flowers - very pretty

I always knew it was in the blood

6 months on the road tonight !!

It's big and hairy - so's the spider

We get to use the new braai tongs

Tyre eating thorns !

Augrabie Falls

A funny looking 'Quiver tree' - wasn't moving though

Gordie with all his kit out !

The cheetah kill we saw in Kalahari Gemsbok - Awesome !

Tyre eating thorns !

Augrabie Falls

A funny looking 'Quiver Tree' - wasn't moving though

Gordie with all his kit out !

The cheetah kill we saw in Kalahari Gemsbok - Awesome !

Sunset over the Kalahari Gemsbok

A local hornbill finds a convenient perch

Bugger off I'm trying to get some sleep !

Sociable weaver bird nests everywhere

A nice spot for a cup of tea and a bicy

Sunset over the Kalahari Gemsbok

A local hornbill finds a convenient perch

Bugger off I'm trying to get some sleep !

Sociable weaver bird nests everywhere

A nice spot for a cup of tea and a bicy

 

 

Wascally Wabbit

   

 

 

Wascally Wabbit

   

 

The sight of the food here is enough to make you fat. Andrew finds the Italian restaurants too hard to resist - especially Posticino at Seapoint.

In Soweto we had a local dish of pap, meat and chakalaka. Pap is ground maize which is similar to semolina. Chakalaka is beautiful - a spicy mixture with onions.

An absolute must is Mrs H.S. Balls Sterk Blatjang Chutney.

Seafood is glorious, especially around Hout Bay. For some reason the prawns are brought in from Mozambique.

Cape Malay food is traditional. It is delicious and is centred around star anise, all spice, cloves, pepper and cardamom.

What can be said about the wine and cheeses here? Just watch my jaw drop and don't expect me back in the UK until I have drunk and eaten the lot!

 

 
from Ghana
 

Johannesburg

Nice 26 hr train journey to Cape Town  
Cape Town    
Clan William via Yzerfontein, Velddrift & Piketberg Camping at Clan William
Vredendal via Pakhuis, Botterkloof & Vanrhyns Passes  
Springbok via series of tracks along beach  
Augrabies National Park  
Gemsbok Park via Uppington  
 

to Namibia

 

 

Have a car with a roof tent so you can camp in the car park of the vineyards after you have been on a few wine tasting sessions.

Remember to drive on the left.

Motorway tolls can be quite expensive.

Bring lots of money because it is likely you will want to stay for a long time.

Seek out Posticino at the first opportunity (corner of Conifer Road, Saepoint).

Aardvark Backpackers, Lion Head Lodge, 319 Main Road, corner Conifer Road, Sea Point, Cape Town. Tel +27 21 434 4163, email aardbp@mweb.co.za.

Safari Centre, Shop 9, Motor City, Goodwood, Cape Town. Tel +27 21 595 3910, email sales@safarict.co.za

Roverland, 10 Fifth Street, Montague Gardens, Cape Town. Tel +27 21 551 4242, email roverlan@mweb.co.za

Mike Stuit - Econo Exhaust and Tyre. PO Box 1039, Zeerust 2865. tel. +27 18 64 21506.