Saturday, 25 February 2012

Dusk at the Waterfront, and north of here so much to explore. Although this is the most popular tourism location in all South Africa, I often avoid it.

Two days drive to the north, a pathway in a forest on the edge of the Great Escarpment. My formative years were spent in these forests of Graskop and the Blyde River Canyon.  

The lovely red flowers of the Clivia. Many plants find a perfect habitat in the mist belt forest of the Escarpment. 

On the Escarpment we explore multiple waterfalls of the area.  


Leshiba Wilderness is my new favorite Lodge. Nestled in the Soutpansberg Mountains five hours north of Johannesburg, this is a homecoming to me. Horse Rides, Hikes, Bird Watching and Rock Art. This is a magical destination: 

Monday, 06 February 2012

Monday thunder and lighting.

I love sleeping in on a Monday.  My "special" work schedule occasionally
lets me rest when things may be blue for someone else.

In my sleep-in morning today, I got woken before sunrise by the sound of approaching thunder. An exciting way to start any week.

Famous for it's adverse and stormy weather, Cape Town is not known for thunder and lighting.

A magnificent occasion and picture taken by Four Rosemead Guest House.

Thursday, 02 February 2012

Barry and Pauline in love with Africa

Kirsten  Pauline and i enjoyed this trip as you can see.   The Victoria Falls option is a must,,,,Roger was our guide  on the first portion and Miles was the driver. I asked  both of them to give you  our best,,,planning Plains of Africa for Jan 10 2013  which looks pretty extensive tour of the Kenya Game Parks.  Ps got a minor clawing of my right arm by a Cheetah  at the Elephant Game Park.   I guess he didnt like my outfit.   Hoping this e mail finds you and Biko well and busy.   Barry and Pauline

Wednesday, 01 February 2012

Kirsten K's Profile on GuideHop

Kirsten K's Profile on GuideHop

Rachel at ZipSetGo asked me a few questions. Thank you Rachel.

Blyde River Canyon

Thank you for being a Destination Expert! We appreciate you taking time out to dish about your favorite place. Please answer the questions below and send along pictures if you have them. If you would like, include a few sentences about yourself and we will share that too. We will post on ZipSetGo and link to the site of your choice and then start spreading the good word!
Smoke that Thunders
1.     What makes you an expert on Southern Africa?
Riding in the Cape Winelands
My father was a headmaster at something called a veld school. This was an institution providing school children with Wilderness Experiences preparing them for the challenges of the world out there. Since my formative years I learnt about this land and its peoples.
Cango Caves
Southern Africa cries out to the traveller interested in Nature, Culture and Adventure. My lifestyle of Nature, Adventure and Culture is perfectly at home in Mzansi (South Africa). I am in love with the animals and peoples of this land and see it as my calling to represent them and present them to visitors from across the globe. As a Tour Guide I visit Mountains, Rivers, Beaches, Waterfalls, National Parks, Private Game Reserves, Canyons, Cities and Towns, Townships, harbors and islands. It could mean driving a car, riding a horse or catching a flight somewhere exciting. Often I construct tailor made unique sophisticated experiences for my valued experienced clients. With every travel event I aim to learn something new for myself. A new facility or destination I have not been to. The blessing is that my experience is multiplied by my work.
Elephants at Knysna 
2.     What makes Southern Africa unique?
The natural- and political history of Southern Africa is unique. Long before mankind brought cattle from Asia, Long Horned Buffalo (with nine feet wide horns) grazed the grasslands as Homo erectus took his first upright steps, most likely in Southern Africa. As curious man risked walking further distances often on the contours of Elephants, the survival of this task prepared him to venture further north to new lands. It feels as this is where we are from. Visitors feel a connection to this land and the more they learn about it, the more it awakens a primitive de javu, as if they have been here, and certainly cant get enough.
The modern liberation struggle, the oldest dessert in the world, the largest green canyon in the world, the Victoria Falls, meeting of the Two Oceans and Table Mountain are special and unique features of Southern Africa.  
Fynbos is a vegetation type growing in Southern Africa. Fynbos is also where we find the worlds most compact and diverse Floral Kingdom, the Cape Floral Kingdom. Visitors remain in awe at the myriad of flowers in the Cape area. Welcome to the unique Cape Floral Kingdom.
3.     Where are the best places to eat? What should visitors order?

A braai or shishinayama (barbeque) with your new South African friends is the best place to eat, around the fire. We prepare beef, lamb, pork, venison, sausage and a variety of vegetables. We also make braaibrootjies (fire toasted sandwiches with cheese, tomato and onion) With this we often serve the staple food of sub Saharan Africa, mieliepap or maize meal, similar to Italian polenta. Slow cooked cornflower served with a tomato and onion relish called sheba. The braai is accompanied by an arrangement of vegetables and salads.
Cape Town and surrounds harbors world class Restaurants. French Huguenots arrived in the 1680’s and with them their culinary expertise.  Cape Restaurants often receive international awards and accolades. Make sure you get to a Franschoek Restaurant one hour outside Cape Town in the heart of the wine lands.  Cape wine farms often offer excellent choices of Restaurants and wine tastings to accompany the feast.
The Cape features a unique food type called Cape Malay. Malay slaves were imported to the Southern tip of Africa and founded their unique creole culture and cooking. Order Cape Malay, rich in aromas and spices, and very unique to the Cape.  
Groot Constantia
4.     What are some must see/do activities in Southern Africa?

A Wildlife experience is imperative. With National Parks and Private Game Reserves offering a variety of products and modes of travel, the wilderness awaits. Sightings of wildlife are exciting and inspirational, and makes for all time photographs. We see Antelope, Predators, Whales, Raptors, Reptiles, Insects, Trees and Cycads.
Road Trips are great in Southern Africa, since most roads are of surprisingly high standard, without the first world traffic! We drive thousands of kilometers of the most scenic routes imaginable.  
The influx of European culture also introduced vines and wine making to Southern Africa. Visits to the Swartland, Robertson and Franschoek digs deep into the origin if winemaking at the Cape.
The contrasting two Oceans of the Atlantic and Indian is emphasized in Southern Africa. From deserted dessert beaches of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast to the Tropical palmed islands of Mozambique and the Indian Ocean, the oceans of Southern Africa calls for a lifetime of exploration. 

5.     Where are the best places for nightlife in Southern Africa?

At night we often look up to the skies and sink into amazement at the sight of the dark starlit night sky. The Southern Cross guides us home, as we learn about navigation and the myths and legends of the San people. Original Aboriginal People who lived by the stars.  Southern Africa has little light pollution and therefore it is ideal to study and learn about stars, planets and nightlife.  At camps and Lodges in remote locations, sounds at night reveals all the unseen action in Africa’s wilderness.
If you are looking for the modern rhythms and music of Africa, try Long Street in Cape Town or anywhere you hear music. A shabeen is a local informal bar, and can be a great place to meet locals. Dancing and live music is at the order of the day and as diverse as anything else in Southern Africa.

6.     Name three/five of your favorite places to stay: High end Hotels? Budget friendly places?

Olifants Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park.  Rest Camps in Kruger are popular, modest, comfortable, safe and budget friendly. Sometimes they hold the best opportunity for a complete wildlife experience. If you enjoy hiking, look for a multi day Wilderness Hike in the Kruger National Park. 

Storms River Mouth is a majestic location on the south coast of the Indian Ocean, in the heart of the Garden Route. There are great hikes in the area, and it’s budget friendly. This is where numerous new aquatic insect species has been discovered in the last fifteen years.
Cape Grace Hotel – Cape Town. A five star boutique hotel. This popular hotel has a huge reputation.
Wait a Little Horse and Game Ranch. Can you ride? Can you really ride? Do you love horse riding? If you do, make sure you get here. German Style Horsemanship in the African Wilderness setting. Great people, amazing horses at a very exclusive destination.
!Xaus Lodge in the Southern Kalahari supports the San peoples place in the modern world. We owe it to them. And we can learn from these amazing and friendly people’s harmony and synchrony with nature. 
Swartland Roadtrip

7.     What is Southern Africa’s best-kept secret?

The Game Parks and Coastline of Northern Kwazulu Natal Province.
 The best climate in the world.  
Eleven official languages
8.     What souvenir should everyone leave with after visiting Southern Africa?

A Vuvuzela, koeksusters (super sweet fried dough pastry), chutney and biltong (local style dried meat) and a tanzanite stone.
About me
For our Freedom
My formative years were spent in the Blyde River Canyon. After school adventures and travels led me to a career in Guiding Tourists, mainly around Southern Africa. Other areas I spent time at were Italy and Europe, United States, Hawaii, Costa Rica and St Kitts. I speak six languages and I am a specialist Nature Guide. I reside in Cape Town with my loving partner Linda, our cat Jemima and my dog Biko.

Questions? Email Rachel at or call directly at 927-824-8363
Black Magic

morning safara

morning safara

Cape Town's 12 Apostels

Cape Town's 12 Apostels