After 4 nights at Marlothi Safari Park we set off for one night at SANParks Lower Sabie Rest Camp. If you don’t like busy camps then I certainly couldn’t recommend this. It felt very strange to me, as I am not used to camping in this sort of environment. All the camps were neatly laid you with brick paving and shrubs and trees between, and each had a plugpoint. Maybe it’s better if it is not such a busy time, but for me, it felt very commercial. But I appreciate some people like that. Being quite a large camp, the ablutions were a short walk away, and they were not as clean as Malelane. There is also a Mugg & Bean On The Move and Restaurant with a deck overlooking the river, it is very busy and noisy and I found this quite bizarre?! But I certainly wasn’t going to turn down a Mugg & Bean cappuccino! Continue reading
After 3 nights at Malelane Camp we headed to Marloth Park; it was Easter and Kruger was completely booked up. We spent 4 nights there, making day trips in via Crocodile Bridge which is 14km away, thank goodness for our WildCard! It was busy though, and we started queuing at 4.45am to get in. Word of advise – probably best to not go to Kruger on Easter weekend!! Continue reading
After 5 blissful nights at Machangulo Beach Lodge, we set off along more sandy tracks towards Catembe where we got the ferry across to Maputo. After a surprisingly easy crossing we made our way to SANParks Malelane Private Camp via Komatipoort, which was also a surprisingly painless crossing. We arrived in the dark, which generally makes things trickier, especially when there are limited plugpoints and you discover you need that weird blue plug. Saved by both neighbours, one providing a plug via their caravan and the other offering a cold beer! What more could you ask for! Continue reading
No electricity, no drinking water, only accessible by 4×4, very remote. Nightmare for some, but for us – this sounded like heaven!
For the first leg of our honeymoon we needed a spot at the beach between Eshowe and Machangulo, so Bhanga Nek was the perfect place on the North Coast. Wondering where on earth Bhanga Nek is? It’s here, right next to Kosi Bay.
We set off from Eshowe later than expected after post wedding clean up and dashing around. With BlackBetty, the Jeep and our Thule roof box rental loaded to the max we hit the N2, and as we did, it dawned on me that my bikinis were not safely stowed in my bag behind me, but on a flight to Cape Town with my cousin. The trauma! Continue reading
We read an article in Getaway about how Sani Pass was to be tarred! Well it only took a couple of seconds for us to decide that we had to get up there with the Jeep asap!
We booked camping at Sani Mountain Lodge, where they have rondawels, as well as The Highest Pub in Southern Africa. We love camping and thought it would be awesome to camp on top of the mountain in the freezing cold and wilderness, seriously, we love that kind of thing!
We travelled down on a Friday evening from Heidelberg and broke the journey by staying at Bullers Rest Lodge, a friends place in Ladysmith. We highly recommend this place, not because they are friends, because it is fantastic. Loads of character, great friendly service and affordable too.
The next morning we headed to Sani Pass via Howick and Himeville. It was a beautiful day and the views were amazing. Could have done with loads more time. Had a quick stop in at The Pickle Pot for a refreshing drink.
We went through the border and everywhere you looked there was something beautiful; mountains, birds, wild flowers, little waterfalls and streams. A malachite sunbird kept us rather busy trying to get a decent shot.
Now just 3 weeks before, there had been the awful landslides towards the top of the pass, which actually had the road closed off. It was now clear and we couldn’t wait to get up there!
Suddenly the mist started rolling in and we could hardly see a thing, which is slightly disconcerting when you are going to be 4×4-ing over landslide remains and have a steep drop off! At one point as we got to a hairpin bend, we were not 100% sure we were actually on the road, as it was so covered in rocks. It was awesome!
So we got to the most dodgy border post where there was a poster about a young man wanted for cannibalism. Nice. We drove a bit along the road and work on the roads by the Chinese is clearly in full swing. We turned around and went to the campsite which is a short walk from the lodge. It was surrounded by the locals huts and there was no flat ground, lots of rocks, mud and the smell of goat wee. We had a peak inside the backpackers, which seemed clean, but felt dark and a bit odd and soul-less even though there was a fire lit in the lounge area. I’m not your average girly girl, I can rough it and I love being outdoors, but there was a line. My darling fiance booked us into a rondawel and we settled ourselves into the cosy pub with a pint of Maluti.
There is no electricity in the rondawels, which is no problem as they give you solar lamps and a gas heater. Apparently some of the rondawels have log burners, and I would recommend requesting one of those. It was 31 January, and it was cold! They give you so many thick blankets though that once you in bed it’s cosy.
The next morning before breakfast we took a walk towards the edge where we spotted some donkeys, and ourselves in a rainbow. Ahhhh …
Neither of us had been to Lesotho, so we decided to delay picking up our dogs that evening and spend the day driving back home via Lesotho. An absolutely stunning drive, we could have stopped about 100 times more than we did, just to sit and look and the vastness and beauty of it all. It would be the absolute middle of nowhere and you would see a few cows followed by the herdsman. Even more bizarre, was spotting their tiny stone and thatch huts right on the very tip of a mountain!
If you have the opportunity to do this trip – do it, and make a long weekend of it. Actually, just MAKE the opportunity!
I have discovered yet another fab blog; Out & About with the Nottens. There are certainly many nights of bed time reading for me here! It is about a South African family, traveling with their children (all 4 of them!), through the wilderness of South Africa. All 6 of them with a 4×4 camper trailer exploring all the beauty that this country has to offer whilst homeschooling their kids!
”We explored 27 different wild regions and National Parks throughout all 9 provinces, covering a distance of 11500 km in 42 days. We traveled with a 4 x 4 tent trailer and camped at most destinations. Having young kids made it an extra special challenge. Olivia is 7 years old, Grace & Harriet are twin girls of 5 and Jack is a 2 years old boy.”
They have done a 42 day trip around South Africa, click on the image to read more.
According to their Facebook page they are now heading to KwaZulu Natal, and I am dying to hear where they go and what they discover, as this is our stomping ground!
So it just goes to show, you certainly don’t need to stop living when you have little ones. This family is creating the most amazing memories whilst being an absolute inspiration to us all, with and without kids.