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27 December 2012

Go off the main track and discover some 'secret places'. South Africa.

The Northern Cape.
South Africa's largest, undiscovered and untouched Province.
-Totally overlooked by the local and international tourist.

The Northern Cape, the 'real secret' province.

Some highlights include:-

1. Visit the diamond town of Alexander Bay.
2. See the 300.000 plus seal colony, at Kleinzee.
3. See the worlds largest desert floral garden. (July and Sept)
4. The Windmill Museum, at Loeriesfontein.
5. Riemvasmaak hot springs, next to Augrabies Falls Nat park.
6. Verneuk Salt Pan, near Brandvlei.
7. Kalagadi Nat Park, one of South Africa's best self-drive, safari parks.
8. Lamberts Bay, The crayfish capital and famous bird colony.
9. The Richtersveld Nat Park, South Africa's most remote Park.

The famous Quiver Tree forest

Karoo Jacuzzi, Williston.

The Northern Cape is a photographers dream.

Most tourists only drive up and down along South Africa's Southern
and Eastern coastline.
They totally miss the West Coast and our real desert areas
in the true heart of the country.
The people who survive in these parts are extra tough.
Try visit the town of Hotazel, comes from the name 'Hot as Hell'.

Not a UFO. A social weavers nest.

The worlds largest post box, Calvinia 

Unique places to see in South Africa.

Special places in South Africa that most tourists,
both local and international never get to see.

Just some of the many special attractions in SA: -

1. The Baobab Bar. (The only pub inside a tree, in the world).
     Next to Tzaneen, Limpopo, near the Kruger Park.
2. Put your car on one of only 3 river pontoons for cars in South Africa.
    (Kei River, the hand drawn pont at Malgas and Sendelingsdrift, border Namibia.)
3. Go to Die Hel ('The Hell'), near Oudtshoorn.
4. See the 4000 plus penguins at Betty's Bay.
    (Near Hermanus)
5. The Bakgabeng Plateau. With over 800 rock art sites.
    (Close to Makhado, Limpopo).
6. The mineral hot springs at Tshipise, Limpopo.
7. See the red sands of the Kalahari dessert in the Northern Cape.

Die Hel


The bar in the Big Baobab tree

Take the small roads and try do something different.
All these spots are just a off the main, busy,
tourist routes and all accessible with a normal car.

Pontoon, Kei River

18 December 2012

To travel with a tent, or not? Travel kit idea No #7

Should I travel with a tent or not?

Carrying your own home on your back is not for everyone.

Its hard work and not so glamorous, but can be practical, especially in
expensive National parks or if you're in expensive countries.
-Backpackers try save on accom costs, so they have more money for seeing and
experiencing the country.

For example: -Many parts of South East Asia are very cheap,
          so you don't need a tent.
       - Australia, NZ and USA and Western Europe can be called 'expensive',
         so a tent  can you save money.
I travelled round the world with a small tent.

-VE's:- Can be a 'bit uncomfortable' (Hard stoney ground = Sore back.)
          - The weather is a 'Big factor'
          - Extra weight to carry
          - Your packing space is limited.
          - Location of sites (Sometimes there no campsites close by.)

+VE's: - The main benefit - Saves you money
             - Camping can be HALF the price of a bed in a hostel.
             - Allows you to have options.
E.g.-If you're stuck -  Just camp in the bush or park for free.

The Coleman Bedrock, 2 man, one pole tent. (Small and very light)  65.00Euro

- I recommend the Coleman Bedrock, 2 man, It weighs 2,5Kg.
The best, a tent with only one pole!  Perfect for the RTW traveler
 with space for your bag and smelly boots..

- If camping, you should have foam ground mat.

Don't waste your money on those 'self-inflating mats'.
(They get damaged, especially at the valve.)The army use the foam type.

- It's important to have a light, but warm sleeping bag.
You also use a sleeping bag in hostels as a blanket.

2012 Fact: - In a survey of out of 100 bedrooms at an average hotel, around
20 rooms were found to be infested with bedbugs.