Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bungee Jumping!

The world's highest, apparently.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Parting Shots from Klipwal

This is the local elementary school, just up the hill from Klipwal about a mile away. I gave them my big bag of soccer equipment and all the kids seemed very excited!
The main Sunday league pitch right at the turnoff from the main highway to the mine, about a 30 minute drive from Klipwal

The sign says it all.

Adventure Golf at Haga Haga

The 5th + 9th hole. Reebar was used for the flag poles.
Teeing off over the canyon to the 5th green. This course was on a private game reserve with herds of blesbok roaming the fairways.

In the clubhouse bar, called "Ninky Noo's".


Kite borading on the beach at Amanzimtoti, just south of Durban.

The Moses Mabhida stadium, one of the world cup venues. It has a tram the goes up that center archway.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Royal Natal National Park

The Ampitheater
In the gorge on the walk to Tugela Falls

The 4th highest waterfall in the world. Although some signs said it was the 2nd highest. We'll call it 3rd highest.

Goodbye Klipwal

The entrance gate to the mine.
My adopted Klipwal family.
With Thys getting into the Unimog
At the 6 Level Addit

Inside my survey/geology office.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Animals

Can you spot the 6 terrapins in this picture?
The deadliest animal (to humans) in Africa.

Kapama Game Reserve

We are at Kapama Game Reserve at the moment, a large private reserve just outside of Kruger National Park. We have four safaris here in total and have been on two of those four already. It's been extremly succesful so far in terms of seeing the animals. On our first safari yesterday evening, I watched a full-grown male lion walk a couple feet away from me past our open-top Land Cruiser as he followed his female mate. This place is pretty awesome accomodation too, they spoil us with huge buffet meals and there's a big pool and spa so I might go get my nails done when I have some down time this afternoon.
White Rhino
Apparently lions sleep 20 hours per day


Blyde River Canyon Drive

On Tuesday we drove from Pilgrims Rest northwards through the Blyde River Canyon scenic route, starting at The Pinnacle, a tall, thin rock outcrop sitting in the beginning of the canyon next to a very cool little waterfall. The next stop was God's Window, which offers arguably the best view in South Africa, where you can see nearly the entire length of the Drakensburg mountain range from this single spot. Unfotunately that morning was extremely foggy for us, and the only view we were afforded was of white, misty clouds. The picture below is in the forest walk at God's Window, which was very nice, and very very damp.

Further along, we hit Berlyn Falls, which dropped about 200 feet into a beautiful pool of deep blue water. We continued along to a viewpoint over the most dramatic part of the canyon, where the sheer cliffs drop vertically over 2500 feet at somepoints. Again, we were unlucky with the visibility but it was definitely better than at God's Window. After stopping for Lunch at a small farm the had an ancient giant Boabab tree, we arrived at Kapama Game Lodge around 3 pm.

Viewpoint overlooking the mouth of the Blyde River Canyon
Bourke's Luck Potholes
The forest walk at God's Window

More Creepy Crawlies

Hello all! The trip has started out very well, and I thought to continue my pattern of late I'll start off with some big, scary bugs. The spider was actually found at Klipwal hanging out on a big red pump sitting by the road. This giant African Millipede was crawling around the path at Bourke's Luck potholes along our drive through the Blyde River Canyon.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Radioactive Neon-green Cricket

It's probably not radioactive but I found this on a hike yesterday and its color was pretty amazing. I own a highlighter pen in the same shade.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flying Spider-Moth

It's time for the weird South African bug of the day. This one was pretty shocking to stumble upon clinging to the wall of my bedroom. At first glance, it looked like a moth but the 8 spindly legs extending out from below it's wings made me do a double take. I looked up winged spiders on the internet and couldn't find anything, so here it is, a major discovery in the insect/arachnid world:


About an hour later I went back into my room to check on the beast, only to find the one of the wings was missing. Even later in the evening, it was just a normal spider again. So it turns out I must have walked in right after the spider had originally caught the moth in its mouth and began eating. 2 hours later and that moth was gone. I'll be really impressed if the same spider can eat the gecko that scampers around my bedroom as well.