Category: Places

  • Ancient civilisations, myths & legends

    The N1 starts in Cape Town and ends at Musina near the SA border crossing to Zimbabwe at Beit Bridge — 1,919km later. Is that the longest road in South Africa? If it is, Akela, Kenya and I have driven it together! Whatever the distance, this feels like another country — harsh, rarely friendly and […]

  • Muse of Magoebaskloof

    It takes a rather unusual person who — to support the launch of a friend’s new book — will undertake an epic 31-day walk from Inhambe in Mozambique to Schoemansdal near Louis Trichardt in the foothills of the Soutpansberg mountains. And that’s what Louis Changuion did in 2002. He retraced the 900km journey of 19th…

  • Land of the Silver Mist

    Back to Route 71 that links Limpopo’s capital, Polokwane, to Phalaborwa, right on the border of the Kruger National Park — a distance of ±300km.  I explored Magoesbaskloof briefly when I stayed at Bramasole Guest House and met with a remarkable lady. This time I would explore further, using Haenertsburg as a base.  On our…

  • Qunu: Discovering Nelson Mandela’s roots

    It’s impossible to drive along the N2, see the road sign for Qunu, and not be inquisitive about the place where Nelson Mandela was born and grew up. It is like most of the Eastern Cape — serenely beautiful. Qunu still has the remains of the primary school where he started Grade One and at…

  • Mining can add value

    Driving into Phalaborwa at about 8am, the first thing that struck me was the haze in the air.  And this was not a heat haze, it was dust from the mines.  Phalaborwa is another one of Limpopo’s towns that today owes its existence to the copper and phosphate mines that surround the town. The second…

  • My First Game Drive!

    I went for my first game drive in a golf cart… on Phalaborwa’s Hans Merensky Estate… and saw giraffe for the first time as well as hippopotamus, crocodile, warthogs and impala in a matter of about 10 minutes on a golf course.  Surely that says it all… where else in the world can you do…

  • A haven in Pietermaritzburg

    We decided to stay in Pietermaritzburg for Indaba rather than stay in the bustle of Durban.  A wolf likes quiet.  We didn’t regret it for a moment. We stayed at The Jays in the leafy suburb of Clarendon — an establishment favoured by business travellers — that offers bed & breakfast or self-catering. John &…

  • An old-fashioned (free) National Road

    MOST PEOPLE from the Western Cape probably find toll roads an anathema.  We only have two throughout the whole province — the Huguenot Tunnel and Chapman’s Peak Drive, and one can understand why both are toll roads (although one wonders how long Chapman’s Peak will remain one, given that it’s been such a disaster).  For…

  • Wow! Durban’s ICC impresses

    We’re planning a detour in our Limpopo travels to visit Durban’s ICC for Indaba — Africa’s biggest travel show.  So I wrote to the ICC asking for help with shade parking for a wolf in a bakkie. I have never had such a fast, positive and helpful reply.  Nicolette Elia’s answer suggested alternatives, mentioned concerns…

  • Route 71 to Tzaneen – a different world

    [mappress] If you’re coming from Johannesburg, the road to Tzaneen takes you past the outskirts of Polokwane, Limpopo’s capital, and then east. Surprisingly, it’s a proper dual carriageway with a wide median down the middle — not something I’ve seen very often around here – probably because I avoid toll roads because I they show…