Been There, Done That. A South African checklist for the curious and the brave, by David Bristow
Been There, Done That is the accumulated knowledge of all travels David Bristow had done in South Africa.
Gates of Prot St Johns
What is more emblematic of the Eastern Cape coast than those two imposing headlands that form the maritime gateway to Knysna, like the remnant feet of Atlas made stone? It's just as well you asked, or we would not have been able to tell you about the far more impressive Gates of Port St Johns - mounts Thesiger and Sullivan. They are very similar to the Knysna Heads, in both composition and geomorphology; they are made of hard Table Mountain sandstone that has been carved by rivers (in the case of the Gates, the Mzimvubu River). If ever there was a fitting place in South Africa for that old Titan to have heaved the world onto his broad shoulders, this would be wild and imposing enough. The gigantic promontories are named after two British officers, who in 1878 negotiated an agreement with the local Chief Nqwiliso to build a harbour in the river mouth.
God's Window and Devil's Window
The reason the R532 was upgraded to a world-class, hard-top road back in the 1970s was to connect all the sightseeing dots along the incomparable Mpumalanga Highlands, or Eastern Transvaal as it was then known - Mac-Mac, Berlin and Lisbon falls, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels and the prince of them all, God's Window. It is now known as the Panorama Route, and with justification. The famed Black Reef Quartzite Formation is a combination of quartzite, quartzitic conglomerate and shale that has been up-tilted like a gargantuan paving slab. You can stand on the raised edge and look out over the Lowveld as the forested scarp drops away nearly 1 000 m at your feet. And if you take a walk along the old Sefogane (Treur) River Trail towards Bourke's Luck, you'll find the seldom-seen Devil's Window view, which is even more dramatic.
This lovely rest camp is situated at the very best spot in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It is midway along the Nossob River (which is famous for bird and predator sightings), located between the park's entry gate, main camp and the park headquarters at Twee Rivieren, and Union's End on the western border. There are cottages and guesthouses for groups, as well as camp sites, although camping is not recommended in summer when temperatures can ratchet into the mid-40s. Nor is it great in winter, for that matter, when the mercury frequently drops below -10 °C. The camp also has a swimming pool.
This is one of only a few camps in the Kruger National Park that look onto a perennial river. This river frontage, together with the groves of spreading wild figs and expansive lawns, provides a green oasis in the harsh bushveld. The camp is made even more attractive by the abundance of birds, which are attracted by the big trees. Lower Sabie retains a feeling of the old pioneering days of the park, but has been renovated as a modern facility. The camp is located between Crocodile Bridge and Skukuza, and overall has the best game sightings in the park, but the thing we like the most about it is the swimming pool.
- www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/camps/lower sabie
Rock climbers were less than chuffed when one of the most spectacular climbing areas within easy access of Johannesburg was incorporated into a national park in the early 1990s, but their loss has been the country's gain. Marakele National Park covers the most impressive section of the Waterberg range, rolling out across the bushveld to the north. Tlopi, a small, tented camp, provides the only accommodation in the park, apart from a camp site. It consists of safari tents, each with a bathroom and a small kitchen on a raised deck, well situated under the shade of riverine trees. The park vegetation varies from forested gorges on the southern side of the mountains to protea veld on top of the range and wild bushveld in the north, and there's game aplenty. It's great for those who like things remote.
This is the table of content to Been There, Done That. A South African checklist for the curious and the brave, by David Bristow.
Title: Been There, Done That
Subtitle: A South African checklist for the curious and the brave
Author: David Bristow
Publisher: Random House Struik
Imprint: Travel and Heritage
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9781770078758 / ISBN 978-1-77007-875-8
Softcover, 21x21 cm, 392 pages, throughout colour photos
Bristow, David im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Been There, Done That is the accumulated knowledge of all exploration the author has done in South Africa.
Spine of the Dragon trail, is the country’s ultimate mountain bike riding tour, covering a distance of 4000 km from Beit Bridge to Cape Town.
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