Tales from Kruger | 04 | always on the road

If you’ve never been to the Kruger National Park – or any game reserve for that matter – then there’s one specific quality that you have to have to be able to enjoy it. you need to be okay with spending hours in the car. The only way to see the animals is to drive to where they are, and the only way to do that is to spend lots of time in the car. The fact that you’re limited to 40km/h most of the time and the fact that you’re generally not allowed to get out of the car makes being content with hours in a car even more important.

Now, being in this amazing place for three weeks on end means quite a lot of hours logged behind the wheel. And I can tell you that the moments where you get to photograph some awesome animals are exactly that, just moments. Moments compared to hours spent in the car. I’m not complaining though. I managed to make the most of the car experience, bonding with the windmills, including the car window in my shots and staring at the deserted road in front of me through my lens every now and then.

Check out these five recommended roads to drive to spot animals in the Kruger

Lonely windmill

Probably the loneliest road I've driven so far.

Hyenas on the H6

Sometimes, just sometimes, the cars are in the way a little. But it’s always nice when the animals decide to some to you rather than you trying to crop that bush out of the shot.

Zebra on S1/Doispane Road

Baboon love

Stomp stomp stomp

At this particular instance, I made the stupid mistake of driving by a herd of elephants that were busy munching just off the side of the road. So just as I drove on, they all decided to cross the road en mass. Pity.

June

How a rental car looks after two weeks in the bush. I dubbed her June.

Impala on the S114

Life from my window

Biyamiti private road/S139

Life through the other window

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Quiet time at the West Coast’s most popular resort

A while ago, I posted a short little blog about a night I spent at Club Mykonos, along South Africa West Coast. Well, I’ve finally come around to editing the rest of the photos and I thought I’d make it look as quiet and slightly eerie as it was. Goes to show that the middle of the week might not be the best time to expect an eventful holiday at a huge holiday resort like this one. I quite liked it though – there’s something special about walking along the winding paths of the Greek-styled houses without another soul in sight.

Club Mykonos
West Coast South Africa

West Coast South Africa

West Coast South Africa

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Club Mykonos  Club Mykonos-9

Club Mykonos-12

West Coast South Africa

Visiting South Africa’s first missionary – Genadendal

In South African history, missionaries took on a very important role. And unlike what you might think, missionaries didn’t only focus on bringing religion to places. They also taught locals valuable skills. Genadendal is Southern Africa’s first mission station and was established in 1738 amongst the Khoi people. The town itself has nothing special to it, but the historic square is a national heritage site, with the original church, a museum and even a resident cow.

Walking around the square, you can see where they printed paper at one of South Africa’s oldest printing presses. You can also walk to the old watermill and have a look around where they used stone-ground flower to bake bread in open-air ovens. It’s interesting to see where all these skills – that we assume have been around forever – started.

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Genadendal9

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My first meeting with West Coast National Park

While on assignment in Langebaan, there was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to visit the West Coast National Park. I’ve heard that it’s absolutely breathtaking in spring when it’s flower season, but although it’s February now and far from that time, it remained a very beautiful and peaceful place to drive around in.

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Solitude at a holiday resort up South Africa’s West Coast

Being a travel journalist means a lot of solo travelling. It also means visiting places during off season, when it’s misty and overcast or in the middle of the work week. Basically it means visiting places on your own, with few others around. Like Club Mykonos up South Africa’s West Coast. I’m here now, on a Monday night (when both their most popular restaurants are closed) and I’m on my own.

I do like this kind of solitude though. It allows for long walks and quiet explorations. And tonight it allowed for a bit of experimenting with my camera’s shutter speed. Here’s my favourite.

club mykonos at night

Sometimes stop-overs deserve a mention too

We all know about stopovers. They’re always affordable and they’re always as close to the middle between two destinations as possible. It’s also usually the only reason for staying at that specific place. But sometimes the stopovers become part of the journey. Like in the case of Dijembe Backpackers. We only stayed for a night to break up the 1000km from Cape Town to Coffee Bay, but for many, this is a destination in itself. And rightly so.

Dijembe is situated in the quiet Storms River Village along the beautiful Garden Route. It’s very relaxed, with big lawns, lots of shaded camping and some dorm rooms. We enjoyed an incredible meal of fried fish, salads, potatoes and all kinds of deliciousness for only R55 and had lots of laughs in the jacuzzi on the roof. In the end, our stopover night turned into one of the most memorable nights of the vacation.

Dijembe Backpackers

Tsitsikamma National Park

The swing bridge at Tsitsikamma National Park, only a few kilometers from Storms River Village.

Storms River Village

Late afternoon chill-out sessions

Day one of a great adventure

Day one of a great adventure

A traveller’s perfect morning routine

wild coast south africa

This is how I spent my summer holiday in South Africa’s incredible Wild Coast. Coffee from a tin cup, water boiled on a gas stove in a singing kettle, a stillness outside, a smoldering fire, a good book and a deserted beach that becomes the horizon. This is how I can start every morning, and this is why I love travel.

Wildlife, laziness and lots of eating at Gondwana Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape

Gondwana Game Reserve

A sunrise and a game drive – the life

While Europe is real pretty and I loved exploring the side streets and spending hours in cozy coffee shops reading, I can’t help but favour my beautiful home country of South Africa. I recently got sent on assignment to Gondwana Game Reserve, just outside Mosselbay in the Western Cape. It’s about four hours’ drive from Cape Town and so completely worth the drive to visit for a weekend.

We ate, we relaxed and we went on game drives to see four of the Big Five (the leopard stayed true to its illusive nature). Life really couldn’t get any better. I usually like my holidays rustic, especially the ones in summer, but I couldn’t help but indulge in the luxury treatment and beautiful little hut that we received during that weekend.

Gondwana Game Reserve

Happy hippo’s in their little pool

Gondwana Game Reserve

White rhino on a morning game drive

Gondwana Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve

Just an ordinary breakfast spread

Gondwana Game Reserve

View from the dining room

Gondwana Game Reserve

The best pool ever

Gondwana Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve

Hello, Mr Lion

Gondwana Game Reserve

A South African dinner spread

Gondwana Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve

Delicious, the best guide ever

Gondwana Game Reserve

The huts we stayed in

Read the full blog post on Getaway Magazine’s blog.

Photos originally published on Getaway Magazine’s blog