This is essentially a “best of the last eighteen months” post i.e. since my last post of this kind (See: 7 Links: A Peek Into My Archives). So if like me, you were too busy to keep up with your blog reading this year, have a look and see what you missed. Or if you’ve only recently started following this blog, you will be able to read the highlights.
The posts I’ve featured here, are those which either Willie or I wrote. I’ve had some excellent guest bloggers on Notes from Africa during this period, and I’ll be featuring my favourites amongst those in a future post.
Snow in Africa
One of the most common search terms which brings people to my blog is “snow in Africa”. So to answer the question: yes, we do get some snow in South Africa. Usually for a week or two in mid-winter – especially in the mountains and high-lying areas. It’s usually not a massive amount of snow – if you compare it to North America and Europe – but it’s fun and we locals find it entertaining.
In July 2012, we had some of the heaviest snowfalls in years. Although we only got a dusting of snow on our coastal mountains in the Southern Cape, there were heavy snowfalls in the Karoo and in the Eastern Cape. Luckily, I had some “roving reporters” who were willing to share their photos with me in the following posts . . .
To link to any of the posts, click on either the post title or the photograph.
The mountain passes of the Southern Cape are truly magnificent and worthy of a visit. Two we have travelled through and photographed, are the Swartberg Pass and the Montagu Pass.
To me this is one of the most amazing mountain passes we have in the Southern Cape. Situated on the road between the towns of Oudtshoorn (in the Little Karoo) and Prince Albert (in the Great Karoo), it winds a narrow dirt road past towering cliffs.
This mountain pass is almost on our doorstep with the foot of the pass being a short drive from where we live.
Local scenery & Travel
In January, my friend Riekie came for a visit and we did some wonderful photo-walks and “photo-drives”. This was one of them. We drove slowly – with several photo stops – from Herald’s Bay (the closest beach), across the coastal plateau and up against the Outeniqua mountains behind the city of George.
One of Willie’s favourite places to go fishing is a place called Witsand, in the Southern Cape. He was there after heavy rains recently, and found hundreds of sea urchins – as well as other sea life – washed up on the beach.
You can see some other scenic shots in the post Witsand – After the storm.
Willie recently got a waterproof housing for his compact camera. He tested it in one of the local rock-pools with amazing results – considering that the camera was under the water and he was above the surface.
Towards the end of last year, I went down to Kleinmond, a small coastal town about an hour’s drive east from Cape Town. During the holiday season it is a popular resort town. I visited it during one of the quieter months, and went on a couple of peaceful photo walks.
I had gone to Kleinmond to take care of my mother who had had an operation. You can read all about that experience in Lessons learned in taking care of a post-op patient.
During a business trip to the Eastern Cape, Willie took some interesting photos of the countryside.
In December 2011, Willie went on a work-related trip to Australia. He has posted photos from his trip on my photoblog in a series called Postcards from Australia. Two of these were . . .
In the Postcards from Australia series:
Readers who have followed my blog for a while will know that one of my favourite places on earth is the Kalahari. A desert/semi-desert area (depending where you are in the Kalahari), it is a place which draws us back year after year. I have written two Kalahari series Kalahari – 2009 (on my photoblog) and Kalahari – 2011. Mostly it is an attempt to share with everyone the stark beauty of the place, but I have also had a lot of interest from people who want to visit the Kalahari, and are looking for information.
One particularly helpful post I wrote (!) was . . .
Was another post I particularly liked, where I managed to get some really good photos of weaver (and other) birds coming to the camp for some fresh water.
Since I had done a whole Mozambique 2011 series previously, I just published a couple of posts about Mozambique after the 2012 trip.
In Mozambique (as in other less-developed countries), a lot of the daily business takes place along the road. With a constant stream of vehicles and pedestrians going by there are always potential customers . . .
It was great to see that the wood carver which the Mozambique group had met previously was not only still there, but that he has expanded his business, as well as his artistic focus.
Two fun outdoor adventures I featured during 2012, were . . .
The title really says it all!
The same group that did The Otter Trail during 2011 (see: Here Be Dragons) undertook a slightly less strenuous hike during 2012.
In South Africa rhinos have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. The poaching of rhinos for their horns is tragic and totally senseless with no significant benefit to anybody, except as an artificially created, highly lucrative and illegal trade. It was therefore wonderful to be able to feature two happy rhino stories on this blog. It started with a baby rhino called Hercules, and then through an amazing email I got, we came across another little rhino called Peanut. These are their stories and how they came to meet each other.
This turned out to be not only a story about Peanut, but also a love story set in the African bush.
So now I have a challenge for anyone reading this . . . If you haven’t already done so, write a post about the best and/or favourite posts you published on your blog during 2012. And then post the link back here in the comments. If you’ve already done a “favourites” post, then please also leave the link in the comments. I’d like to see what everybody else’s highlights were.
If yours is not a “photo blog” then just make a list of those posts you think were particularly good.