Looking back – what did you miss?

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.

Post: Karoo Winter Wonderland

IMG_0355 small

©Connie Jonker

Post: Some more confused animals – Snow in the Eastern Cape

Eastern Cape - August 2012 02.jpg

©Sarita/Thinus Botha

Mountain Passes

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.

Post: Swartberg Pass: A drive to Hell and back

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.

Swartberg Pass ©WMB - notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Swartberg Pass ©WMB – notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Post: Montagu Pass – a scenic trip back in time

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

Post: A scenic 30 minute drive

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.



Post: A flood of urchins

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.

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You can see some other scenic shots in the post Witsand – After the storm.

Post: Under the sea

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.



Post: Kleinmond

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.

IMG_2270 small


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.

Post: Zig-zagging through the north Eastern Cape interior

During a business trip to the Eastern Cape, Willie took some interesting photos of the countryside.



International Travel

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 . . .

Post: Postcards from Australia: Sydney


Sydney, Australia ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Post: Postcards from Australia: Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.worpress.com

Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.worpress.com

In the Postcards from Australia series:

The Kalahari

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 . . .

Post: Take your camera to the bathroom (and other Kalahari safari tips)


Cape Fox, Kagalagadi Transfrontier Park. ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Post: Frenzy at the waterhole

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.

Post: Roadside retail therapy in Mozambique

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 . . .



Post: The wood carver (revisited)

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.

The Woodcarver, Mozambique

The Woodcarver, Mozambique ©WMB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com


Two fun outdoor adventures I featured during 2012, were . . .

Post: A zip-line adventure: How to scare your team into bonding

The title really says it all!




Post: The Whale Trail – Whales . . . what whales?

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.

Post: Hercules, the 100 kg baby




Post: How Hannah got her Peanut “back”

This turned out to be not only a story about Peanut, but also a love story set in the African bush.

Peanut at 8 months ©Hannah & Darius Mellet

Peanut at 8 months ©Hannah & Darius Mellet

A challenge:

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Nature/Environment, Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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20 Comments on “Looking back – what did you miss?”

  1. January 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    thanks for a visually-refreshing virtual trip to your part of the world! the photos are incredible!

    • January 14, 2013 at 6:28 am #

      Thanks! I think it helps new readers of the blog, to see what it’s all about. I’ve picked posts which I liked, not necessarily the most popular ones at the time.

      • January 14, 2013 at 7:13 am #

        i’ve really enjoyed reading the end of year posts as well. even for the blogs i’ve followed for longer periods of time, it’s nice to get those summary/pick of the litter posts!

      • January 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

        I agree, it’s always interesting to see what a blogger picks as their highlights. It shows a lot about their personality and interests.

  2. January 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    …a great roundup of your posts.

    • January 14, 2013 at 6:24 am #

      Thanks Debra! I always enjoy it when you do a round-up of posts because it gives me a chance to see what I missed.

  3. Eha
    January 12, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    Since I ‘was here’ for only a short while during all of this, what a wealth to file for a quiet evening read! Beautiful nature, with or without the snow, but that little ‘Cape fox’ photo really has stolen my heart . . .

    • January 14, 2013 at 6:21 am #

      The Cape Fox photo is one of my favourites too. We came across the fox lying on a mound (it’s burrow?) catching the first sunlight of the day.

  4. January 13, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    My goodness what an amazing year and marvellous photos. All those colors in rocks at the Swartberg Pass and the sea urchins…

    I remember a few of the posts but some are new to me. I’m going to check them out.
    Happy New Year greetings Lisa.

    • January 14, 2013 at 6:20 am #

      Happy New Year to you too, Rosie! 🙂

      It was interesting for me as well to go through all my posts and see what had happened during the year. Are you going to take up my challenge?

  5. Madoqua
    January 14, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    The two passes are on my list to visit next time I come over! I have missed quite a few of these posts, so some pleasurable reading is ahead for me. I like your challenge and will put up a post as soon as I have a bit of time to pull it together. Watch this space!

    • January 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      There’s actually a round-trip you can do from Oudtshoorn over the Swartberg Pass and back through Meiringspoort (also fascinating to visit). Looking forward to seeing your top posts! 🙂

  6. January 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    A lovely summary post, Lisa. That picture of the Cape Fox curled up is just too cute, by the way.

    • January 17, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      Thanks Reggie! Are you going to take up the challenge and do a summary post too? 😉 The Cape Fox was so cute.

      • January 17, 2013 at 9:47 am #

        I have not blogged for such a long time, I probably *should* do a summary post! 😀

      • January 17, 2013 at 10:10 am #

        Yes, what’s up with that – you been away, or just taking it easy?

      • January 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

        November and December were crazily busy, with one deadline after another, as well as a wonderful visit from family over Christmas and New Year, which kept us on the go too. As a result, I had such a backlog of unread blogposts and not-yet-replied-to emails and Christmas cards that I need(ed) some time to catch up again.

  7. October 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

    Beautiful and interesting photos! Some we have memories to remember like the Mooloolaba, Sydney, and Melbourne.

    • October 12, 2016 at 6:03 am #

      Thank you! 🙂 Australia is a beautiful place.

      • October 13, 2016 at 6:21 am #

        Missing traveling to Australia…

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