Nomathemba, a female white lion, has recently given birth to three cubs at Pumba Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The three cubs sex is yet to be determined as it is not absolutely possible to tell until the cubs reach an age of about 6 months. Nomathemba was released into the 900 hectare camp in October 2011 and sired the cubs with their white male lion Themba.
Photo Credit: Dale Howarth
From our base in Port Alfred our drive to Graaff-Reinet took us approximately three and a half hours. We drove through Grahamstown, home of the famous National Arts Festival, and then onto Bedford which is about the halfway point. The road to Graaff-Reinet surprised us with long straight stretches and mountain ranges to our right. Our journey was broken up with spotting lots of Springbok and numerous warthog running along the side of the road as well as Meerkat. At one point we even came across a Likkewarm strolling slowly across the road but he quickly disappeared into the bush when we got a bit closer to him.
Crossing the river at Kei Mouth
Leaving Port Elizabeth on the main N2 route it is not long till you arrive in Colchester where you can perhaps take a drive through Addo National Elephant Park. Addo is home to the Big 7 as part of the park is also a marine park, but the main park is home to the Big 5. It is self-drive but if you want to you can pick up a guide at the main camp. There are a number of lovely picnic spots dotted throughout the park where you can relax and stretch your legs. There are a number of large drinking holes where you can stop your car and watch the elephants.
Continue on along the N2 until you reach the R72 turn off. This route is the coastal road with a number of small seaside towns along the way. Perhaps spend a night in Port Alfred, which used to be a small coastal village but over the years has developed into quite a bustling town. Here you can enjoy a boat trip on the Kowie River or perhaps a pizza at Guido’s overlooking the East Beach and harbour entrance. Both East Beach and West Beach in Port Alfred are accessible with the main swimming beach at Kellys Blue Flag Beach. (more…)
Here is a list of the Blue Flag status beaches in South Africa. The Western Cape has by far the most with 22 beaches, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 8, the Eastern Cape has 4 and the Northern Cape 1.
South Africa joined the Blue Flag programme 12 years ago and works hard to not only maintain the number of beaches with Blue Flag awards but also to increase the number year on year.
For the first time this year Blue Flags were also awarded to 4 Marinas across South Africa including; Royal Afred Marina in Port Alfred, Yachport in Saldanha, False Bay Yacht Club in Cape Town and Granger Bay Water Club in Cape Town.
Blue Flag beaches are an important aspect in promoting international tourism and many municipalities employ teams of people on a daily basis to clean the beaches of any rubbish or debris. Of course with so much coastline surrounding South Africa there are many beautiful beaches which don’t make the list but are no less worthy of visiting. Chatting to locals and guest house owners when you are on holiday is a great way to discover some of the best beaches to visit.
South African’s enjoy a good braai and the Bathurst OxBraai has to be the event for any young South African especially those in the Eastern Cape. This annual event attracts thousands of young people for an all day celebration that goes on all night as well.
The OxBraai takes place at the Bathurst Showgrounds just outside the small village of Bathurst in the Eastern Cape. Entry to the event costs R100 per person and if you are bringing a car which many people do then there is an additional charge of R100 per car. In 2012 the vent takes place on the 28th December with the gates opening at 10h00.
This huge event which started in the early 1980’s now attracts over 10,000 people. This is a safe event to go to with police and paramedics on duty to ensure that no-one gets into too much trouble or harm and is well looked after if they do. Please remember do not bring any glass bottles to this event. (more…)