Saturday 30 March 2013

Khame Ruins

Taxi rank, Bulawayo

On this Saturday of Easter weekend I decided to go and visit the Khami Ruins, which lay about 20 km out of Bulawayo. Eric, an American I briefly met when I arrived in Packer's Rest in Bulawayo, told me he hired a taxi to get there and back which cost him a total of USD 120. That's quite a lot of money to visit some old ruins. I thought I'd try to get there by minibus commuter.

Friday 29 March 2013


The Matobo's is a park with a large number of rounded boulders which resemble bald round heads from which the name comes from. At a site now called World's View by Cecil John Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), his remains lay in a stone grave with two of his fellow companions of the time.

Thursday 28 March 2013


With a nice mix of colonial style houses and “old” modern buildings, Bulawayo has a specific charm. The citizens are quite laid-back and the atmosphere is quite and gentle. I experienced no harassing from street or crafts vendors. I walked around the city quite a lot and visited the Art Gallery and the Natural History Museum.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Gabs – Leaving ZA or a boring day or two in Gaborone

Robert brought me to the Caltex stop in Midrand where my Intercape bus would be stopping and let me board. Before that, while still at their home in Kempton Park, we made plans for the close future. Laurentia's sister Lucretia told us about Soweto and that I should visit. There are organized tours. Laurentia and Robert never went to Soweto and told me it would be nice to all go and visit together. By the way, Soweto stands for South West Townships.

Tlokweng Road, Gabs
During the previous day I sent and checked the Couchsurfing requests for Gaborone. It seemed a better prospect than to go the only backpackers that looked good on paper, but was a bit out of town (about 12 km). More so, Couchsurfing is always a good way to meet new people and have good local advice for visiting and sightseeing.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Back to Jo'burg

I bought a City to City bus ticket from Hoedspruit to Jo'burg after having contacted Laurentia to see if it was OK to crash a night or two at their place. She said she'd ask her husband Robert, and a little while later answered positively. The bus ticket was for the next day, and so I drove one last time to Hoedspruit with Katryn and Nelri. They left me when the bus arrived. I climbed into the coach and asked the driver if he could drop me off in Midrand, because it was much closer to where I had to go than the train station in the city centre. The driver told me to relax and take a seat, which I did.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Field Guide course

When I sent word to Katryn that I would be glad to accept her invitation to visit her and Nelri in South Africa, she told me that her daughter (Nelri) was going to start a field guide or nature guide course in a short time. She asked me if I wanted to join and after some considerations (course contents, price, etc.) I accepted. Finally Katryn joined in the fun, so we're now all doing it.

Learning to handle a 4x4 in deep sand
When I arrived in Hoedspruit, Katryn and Nelri brought me to the person who would be our instructor to discuss the matter and see if I would do the course. I told him I probably wouldn't do the exam because I most probably would never use the certificate. Moreover, to use it you need to do a one week rifle course first. Which could be quite interesting, but for another time. He accepted, but said he would throw me out if I slowed the two other guys too much. The course contents is quite intense and there is a lot of information to know.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Flying over the Lowveld and other travels

Flying over the Lowveld with this tiny aircraft called a gyrocopter was a special and amazing experience. Katryn, my hostess, got a message on her Blackberry community group conversation that one person was going to fly from Hoedspruit to Tzaneen the following morning. He was looking for a passenger because he'd rather fly with some company than alone. That's how I found myself to be responsible for hauling the whole crew out of the game farm early morning on Katryn's birthday. We left around 7.20 for the civil airfield in Hoedspruit.