Afriski: Next Generation

The niece and the nephew took a husband, a wife, and two kids each and took over the St Moritz snow week at Afriski in Lesotho. They went up Sani Pass. Thank goodness for the snow machines as there was no ‘free snow from heaven’ on the ground!

Hluhluwe Veld Fire

A quick one-night trip to Hluhluwe saw very good birding but Jess was disappointed as the animals were in hiding, possibly due to the big fire which burnt the first day and through the night. She’s spoilt, though, as she still saw twelve species, all good close-up views including an elephant where she immediately said […]

Secrets of the Cavern

Off to the ‘Berg with the kids. To a hotel! A real hotel! The Cavern in the foothills of the Drakensberg. At last their Dad listened and took them somewhere they didn’t have to cook and clean! (This was back in 2012). They loved it. Especially once they worked out one of the secrets of […]

A Royal Stir (rup)

During the Royal visit to South Africa in 1947 – this was the royal family from that small country called England, not the Zulu Royal Family or anything – there was great excitement! A special train was built, medals were struck and prime ministerships were lost – although Onse Jannie Smuts didn’t know yet that […]

Hluhluwe Day Trip

One sane and sober adult and three girls. Yikes! Man, they were full of nonsense. And rude!? Ha! Ha! We played ‘I Spy’ and you can imagine what they were guessing for B and P and F and all. We laughed till the tears ran. I reminded them of the days we played with Tommy. […]

Old Man’s SWA Memories

The ole man’s first visit to South West Africa was by train in 1939. The trip cost six pounds return. His father being a railway man, he probably got a good family-rate deal. He would have ‘entrained’ here. where Oupa worked: . . crossed all of South Africa to Upington, then passed through Keetmanshoop, Rehoboth […]

Lone Ranger in Intensive Care

We packed breakfast and lunch and snacks and left for Mfolosi Game Reserve at 6am this morning; Jess, Azo and me. ETA around 8.30. Tom elected to chill at home. Instead, by 8am we were back home, with the sad and sick Ford Ranger on the back of Ritesh’s yellow ‘flatbed’ or ‘rollback’ AA tow […]

Labour of Love – Aitch

My bird list book made by Aitch back in 1985, soon after we met. Every bird from Roberts handwritten – and done on the quiet so I only got to see the end result for my first xmas present from her! After that we birded in other countries in Africa. Also in the USA, Brasil, […]

Stripey Overboard!

When you’re twenty two months old you can venture off north into neighbouring African countries in a kombi as long as you’re prepared and have the right companions. Like Stripey. He’s unflappable and always smiling. And your Mom. She’s the best for food, clothes, warmth, that sort of stuff. and your sis and your Dad […]

Jessica turns 21

She’s Twenty One Today! My lil Jess turned 21. I don’t know how that happened. One minute she arrived, aged two and two days: the next she took over our home: and here she is, a fully grown woman! Let’s plot a few milestones to remind ourselves of the journey of my lovely best daughter […]

Maputaland Beach Walk

The recipe: Fifteen glorious people and forty glorious kilometres of wide open sandy beaches of the Zululand or Maputaland coast. Years earlier I had hiked a section of the Wild Coast, far to the south. Ten of us were walking; two were guiding – Jabulani and DC walking up and down the dunes ahead and […]

A Quickie

Mfolosi again. Just one night with three twenty year old lasses, Jess, Tarryn & Jordie.  On the way one of my pet theories got a bit of backing evidence! When birding by car, I say, ‘Stop anywhere: There will almost always be some birds around’. Busting for a leak I stopped under a bridge on […]

The Cherries in Ficksburg . .

. . were delightful. But they were all chaperoned by big ugly old males: Oh well, I made the most of it by looking for Vrystaat poppies. At least some of them were unaccompanied: And the local birds were also obliging: Saturday Supper was delicious. Cafe Chocolat hidden in a massive pile of priceless collectibles: […]

Luke Flew out the Train Window

There were two birthdays on the steam train and the pictures are from Tom’s. He turned four. 2005. Aitch arranged a magic day after much preparation, cake-construction and Mom-liaison. Here she orchestrates: I was on the train and we had a lovely day. Later Luke, Tom’s big china, turned four and had the same birthday. […]

Sole Searching Wild Coast Walk

Driving south to the Wild Coast I glanced down at my feet. Right foot on the accelerator, left foot chilling next to the clutch. No shoes. Barefoot. OK, I’d forgotten to take shoes on our six-day beach walk. Too late to turn back. It was fine. I’d make do. I said nothing. Didn’t want Aitch […]

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Memory is a Dodgy Business. I remembered the scene so clearly. Standing next to a fresh buffalo carcase red with blood; looking around, nervous that the lions who had obviously recently killed it might come back and be annoyed with us for putting our feet on its lunch. We were on a walk in the […]