Mkhuze Peach

Date: 13 January 2013 We stopped in at the Hluhluwe Spar to buy provisions on our way further north to camp in Mkhuze. Busy, crowded, more basic than city Spars, we gather our stuff and pay at the till. As we cross the road to the bakkie, Tom looks up at me, lugging his Spar […]

Cape Vidal Camping

So I took these – . . to here – and when they saw these harmless creatures – they squealed and ran out of the campsite shouting “I’m taking an uber home!” We saw kudu, nyala, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, mongoose, zebra, warthog and hyena. Sindi pipes up on a drive: “There are no animals here!” […]

Maputaland Meander

Aitch was impressed: Luxury with Wilderness Safaris at Ndumo, grub and game drives laid on. Aitch had fun with the giraffe’s dong. So where we going next? she asks. “You’ll see”, I say. Hmm, she said, knowingly, raising one eyebrow but saying no more . . .   We were in a magic Isuzu Trooper […]

The Old Pont

It’s 2015 and I’m on the banks of the Umtamvuna on the border of the old Transkei  and old Natal. It’s paradise. There’s a broad deep river, a great sunset and the sounds of herons, guineas and francolin settling for the night. Also a black cuckoo complaining he’s feeling indisposed. All of it drowned out […]

A ‘Bhangladeshi’ Christmas

My bad. We arrived at the Mocambique border with Tommy’s passport, birth certificate, Aitch’s death certificate, my application for Tom’s unabridged birth certificate plus the receipt for same. No go. They wanted his unabridged birth certificate itself, or a letter saying we’d applied for it. “But here’s the application and the receipt”, I protested. In […]

Happy Wanderers. Again. Like Boy Scouts.

This time in winter. Tom loved it. Caught many small blacktail, karanteen, bronze bream, one shad and stayed on the rocks for hours. I had to fetch him and march him to the showers threatening not to feed him till he smelt civilised. Jess and friend Jordi lay in their tent and watched videos. Could […]

Wilderness Walk – Mfolosi: The Big Six

Lunchtime high on the Momfo cliffs overlooking a great bend in the Mfolosi river. Our guides lit a fire and began to prepare our lunch. We settled down for a well-deserved break after the hike up the hill. From our high vantage point we had already seen a buffalo in the sandy river bed, a […]

Wilderness Walk – Mfolosi 1985

The Umfolosi Wilderness is a special place. Far too small, of course, but its what we have. I’m reading Ian Player’s account of how Magqubu Ntombela taught him about wilderness and Africa and nature. The idea of a wild place where modern man could go to escape the city and re-discover what Africa was like […]

A Week in Mkhuze

We saw lots of bewilderbeast droppings and lots of bewilderbeasts – many with tiny calves, meals on wobbly hooves to the lions and cheetahs. The big male lion had also helped himself to a giraffe calf, so fat pickings this summer. Wobbly hooves I’ll have one of those! Impala nursery Ugh, I ate too much […]

Fishermen’s Tales

Two avid fishermen, Lungelo and me went down to the sea. Or to the Umtamvuna River at The Old Pont. Lungelo and I were not the avid ones. That was Tommy and Ryan, passionate, persevering pêcheurs. Fishermen in blue.     Luxury accommodation on the banks of the Umtamvuna.   Besides the river fishing I […]

Canada in a VW Bug

Larry drove me up to his home town Cobleskill NY from Shreveport in Louisiana. His sister Ginny was there and we camped our way northwards in a grey VW bug with a big U-Haul box on the roofrack. Then Sherry Porter, twins Dottie and Dale Moffett and Aussie Jonathan Kneebone arrived In Cobleskill and I […]

Thutty Yizz! (that’s ’30yrs’ to you)

Aitch never held my culinary skills in high regard. Her favourite meal to mock was my chicken-onion-n-potato-in-a-pot special which she described as pale and tasteless. It wasn’t. It just looked bland. With enough red wine taken internally it was fine. She was right about my braaiing skills, though. Luckily Tom’s genes skipped back about seven […]

Culinary Tour de Force

Ndumo – Camping alone – Extract from my diary: Tonight I decide to cook rice, lentils, green beans, potatoes and chicken washed down with a fine claret in a silver goblet. Mug. OK, it’s actually stainless steel. YUM!!! If you must know, the meal was actually a KOO tin (chicken biryani), but you can read […]

Cape Vidal Storm Disaster

We took the trailer and found a lovely campsite and settled in. Tom was a mad keen fisherman and Jess loved the waves. Blissful. Peaceful. Tom had his first real fishing rod – a huge surf rod given to him by Trish’s Dad Gompa Neil. Jess was mad keen on gymnastics and swimming back then. […]

Annie and her Sherpas summit Mt aux Sources

Mt aux Sources, winter 1993. Sheila organises a gang to summit the peak. Anne Euthemiou brings two strapping nephews as sherpas to haul her four-poster double bed and duvet up the chain ladder. I hand out my special paklightna snacks at all stops on the way up. Once up the chain ladder, Sheils insist we […]