Tuesday, 29 December 2015

November & December Update- Summer is in full swing in Kruger!

Sorry it has been TWO MONTHS since our last post!  We have been super busy! First off, in November, Joe's sister, Maria, came to visit us in the park and then she and Joe explored Cape Town and Victoria Falls! Check out her Facebook for more pics of that!

We spent Christmas week in a "deluxe tent" at Mangwa Valley Game Lodge north of Pretoria. It was amazing! It was so relaxing (pools, massage, etc) and the food was so good! They have a small game reserve there with a HUGE diversity of antelope. It was really fun to see so many different kinds of animals we don't get in our neighborhood. And they were all so healthy and happy! Plus our accommodations were top of the line, as you can see by Joe's approval above;). 

And OF COURSE, Joe is keeping up on his fermentation activities... this was an interesting venture. I am looking forward to the real beer he will be brewing this month!

And now for the usual slew of really amazing animal pictures!


Two wild dogs taking a break from the heat.

 Mama hyena on the move.

 A male klipspringer enjoying the morning sun.

 A well-adorned male nyala eyes us suspiciously. We refer to these as "wizards of the bush."

The baby impala explosion started in mid-December. These little guys are all over!

 A weaver working diligently on his nest. These are so fun to watch, they actually weave with their beaks!

A sable antelope at Mangwa Valley with a slight horn issue... usually they both point backwards.

 Wildebeest hanging out in the shade. If you look closely, you can see the little babies!

 A juvenile giraffe looking awkward.

 "So many cool bugs!" -Joe

 An elephant family drinking. 

 A gigantic crocodile waiting for a snack.

 Buffalo in the shade:).

 A very itchy giraffe.

 A lion seeking a break from the heat. Can you tell it's hot here!?

 A mama fruit bat with her baby roosting in the eves of the tourist camp store.

A lilac breasted roller scores a cicada snack!

Tune in for more in the next couple weeks! We promise not to take so long to post again this time!
Also, for a more real-time experience, check out Hannah's Instagram @surf_mermaid.

Take Care and Happy New Year!

-Joe & Hannah

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Entry Two: Stellenbosch and Cape Town

 We began our time in Stellenbosch as any person would, on an all-day wine tour:). This picture was taken at Simonsig, the first of four wine farms that we visited. From the curmudgeonly driver to the heavy pours, it was an all around good experience and we highly recommend this option! 
 Joe was excited about the cellar tour at Dieu Donne, the only wine farm we visited that was making "Champagne" style white wines using secondary fermentation instead of CO2 addition- so good!
 Our last and most scenic stop on the tour, Zorgfliet. I am impressed that I could lift the camera at this point... heavy pours;).
 The view of False Bay from near Strand (the top of the bay).
 An African Penguin at the bird sanctuary in Bettysbaai
 More penguins! So many!!
 A mother penguin protecting her chicks:).
 A rock hyrax sits atop a throne of abalone! Such a large, strange (cute) rodent!
 A male southern right whale shows off his stuff to the ladies by slapping his tail on the surface. I took this picture from the table at lunch in Hermanus, the whale watching capital of South Africa (or the cape... not sure how far-reaching or accurate that claim is).  It was so cool to be eating lunch and have whales in the bay right across the street! There was also a mom and calf but I failed to get any pictures of them.
Spring blooms in Jonkershoek nature reserve.
A low stream on the waterfall hike in Jonkershoek. Unfortunately all the waterfalls were just a trickle at this time of year, but the scenery was still stunning. Can you spot the frog?:)
The view from atop table mountain after a strenuous hike up the Platteclip gorge. So worth it! I was secretly hoping that the cable car would take us back down to save our knees but it was closed (along with the cafe- what???!) when we arrived at the top. I never told Joe of my secret plans...
Joe and the cape:). So windy at the top that day!
The Cape of Good Hope...
And it's neighbor, Cape Point.
Joe inspects the wreck of the Thomas T. Tucker, a ship that ran aground on the cape in 1942.  We really liked the Cape Point National Park because you actually had to hike out to the shipwrecks... there were no plaques or anything, just wreckage on a deserted beach. Made it seem more real.
Hard to imagine how this place could destroy such a vessel on a clear, sunny day like today.  The cape has many secrets...

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Entry One: Kruger highlights from weeks 1-2

Welcome and thanks for reading!
Here you will find a mostly pictorial account of Hannah and Joe's adventures in South Africa and Beyond!

 Baby elephants playing! So cute!
 Wildebeest seeking shelter from the heat
 Everyone's at the swimming hole!
 A handsome male zebra shows his stripes
 Two shy rhino grazing
 A majestic male kudu at sunset
Hannah hanging out with one of the boys at buffalo captures;)

More to come!