Sunday, February 17, 2019

Back in Durban......Day 15

An interesting start to the day, we went down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast  and noticed a procession of well dressed locals walking through the restaurant into an adjoining conference room. 
We soon realised It was the local church meeting, the preaching and gospel music soon filled the restaurant,  a bit of a surreal moment.

We then had a relaxing morning  before a walk down the board walk, it was hot and windy so we stopped off several times for water and a spot of people watching. At lunchtime we dropped onto a bar/restaurant  called “ Wahooz", what a find,  they had live music on an open air stage and the band were “The Afro Divas", four local girls with amazing voices and harmonies.  Of course, Mandy had to mention the old forthcoming big birthday, and they invited me to “throw my shapes" I think I bluffed my way through it.

We finished off our stay In Durban with a fish supper overlooking the Ocean.  The people Of Durban have been  so friendly,  welcoming  and helpful to us, a credit to their country. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

St Lucia...Day 14

On our final day in South Africa’s oldest national park, we had another early morning start for our 4th game drive. We saw two huge Rhino cross in front of us and plenty of other animals even though the weather was against us.

We said goodbye to the Hluhluwe game reserve and drove over to the coast of the Indian Ocean. We stopped of at the two of St Lucia which is known for its  Isimangaliso wetland park. We boarded a small boat and headed out into the estuary. 

Our first sighting was a crocodile guarding its nest high on the riverbank. We the headed further into the estuary  until we came upon a family of hippos numbering  around 20. The were just wallowing in the shallows keeping close together for warmth. They eat a huge amount of grass during the night and let of gas during the day, as we both found out, they stink to high hell.

It was the time to head back to Durban and a 2 and half our drive. We arrived back in Durban and said goodbye to our driver/guide,  the incredible  “Sibo", the guy is a legend, nothing was to much trouble for him, he had a great sense of humour and it was a pleasure to spend three days in his company. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Safari...Day 13

We made 5.30am start for our first game drive of the day, it was a quiet start to the drive, although we did see a couple of Rhinos, impalas, Zebras warthogs and plenty of bird life.  

The highlight of the drive was when we stopped at a water hole where a herd of Buffaloes were wallowing in the mud, we were only a couple of meters away from these huge beasts and it was fascinating to watch them.

After breakfast we had a 8couple of hours rest, during which Mandy opened the front door to find 6 impalas on our doorstep!

At around 10.30 we went on our 3rd game drive, once again the game came thick and fast. Shortly after leaving the lodge the  road was blocked by two huge Rhinos marking their territory. Driving through the Bush we spotted two Mongooses playing, Other animals we saw included Wilderbeast, monkeys, elephants, Giraffes, tortoises, impalas, Kudo, zebras and baboons. 

As we were ending our drive we noticed a number of vultures circling overhead,  we stopped off to ask a ranger the reason,  sadly he told us that 2 rhino had been killed by poachers. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wild cat sanctuary Hlahluwe national park...Day 12

Today we picked up by our driver/guide,  “Sibo “ who drove us North of Durban, passing mile upon mile of sugar cane fields. Our first Stop was at a Wild cat sanctuary,  that looks after injured and orphaned wild cats. 

We started off by seeing the African wild Cat followed by the Serval and Caracal then went onto the Cheetah enclosure,  standing just one metre from these animals you could just see the power of these superb animals. Our guide then said we would be entering the enclosure,  we thought at first that he was kidding, but sure enough he opened the gates and with a little trepidation we stepped inside.

The two cheetahs were shading themselves from the sun under a small tree, we walked up to within one metre,  it was thrilling to be so close to these beautiful animals. Our guide told us all about the cats and how they hoped to return them to the wild.

We the drove onto the  Hlahluwe- Imfolozzi national park, we checked into the Hilltop  camp and were shown to our Thatched chalet. After brief lunch it was time to go out on our first Safari drive with Sibo. We left the camp and drove for a couple minutes , as we rounded a Crest, we were surprised to see a huge Bull elephant standing in the middle of the road. We came to a sharp stop and watched  as he swung his huge trunk at us, after several minutes he moved slowly away to graze.

Moving on, Sibo stopped at the track side when a family of 3 rhinos stood, we were within 5 metres of the tremendously powerful animals. The sightings on the Safari continued, seeing Giraffes, Buffalo, more elephants, warthogs, Zebra and a troupe of performing Baboons.
At night we dined in the lodge's restaurant and discussed all we had seen on this special day. After dinner the restaurant staff came out to perform Zulu songs and dances.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Durban : A day at the Races...Day 11

The morning started with a relaxing walk along the seaboard, although it was a very humid start to the day, the breeze off the Indian Ocean made it comfortable. All the usual suspects were out, the cyclists, the skateboarders, the joggers and dog walkers. 

We stopped off at "Circus- circus “ for a refreshing drink and to watch the skilful sand artists at work on the beach.

At lunchtime we made our way over to Greyville  racecourse,  a very kind lady went out of her way to allow us into the Gold Lounge even though we were wearing shorts, not normally allowed. 

We had a wonderful afternoon with an impressive buffet and reasonably priced drinks.  As far as the racing went, Mandy won the first race, but that was were our getting luck ended. An afternoon at Durban racecourse is a great way to spent a few hours.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Durban : A hospital visit and power cuts....Day 10

The day started when Rob went to City hospital in Durban with back muscle spasms,  he saw the doctor, he had an urine test and ultrasound scan. Put on tablets and patches. 

 At the time of writing, South Africa is suffering regular electrical power cuts, our power went off at 8.00 and apparently lasted until late afternoon. We noticed that  the power cuts caused  chaos at traffic lights.

In the evening we made our way over to the beachfront  and had a lovely meal overlooking  the Indian Ocean.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Durban : Segway, Stadium tour and Ushaka marine park...Day 9

After a huge electrical storm during the night we woke to a bright, humid day. We made our way over to the beautiful Moses  Mabhida stadium where we decided to go on a Segway tour. 

We started off with a short training session with our guide, Shaun. We the set off on our tour along the seafront  promenade passing sand sculptures and weaving in and out of the walkers and cyclists. We drove the Segways onto one of the piers where we took a break and saw some great views of the City skyline and also the passing surfers. This was the first time either of us had used a Segway and we had a blast. 

We the sat down for a coffee before doing the guided tour of the stadium, we were even allowed on the grass pitch before visiting the dressing rooms and the Presidential suite. 

After lunch we made our way over to the Ushaka marine World, where they have a superb aquarium  with a variety  of fish, Ray’s, turtles and a huge tank full of sharks. We finished our visit off at the dolphin show, although not a fan of captive animal shows, you cannot be impressed at their agility.