Tuesday, February 28, 2012

South Africa Photos.

The Berg - Near Witsieshoek, KwaZulu-Natal

The Drakensberg, or shortened to "The Berg",by the locals, is a dramatic mountain range that runs the East coast of Southern Africa.. 

It is one of those wonderful places in the world where you can loose your soul in its beauty- however you can as easily loose your life as it is cruel and often beaten by storms, harsh weather and extensive veldfires.. In Fact the name Drakensberg is transalated to Dragon Mountains.

This photo was taken over 12 years ago from the top of the "Amphitheatre".. Believe it of not it is a relatively easy days walk, should you base yourself at base camp (driveable) or stay at the Witsieshoek Hotel - Highest Hotel in the Southern Hemisphere (apparently). The path Zig Zags up the side of the high ridges, until you come to the Sandstone Ridge.. This is then transeversed by a steel chain ladder.. Once on top the views are dramatic..

So my apologies for digging up old digital images (tiny in comparison to todays J pegs).. However I just love this spot in the world- I place I must visit soon.. ..


PS Will post a few taken back in 2000- when still living in Africa

Cheetah - , Eastern Cape

Whats This? - Cape Town, Western Cape

The local penguins of Cape Town.Very sociable but very bitey.

Best Wishes Mr Mandela - Johannesburg, Gauteng

Yesterday I heard that Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital, today I read with relief that he has gone home.At 93 years of age he looks very frail but still manages to smile in his inimitable, radiant way. May his "light" be with us for ever.
I was inside his former home and the most chilling thing I saw there were the marks on the floor of a brick wall(now demolished to facilitate movement) that had been built inside the house and running parallel to the window in order to stop the bullets from killing him or members of his family.Of course there were bullet holes on the outside brickwork- all a reminder of man's inhumanity to man.

"There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man." Alan Paton

Ndebele women - Pretoria, Gauteng

Photographer’s Note

Camps bay - Camps Bay, Western Cape

Camps Bay is an affluent suburb of Cape Town. It is renowned for its white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees and has a trendy nightlife. 
At the dusk it is also a very nice place to watch the sunset.

Blue Cranes - Overberg, Western Cape

Blue Crane,

or "Grus paradisea" is truly a magnificent creature and worthy of being South Africa’s national bird.
It is also known as the Stanley Crane, the Paradise Crane and some taxonomies consider its scientific name Anthropoides paradiseus. 
Sadly, because of its small and declining population BirdLife International classifies the Blue Crane as Vulnerable.
In the last two decades, the Blue Crane has largely disappeared from the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, and Swaziland. The population in the northern Free State, western cape, Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Province has declined by up to 1%. The majority of the remaining population is in eastern and southern South Africa, with a small and separate population in the Etosha Pan of northern Namibia. Occasionally, isolated breeding pairs are found in five neighboring countries.

The primary causes of the sudden decline of the Blue Crane are human population growth, the conversion of grasslands into commercial tree plantations, and poisoning: deliberate (to protect crops) or accidental (baits intended for other species, and as a side-effect of crop dusting).

The South African government has stepped up legal protection for the Blue Crane. Other conservation measures are focusing on research, habitat management, education, and recruiting the help of private landowners.

The Blue Crane is a bird very special to the amaXhosa, who call it indwe. When a man distinguished himself by deeds of valour, or any form of meritorious conduct, he was often decorated by a chief by being presented with the feathers of this bird. After a battle, the chief would organise a ceremony called ukundzabela – a ceremony for the heroes, at which feathers would be presented. Men so honoured – they wore the feathers sticking out of their hair – were known as men of ugaba (trouble) - the implication being that if trouble arose, these men would reinstate peace and order.

The Blue Crane is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Kogelberg Fynbos - Kogelberg, Western Cape

The Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Is often considered the heart of the Cape Floral Region. 

In an area renowned for its unique flora, Kogelberg has an exceptional number of plants found only in this fynbos type. Size for size, the reserve is home to the most complex biodiversity on the planet. 
The entrance is strictly monitored and only small groups of people are allowed into the reserve. A few, beautifully designed Eco-units allow pre-booked accommodation that fits harmoniously into the scenic and sensitive natural environment.

This exquisite and extraordinary reserve, whose entrance lies about 100km from Cape Town, has remained remarkably unspoilt and hopefully will stay that way for many years to come.

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