South Africa – a diverse country of endless beauty, even in ice-cold winter!!

It is winter in South Africa, and being such a large country, we have a huge variety of climates ranging from Mediterranean climate, to sub-tropical and everything in between.  Cape Town, at the very bottom, suffers from the most severe winter rains, but my o my, is the land beautiful, fresh and green after some good rain!  The same rain causes the West Coast to explode in a fairyland of veld flowers come spring too.  As you go more inland towards the Northern Cape and North West Province, the nights become freezing cold, only for you to peel of the layers of clothing as the days warm up after noon.  Here, the summer rains drench the dried-out, parched land, so winter landscapes are harsh and pale.  The Kwazulu-Natal region hosts our highest mountains, the Drakensberg, and these are a winter-wonderland of snow, even on low-lying areas such as the Midlands.  But, driving down to the coast and into Durban, you’ll be caught if you have not packed summer clothes, as the difference in temperature between Pietermaritzburg and Durban could be as much as 10 – 15% warmer in Durban on any given day!!  I was such a sucker for a few years before I learnt my lesson, with us flying from a blistering cold Cape Town winter, to sunny, warm weather in Durban to go and watch the Durban July horse-race every year.  Year after year I had to go and purchase some cooler clothes once we got to Durban, or swelter in my warm clothes that I foolishly packed yet again.

Winter started early this year, and I would love to share some of our strikingly beautiful winter landscapes with you:

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Sunset Villas, Velddrif, West Coast, South Africa

I had the pleasure recently to have a business appointment with the owners of this self-catering resort on the beautiful West Coast region of South Africa.  They also run an adventure resort, where you can get real down and dirty on quad bikes, boat trips, clay pigeon shooting, 4 x 4 trips, game drives and many more activities.  Perfect for families, or corporate team building events.  A shuttle service is available between Cape Town, the airport and Laaiplek, Velddrif.  If you have never been to the West Coast, come and be mesmerized by its unique beauty and ambiance.  Freshly caught fish and chips, within a hop, skip and jump from your apartment, a view to die for, clean and neat, fully serviced apartment, and a stunning restaurant and pub on the premises, will make for an unforgettable stay whilst you explore the charms of the region.

Without further ado, let me show you why you should book yourself into this establishment and restore your weary city soul again:




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Posticino Express, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town

Posticino Express

I had the pleasure of spotting this little gem recently when having to wait for a client appointment in town.  It blew my socks off!!  And I dedicate it to my beloved, Kobus!  Till we are 105 and beyond.  Through thick and thin, good times and bad.  Love you.

“Think retro-casual lounge and Italian pizzas, Panini’s, and September pasta specials (Two dishes for R80).  Not only does Posticino Express, a sister of renowned Sea Point Restaurant, Postincino, have its Italian fingers firmly in Greenmarket’s ‘cafe culture’ pie, but this popular lunch spot also serves summer time diners with Friday Jazz nights, from November to April.”




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The Farmhouse Hotel, Langebaan

One of my favourite spots here.  The serenity and calm, complimented by a good glass of South African Wine, and a cheese platter that includes all the favorites. like Brie, Camembert, Gouda, Blue Rock and preserved fig, and a magnificent sunset to boot, completes a perfect picture.299

Add to that some free Wi-Fi, and one can spend hours on the front stoep, just watching the world go by.  Some lazy yachts on the water, more energetic paddling from canoeist, and runners / walkers in the dirt road in front of the Hotel, proves that Langebaan is the place to let all your holiday dreams come true.

The Farmhouse Hotel has real olde world charm, and attention to detail makes you want to go back and take another look, in case you’ve missed something the last time you’ve been. Speciality food themed evenings, lots of watersport activities etc, makes this a hotel of choice for holidaymakers – local folk, or overseas visitors.  Hope to see you soon!!




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The most iconic sight in South Africa – Table Mountain

Taken with my trusted Sony Ericsson Xperia – always in my palm, so I do not miss a shot!

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We need your help – let your heart guide you –

My husband and I, being animal lovers par excellence, have a dream of building kennels for neglected animals on the West Coast of South Africa, near Langebaan, where stray animals can be kept, doctored if need be etc.  We currently have 5 dogs, adopted from various areas in South Africa, 4 cats and an injured giant eagle owl living with us for more than a year already (she lost a claw and a half a wing in an apparent electrical shock, so cannot fend for herself).

My husband, a farmer, have always had a passion for animals and this would be a dream come true for us to erect clean, sustainable kennels near Langebaan, where future funds can be raised by advertising to the hoardes of holiday-makers on this beautiful part of South Africa, to bring their beloved pets along on holiday, but leave them with us.  This will allow the owners to come and collect their pooches once a day for a walk on the beach or a drive, but provide them with board and lodging overnight where animals are not allowed in guest accommodation.  Such funds can then be applied to house strays, or injured animals, where the help of the local vet will be enlisted.

I found Jackie, my African dog, hanging around the cottage we rented whilst on holiday 7 years ago, and after 5 days of her not leaving my side, I asked the cleaner girl about her background, only to learn that she was abandoned at the site by her previous owners.  I immediately booked a plane ticket for her to Cape Town on the same aircraft due to take me home, and she has been my loyal companion ever since.  See my blog – – post “Jackie – an African dog’s travel (B)log”.

Greta, Socks and Fifi were at the SPCA kennels in Kimberley, North West Province, for most of their lives and I shall never forget their exuberance when I let them out the van after we got to the farm, on discovering a huge lawn to run around on!  See blog – post “Adopt a dog month October – go on, adopt a dog at the SPCA or your local shelter”.

Buster, my beautiful black boy, was so maltreated when he was found in the field and looking so poorly, the manager wanted to shoot him but had the heart to first phone my husband to tell him about it.  I will never forget the day when he was offloaded at my house – mud caked onto his coat, some of it sticking into the gaping holes where a barbed wire must have been tied around his neck.  We nursed him, nurtured him, loved him and he bacame the most intelligent, beautiful black boy a dog lover could dream of.  For their afternoon walk, I did one lap of the course with all of them first, and then dropped the older dogs, including my beloved Bonjo who was 12 years old already, before taking Buster around for a faster second lap to get him to excercise properly – he would run beside me with ears flat, his gait like that of a young filly – all legs!

Lady was lying in the dark shoulder of the road when my husband drove to the other farms early one morning, after what must have been the coldest night of winter last year.  He did not realise it was a dog at first, driving on, but then saw her lift her head in his rear view mirror, which promted him to turn around and go back.  She had just enough strength to still lift a paw in greeting, barely being able to see out of frosted-over eyes.  He took her into the hold of the vehicle with him, and turned on the heater for the next 200kms to warm her enough for her to peer at him from under his elbow where she had tucked her nose, water still streaming from her eyes for days after.  We had her spayed, and then the fateful Sunday when these two beautiful creatures, Lady (photo attached) and Buster were shot in cold blood by a neigbouring farmer after getting through his fence.  This episode was one of the most inexplicable, most painful experiences in our lives, and we miss them every day.  See blog – post “My beloved dogs killed in cold blood”.

And then of course Alleycat – when we first knew we were going to Zanzibar, we found Alley a good home, but clearly not to his liking, as he walked home across a river, much to his tearful father’s delight, and we promptly booked a ticket for him to go to Zanzibar as well, as were our beloved dogs.

And Koekoes, my owl, whom we love with all our hearts – so helpless, defenceless, but so precious to us!  She has a rockery, built with dad’s loving hands, where she lives during the day, and at night she hops off and roams in the passage.  She is not allowed out without supervision, as I have witnessed black crows diving down on her mockingly, surely knowing she is disabled.  She talks to me in her loving sounds every time she just gets a glimpse of me, and clucks and puffs at the dogs when they come too near.  See blog, post “The Menagerie is growing”.

So, as you can see, we have personally had a really rough year with heartache with our animals, and we want to make a difference, if only on a small scale, by acquiring land and building a care centre for abandoned, injured or lost animals.

Please help us to make our dream come true!  If this truly happens, I will keep a blog with updates going for all to see going forward.

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Balmy, beautiful West Coast nightfalls

I guess I do not have to say anything at all – the pictures speak for themselves.  Seeing as it is the West Coast of South Africa, the sun sets over a silver sea every day, instead of over some African Bush.  And Langebaan lagoon, being so sheltered against nature’s whims, offers pure protection to all who indulge in water sports – from boating to kite-surfing, which is pursued by enthusiasts from across the globe here.

Saldanha harbour is a naturally deep harbour, and offers shelter to larger vessels and oil-rigs.  This area has just been declared the new Industrial Development Zone in South Africa, and one can only hope and pray that no oil disaster ever pollutes the azure waters of the lagoon.

The photos were taken from a camp-site at Leentjiesklip, a charming holiday destinations, where campers and small home owners enjoy an idyllic lifestyle.  Enjoy!!!

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