Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kruger & Blyde river canyon here we come!

My dad is here and the girls have a week off from school, so time again for a SAFARI!!

We are leaving today, and this will be an amazing trip, so looking forward to it!

The weather is gorgeous and the trip we have booked is super exciting!!

First we are going to Mpumalanga, which means "the place where the sun rises". We will be staying 3 days in Plumbago guest house. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. We will be visiting the Blyde river canyon. While it is difficult to compare canyons world-wide, Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons on Earth, and it may be the largest 'green canyon' due to its lush subtropical foliage. It has some of the deepest precipitous cliffs of any canyon on the planet. It is the second largest canyon in Africa, after the Fish River Canyon, and is known as one of the great wonders of nature on the continent.

The best view in the whole of the Blyde River Canyon is of the "Three Rondavels", huge, round rocks, thought to be reminiscent of the houses or huts of the indigenous people, known as rondavels. This canyon is part of the Panorama route. This route starts at the town Graskop and includes God's Window, the Pinnacle and Bourke's Luck Potholes. All these beautiful things we will see when we will drive the Panorama Route.

After 3 days in this area, with visiting canyons, waterfalls, cute little towns full of the real Africana stuff, we are driving into Kruger National Park. Which is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and one of the largest national parks in the world. It covers 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi) and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west.

All the Big Five (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino) game animals are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of mammals than any other African Game Reserve (at 147 species). Also 517 species of birds are found at Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomads.

At the Kruger we will stay at Rhino Post Safari Lodge where we will have our morning and evening game drives, also available at this lodge are Rhino Walking Safaris. We haven't done that yet, so you will go on foot and look for the Rhinos. Sounds great and we will see if we can do one. One these kind of safaris no kids are allowed. We will sleep in tented lodges, which I always like so much, because it gives you even a closer feel to nature and the animals!

To arrive at this lodge we have to drive about an hour through the Kruger park, and hopefully this will not happen to us!!

After 2 days we are going to Tzaneen and stay at the Fairview Hotel. From this place we are visiting the Magoebaskloof with its tea plantations and the Koedoes River Valley. Here we will also see the biggest Baobab Tree in the world. Also possible the oldest tree in the world, dating back 6000 years! And so far as I know the only tree with a bar inside – known as “The Tree Bar” or “The Baobab Bar”.

A wide range of tropical fruits are grown in the Tzaneen area, notably mangoes, bananas, oranges and avocados. Pine and Eucalyptus plantations are also a common sight in the area around the town, particularly toward Magoebaskloof and Haenertsburg. This area is much more sub-tropical than Johannesburg, so it will be nice to see some different vegetation.

All in all an interesting trip with loads to see and of course the highlight is the visit of the Kruger Park, where I am sure we will see the Big Five and tons of other animals.

This is my first trip that I booked through a travel agency here, normally I book and research everything myself but I found it so hard to this time to create a nice trip because I wanted to see so much and for the places in between it was so hard to find any good info on the web. So my friend Ingrid recommended me to go to African Surprise, a small travel agency run by Liesbeth Wijnkoop and she created this whole trip for me and even her prices were much much better than I could have ever booked it for. So I am happy that I did this. So for my friends who live here and want to have a trip booked locally or even anywhere contact Liesbeth at She will create a trip of a lifetime for you!!

We will keep you updated when we are back how everything went!!
Mireille xx


Leah Maya Benjamin said...

Boy that is a very large male elephant,but still they are in a car. I have not ever heard that Rhino's are nice frinedly creatures so I think I would pass on a walking tour. That tree is amazing! Have a wonderful time!!!!

Sine said...

that sounds wonderful, Mireille! We are also headed for Kruger over New Year's and I can't wait. Will stop at Blyde River Canyon just to peek but won't have time to stay over. Enjoy your trip!

Maci Miller said...

This trip sounds so wonderful! Think I'd be both fascinated and terrified of a walking tour of rhinos but eager to see all the pics! Those photos of the canyons are GORGEOUS. Have an amazing time!

Paige said...

Sounds fabulous! I'll be looking forward to many pictures. We are planning a similar trip for Thanksgiving break right now so I can't wait to hear all about your trip and when you return.


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