Head to “Schotia Safaris” to rekindle your sense of awe.

Head to “Schotia Safaris” to rekindle your sense of awe.

These glorious March and April days remind us of glorious October days of changing light, gentle warmth, cool breezes. They remind us especially of one fine October day last year when we escaped on a Schotia “Tooth and Claw Safari” for a mesmerizing six hour African bush experience. Following on from a long winter of traumatizing ill health and slow business, this wildlife bush sojourn was ‘just what the doctor ordered’ for us. We mingled with excited tourists, took deep breaths as we held on tight and allowed our senses to be transported away from the humdrum we’d fast left behind.

What did we see?
The Big Five as well as almost all of the animals listed on Schotia’s pamplet, wow.
We saw light in all her glory and an abundance of southern stars.
What did we smell?
The Eastern Cape bush, spring ‘vynbos’, fresh dung wafting on the breeze, the distant Indian Ocean.
What did we touch?
Each other and our cameras.
What did we hear?
The noisy silence of the African bush, the sharp twitter of birds, the grunts of animals, the singing of insects, the swooshing of hippos in water, the strain of the Land Rover, the scurry of a warthog, the stampede of a rhino, the crackling of fires at the supper lapa.
What did we taste?
The African dust, delicious coffee brews and preserves on fire-cooked breads, a hearty meal cooked on open fires.
What did we feel?
We felt elated to be so close to so many animals in their beautiful, natural surroundings. We felt comforted by the warm sun on our faces and cool breeze through our hair. We felt privileged to witness the sheer wonder of tourists from every corner of the globe, we felt proud of our magnificent Eastern Cape and of all who are striving to showcase her.

Thank you to Jenny Bean and her knowledgeable staff at “Schotia Safaris” for an unforgettable day packed with memories, a day that most certainly recharged our batteries.

In their own words:

“The Schotia Tooth & Claw Safari is a four hour guided game drive in an open Land Rover with a short refreshments and toilet break at the halfway point. After an amazing experience, where you will view more animals than you thought possible, enjoy a delicious dinner which is prepared over an open fire. We try to show our guests as much as possible on a drive and concentrate on the popular sightings rather than ‘the birds and the bees’. A short, spotlit night game drive providing the possibility of more nocturnal animals completes your experience as we return to our reception area.”
Arrival time 14:45.
Register at our office and sign indemnity.
Meet your ranger and enjoy a cup of tea/coffee before departing on game drive.
Guided game drive from 15:00 – 17:00 (viewing Antelope, Zebra, Rhino, Giraffe etc…)
17:00 Refreshment and toilet stop.
Continue on guided game drive until 19:00 while viewing nocturnal animals, Hippo and LIONS!!
19:00 return to Lapa for a scrumptious meal cooked over open fires.
Night drive as you retire to your accommodation for a restful night’s sleep.”

Contact Schotia Safaris for your “Tooth and Claw Safari”
Tel: +27 (0) 42 235 1436
Fax: +27 (0) 42 235 1368
Cell:+27 (0) 83 654 8511
E-mail:schotia@intekom.co.za

Browse through these:-
www.schotiasafaris.co.za/album/game-sightings-at-schotia
www.schotiasafaris.co.za/album/bird-life-at-schotia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Optimist heads to PE to inject us with hope and positivity.

The Little Optimist heads to PE to inject us with hope and positivity.

Greg Bertish will be at the PE Deep Sea Angling Club on Wednesday evening 6th March to share his incredible story of overcoming obstacles at all odds. The evening is about his inspirational documentary “Optimist”. He will no doubt be informing us of his book “The Little Optimist” and of his tremendous on-going fundraising efforts for a new ICU unit at The Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital. Be moved, be inspired, be optimistic, anything is achievable, there is always hope. See Greg’s banner advert for further information and support.

In his own words, from his website: www.thelittleoptimist.org

“The Little Optimist book is about to make a difference and put a smile on the face of many kids in South Africa.  The concept is totally unique, its organically good, and will help to inspire many sick and needy children. The Optimist is a tiny children’s sailing dingy. It’s so small and square it should not even be a sailboat. But it has a HUGE heart and aspires to be a big yacht and prove to its peers, that the little Optimist, the Dreamer, can and will be a real yacht and can sail and go where no others ever believe it could go. See The Ocean Voyage, The Children’s Book and the Great Optimist Race & sailing program: http://www.thelittleoptimist.org I hope that this little boat will inspire and motivate kids to believe, to dream and to conquer their fears, their demons, their diseases and their challenges. Believe, be an Optimist and do what no one thought possible!”

In April 2016 Greg Bertish sailed an 8 foot Children’s Optimist dinghy around the Cape of Storms. He crossed False Bay, rounded Cape Point and headed for Langebaan Lagoon on the wild West Coast. His 200-kilometre journey matched the 200 days he had spent in hospital fighting life-threatening heart infections. He raised R300 000 towards a new Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Greg hopes this journey of a REAL Little Optimist and his children’s book about a little believer with a HUGE heart, will help teach kids that being small, sick, poor or different is OK. And prove that they too can survive and thrive. His story will inspire kids and the world to believe in themselves, get better, be better and follow their passions and dreams. Greg Bertish is a big wave surfer and a South African Champion Lifesaver and Stand Up Paddle Boarder. He is an ambassador for the Children’s Hospital Trust and the National Sea Rescue Institute and founder of the Shark Spotter Program. He has helped raise over R2 million for these charities to date. He has achieved all of this as a multiple heart surgery survivor and patient. He continues to promote conservation, water safety, healthy living and  optimism.

https://www.facebook.com/thelittleoptimist/

Dreamy flying over Alexandria Dunefields, Eastern Cape, SA.

Dempsey’s Blog has been slumbering. Here’s a dream that woke us up:-
William Fraser: Published on Dec 8, 2015
Sling2 aircraft x6. The sequel to my first video of the flight, “Six Sling Formation”.
GoPro footage : Jordan van Eeden.

The unique Alexandria Dunefield stretches for a distance of fifty kilometres from Sundays River Mouth to Bushman’s River, and is one of the largest existing active coastal dunefields in the world.
Situated on the Eastern Cape’s Sunshine Coast, the Alexandria Dunefields cover a total area of one hundred and forty two square kilometres. The dunefield displays an average width of about two and a half kilometres and some of the dunes are about a hundred and forty metres high. The Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park encompasses the Alexandria Dunefield. The dunefield and unspoilt coastline of mainly sandy beaches is flanked by Southern Coastal Forest with species such as coast coral trees, real yellowwoods, white stinkwoods and knobthorns in abundance. Wildlife occurring in the forest includes bushbuck, bushpig, the rare nocturnal tree dassie, vervet monkeys and blue duiker. Signs of leopard and brown hyena have been recorded in the forest and on forest margins but sightings of these elusive predators are few. Many bird species occur in the forest, including the Trumpeter Hornbill and Knysna Turaco. There have been sightings of the Ground Hornbill in grassland pastures adjacent to the forest. The marine section in Algoa Bay encompasses the Bird Island and the St Croix Island chain. These islands are vitally important for marine bird breeding colonies. Bird Island is home to the largest Cape Gannet breeding colony (some 160 000 birds) in the world while St. Croix houses the largest breeding colony of African Penguins. Endangered birds, such as the Roseate Tern, also breed on the islands.

The Alexandria Dunefield is considered to be the best example in South Africa of bare coastal dunefield, often referred to as a dune sea. It offers a unique and extraordinary wilderness resource which only a few other landscapes in South Africa provide. It is the largest and least degraded coastal dunefield in the southern hemisphere. The dunefield imparts a unique experience of solitude, infinity and spatial freedom.

The Alexandria Dunefield falls within the “Algoa Bay Hope Spot”: http://www.sst.org.za/hope-spots/algoa-bay-hope-spot–2/algoa-bay-hope-spot-details

“Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept in her 2009 TED talk and since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet. While about 12 percent of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks etc.), less than six percent of the ocean is protected in any way. Hope Spots allow us to plan for the future and look beyond current marine protected areas (MPAs), which are like national parks on land where exploitative uses like fishing and deep sea mining are restricted. Hope Spots are often areas that need new protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more action is needed. They can be large, they can be small, but they all provide hope due to:

  • A special abundance or diversity of species, unusual or representative species, habitats or ecosystems
  • Particular populations of rare, threatened or endemic species
  • A site with potential to reverse damage from negative human impacts
  • The presence of natural processes such as major migration corridors or spawning grounds
  • Significant historical, cultural or spiritual values
  • Particular economic importance to the community”
  • Taken from: https://mission-blue.org/hope-spots/

Sources: https://www.wheretostay.co.za/topic/3461-alexandria-dunefields 

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/camps/woody/conservation/fauna_flora.php

 

“New Horizon” is latest addition to artworks of Route 67 at Donkin Village.

“New Horizon” is latest addition to artworks of Route 67 at Donkin Village.

A new artwork has been added to The Donkin Village, part of Route 67. Louwrens Westraad’s artwork “New Horizon” comprises two metallic oxen pulling a wagon. The artwork is located at the bottom end of Constitution Hill, opposite Heritage Café.

“The New Horizon public sculpture reflects the individual, manufacturing and motoring history of Nelson Mandela Bay – the resilient nature and pioneering spirit of all who live in the province,” Westraad said, revealing that the work had taken three months to create. The oxen consist of more than a thousand individually collected, sorted, shaped and welded steel and iron components. They embody the strength and optimism required to boldly journey up and over the mountains of tomorrow – united as team,” Westraad said. The artwork in part also pays homage to oxen and the wagon and their contribution to the history of transportation.

Westraad played a pivotal role in the creation of the 7m-highUjiva (Xhosa for “dance”) sculpture on the Walker Drive traffic circle near Baywest City Mall.

The central business district, which incorporates the Route 67 Arts Journey, is becoming one of the largest and most diverse installation areas of public art in the country.

Excerpts taken from The Herald article written by: Hendrik Mphande

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2018/02/24/mesmerising-metal-oxen-take-stand/

"new horizon" public sculpture at donkin village

“New Horizon” public sculpture at Donkin Village

artist of "new horizon": louwrens westraadt

Artist of “New Horizon”: Louwrens Westraadt

ox wagon

Ox wagon

"new horizon" artwork is at the bottom end of donkin village

“New Horizon” artwork is at the bottom end of Donkin Village

fascinating view of the parts making up the oxen

Fascinating view of the parts making up the oxen

metal oxen of "new horizon" artwork

Metal oxen of “New Horizon” artwork

heritage café, located opposite the oxen artwork

Heritage Café, located opposite the oxen artwork

See our Route 67 related links below:-

“Bottle Top City” joins Route 67, Donkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth.

 

http://dempseys.co.za/the-athenaeum-building-port-elizabeth/

http://dempseys.co.za/67-beaded-quotes-of-nelson-mandela/

http://dempseys.co.za/wayfinding-markers-along-route-67-in-port-elizabeth/

http://dempseys.co.za/images-of-the-interesting-route-67-art-works-in-pe-dec-2012/

Firefly the Travel Guy featured in Getaway magazine.

Firefly the Travel Guy featured in Getaway magazine.

It was great to see that our local tourism guru, Jonker Fourie, features as a contributor in the March issue of Getaway Magazine.

The article is : ” 3 SA train trips you’ll love”. The first and second train trips are written by Teagan Cunniffe and Caroline Webb respectively. Jonker’s contribution is on the third train trip: The Apple Express, Port Elizabeth – a beloved old train back on its tracks after gathering dust since 2010. For now the Apple takes us on a very short journey, longer journeys are being planned, we all look forward to it.

Jonker is passionate about and fully ‘plugged into’ all things tourism, local and national; he is often called “Firefly the Travel Guy” after his blog with the same name. The Firefly Photo Files have become his photographic guide to the beautiful country in which we live. He manages to publish a daily photograph from his Port Elizabeth Daily Photo Blog   

First train trip:      The Inchanga Choo-Choo, Durban by Teagan Cunniffe

Second train trip: The Forgotten Route: Cape Town to Matjiesfontein by Caroline Webb

Third train trip:    The Apple Express by Jonker Fourie

https://fireflyafrica.blogspot.co.za/

https://portelizabethdailyphoto.blogspot.co.za/

https://appleexpresstrain.co.za

http://www.getaway.co.za/

 

jonker fourie

Jonker Fourie

 

jonker's apple express article page 89

Jonker’s Apple Express article Page 89

 

apple express, port elizabeth

Apple Express, Port Elizabeth

 

3 sa train trips you'll love, getaway magazine march 2018

3 SA train trips you’ll love, Getaway Magazine March 2018

 

getaway magazine march 2018

Getaway Magazine March 2018

 

reader's letter in the country life magazine

Reader’s letter in the Country Life Magazine

An enchanting meander along Retha’s Trail, Schoenmakerskop.

An enchanting meander along Retha’s Trail, Schoenmakerskop.

Two years ago I photographed Retha’s Trail and intended sharing but kept on forgetting. The title of the post then was “Retha’s Trail, the best kept secret in Port Elizabeth.” I can no longer use this title,  the secret is out, many people have since been visiting the trail and talking about the trail.

Schoenmakerskop resident Retha, created and developed the path with a chain saw and a few helpers, a path was cut behind some of the houses and she’s filled it with eclectic findings to create a lovely distraction for walkers. I’ve had great intentions of arranging a meeting with Retha but have still not arranged it. A few months back Luc Hosten, a Schoenmakerskop local and  photographer supreme, reminded us of Retha’s Trail when sharing his beautiful photographs of the trail. With his permission we are sharing his photograph of Retha. For more on Luc’s fine work and all of his information, please visit:

http://www.luchosten.co.za/ 

Take a meander through Luc’s gallery of superb photography:-

https://www.facebook.com/Luc-Hosten-Photography-and-Feature-Writing-1568687746714230/

A little later Jonker Fourie beat me to it with publishing his post on Retha’s Trail! Jonker is also known as Firefly the Travel Guy, he has a photographic blog guide to “beautiful SA, its travel destinations, animals, bugs, birds, plants, flowers, history and culture plus some other stuff.  A reference guide to (not quite, but nearly) everything South African”

Here’s an excerpt from his blogpost on Retha’s Trail:-

“One of Port Elizabeth’s little gems that very few people seem to know of is Retha’s Trail in Schoenmakerskop.  Retha’s Trail stretches behind the houses (from #24 to #40) in Schoenies on Marine Drive between  and can be accessed between numbers 22 and 24.  The trail is always open and was created by local resident Retha Taylor along with a couple of workers.  The trail starts by the labyrinth on the eastern side and is more about what you’ll find along the way than the trail itself as it’s not really a hiking trail in the sense of the word due to its length.  Or in this case “shortness”.  Along the way there are literally hundreds of items that act as conversation pieces, some representing something significant in people’s lives and others just because.  Or as we say in Afrikaans, “Sommer maar net.”  Next time you’re in the area do drop by as I promise you you will love it.”

https://portelizabethdailyphoto.blogspot.co.za/2017/08/rethas-trail-in-schoenies.html

 

At long last old slow coach here has managed to hit the ‘publish’ button on this post, I do hope that you enjoy browsing my small collection of sights along the quaint Retha’s Trail at Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth.

retha taylor, photo by Luc Hosten

Retha Taylor, photo by Luc Hosten

retha's trail, schoenmakerskop, port elizabeth

Retha’s Trail, Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth

retha's trail made with love

Retha’s Trail made with love

only mugs, no coffee availble!

Only mugs, no coffee available!

a section of retha's trail

A section of Retha’s Trail

collections, bright, bold, beautiful

Collections, bright, bold, beautiful

Find your way from retha's trail to dempsey's guest house

Find your way from Retha’s Trail to Dempsey’s Guest House

love spot

Love spot

 

A refreshing new bee experience awaits you in Port Elizabeth.

A refreshing new bee experience awaits you in Port Elizabeth.

Anje Rautenbach is a local travel addict “Going Somewhere Slowly” and enjoys the world in slow motion. She’s in love with good coffee, obsessed with beautiful words and getting lost; she explores places off the beaten path. Here she shares her experience of a bee tour at the newly opened  Apiarist Farm Shoppe.

Dempsey’s Guest House wishes the Rautenbachs great success in their exciting new venture!

Bee here, Bee there, Bee Tour in Port Elizabeth

Dempsey’s Guest House is a bee-friendly one. We shared this awhile back:-

http://dempseys.co.za/bee-friendly-at-dempseys-guest-house/

 

 

Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth, a beach of note.

Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth, a beach of note.

sardinia bay, port elizabeth, eastern cape, sa

Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, SA

nature at her best

Nature at her best

the sand dune climb is worth the view from the top

The sand dune climb is worth the view from the top

a delight to watch horses take command of the beach

A delight to watch horses take command of the beach

a day for a daydream: 19 nov. 2017

A day for a daydream: 19 Nov. 2017

sardinia bay, nelson mandela bay metro, eastern cape

Sardinia Bay, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Eastern Cape