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: 

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

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.”


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


K’s Karoo photo selected for UK website:-

K’s Karoo photo selected for UK website:-


Karoo Design, one of the best design and branding agencies in the UK, selected one of Kathy’s photos to include in their revamped website. It’s the photograph taken from a national road through the Karoo, blue mountains and beautiful space surrounding. A few more photographs are waiting in the wings for the next shuffle of photographs on their website.

Karoo Design, in their own words: “We’re an independent design and branding agency with offices in London and Southampton. In today’s fast changing world, smart-thinking innovative design adds value and competitive advantage. We deliver specialist graphic design, branding and advertising services to help our clients stand out from the crowd and achieve their goals. But don’t just take our word for it – see what our clients say.”

© 2015 Karoo Design Ltd
Registered in England & Wales No. 5040562
Registered address: 2 Venture Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 7NP, United Kingdom
Karoo photography: © H Van Blommestein © Ryno Ferreira © Kath Rath

Kathy’s first international recognition was in 2013 when many of her photos were included in the first South African Travel App called: ” South Africa Travel the Rainbow Nation,” created and published by Charlene Smith, internationally recognized journalist and writer. Here’s the link to that story:-



Locally, in 2015, Kathy’s photo was included in this great book:- “Absolutely Awesome South Africa”. Here’s the link to that story:-


Proudly South African contributor.

Port Elizabeth’s Alan Fogarty wins first prize.

Port Elizabeth’s Alan Fogarty wins first prize.

So nice to open the latest issue of SA Country Life and read of Alan Fogarty’s first prize that he won in the Image Club photographic competition. We know that guy! Alan runs his business here in Port Elizabeth called Alan Tours

The following piece on Alan is taken from his website

Always a free spirit, Alan has embarked on his own enterprise and offers tourists the wealth of his accumulated knowledge and know-how spanning more than 30 years in the wilds of Southern Africa. He is a qualified level three F.G.A.S.A. (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) Tour Guide and a Specialist African wildlife nature guide with further qualifications having been obtained in Zambia and Mozambique. His interests are wide and varied, birds, botany and bushman paintings.; mammal, reptiles and more recently our cultural heritage, inspired by the myriad of ruins in the Limpopo river valley as well as the recent colonial history of the Eastern Cape with special emphasis on the tribal Xhosa and their leadership during a difficult era.

photographer: alan fogarty's first prize competition 'image club' sa country life aug 2015

Photographer: Alan Fogarty’s First prize in competition ‘Image Club’ SA Country Life Aug 2015





Addo Elephant Park is just an hour from us at Dempsey’s.

Addo Elephant Park is just an hour from us at Dempsey’s.

When booking your stay with us at Dempsey’s Self Catering Guest House, please remember to work in enough time for a visit to the Addo Elephant National Park; it’s just a short drive from us and you won’t be disappointed. No two visits are the same, always exhilarating, always memorable. We are looking forward to visiting the park in September, National Tourism Month.

vygie flowers

Vygie flowers

Close-ups to delight

Close-ups to delight

This baby was five days old when we saw it.

This baby was five days old when we saw it.

Intoxicating to witness

Intoxicating to witness

views from matyholweni rest camp, addo park, south

Views from Matyholweni Rest Camp, Addo Park, south

top-to-tail buddies

Top-to-tail buddies

mesmerizing scenes at waterholes

Mesmerizing scenes at waterholes


Rainbow Travel App judged one of Top 5 for 2013.

Rainbow Travel App judged one of Top 5 for 2013.

“South Africa Travel: The Rainbow Nation App” was judged one of the top five travel smartphone Apps of 2013 in the MTN Smartphone Application.

How exciting is that? So proud to have many of my photographs included in the App:) Thank you Charlene!

“South Africa Travel: The Rainbow Nation App” was the first IOS & Google Play app on South Africa and tourism to South Africa. The concept and work (ongoing) of South African writer and communications consultant, Charlene Smith, the process was aided by photographs from SA Tourism and a major purchase, and co-branding of the app by Brand South Africa. It includes more than 20,000 pics, around 75,000 links, more than 3,000 videos, more than 500 towns, cities & villages .  The app inlcudes information for business travelers, tourists, families and those with special interests e.g. extreme sports, special sporting events e.g. Comrades Marathon, culture – from book fairs, best books, to theater, art, etc. Food ranging from biltong to the winelands and restaurants. Every entry has at least 10 photographs, where to book, how much, at least one video, at least three to six additional links, website, address connected to Google maps. Although I now live in the United States I maintain close ties to my home country and persistently look for ways to positively profile it.  The author of 15 books including four on Mandela (I am an authorized biographer), I travel to South Africa at least once a year to keep my information fresh, and have a network of friends in the business, tourism, and journalism professions who ensure the app is up to date.  It has consistent 5-star ratings, although 3 months ago the distributor (SutroMedia in San Francisco) developed a bug in their systems (they were hacked) and all apps had to be resubmitted, which meant we all lost our ratings and are now in the slow process of regaining them from new users.

Above info directly taken from :

And here’s our posting for you to once more peruse – on Charlene and her App.



charlene smith

Charlene Smith










Spring for Dempsey's SPRING SPECIAL:

From 1 September to 30 November 2019 Dempsey's Guest House is offering a 15% discount on accommodation.

ONLY valid for bookings made via our ONLINE BOOKING FORM HERE.