The 25 best small towns in South Africa

Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.

Explore the 25 best small towns in South Africa.

1. Clanwilliam

With the picturesque Clanwilliam and Bulshoek dams and the spectacular Cederberg mountains in the area, this town offers the perfect weekend getaway. Two hours’ drive from Cape Town, the town is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding area, including the magnificent, but secluded Biedouw Valley.

2. Clarens

Dubbed “the jewel of the Free State”, Clarens is a haven for artistic and food-loving types. Nestled in the foothills of the Maluti mountains and a stone’s throw from Golden Gate National Park, which lies on the border between the Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, Clarens would be a serious contender for the title of “South Africa’s favourite town”.

For the full list check out www.savisas.com

Thanks to www.colinsnotes.com for the image

Buffalo and lion endure epic hour-long fight

Battle to the death: Buffalo and lion endure epic hour-long fight… which leaves both animals with fatal injuries

Desperate male lion attacked lone adult buffalo after being cast out of pride in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Tense fight left both animals exhausted and smeared with blood, with the lion dying of its wounds two days later.

Dramatic pictures were taken by Matt Armstrong-Ford, of Eastbourne, who works as a safari guide in the region

Full Story here

5 strangest animals to see on safari

frica has many animals that are considered strange but the following five are very unusual. If you do spot any of these animals on safari consider yourself very lucky and take lots of photographs.

1. Wild dog or painted dog

wild-dogs

This animal is the only member of Lycaon classification in the world. Wild dogs are extremely efficient hunters with a far higher kill rate than any other predator. The markings on each dog are unique which makes identifying individuals very easy. One of their most unusual behaviours is the habit of vomiting food to feed other members of the pack; this is an act of bonding as well as a source of nutrition. The pups are always fed first, which is very unusual predator behaviour. They hunt in groups, chasing their prey for many miles till the intended victim collapses in exhaustion. They are highly social animals and live in large packs. They have few natural predators but their numbers are sadly declining as their habit is being destroyed and they are hunted by farmers. Your best chance of seeing wild dogs will be on an early morning game drive.

– See more at: africageographic

The Most Incredible Wildlife Photos Of 2014

Justin Black/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

From the mightiest beasts in the jungle to the tiniest microorganisms swimming in our pond water, Earth is home to some amazing life-forms.

This year, we’ve observed some incredible wildlife in action all around the world.

In 2014 we saw leopards battling crocodiles, walruses swarming the Alaskan coastline, and ghostly fish lurking in the deepest parts of the ocean.

7 tips for improving your wildlife photography

Posted by Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year in Photography, Wildlife and the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year post series.

The first in our series of photographic tips and gear reviews to set you on your way to becoming Africa Geographic’s Photographer of the Year

Corlette Wessels of Africa wildlife Photography believes that photography isn’t just a hobby, it allows us to capture a fleeting moment in time. That image that takes us back time and time again to the feeling, the texture, the emotion of that special moment in time. It’s not a piece of equipment or skill. It’s the cataloguing of lives, of a changing world and our connection to it.

Here are Corlette’s seven tips for creating a winning photo:

1. Know your camera

Photographic opportunities with wildlife do not occur in slow motion and most of time are unexpected and happen rather fast. You cannot sit there fiddling with the camera buttons trying to find the ideal setting when the action is taking place in front of your eyes. By the time you’ve figured it out, the action would have been long gone and you would have missed out on the ultimate shot.

See more at africageographic.com/blog/

How not to plan a African Adventure road trip

DISCOVERING THE TRUE VALUE OF SPONTANEITY ON A FIVE MONTH ROAD TRIP
by JEFF TYSER & KERRYN-LEE MAGGS 24 October, 2014

Day one. It had been dark for nearly an hour by the time we arrived at the campsite near Kuruman in the Northern Cape, and one of our rules was to never drive at night. It wasn’t a very good start.

Being the Easter weekend, the place was packed. The last vacant site was a patch of red Kalahari sand beside a half-built ablution block. It would have to do. Ensconced in their laagers, seated around expertly made fires, the bush-hardened 4×4 set stared as we pitched our little tent for the very first time. They would have heard our whinging too: ‘Where did you pack the headlamps?’ ‘What are we going to eat?’ ‘How did all this sand get into my sleeping bag?’ ‘Why did we leave Jo’burg so late?’

It was the first night of the greatest adventure of our lives, and we were supposed to be bursting with anticipation and excitement. But we couldn’t help but feel completely out of place.

The years leading up to our departure had been filled with much planning, preparing, scheming and strategising

25 Of The Best South African Campsites

Our family amp to camp … not that we’re inherently good at it. I remember us setting off with reckless abandon, caravan in tow, for campsites across the length and breadth of South Africa. We had all the enthusiasm in the world, but when it came to setting up, and configuring our campsite in such a way that we’d be comfortable for the next ten odd days, it always seemed to fall apart at the seams (of the tent).

But the outdoors nature that is so intrinsic to average South African families kept us exploring more. Rallying around the “African TV” on a frosty July evening in the Berg, or flipping the Coleman’s to a kitchen table on a warm December at the coast, camping is a core part of our culture. It’s not like we even have to travel far from our comfort zones; the best campsites in South Africa can be found within mere hours of major cities; and swapping the suburbs for sleeping bags will, as always, be a way of life this summer.

Read more: http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/25-best-south-african-campsites-pitch-tent-summer/
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Honey Badger

On assignment in the wilderness of Botswana, photographer and videographer Kevin MacLaughlin came across one of the most ferocious predators in Africa. Guillotine-like teeth, powerful claws, and a death rattle like a Dementor, the honey badger certainly keeps its enemies at bay.

With a name as innocent as ‘honey badger’, one wouldn’t assume this short and stout carnivore is after anything more vicious than bees, but one shouldn’t let the interpretation of its ancient, scientific name (Mellivora capensis: Mel meaning ‘honey’ and voro meaning to ‘devour’) get in the way of one’s understanding of this beast. Sure, its natural ability to sniff out honeycomb and tolerate the stings of thousands of angry bees makes it pretty tough, but its skin is just under a centimetre thick and it can withstand the venom of a cobra.

Full Story at the http://www.getaway.co.za/ website

The Dark Side of the Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is undoubtedly one of the greatest wildlife destinations on the globe and the spectacle of the Wildebeest crossing the Mara River is truly magnificent.

Wild Eye has been running hugely successful safaris here since 2011 and have throughout this time set ourselves the goal of being respected as the best photographic travel company that operates in the area.

But don’t forget to hire your 4×4 from Buffalo Campers

World wildlife populations halved in 40 years – report

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

The global loss of wildlife is even worse than previously thought, the London Zoological Society (ZSL) says in its new Living Planet Index.

The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago.

The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.

Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%.

Read the full report