This past weekend, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with a family picnic in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve.

Following a little meander along the Palmiet River Trail, we settled on some rocks close to a rushing waterfall and enjoyed fresh Portuguese rolls, coffee, tea and home-baked goodies courtesy of Imar and Tamara. This spot also happens to be a designated swimming zone that I’d love to revisit on a sunnier, more summery day.

After the picnic, Imar and I decided to head back to Betty’s Bay along the 6km Oudebosch trail, which connects the Kogelberg Nature Reserve with the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens. After being damaged by the devastating fires in January, the hike has been closed for much of the year. It was reopened to the public recently, but with much of the path back down into the garden not fully restored just yet and a couple of rusty tools scattered along the trail, we suddenly doubted whether this was really the case.

We were very pleased and excited to walk alongside two sets of Cape Leopard tracks – possibly a mother and a cub – for quite a bit of the middle section of the trail, though, and kept our eyes peeled for the elusive creatures. Sadly they were in no mood to be spotted (Lol lol).

Either way, it was an invigorating and memorable experience. Here are some photos I took:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Picnic in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve"

Last year, I discovered my old point and shoot film camera in a drawer. Believe it or not, I actually still used it to capture my first few months at university back in 2004!

Anyway, since I had started dabbling in film photography, I decided to pop one of the expired Kodak Gold films I had recently acquired into the sturdy little body and decided to keep it in my handbag for spontaneous shots.

Well, over the next few months, it became my constant companion and ended up accompanying me on work trips to Maputo and Mpumalanga, as well as random adventures all around Cape Town. Sadly, one fateful day, it must have decided that it had served me loyally enough for long enough and simply gave up the ghost.

Fortunately, I could still wind the film up and have it developed.

The result? Super grainy snapshots – some overexposed, others under and yet others completely covered in light leaks. Not great photos by any standard. Yet, somehow, the more you look at them, the more charming they seem to become.

Or maybe I just feel loyal to them.

Maybe you should judge for yourself:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Super Grainy 35mm Point and Shoot"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.

This month’s Wild Woman is Saray Khumalo and actually needs no introduction. Earlier this year, Saray became the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest. She is an award-winning mountaineer and a business executive with over 15 years’ experience in industry-leading blue-chip companies which drive innovation and change both locally and internationally. I chatted to her about her love for mountaineering, her passion for inspiring other African women and also about ‘Summits with a Purpose’, her initiative to help educate South Africa’s youth. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Seven Summits and Breaking Stereotypes with Saray Khumalo"

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking a whirlwind trip around the Overberg as part of #OverbergFam2019 – a familiarisation trip supported by Wesgro and SATSA – to explore this special region in a little more depth.

Veering off the beaten track (i.e. the N2) as far as possible, our itinerary took us from Elgin to Barrydale to Swellendam to Malgas and finally De Hoop. Along the way, we enjoyed an incredible array of experiences – from a chilly morning game drive at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve to an exquisite overnight stay at Schoone Oordt Country House and all manner of treats in between.

While I’m no stranger to the Overberg, this trip introduced me to a few quirky new experiences. Here are five I’d highly recommend to anyone who might be craving a leisurely spring road trip:

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It’s slightly terrifying how fast this year is going, isn’t it?

And also how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect and enjoy quality time with the people who matter most. Unless you actually pin down a date, time and venue for getting together, it’s definitely not going to happen spontaneously. (I’m sure the world was different at some point not too very long ago.)

So, when my mom recently managed to round us all up for a quick two-night break at Duinepos Eco Cottages in the West Coast National Park, it felt like nothing short of a miracle!

Continue Reading "Snaps: A Quick Break in the West Coast National Park"

‘The Wild Woman Interviews’ is a series of Q&As with women who do interesting, brave and inspiring things. The name hints at how nature, the outdoors, travel, the natural cycles of life etc. motivate and influence their passions and pursuits.

This month, I’d like you to meet Fatima Sait. At the end of 2018, she quit her job and – within the space of two months – completed all the necessary courses to become a certified mountain guide. I came across her profile on Instagram recently, while scrolling through #fishrivercanyonhike pics and found her exuberant love for nature and exploration both inspiring and infectious. 

Continue Reading "Wild Woman Interview: Fatima Sait on Mountain Guiding & Exploration"

I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since we set off on the Fish River Canyon hiking trail in mid-June!

It feels like yesterday we were still gathering our gear and sorting out snack packs.

After Ryno and Chantel invited us to join them at the end of December, we had a good six months to get everything in place, do some training and prepare ourselves mentally for the challenge up ahead.

Despite the wealth of articles and guides available online, there were a couple of questions that I couldn’t really find a satisfactory answer to prior to embarking on the journey.

So, I thought I’d answer a few of them here.

Continue Reading "5 Fish River Canyon Questions Answered"

A couple of months ago, a friend shared a post on their Instagram stories with the hashtag #AccidentallyWesAnderson and, immediately, I was intrigued.

Clicking on it, I found myself scrolling through a host of whimsical images from all corners of the globe that, indeed, seemed to have been snapped on one of Wes Anderson’s gently magical movie sets. What made all of them so arresting, however, was the fact that they depicted real-life places that weren’t even *trying* to be anything but themselves.

Continue Reading "Snaps: #AccidentallyWesAnderson in Springbok"

When it comes to dreams of travel, there’s an outright war being waged within my soul.

While one side yearns to explore places unknown – inhale their strange air, indulge in their exotic cuisine, listen to the unfamiliar song of the languages the locals speak – the other side desperately longs for a grand return to so many I’ve been before. To retrace the footsteps of the woman I was back then, to see what she saw and maybe even point out a few of the things she missed; to sink my teeth into the delicacies I’ve never been able to find back home; to stake my claim for some sort of familiarity; but mostly just to be there again.

Portugal is one of the places I wish to return to most poignantly. Porto, in particular.

Continue Reading "Take me back: Porto"

About a month ago, we headed to Wilderness for Andre and Danielle’s wedding – a wild and wonderful beach-meets-forest affair.

Despite a storm breaking out in full force on the afternoon of the nuptials, it was a truly beautiful and joyous occasion.

Apart from celebrating their promises of forever to each other, we also got a chance to rediscover a few of the trails in this lush section of the Garden Route National Park.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Walking in Wilderness"