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Walk in Africa Blog - Capturing the Spirit of Africa and Nature
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23 Feb

Botanic, photographic, erotic

I am unashamedly crazy about orchids - especially indigenous South African Orchids. Anyone who has walked with me on Table Mountain when the conspicuous orchids are flowering will attest to this. Now is the time when the Red Disa (Disa uniflora) flowers and every year I make at least a few pilgrimages in order to see this magnificent flower.   For thousands of years humans have associated orchid flowers with sexuality. In fact the name "orchid" derives from the Greek word "orkhis" which means a testicle. As long ago as 2,014 years...

17 Feb

TABLE MOUNTAIN DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS

I’m not sure whether they are escaping the drop in fuel prices or whether they just want to get as far from Putin as possible, but lately I have had quite a few Norwegian visitors. Yesterday I was delighted to have a return visitor who brought her husband along – and what a perfect day it was on the magic mountain! I decided to use one of my favourite routes that I hadn’t walked for a long while and it set the mood for a wonderful day. Soon after reaching the top...

2 Feb

Decoration, pollination in the fynbos

On a spectacular clear summer day I was walking close to the top of Table Mountain when I noticed these beautiful metallic groove-winged flower beetles (Family Melyridae) on the flower of a Tinder Bush (Hermas villosa). While the plant has been used medicinally and practically for thousands of years very little is known about these beautiful jewel-like beetles. In addition to decorating the fynbos and brightening my day, they certainly seem to be likely candidates for pollinating these flowers....

22 Dec

A walk that ended in congratulations

Last week I guided a young couple up Table Mountain. Unbeknown to her, he would propose to her at the top. Unbeknown to him, she would say "YES". It was a blustery cold afternoon but it warranted much celebration. Congratulations David & Jessica. I'm honoured to have been part of this joyous rite. I wish you a lifetime of happiness together. I have a feeling that you may return to Africa on honeymoon!...

15 Dec

A country of contrasts

On a recent journey to Zimbabwe I was exposed to the stark contrasts of this country, that was once my home. The rains had come and many of the trees were in flower. I found a Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana) in bloom, flaunting its satin, seductive crimson flowers. These flowers produce copious amounts of irresistible nectar that attracts and provides for many diverse species. On this particular day the ants were indulging themselves. Later in the day I attended a christmas party for children orphaned by AIDS. This is part of a...

9 Dec

The Queen and The Sailor

On Saturday I hiked up The Matroosberg, which at 2249 metres (7379 ft) is the highest mountain in the Western Cape. When viewed from the south side the mountain has a feature which is said to resemble a sailor standing alongside a ship. This explains the Afrikaans name Matroosberg, which means "sailor mountain". From the peak, the views are spectacular and there are excellent and breathtaking views of the exposed geological folding that created these mountains. Unfortunately my camera which earlier in the year was destroyed by an elephant, has...

10 Nov

Swords and Turkeys in the mountains

Living and hiking in The Cape Floral Kingdom is an absolute privilege. With more than 9,000 plant species in this tiny area, it is no surprise that I regularly encounter beautiful flowers that I have never seen or noticed before. Recently I was walking in the Cederberg on a glorious cloudless spring day, when I noticed this strikingly beautiful Gladiolus, which I had never seen before. As I continued walking it became apparent that this species was abundant. So although I have walked in this area often and at a similar...

27 Oct

The Zen Elephant

Elephants are remarkably peaceful and tolerant animals - particularly the large bulls. In spite of this I am always alert when I am on foot around elephants, simply because of their immense size, speed and potential to do damage. So I was a little apprehensive on a recent walking safari when this huge bull elephant walked right up to our group while we were watching him. However he clearly knew that we were present and yet he showed no aggression. He came to within a few metres of us and then...

21 Oct

WALK IN AFRICA walks in Austria

I am currently on a marketing roadshow in German-speaking Europe. I had a free day while in Austria & so oobviously decided to go walking. I chose to walk through the Baringschutzklamm to the Hochlantsch peak (1,720 metres). The Bärenschützklamm involves ascending a gorge on more than 160 ladders. Incredible! It was an exquisite cloudless autumn day and the scenery was incredible.  What a privilege!  ...

11 Oct

Shame at the Sacred Lake

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to visit the sacred Lake Fundudzi. This lake is the most holy site for the Venda people who believe in water spirits, which live partly in the world of the living and partly in the spirit world and are therefore a bridge between the living and the ancestors. It is also the home of the mythical giant python who was once a man, and the home of the mythical white crocodile. The Lake is steeped in legend and surrounded by mystery....