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

Surprises with the Norwegians

I went walking on Table Mountain with Elin from Get Africa Travel and some of her friends.   I promised them a surprise (overraskelse), but even I was surprised by the unexpected surprises! First we saw our National Flower Protea cynaroides and Elin looked very surprised.   Then we saw Disa graminifolia, the Blue Disa . . . and I was ecstatic. These flowers make me so happy.   And then we were surprised by yet another orchid from the genus Disa - Disa ferruginea, the cluster disa.   And finally we saw the surprise that I had promised...

17 Feb

Back from the brink (part one)

A little while ago I promised to post something about two miracle stories of conservation. This is the first and it is about the Bonetbok (Damaliscus dorcas) a colourful antelope endemic to the Western Cape in South Africa. These beautiful but conspicuous antelope were hunted almost to extinction by the early settlers and in 1837 the Van der Byl family, recognising the imminent demise of the species, set aside a portion of their farm for the protection of the last 17 remaining Bontebok. The numbers grew and in 1931 the Bontebok...

10 Feb

Passing the baton in the Kogelberg

My brothers Joel B & Dovi K and I have walked together in the mountains of The Cape, in the bush of Zimbabwe, in Yosemite in California, in Yellowstone in Wyoming, The Trinity Alps, The Sierra Nevadas, The Kenai Peninsula, The Stikine River . . . And so last week it was a very special day when Joel B & I are were able to walk in the exquisite Kogelberg Mountains with two representatives of the next generation - my firstborn Dylan and my nephew Joel K. What a pleasure (and...

27 Jan

The very best job in the world

Recently I guided a fantastic walk up Table Mountain with a group of Swedes. It was great fun to be with them because they were energetic and enthusiastic. They all work in the wine industry in a wonderful country so I thought they had a pretty good work life. I was therefore a little taken aback when at our lunch-stop, someone said to me "Wow! You have the very best job in the world". And as the day wore-on and we were treated to the sight of the very first Disa uniflora...

9 Jan

Not Walking in Africa

My friend Patrick from Belgium shared some beautiful photographs taken by Lief Keuppens in the Kempen region of Belgium, close to the border with Holland. Pat has walked with me in various parts of Africa and I think that he wanted to prove to me that Africa is not the only beautiful place in which to walk. Point taken Pat. I think that this photograph is beautiful. Thanks to Lief for permission to share it. ...

30 Dec

An adventure with David Livingstone

This week I enjoyed a peach of a day with David Livingstone - Seriously! His family came along as well, and his wife's name is Debbie - not Mary Moffat. He hails from New York rather than Scotland and he is not exactly a protestant missionary. You see this is a contemporary David Livingstone but nonetheless he was exploring Africa and we hiked in the Table Mountain National Park on a fat juicy perfect day. [caption id="attachment_2477" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A peach of a day in paradise[/caption] We were fortunate enough to see two...

9 Dec

Hamba Kahle Tata Madiba

The regular readers of my column have become accustomed to subject matter ranging from Table Mountain and Flowers to Big Game and Safaris. I deviate this week because like most South Africans I am preoccupied with the death of Nelson Mandela. I feel a great sadness at his passing and I ask myself why. I never met the man personally and he has been absent from politics for almost a decade, so why should his death affect me so? The name and idea of "Nelson Mandela" has been a presence in...

1 Dec

Snow in The Cape in November!

Right now the Everlastings (Syncarpha vestita) are flowering in profusion in The Table Mountain National Park. The name "everlasting" is derived from the fact that they produce dry flowers which retain their shape and colour for years and they are therefore popularly used in dry-flower arrangements. Their Afrikaans name "Sewejaartjie" (Seven Year Plant) refers to the intriguing feature that after germinating the plants persist for seven years before dying. The seeds produced during the lifespan of the parent plants, lie dormant in the soil awaiting the stimulus of a fire before...

25 Nov

The Masters of Table Mountain

I hike up Table Mountain on a regular basis. And I get to meet many special people. Yesterday I hiked on Table Mountain with a very special couple - Chris & Margot Brauchli. They are special because they are the most senior people ever to hike The Mountain with me. Chris hiked the entire route - Tafelberg Road to the highest point on Table Mountain and down to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. What is more, the temperatures in Cape Town hit 32 degrees C yesterday (for those of you left behind in the...

11 Nov

November is the new Pink

In this floral wonderland that is currently my home I notice temporal patterns in the colours of the flowers. In mid-summer we have a predominance of red flowers and this is certainly correlated with the emergence of the Mountain Pride Butterfly (Aeropetes tulbaghia), which is attracted to the colour red. Right now as we pass from Spring into Summer I see the hills covered in beautiful flowers, with a definite preponderance of the colour PINK (or variations thereof - Cerise, Rose, Fuchsia, Magenta, Lavender). I went for a short walk this evening...