ArnizeGo2Africa is planning their ArnizeGo2Canada overland trip

So, we are busy planning our next overland adventure😊 Rather I am. But Arno is also slowly getting excited about a road trip between Vancouver and Toronto. As always, is he the one that worries about the costs while I optimistically research and update him occasionally. An update on our lives since 2015 since my last blog.

We are still staying on the farm where we moved in after our Africa 2013 Overland trip. We are the proud owners of the Pam Golding Properties franchise in Malmesbury. Work hard and do our best to be the best estate agents in town. We now have 12 grandchildren. Heleen & Naas produced another little girl named Beatrice. Eretha and Vinay gave us another little boy grandchild named Neil. Naas & Heleen moved from Johannesburg to Yzerfontein in 2017 but moved beginning of this year to Gordon’s Bay about 80km from us. It is such a pleasure to have them and the two girls so near us. We visit them frequently to have fun together with them, Elizabeth and Beatrice.

Eretha and Vinay moved in a sudden and fast sequence of decisions to Toronto in Canada. I was privileged to fly out with them to Toronto to settle in and help with the grand kids. Arno was also supposed to go with but decided he will rather keep the ship sailing at office. We stayed for a month in an apartment in the middle of central Toronto overlooking the Toronto’s CN Tower. At night I hang dangerously far out of my bedroom window to show Arno the lights changing on the tower and let him hear from the balcony of the apartment the cheers from the Blue Jay supporters coming from the Rogers Centre. During the day while Vinay was at work, we explored the city and waterfront, walking hours with the children. For a South African used to Africa standards it was an eye opener experience. I will always be so grateful for the children that they took me with on their life changing adventure moving to Canada. Being there with them from the beginning of their stay, meant so much for me. Now I can see in my minds eye where they stay, work and the children go to school. It helps when the longing gets too much for mom’s heart to bear.The rest of the family is busy with their daily lives. The grandkids are growing and getting bigger and wiser. Lucas and Petro are still staying on their farm near Caledon. They made it an amazing destination for weekend travellers. There are from camels to springboks, zebra to geese etc……a real animal farm! Little Luke (not so little anymore) is most definitely the farm manager……taking visitors on guided tours😊. The rest of the crowd are from the West Coast to the South coast. Luan is our Western Province kick boxing champion. Our daughter-in-law, Agnes, has started a new life for her, PJ and Vonna and is engaged to Marcel, getting married later this year. We are so happy for her and the kids. They frequently visit us, and they are going to the Kruger National Park together with us, Lucas, Petro and Luke during the July school holidays while Marcel and Agnes goes on honeymoon.

Our Canada adventure is (at this stage) planned for October 2019. At this stage it looks like this:

Flying from Cape Town to Seattle via London to visit Arno’s family. From Seattle we would take the train to Vancouver to do some exploring and maybe visit a school friend of Arno on Vancouver Island. Then rent a Campervan and drive along the Trans Canadian highway to Toronto. En route we would like to visit Banff National Park and Jasper and enjoy the Rockies. This part is still an overland trip in the making. When we arrive in Toronto, we will have reached our target destination….be with our children!!! Whatever we do or wherever we travel with them or without them from there, will be decided once there.

I am so excited about starting to write again and will keep you updated about our trip planning.

Random photo’s

Elizabeth and Béatrice
Eating icecream in Gordon’s Bay
Luan, our kickboxing champion
Family time
Winter in Canada
Luke the farm manager
CN Tower in Toronto
Christmas time
12 Grand children😅
Me and the kiddies in Toronto while mom is studying
Nightwalk with Eretha and the kids
3 of the camels
Farm stay in the Boland
Agnes and Marcel.
Our Canadian Super family
My favourite building in Toronto
Rogers Centre
Niagara Falls

The cycle of life….births, loss, joy and sadness.

How quickly times go by…… In the years since I last wrote the blog, so much has happen to us and our dearests. Good and bad…..

Arno decided on our trip that he had enough of the Real Estate Industry. He rather wanted  to sell vehicles like his dad. So at the end of our trip fate helped a little bit. In the Namaqua National Park on route to the Richtersveld, we met a guy who 2 months  later, in April 2014, offered Arno a job in a company situated in Paarl. So Arno was enjoying his new career, selling cars. In the meantime I helped out at Mountain Breeze campsite outside Stellenbosch while the owner went overseas to visit her daughter. We moved into one of the furnished houses on the resort beginning of May 2014, but rented a house on a farm near Wellington from beginning  of July where we sort of camped out in the house until we could move our furniture from Mossel Bay  August 2014. I started  quilting and embroider baby quilts , enjoyed gardening and be a housewife.

We have two new babies now. Kian, Eretha’s baby boy is now 2 years old and started nursery school beginning of this year. She is also pregnant with a second boy that we expect in June 2017. Heleen & Naas has a little girl named ELIZABETHSmile Both these babies are the cutest children on earth.

Leon, our son-in-law, died on the 17th of December 2014. He had a heart attack at the age of 37. This was very hard for us. It happened on Pieter, our eldest son’s birthday.

And then we lost Pieter our eldest son the 29th of February 2015. He also had a heart attack. This is still very hard to live with.2 children in 2 months time.  Agnes and the 2 children are very dear to us and we see them regularly. This happened on me & Arno’s wedding anniversary… it is a very mixed celebration date nowSad smile

After the loss of Pieter, I could not stay at home anymore and started again with my career in the real estate industry working with Pam Golding Properties in Malmesbury in the Boland region. The glory of running the office in Malmesbury, is that it is the town where I started my career 30 years earlier, selling properties for Boland Bank which is now Nedbank. All the old friends and clients to meet with and building on the image of the office, really helped me to distance myself from our loss during the day. Now it is nearly 2 years and I still think daily about the two son’s we lost, especially Pieter but it is becoming better. My heart still aches but is not broken anymore.

The other 8 grand kids are all big and beautiful. They are a busy lot!  Luke helps his dad farm when not at school, Luan is our kickboxing champ, Marene is our super clever eldest granddaughter, Stephan is still the joker of the family. PJ is strugling with his dad’s passing but doing fine and Vonna do her own thing. Dane is also in school now and enjoy the outdoor activities and Troi is living with Hanli on the South coast near George and Mossel Bay. visiting his dad’s family frequently.

The Pam Golding Properties branch in Malmesbury was running in slow motion but after a year of very hard work and lots of dedication, the office was too busy for me to handle by myself. After lots of up’s and downs deliberating and decision making, Arno decided that he had enough of the motor trade and joined me the 1st December 2016. The partners are together again!

The other sad but also exciting thing that happened is that we sold our faithful bakkie to Graham from England… was a sad day when the bakkie drove out of our farmyard but Arno needs a vehicle to work with. He is now the proud owner of a newer model Toyota.We are still deciding how to kit the new bakkie. It won’t be kitted as permanently as the older one but will get it’s alliminium kappie and roller/drawer system in the near future.

So, this is an update on our life’s journey since we are back from our trip. We are planning a trip for 2018 but is not totally sure if it will be in Africa or America. Later this year we want to do Namibia again but first we must settle our business and then we can play againWinking smile

I miss my blog….so if you bear with me, there will be more updates from time to time.


Pieter, Agnes and kids 2 weeks before his death


Our Farmhouse


Heleen & Elizabeth coming on a visit with grandma escorting them


The Malmesbury Pam Golding team


Our lovely grandkids Stephan, Luan, PJ, Marene and VonnaRed heart



Elizabeth cutie pieRed heart



Kian Superman turns 2


KianSend a kiss

Drie nefies

Drie nefies kuier lekker saam


The old and the newSad smile

Graham en ons

Graham, the proud owner of BOS2WP

Our Nubian desert adventure

Our Nubian desert adventure.

A year’s memorable moments, Ethiopia (part 2)

We were glad when we arrived back in Gondar and looked forward to do the historical route via the Simien Mountains, Aksum, Tigray, Lalibela and back to Addis. As you can remember, we had a quite nightmarish experience driving through the Simien Mountains in pouring rain through mudslides in the most terrible road conditions imaginable. The night came early and we thought we will never reach Axum alive. Ethiopia is one of those countries that you love to hate but hate not to love! It is a tiring, beautiful, mindboggling country. We thought we would never think of going back, but Ethiopia is back on our tick list for our next trip through Africa in a year or five.

The Royal Enclosure with it’s castles in Gondar was awesome





While waiting in the bakkie for Arno who was at the bank, I took photo’s of the friendly Ethiopians in Gondar



The woman underneath the blankets at the green door, stays there


Terrible road conditions combined with terrible weather made this trip through the Simien Mountains treacherous and highly dangerous.  It took us 12 hours to do the about 280km drive.





The immensely high and beautiful Simien Mountains


Orthodox Christians on their way to church

Aksum and the atmosphere there made a huge impression





The obelisks of Aksum


The Church of My Lady Mary where the Ark of the Bible is supposed to be kept



Overlooking Eritrea


Queen Sheba’s Bath


Bahran our wise, cute and clever guide.


The terraces build on the mountains planted with tef



Rock hewn churches of Tigray





The hardworking farmers of Ethiopia


Beautiful little girls….so happy to say hallo


Stone houses with tef growing on the roof (Tigray)


View towards Somalia


Hardworking donkeys of Hawsen


Breaking down houses stone by stone!


Churches and mountain tops




The never ending mountain passes through super high mountains



Our crazy GPS!!


Patchwork landscape


Cooking in Hotel rooms (Maychew)


Huge horns of the Ethiopian cattle


Market in Addis


Ethiopian New Year in Addis


Getting ready to move again….to Kenya (Wim’s Holland House, Addis)


Ethiopian New Years party with the Hollanders (Addis)


The huge anthills between Ager Maryam and Moyale


Some looking like statues

A year’s memorable moments, Sudan

On our way from Gondar to the Matema/Quallabat border post, I developed a funny cough. We had a bad experience the previous night with bedbugs and I obviously had a allergic reaction although at that stage I did not know it. The further we drove the worse it became and at some stage I started taking Celestemine. This sort of spoiled the excitement of crossing the border into our next country. On top of this, we had a difficult border crossing on the Ethiopian side with a Customs officer who wanted a bribe….something that we NEVER did on our trip. When we  finally got to the Sudan border post, it took them 3 hours to stamp our Carnet de Passage. We were tired and I ill  when we finally drove into Sudan in a hot 45 degrees.

We were amazed to found that the landscape between Ethiopia and Sudan changed from green and high mountains to desert within a few kilometers after entering Sudan. It is as if there has been a line drawn on the border post…..from high to low, green to desert. My post on our trip from Qualabat to Wad Medani told you that it was an extremely difficult day with 2 cloudbursts, a desert wind storm, not finding a hotel in Gedaref in pouring rain and arriving after dark in Wad Medani in a cloudburst nearly having to overnight in the Hilux next to a flooded Nile.  The first few days in Sudan were traumatic for both of us. I developed Bronchitis and we were both travel weary. Everything was very foreign, we could not sleep because of the immense heat and the Mullah’s calling for prayer every few hours. Travel fatigue set in and it was the hardest time of our whole trip. We had to stay longer in Khartoum for me to get better but when we finally drove out of the city we were excited and both looking forward to our desert experience. Sudan was at the end the part of the trip that we found we keep on talking about….it was fantastic and a life changing experience that made us find characteristics in ourselves and in each other that we did not even know we had. We are proud about our Sudan experience and proud about each other and ourselves by coming stronger out of it and being able to get back on track and enjoy our trip to the utmost! Sudan was the cherry on our Overland trip’s cake.


Ethiopia near Metema border post


Forgotten truck on the main road to Sudan near the border


Green but flat landscape when a few kilometers in Sudan


Desert under water on our way to Wad Medani


This is where I nearly broke my neck slipping on the wet tiles. This exact moment was sort of the last straw mentally and physically for us.


Camping in 45 degrees on a stage in Khartoum


Not a happy chappy…wondering why on earth we’re doing thisDisappointed smile


Very ill and sorry for myself.


Khartoum version of a Tuk-Tuk


Experiencing dessert living


Thousands of tires next to the road in the desert


Resting and watering places in the Bayuda Desert


To see the desert in flood!


Camping behind a dune at Meroe



A highlight of our trip. The Pyramids of Meroe


Having a braai in the desert at Meroe


Enjoying a  desert “bath” and sleeping under the stars


Camping in the Nubian Desert under the stars north of Abu Hamed


Only the 2 of us in on a 400km desert expedition without roads



A Desert sunset


Counting the deserted stations on a deserted desert railway to see where we must drive


One scared woman


The “road” to Wadi Halfa


Another deserted station


And another station….we had to pass 10 of them to get to Wadi-Halfa


We had to keep an eye on the railway line not to get lost


Was difficult at times because the railway line is long gone


The harsh beauty of the desert


Seeing the Egyptian Army patrolling across the border near Wadi Halfa


Camping in Mazar’s garden in Wadi Halfa, tired but excited about our Nubian desert adventure!



Lake Nasser where we turned finally south again. Sad that because of the unrest the ferry weren’t running to Aswan.


Having a picnic next to the Blue Nile


We drove along the Nile passing the Temples of Amara, Seddenga, Sulb, and Sesibi


Nobody to be seen in the 50 degree heat


Driving thousands of kilometers next to the river Nile



Where two deserts meet. The Libyan desert on the eastern side of the Nile is part of the Sahara desert while the Nubian desert is on the western side of the Nile. The people that inhabits borth  deserts are mostly Berber.


We saw bed’s everywhere in the desert



Huge amount of water in the desert after rain that flooded Sudan


Broken bridge after the flooding


Not a usual sight in the desert


Magnificent sunset at our wild camp near Jebel Barkal in the Bayuda Desert


World Heritage Site Jebel Barkal at Karima



The Pyramids at Jebel Barkal



The city of Karima on the eastern side of the Nile


Crossing the Nile (again)


Driving through the Bayuda Desert in a sand storm


Crossing the flooded Nile (again) at Atbara



He insisted on a photo with me


Big wash day in Khartoum next to the Nile



Gunboat Melik at the Blue Nile Sail Club where we camped in Khartoum


Seeing the White and Blue Nile meet with the city of Omdurman in the backgroundIMG_9922


The burst water pipe in Khartoum the day we left


While we waited for the chaos to come to an end in Khartoum because of the burst pipe, this little guy talked long stories to us in Arabic


The friendly people in Sudan


A year’s memorable moments, Ethiopia (Part 1)

Because there is no official border crossing into Ethiopia from Lake Turkana, we were  already in Ethiopia but still on our way to Omorate.  We were stamped out of Kenya in Nairobi and had 10 days to reach Omorate where there is a border post. We drove right pass the lonely Police Post where we were supposed to stop. After waiting about 10 minutes for Fanie who was driving behind us, we decided to turn back. Only on arriving at the Police office seeing Fanie’s vehicle, we remembered we were supposed to show our Passports there.It  caused a bit of explaining and calming the Policeman before we were allowed to drive on.  On reaching Omorate late afternoon, we were quickly stamped into Ethiopia but had to come back the next morning for the Carne de Passage to be stamped by Customs. Ethiopia was a real eye opener country. Beautiful and diverse. First  the Omo valley and then the huge mountains in the highlands, the Nile, the Rift valley lakes, people on the roads with their animals, hardworking woman and little girls,  little boys playing with their whips or doing tricks next to the road, rock hewn churches, castles, historic routes,  bad roads, never ending mountain passes, driving short distances that takes a whole day, staying in hotels very cheap, coffee ceremonies,  nice Ethiopian red wine, the way the people dress, the Coptic Christian churches, the contours right through the country,  ……everything made us feel that we were wandering through the Old Testament of the Bible. It is a tiring country but so much worthwhile to spent time in. In Addis Ababa, we decided to drive to through the Nile valley towards Bahir Dar and on to Gondar and Sudan. These are some of the moments on our northbound trip.



This was not a good Border Post for the Voetspore guys….they had to turn back because they did not have Visas for Ethiopia. Johan Badenhorst warned us to get our Visas in Pretoria


The patience of Africa


The hardworking  woman of Africa



The children of Ethiopia. These three came for a bath in the dry riverbed using sand to clean themselves ( Mango Camp)



This 15 year old Ethiopian boy trains hard to become a famous athlete


Crazy kids trying to amuse travellers to receive money. Near Lake Chamo, Arba Minch


Getting water African way


Having a braai at Lake Abeya


People and animals on the road


Woman, girls and donkeys work VERY hard in Ethiopia




Dangerous driving


Camping next  Lake Langano


Entering Addis seeing this landmark


The terrible traffic in Addis


Camping at Wim’s Hollands House next to the restaurant


This cat and her babies shared the entrance to our room at Wim’s


Our bathroom at Wim’s Disappointed smile


Man staying in a hole on the sidewalk in Central Addis


Getting lost in Addis looking for a working ATM


Little Coptic monuments


Extreme green of Ethiopia


The dangerous sliding road into the Nile valley


The excitement of having our first glimpse of the Blue Nile


Watchdog (baboon) at the bridge across the Blue Nile


A Landmark moment crossing the bridge over the Blue Nile



Farmers planting their crops in the Nile valley



Ethiopian style horse saddle


Our first coffee ceremony was at the Tilik Hotel in Debre Marcos


The amazement about our journey at the coffee ceremony when the Hotel management looked at the Africa map


Pretty girls in Debre Marcos



VERY steep slope!


A reminder of the war between Ethiopia and Somalia


Carpet sellers on route from Debre Marcos to Bahir Dar


Bible figures


The flooded rivers running into the already flooded Blue Nile


More Bible figures



Rice paddies next to the Blue Nile


The feed their animals on the tar roads


Coptic Christian church and weird looking mountains in the flooded Nile valley


Lake Tana and the origin of the Blue Nile


Little Coptic Christian girl (this was a very special moment for both of us!)

A year’s Memorable moments (Kenya)

Reaching Nairobi was for us a huge feat!  We saw it as the last frontier before leaving the Africa that we know (we thought) and going into the unknown. We enjoyed Kenya.

Experiencing the notorious Nairobi traffic


The disappointment when we reached Jungle Junction. Expected too much methinks.


Japanese idea of camping at JJ’s Nairobi


Experiencing a gathering of Wildebeest at the Mara river in the Masai Mara


Meeting Chris & Julie who started their trip in the UK. We and them followed each others blogs and we were delighted when they drove in through JJ’s gate in Nairobi. We went together to the Masai Mara.


Masaai at Aruba Mara.


The joy of Vin visiting us in Nairobi.  I only then realised how much I miss the children.


Eretha’s surprise gift sent with Vinay.


The cat that stayed with us at Wildebeest Lodge, Nairobi


The very cute and good mannered monkey who visited us every day at Wildebeest Lodge, Nairobi


Arno buying in pouring rain in  Nairobi  yellow cans for extra petrol for our Lake Turkana leg of our tour.


Arno & Fanie recovering Fanie’s beer after the Olive Baboons stole the six pack beer. This confirms that men will climb mountains for a beer or two.


The excitement of seeing our first camels. On the road to Maralal, Kenya


Crossing the Equator the first time


Friendly Samburu woman on the road to Maralal, Kenya


Friendly Masaai Iron monger who gave us a demonstration of making spears in his workshop in the traditional centuries old way.


The beautiful Samburu girl at Samburu Communal camp at South Horr, Kenya. We bought papayas from her and her brother

IMG_8244_thumb1_thumb   The strange beehive houses of the Turkana tribe and The Jade sea, Lake Turkana. The little boy ran away when he saw the Hilux.


Three fishermen towing their boat on the shore of the windy Lake Turkana


Unbelievable that someone can live in this on the windy shores of Lake Turkana


Camel roadblock between the lava rocks just north of Loyangalani, Kenya


Typical Masaai Stance at a small village in the Chalbi Desert


Masaai woman in Siboloi, Kenya


Woman from the Turkana tribe in Sibiloi, Kenya



The unbelievably bad road conditions next to Lake Turkana

Roses in the wilderness, Maralal (thank you Fanie)


Experiencing Africa’s BADDDD ablutions (with hot water though), Mararal, Kenya


The barren landscape of the Kasut Desert


Two crazy Overlanders from the south of Africa


All alone at Crocodile Corner, Sibiloi National Park


Sunset at Crocodile Corner with a gale force wind blowing


Huge termite hills



Beautiful Flamingo’s at the godforsaken Crocodile Corner, Sibiloi National Park


Endless and lonely gravel roads along the war prone Lake Turkana in the in the Chalbi Desert


Petrified Forest, Sibiloi National Park




A year’s memorable moments (Tanzania)

Crossing the border from Malawi into Tanzania was (for us) the REAL BEGINNING) of our Africa experience……..and it really was!

Sith, our very capable Insurance agent at the Malawian/Tanzanian border post


The Malmesbury lady that decorated our tent at Utengela Coffee Estate, Mbeya while the rest of the group were inspecting our bakkie


Chongela, owner of Chongela’s Campsite near Ruaha National Park, Tanzania


Children on an educational school tour from the UK slaughtering their own dinner at Riversyde Camp, Iringa, Tanzania


Bargaining on a city market for the best produce at the best price (Mbeya)


Experiencing the REAL Africa roads for the first time


Experiencing Dar es Salaam


The city of Dar es Salaam and some of the colourful inhabitant


Woman leaving the ferry at Dar es Salaam




Dows at Mikadi Beach


Beautiful sunset at Mikadi Beach, Dar es Salaam


Leaving for Zanzibar on the ferry




The Forodhani market


Enjoying a glass of wine on the beach , Zanzibar


Old Stone Town, Zanzibar



The terrible and sad history of the Slave trade



Our trip on a Dalla-Dalla to the forest


The Colobus monkey and baby we saw in the forest


Seeing Kilimanjaro without clouds on arriving in Moshi

IMG_7429  The happy wedding in Moshi


Camping in Robert’s garden at the foot of Mt Meru in Arusha



The tower clock that marks the halfway mark between Cape Town and Cairo in Arusha


A year’s memorable moments

While travelling through the whole Continent of Africa, you are sometimes forced to wait and wile your time. Sometimes it is because of the absurd heavy traffic or a burst water pipe in the Centre  of Khartoum blocking the early morning traffic while you tried to rise early to get out of the city en route to the Ethiopian border post. I waited numerous times in the vehicle while Arno tries to change money at the bank or sitting in a queue at a petrol station. We once at the ferry crossing to Dar es Salaam from our campsite, sat for 2 and half hours in the queue for the Kigamboni Ferry to take us across to Dar es Salaam. The best past time for me was to take photo’s of people. I am not the worlds best photographer but wants to show you some of the people and moments captured over the months on the road. The photo’s starts from the beginning of our trip.IMG_5771

Three boys from different nationalities playing ball in Letaba camp, Kruger National Park not understanding  each others language. One from Mauritius speaking French, a Namibian boy speaking German and an Afrikaans speaking boy from South Africa.

Prawn seller at Areia Branca


Jan & Joey with their pet boerbok Bettie on their farm in Mozambique


We saw so many stray dogs right through Africa but this one broke my heart. He adopted me and even slept at night in front of our tent at Goody Villas at Inhassoro in Mozambique waiting for me outside the ablution block, He was badly mutilated.


Bapi, the brave demining expert welcoming us to his dangerous mine infested area in Mozambique


The friendly people starting the ferry  specially for us to  take us across the Shire river in Mozambique late in the afternoon when we thought no ferry is available.


The excited children in the village of Chief Tembe  where we had to stay the night after crossing the Shire river in Mozambique . They were like a Mexican wave while we were pitching the tent….coming forward and backwards as we worked . This was the night of the mosquito plague and where Arno got his malaria.


Chief Tembo from Tembo village in Mozambique near the Shire river who gave us permission to stay in his village.


Antony, our helper and interpreter that helped us out at Chief Tembo’s Village to organize our overnight stay.


Small boy in a dugout on Lake Malawi at Palm Beach


Dutch Overlanders playing volley ball with the locals at Cape Maclear, Malawi


Ruthie with her eldest daughter, son and very small twins. The daughter is 13 but she has to help her  mom with  the twins and the 2 other children. These babies are 10 months old but they look more like 2 months old. This was at Fat Monkeys, Cape Maclear, Malawi


Washing done in the Lake at Cape Maclear, Malawi


Overlanding Africa means meeting new friends from all nationalities and having an impromptu braai


Lucy the cute little daughter of Kananji, our friend in the Chembe Village, Cape Maclear. She loved to visit the Mzungus at their funny tent home


Baking our own bread. Cape Maclear, Malawi


In Africa big and small must help. Makuzi Beach, Malawi


My birthday cake surprise from Richard at Makuzi Beach, Malawi


Vicious but beautiful stray cat at Makuzi Beach, Malawi


2 cute 10 year olds guiding us to the waterfall at Livingstonia telling us their version of the history of the slave trade.

Mossel Bay to Alexander Bay…doing the West Coast

We were 3 weeks at home before we were back on the road again. We drove from Mossel Bay to Witsand to say hello to the children. They have a very nice undercover area available for us to camp. Troi slept with us in our tent and loved having us there to wish him the best on his first day at Grade 1. After 4 days with Leon, Hanli and Troiboy,  we drove the 250km to visit Lucas, Petro and Little Luke on their smallholding near Caledon. Luke was very nonchalant when we came driving through the gate, looking intensely at Arno and said “Oupa, I knew it was you because I know the sound of your “kamp bakkie”. We had a fantastic weekend camping at Vloedbos with them and we entertained Luke by riding with him on the super tube. We were the oldest children on the slide.   


    Witsand and the Breede River


Troi starting his school career


                                                   2 Famous Hiluxes at Vloedbos                             

   We then stayed at Mountain Breeze Holiday Resort near Stellenbosch which is our favorite campsite when visiting Cape Town. We walked to the farm stall and enjoyed the fantastic environment. We visited Arno’s brother Chris and his wife Hilda who stays on a wine farm nearby. As a bonus Arno’s sister Heleen and her husband Gerard also came to enjoy the day with us. It was a real family day with wonderful food and lots of fun and joy.  Our sister-in-law Anneke, Naas’s mom, also came to have a braai with us. We had a lovely evening together. We then surprised our grand kids PJ and Yvonne by pitching up at their Nursery School in Brackenfell. They at first did not recognize their grandparents (the long hair and weight loss we think plus a year’s absence) but when PJ suddenly recognized me, he absolutely jumped into my arms with a loud ”ouma Lies”. It was a very special moment. Yvonne, shy at first, hugged me tightly around the legs and then it was Oupa’s turn. Priceless moments! We enjoyed our visit with Pieter, Agnes and the children.  They have maps of Africa and followed our journey. We also wrote them letters and send them photo’s witch they took to school to show to their teachers where “Oupa & Ouma Afrika” are travelling.                                                                                                   

While we were in Brackenfell we  had some wear and tear fixed on the Hilux and the Canopy. Ciske, the owner of Gomad 4×4, who made our canopy, has the best after service anyone could wish for. He put new rubbers in and secured the canopy again. The load bin came loose from the chassis because of the terrible roads we drove on, and has  been fixed.


Family reunion


Camping at Mountain Breeze. Anneke joined us for a braai. We paid R160 per night



Oupa Afrika with PJ & Vonna        

Now our West Coast experience really started. We drove north on the R27 and turned in at the gate of the West Coast National Park. When we stayed in Langebaan we always preferred driving through the Park rather than continue on the main road. We had a very enjoyable drive through the Park. The lagoon was as lovely as ever. Driving across the bridge over the Berg river was like a homecoming for us. We drove that route every weekend to our holiday house at Laaiplek for 4 years. We stayed with Andre, Jeanne-Marie, Marene, Luan and Stefaansie until the weekend. I baked rusks for all of us and we enjoyed being  grandparents. It was Marene’s 8th birthday, so we took her to her favourite restaurant, Panarottis in Vredenburg, treated her with a Pizza and let her choose her birthday present. The Saturday morning the men, (big and small) went on a fishing expedition for the morning while the Fairy Godmothers (mom Jeanne-Marie and grand mother Elize)  enjoyed the birthday bash with the eight year old fairy and her friends.        


                                                                                                                                  Stefaansie playing with his Ethiopean whip that Oupa Afrika brought  all the way


Our beautiful Fairy with the Fairy Godmothers


Saldanha Bay Caravan Park. R58 per night. Old but clean ablutions

Next we moved to Saldanha’s Campsite to enjoy a wonderful time with Carel, Daphne and Dane. Dane spent 2 whole days with us at the campsite.


Our huge family camp at Strandfontein


Beautiful sunset from our camp site at Strandfontein. Private ablution facility, R107 per night during the week, R170 per night during weekends



Beach bums

We drove north towards Elands Bay, stayed for one night at the campsite and then moved to Strandfontein. We enjoyed the camping there so much that we stayed a whole week. Reading, writing, braaiing and just relaxing. Our Velddrif kids and grand kids joined us for the weekend. It was really a most enjoyable experience. Strandfontein is called the Jewel of the West Coast and we agree wholeheartedly!


Wild camp on the beach about halfway between Lutzville and Groenrivier

Our next stop was a beach camp en route to Groenrivier which is also the entrance of the Namaqua National Park.. It was amazing wild camping again without a single sole around.. The views were magnificant, the weather hot but bearable but nothing could compare with the feeling of being totally isolated with only the ocean, the beautiful sunset and magnificent stars at night.


The sunset was a Valentine’s message

The next stop was at Groenrivier mouth. We pitched our tent and sat looking in awe at the monstrous waves crashing ashore. The 64.5km between Groenrivier and Hondeklipbaai is a coastal experience where there are no developments at all….only the beautiful rugged coastline on the one side with the vast wilderness on the other….. pristine and untouched as it is has been for hundreds of years. A 4×4 is required to reach the campsites. The campsites are clearly marked and has enviro loos but one has to be totally self efficient. Because it is an arid Park, there is no water available and no amenities at all. The road are partly good gravel road changing to real 4×4 deep sand for periods. The signs next to the road warns you exactly where to expect what. It was real fun challenging the deep sand. Namaqua’s special campsites are Delwersklip which is the closest to Groenrivier, with 7 campsites. Kwass is 18.7km from the Groenrivier gate with 4 campsites,  We camped at Koringkorrelbaai where we were joined later in the day by 2 other vehicles. There are 5 stands and 3 enviro loos. Just north of the camp is a long beautiful beach. The next camp is at Skuinsklip from which is also close to the historical Spoegrivier Caves. Skuinsbaai Noord has only 2 stands and can be reached from Sarrisam on one of the Parks private access roads with a high clearance vehicle or from Groenrivier with a 4×4.  After 5 days camping and exploring the Park we reached Hondeklipbaai where we camped at the very neat and tidy Skulpieskraal campsite. There is also a  cosy little restaurant called The Rooi Spinnekop.




Camping at Groenrivier. Camp cost R116.50 per night


Namaqualand with the rugged coastline at the back



Campsite at KoringkorrelbaaiIMG_2932

We were able to drive along the beautiful tarred road along the coast through the De Beers diamond fields. It is called the Diamond route. We entered the area at Koingnaas. From Kleinzee the tar road becomes a good gravel road. It is about 100km to Port Nolloth where we camped the weekend at McDougals Bay Caravan Park.


Skulpieskraal at Hondeklipbaai R160 for the campsite. Clean and tidy ablutions




Die Rooi Spinnekop Restaurant at Skulpieskraal



McDougals Beach. Camping cost R130 per night.

Our next stop will be Alexander Bay to see the mouth of Orange river after witch we will tackle the Richtersveld, camping at Brandkaros about 27km from Alexanderbaai.