Archive for Cape Town

We were driven back to Cape Town via a different route. I didn’t mind because if we were to travel on the same route like earlier in the morning – I would freak out :) Imagine going downhill next to a big gorge separated with just a few metres away. Maybe it has no effect on you but for me it was an absolute BIG No No.

Although it was not the same route, we still passed through some of the most scenic places here in South Africa and these include some amazing views of the ubiquitous vineyards.

Here’s a picture of another vineyard taken en-route back to Cape Town.

Vineyards of South Africa

Our tour guide stopped us all for a wee break in a nice place overlooking the hills. The unique bit about the hills were that there were burned by some unscrupulous someone who must have thrown their cigarette butt in the bushes and it ended up burning the whole place – including the surrounding areas. You can see it here…

Burned Out Hills in South Africa

See, it’s all black! and all the bushes were gone and only a few bits that was left out :) Hopefully, it can grow and make the whole place greener again.

Anyway, that wasn’t the cool part. The cool part was when we were informed that our ‘amazing’ tour guide had left the keys in the van and guess what? It left us all stranded, all alone in the group with nothing much to do.

Our guide immediately called the local AA and as we were far away from civilisation, it took them 2 odd hours to arrive. And in the meantime, all of us in the group ended up in the bar having a good jolly time :) Well, the experience wasn’t so bad after all.

Due to the intense delay, we got back to our respective hotels at night. I immediately pack up my bags. Tomorrow, I’m off to my next destination – Johannesburg :)

Now that would be interesting…

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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The day was bright and the sky was so blue with almost no clouds in sight. Although the sky was clear, I was beginning to feel slightly unsure about this safari trip.

Now I know that this may sound contradictory to my earlier post referring on how happy I was for this safari adventure but it wasn’t exactly that….I was happy but not totally happy… let me explain…

Imagine this, when you sit at the front of a safari trailer which is next to the ranger and with no roof above the head fully exposed in a 45 degrees prickling heat, Whoa, I can tell you – it’s like being locked up in the sauna! I am certain that any sign of happiness or joy would soon dwindle. :)

I could see my skin burning up but I had no one to blame. It was me who decided to sit at the front so I could take clear videos and snap lots of photographs. Oh well, what could you do, eh?

Anyway, looking back, it wasn’t so bad after all. The animals were really cool in the wild and somehow it had a calming effect on me :) , So in the end, I did enjoy it, although I had to invest in lots of sun protection lotion..Just joking :)

Our ranger decided that we should take a rest for a wee while under a tree and it was during this moment that I had to take the opportunity to ask my new friend from Norway to snap a picture of myself :) (Yes, I am vain, I know :) )

Ambar Hamid in the safarirent a car bulgaria

Ambar Hamid in the safari

I then felt a sudden urge to go to the mens room. Gosh, where in the world in a wildlife safari could you find a toilet!!…how could anyone find any? Darn….

Anyway, I had no choice but to leave on foot away from the group (with permission, that was :) ) and

do the business. I then saw a big old dried up tree with a huge bark and I decided to do it there. I must tell ya that I was totally relieved once done. Imagine if I did encounter a big snake or Tarantula looking spiders, or even a big momma lion..eeeewww God forbid :)

We were already ready to continue once I got back to the group. This time we’re going to see the giraffes. Yippeee.. I love GIRAFFES :)

And so we went…..but we got lost en-route. Apparently, our ranger lost sight with the other ranger who we were following from behind. I didn’t panic. She had her walkie talkie with her so as long as she had the walkie talkie then I’m all cool. But hold on a minute, shouldn’t she know every nook and cranny of this place anyway!!

We found the other group in the end and I managed to film more video particularly the bumpy ride we had to endure. Watch it..

Finally, we found the giraffes. It’s my first time seeing them in the wild. Our friendly ranger told us a ton of stories about them.

The giraffes here are slightly shorter than in Kenya. Apparently, giraffes in Kenya can go as high as 6 metres. Watch the next video to find out..

and another. This time with the zebras – close up :)

Next to the giraffes were these rhinos hidden in the bushes, lazing about and doing nothing :) There were two of them and one of them stood up when one of the giraffes came close to their territory. Go watch the next video and you get to know why humans kill the rhinos for stupid reasons and why it is such an endangered species…

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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We were driven deeper into the game reserve and it wasn’t long before we encountered the African zebras. I had always thought deep in the conscious thoughts of my mind that these zebras were bigger creatures similar to the horses but to the dismay of many (well maybe it was just me :) ), the zebras here looked like the size of a dopey donkey except just a touch bigger :)

Anyway, as they say size does not matter :) . In this case, the zebras looked very cool indeed and almost overwhelmingly calming to watch. Our safari guide was doing her usual thing telling us about the wonderful stories on  the behaviour of this amazing God given animals…

Be sure to not come real close to the zebras so you will not be kicked to high heavens :) ..Here’s why..

I also managed to snap this photo of the zebras grazing away with an expansive mountaineous background. I think it’s beautiful.  

To be honest, I have not heard of an animal named SpringBok so when our guide started yapping about SpringBoks,…I was like WHAT!! Apparently, it’s some kind of an antelope which you’ll see in the next video below. It’s a big ugly to my liking :-)

But if you really can’t be asked watching the video the here is the photo of the Springbok..eerrrr at a distance..which means that if you want to see it up close then you have no choice but to watch the video above :)

Springboks In The Wild

Springboks In The Wild

We then went to see the Oryxes and again, I was like what!! Never heard of such a name…. Apparently, it is one of the most beautiful animal in the planet and I think Qatar Airways has adopted the Oryx as the logo on all their planes….so I guess, it must be true and our lovely safari guide wasn’t lying to us all, afterall :)

Honestly, I couldnt care less if they were beautiful or not. For me, they are all beautiful and they are God’s creation and we all must cherish them and care for them for generations to come. It’s sad to see that even the Oryx are slowly diminishing from Planet Earth..

If you don’t know what the Oryx is all about or wondered how they look like, then click play below and watch all the glorious details on the Oryx. They’ve got some nice of horns and ooh yeah, try and spot the one horned Oryx!! In other words, you gotta watch the whole lot to spot it :)

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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It took us approximately 2 and half hours to reach the safari game reserve. This place is very very big. It’s a huge game reserve with all sorts of wild animals in it that when you dare to venture inside on your own, you might end up losing yourself in there for a couple of days before being rescued :)

We got there to a nice welcome. We were escorted to a tent where we were given cool juices to drink. There’s a swimming pool here as well, which I thought was cool. I ended up talking with my English tour mates talking about the usual crap :)

I then decide to leave the group for a wee bit for a quiet stroll around the ‘Welcome area’ and suddenly, out of nowhere, I found this parrot perched on this made up branch. The bird was super huge and so beautiful with colourful feather and everything. I didn’t dare come close to it because you never know that the bird might poke you real bad like a hawk :)

Here’s the picture of the parrot… This parrot must be really moody because he didn’t speak a word. Not even a hello :)

Found at the Game Reserve

Found at the Game Reserve

and here’s the view from the back. He’s beautiful…

It wasn’t long after that when we were called to group up again to commence our safari trip. There were a number of those open top safari trailers lined up at the safari house. I decided to sit next to the safari ranger because I get a better peripheral view and better video for you lot too :) .

It was getting hotter by the minute and the sun was blazing above our heads but I just couldn’t care less. This was my first time in a safari park and I get to see all those animals. It’s exciting and supercool so sod the heat :)

Here’s a picture of how hot and dry this place is. You could probably fry an egg within minutes of exposure…

Here’s the video as we were entering the safari game reserve…(A bumpy ride indeedy)

The first wild animal that we saw was the cheetah a.k.a the speedy cat :) . We were lucky because the ranger a.k.a safari tour guide was extremely friendly and loves telling us great stories about the animals. I’ve never seen real cheetahs in front of my very eyes before so this was a big plus plus. The video below shows you the cheetahs as well as explanations on their fertility and how we started naming them. It was fun. You gotta watch it :)

Shortly after seeing the cheetahs, we were brought to see the big scary lions. Unfortunately when we arrived, there was no roaring business. They were to relax to even be asked to do anything active :) . Anyway, we were told some gruesome true stories about how these lions were brought here. Seriously, you must watch the video below. There were cages and all. It’s sad :( . Leave your comment below and let me know what you think….

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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Hey, It’s SAFARI Day!

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This morning I woke up to a new special day. A day I know would stick like glue in my travel history book :) . Yes, today was the day that I would venture out for the first time and go to a real safari. No more National Geographic Channel. No more Discovery Channel. No more flipping TV documentaries. This time it was for flippin’ real :)

I waited for the tour man to arrive at the hotel lobby. It wasn’t a long wait before he finally arrived looking for me. We introduced each other and to my pleasant surprise, he’s actually a Brit! The guy works in South Africa as a tour guide every summer and he loves every minute of it. Man, I don’t blame him. This place is paradise…

He led me to the tour bus parked just outside. I jumped in and found out that there were already plenty of people inside :) . I introduced myself to everyone and I found out that the majority of my tour mates were British and the rest was this lovely family from Norway. Now for your information, the bus was not like a big humungous coach but more like a van, so we were sitting in the van just like one of those typical  close knit family. Hehehehehe..

The journey to the safari park was indeed a scenic one. We passed through the expansive wine region via the uphill hilly windy roads. Seriously, it was really breathtaking and amazingly gorgeous. The only thing that bugged me was the road!

It was so narrow and to top it off, we were driven next to this cliff…with a big sheer vertical drop all the way to bottom. And I was sitting on the left side of the van with full view of the drop. I mean you can imagine if you’re sufferring from excessive vertigo like me, you’d probably experience an instant heart pounding experience with your mind running wild imagining horrid things :) ….

Now as I am an NLP enthusiast, I had managed to calm myself a little although I must admit I did wanted to pee in my pants…hahahaha no I’m only joking :)

Below is a short video of the wine region of Cape Town. I think it’s quite close to Klein Karoo (Wherever that is :) )

The scenery changed from leafy trees to a more barren land after about 1 and half hours into the journey. It was quite strange to see the landscape changed dramatically as we were travelling to the game reserve. The weather was heating up and you could not see many trees around. Completely dry and empty.

You’ll see what I mean when you watch this next video…

It took us an approximately 2 hours and half to reach the game reserve. This place is huge and it is all gated. Interesting… :-)

Anyway, I’ll update the rest of my travel journal in the next post. :)

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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We finally reached Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Joey and I was completely knackered when we reached here. The whole day trip had taken its toll on us. :(

Anyway, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are quite beautiful. Its very much like Kew Gardens back in London. We decided not

Also, there was a concert with some band playing in the park... but again, we couldn't be asked to do anything :)

So, to lighten things up, here are two photos for you...

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

and here is a photo of me (looking awfully tired) :)

Ambar Hamid at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

I think if we were vibrant, happy and energy filled, I was pretty sure that we would have walked around the park. Why? Well because its got some great rare flower species and fabulous gardens to see which, I was sure that we could have enjoyed it big time.

But as I’d mentioned, we were already tired when we got here so we just lazed about under the wonderful heat of the sun.

Finally, I got back to the hotel round about 7 ish PM and to my surprise one of our tour members were staying at the same hotel as me. Both of us were famished so we decided to have dinner together.

It was an interesting chat over dinner. Victoria is from the States and she told me loads of fantastic stories about her life and career but the most significant thing that I could remember about her was her unique character.

She was literally barking mad! I mean I thought I was mad but she’s definitely on another level. LOL…

Hope she’s not reading this. Hehehehee

OK, I’m off to the South African Safari tomorrow. Now, this should be interesting…

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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Simon’s Town is a nice scenic fishing village and people get to swim in this part of South Africa.


Well, because the sea here is warmer compared to the sea on the other side of the country so when you do get here, you’ll see a ton of people having jolly good time swimming in the sea.

But as for me, even if you paid me any money, I wouldn’t even dare to swim in these seas. I mean think about it, they’ve got that ‘shark nets’ that’s clearly visible from the horizon of the beach. This is so that our friend, Mr JAWS can’t get through…

Eeeeuwww the thought of shark nets are enough to make me quiver and you can call me all you want but I ain’t swimming here.. LOL

Also, our tour guide told us a true sad story about Simon’s Town where there was this old lady who was swimming by the beach and suddenly she was dragged to the deeper seas of the ocean and eaten by the Great White shark. Her body was never found. This apparently happened just a couple of years ago and I feel very sorry for her family. I couldn’t imagine what they had to go through :(

But if you’re still looking for more horrid shark tales you can hear from the locals here. All you need to do is ask….

Look, I’m sure it is safe to swim here but I aint taking any chances. Admiring the gorgeous views were fine by me :)

OK ok enough of this morbid story, let’s continue with the the rest of my Cape tour.

To cut the story short, we reached the African penguins viewing area here at Simon’s Town. The tickets for this trip was optional so we had to pay for it ourselves. I didn’t bother. It was cheap anyway. Most importantly, I get to see cutesey mutesey penguins waddling about. I mean who can so no to that eh..

This place reminded me of Phillips Island, in Melbourne, Australia but it is a bit smaller. Phillips Island is unbeatable because you get to see thousands of little penguins coming from sea and rushing away to their burrows to feed their even tinier little babies. Seriously, they were loads of them.

The Simon’s Towns African penguins are slightly bigger but they are still cute. Watch the video below and witness them yourself…

I think the pictures look cute too particularly this one below…he looked as if he’s marching away for a royal gala with his webbed feet. LOL

Penguin Walking…

It was a hot day and I wonder how these cute penguins could survive the heat. To my knowledge, they only like cold climate. Weird. For your record, it was something like 30 odd degrees. Not sure in Fahrenheit though. I haven’t been taught with that measurement. Sorry :-)

Here’s another penguin picture.

African Penguins

This next video is cute too. You’ll get to see the penguins swimming towards the beach and then waddles their way to the colony. Hehehe.. they’re so adorable.

Oh yeah, you also see the seagull flying above the penguins and you could see his shadow on the ground looking like a hawk that’s about to snatch the penguin away…. ooohh banish the thought…not good..

Anyway, here’s the video..

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This is the picture of the African penguin colony…

African Penguin Colony

..and this picture was taken while the penguins were lazily sun tanning themselves on one of those big rocks… How nice..

African Penguins Under The Sun

That was it. It was truly an amazing experience. It made my day :-)

Our next trip is to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens….

Categories : Cape Town, South Africa
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