Mt Moreland KZN – Barn Swallows & Legavaan Sighting

The weekend before my Cape Town Christmas trip, my friend and I went up to Mount Moreland, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

Mount Moreland is about 15 kms from Umhlanga, and is best known for its Barn Swallows.

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The public can view this awesome sight of the up to 3 million Barn Swallows descending on their roost.

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This initiative is courtesy of Mount Moreland Conservancy

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Visitors bring their own chairs, food, drinks, binoculars, and mosquito repellent.

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The roosting time is about half an hour before sunset, but we went on the trip for the serenity and quite of the landscape.

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A pathway leads from the top of the view point, down towards the marshlands

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I begin descending, the only sound the wind whistling and rustling through the cane fields

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The path rounds a bend, and a tunnel of foliage leads down to the marsh, igniting the imagination

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The sparse clouds provide little relief from the midday sun, I head back up the path.

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En route out of Mount Moreland, we crossed a bridge

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Stopped to take photos, my friend noticed a Legavaan (or Rock Monitor) in the road behind us in the road

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The Legavaan vanished as quickly as he had appeared, scampering back to the safety of the brush.

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Further along our route back to Umhlanga, we came across the Dust Pit Tavern.

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It is housed in a picturesque building, Cape Dutch style almost.

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The road home

Cape Town – Christmas 2013

As I do every year, I went to my hometown for Christmas.

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These are a few pics of the places my family and I visited.

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En route to Somerset West, on the N2, we passed Cape Town Studios (A rather windy day).

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They are currently doing a 16 week shoot for the series Black Sails.

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Some of their other recent projects include Max Max: Fury Road and Safe House.

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Hospital Bend interchange. Big Lions Head in the distance

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Devil’s Peak

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The back of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak from Ottery Road

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Kirstenbosch Gardens

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Cycad at Kirstenbosch Gardens

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Beautiful quiet stream

Peaceful shade and cool of the trees.

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A pathway opens the door to all sorts of wonderment as it leads mysteriously through the foliage

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Tadpoles thrive in the merry stream, creating hours of fun for kids and adults alike

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The rocks of the stream is God’s playground, children climbing, building and frolicking about. Families from all over gather on their picnic blankets in pockets of shade, most likely eating Christmas lunch left-overs, as we did.

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That same afternoon, Friday 27 December 2013, the rolling cloud seeped over Table Mountain.

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The temperature dropped with the onslaught of the cloud, a welcome relief.

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I thought o the families at Kirstenbosch, all breathing a sigh of relief in the shade of the cloud.

Beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

As part of my job I visit various sites in Kwa-zulu Natal, South Africa.

I usually take 2 or 3 day trip, and go as far as Bergville (plus minus 4 hours from home in Durban), stopping in Ladysmith, Estcourt, BostonPietermaritzburg, Richmond, and Eston.

I also go down the KZN South Coast (Hibiscus Coast), as far as Port Edward, and inland, to Harding.

I prefer taking the back roads, and avoiding major highways.

Here are some pics from my last two trips.

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Inland – en route Boston, a tiny farming town in rural KZN

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Climbing the hill on the N2 to Harding

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N2 to Harding under re-vamp

From the top of the hill en route to Harding

From the top of the hill en route to Harding

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Nearing Harding, I spotted this Crowned Eagle

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Back route from Harding to Port Edward, Izingolweni Road 

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Terrain contrast of the Hibiscus Coast

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Rolling sugar cane fields bordered by thick forests

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Route: Richmond to Eston – April 2013

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Richmond to Eston – October 2013

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Bougainvillea in full bloom – October 2013

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R624 – nearing destination Eston

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Rolling hills on the R624

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The in-coming summer rains will see the hills transformed into God’s pallets of fabulous greens

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Majestic evergreen forests

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Finally, returning home to Umhlanga Ridge area

 

Sunset – Glenashley Beach, Durban, South Africa

Yesterday evening, after another perfect Sunday in Durban, South Africa, sunset at Glenashley Beach was a playground for the imagination.

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There were 18 vessels  to be seen on still waters, some full of cargo, others empty.

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As the sun sank below the horizon, the shadows of each ship seemed to be haunting the calm evening, like lost souls waiting to be ferried to another world.

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The windswept clouds mirrored mysterious shapes of unicorn, dragons and unearthly sea creatures.

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Another beautiful day in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa