The sun is sinking in the sky and a few hippos are honking at each other in the distance as a croc slides silently into the river. A few kilometres upstream of the Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi River is still slow and peaceful, we’re floating past small islands, sipping on our gin-and-tonics and toasting the palm trees on the shore.
It’s ironic that Nieu Bethesda near Graaff-Reinet in the Karoo is hardly ever thought of today except as home to the strangely intriguing but disturbing Owl House; ironic because when its creator, Helen Martins, was still alive the locals thought of her as a bit of a wacko. But there’s more to Nieu Bethesda than the Owl House.
Mention the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda near Graaff-Reinet to most people and they’ll probably nod and say, ‘Ah yes, the Owl House.’ But there’s more to Nieu Bethesda than that. And once you’ve had lunch at Antie Evelyne se Eetplek you’ll have a totally different experience to remember the village by.
South Africa lost 80 rhinos to poachers in the first two months of 2012. [By 5 April it was 159.] At this rate, we may lose 600 this year - significantly up from 13 just five years ago. The debate over how best to combat this butchery rages on. But how much of the outrage is sentiment and how much is emotion that translates into useful action? Read what the African Conservation Trust's top man has to say.
Developments are in the wind at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, South Africa. If you love that place as much as I do, you need to know about them so you can have your say and make your voice heard in the public participation process currently under way.
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I'm an independent travel writer and book editor with a passion for Africa - anything from African travel, people, safari and wildlife to adventure, heritage, road-tripping and slow travel.
* Top 5 favourite national parks in South Africa