Entries from 'Africa'

Katse dam

 

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// Nikon D7200 | -29,34412 : 28,51311 | alt. 2125m

this morning, I was expecting to wake up with the sunrise over the Katse dam, but instead, I had the visit of a security guy……
He ended up being very friendly, and he was just worried about me since this place is not so safe, and I should have park next to his building. He also told me this place can legally be used as free campsite, but the manager of the lodge nearby is then causing troubles to him (and this bloody lodge is asking around 100usd per night…..)
We shared my coffee, and we went into his building, which is the old visitor centre. We talk about stuff, business ideas, to setup his own campground here. It seems like many locals totally went bananas with foreigners and they keep asking more and more money for accommodation. There is a massive gap between the cost of life in Lesotho, and prices for lodges (only for foreigners).

Before I left, I had a quick look at the cooling system of the van since I noticed something wet below the expansion tank. Coolant level is way above the max, not really a good sign, but nothing to worry about. Still, I open the engine bay to see what was left inside the radiator………holy crap, I cannot see any water inside ! I took my bottle of coolant, and put the entire content inside……. jeez I nearly cooked the engine….. And that was my only bottle !
Last time I lose that much coolant, it was because my radiator cap was dead, so just in case, I replaced it with a new one (always take a spare one !)

I left and went to the new visitor centre. Not much to see inside, (nice model of the dam) but for only 10rand, you get a guide to explain you the history of the dam, and then you can visit it (but sadly, no picture).
This dam is a project from both Lesotho and South Africa. Long story short, South Africa needs water and can pay for it, Lesotho gets some electricity on the way :p I’m not sure who had the best deal.
First time visiting a dam, and a big one, such a shame I cannot take picture ! The beauty of the inside is the perspective of these long corridors or stairways, and the size of any machine (waaaay oversized).
We then went on top of the dam. A few more pictures and it was time to hit the road again.
I could sleep here one more night, but I don’t have much time left in South Africa, and I still have 2 hrs to reach my next destination which is the bokong national park, and they charge 200rand per night…..well, I guess I have to find another place to sleep ! Not so far away is the bokong pass (3100m ) with a nice lookout 🙂 That’s my spot right there !
Ok it’s not on the safe side, but with the cold and the wind, I doubt someone would come to mess with me.
Talking about cold, no way I could sleep in the tent, so I put the mattress below. It wasn’t that cold inside (went to -10 outside), the problem was more the lack of oxygen !

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Semonkong waterfall

  // Nikon D7200 | -29.84404 : 28.04383 | alt. 2191m Long and absolutely beautiful drive across the mountains of Lesotho to reach Semonkong. Only 150kms, but it took me a few hours with 50kms of gravel roads and some terrible sections, but even the tar part wasn’t a piece of cake. You can tell…

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First steps in Lesotho

  // Nikon D7200 | -29.82772 : 27.5997 | alt. 1822m After a freezing night (it went to -2 inside the van), I had a lot of work before leaving South Africa. Winter is hard in Lesotho, which is mostly above 2000m, and there is a good chance of snow on the way. And since most…

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Mountain Zebras park

  // Nikon D7200 | -32.13374 : 25.62377 |alt. 989m Away from the garden route and the main touristic destinations, the beautiful Mountain Zebra national park is a well hidden jewel. You can tell no one is going there when you get to the small village next door, pretty empty and desolated, with no backpacker, no…

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Desolation valley

  // Nikon D7200 | -32.2685 : 24.52582 | alt. 798m Before jumping to Mountain Zebra national park, I saw some interesting pictures of desolation valley on the west side, and I had to check out this place. In the end, not much to do, the park is fairly small, the main trail being a 20min…

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Addo elephant park

  // Nikon D7200 | -33.51407 : 25.69348 | alt. 49m Short drive to reach the northern gate of Addo elephant park, which like the name suggests, is home of hundreds of elephants. It’s already past noon, but that’s enough time for a first trip inside the park. You can drive on a fairly huge network…

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Garden route

  // Nikon D7200 | -33.9734 : 23.88234 | alt. 232m The problem with bush camping, it’s, well……. forbidden :p so the main rule is to park after sunset and leave before sunrise. It’s winter, so nights are pretty long, but since this is a bit stressful, you don’t really get the best sleep, and it’s never…

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Cape Agulhas

  // Nikon D7200 Bush camping where the 2 oceans meet, in Cape Agulhas. This is the most southern point in Africa, most southern point of my trip, and it’s now time to head back home, north !

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Table mountains

  // Nikon D7200 | -33.98875 : 18.43453 | alt. 114m After a very expensive night at Imhoff campsite, I first had to find a cheaper place to sleep for the rest of my time here. One night at chapman camp, still too expensive, but nice location with plenty of birds (feels like being in a…

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Cape of good hope

  // Nikon D7200 | -34.13282 : 18.33789 | alt. 13m Cape Town in sight, and what a view ! This big city sitting on the atlantic ocean seems tiny with the massive table mountain behind it ! It reminds me of Vancouver, but instead of jagged snowy peaks, you get this big mountain, completely…

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