Swaziland Candles

On one of our many family adventures we set out to explore the very small country within a country, Swaziland.  It is located in the southeastern part of the country of South Africa. It has many traditional events that happen, the Reed Dance in March being one of the most well-known.  However, we chose to visit when things would be calmer and were not disappointed at all. The adventure begins when you get to the border guards.  You get out of the car, get in a line, wait, wait, then have to finally show passports.  Then, get in the car, go through another gate lock down, get out of the car, wait in line, wait, wait…then do the same thing again now that you get into Swaziland.  Just make sure you don’t have a child that has to use the bathroom, because, this is difficult and remember, it is also a bit remote…facilities are “rustic”. However, the beauty and serenity of the fertile lands and farms against the backdrop of magnicifent mountains was quite breathtaking.  We had beautiful weather, sunny, warm and warmer.  We wanted to stay forever.

One of our main goals was to visit the famous Swaziland Candle Factory.  The candles are all hand made, and and you can sit for hours and watch the quick and deft fingers of craftsmen shape the hot wax to exactly anything really.  We saw hippos being formed, elephants and wildebeest and many other typical African game animals.  I wish we had better pictures but here are a few of the amazing things they created.

If you can ever get there, do it!

Whale watch with us!

Whale watching in South Africa is a must for anyone who even remotely loves ocean life.  We are a homeschooling family and for one of our field trips spent several days in Cape Town and especially in Hermanus during the whale migration and were not disappointed.    To have the opportunity to watch them up close and personal proved to be better than any documentary you’ll watch on tv. The Southern Right Whale migrates to this area every October to November, giving birth in the warmer waters before heading south again.

If you are interested in any of our fabulous wildlife videos for your own personal homeschool education to show your kids from “real” people and not just the tv shows –  we would love to share.  We have whale videos, Kruger National Park wild animals, live lions, videos of elephants that surrounded our broken down car in the Addo Elephant Park, South Africa, lots of monkeys from the Monkey Preserve and the cutest penguins from the Penguin sanctuary in Cape Town and Boulder Beach where the African penguins live.

Watch for more to come!

Cape Town Sea Wildlife!

Throughout the Cape Point National Park and in other areas of Cape Town, one can spot many different animals. On a hike in Cape Point, we were able to spot an octopus, hidden under a rock at low tide. Seals were either filling the waters or piled on the rocks. Lining the cliffs one can spot rock dassies and tortoises as well. Photos of whales breaching in the bay will come soon!

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White Sands, Blue Seas

The tip of Africa is one of our favorite areas to visit when traveling to Cape Town. Known as Cape Point, this national park is home to impressive white-sand beaches that stretch for miles. On sunny days, the ice-cold water is a lot more inviting, but don’t be fooled! The water comes straight from the Antarctic ice that melts during the summer. These unedited photos show how remarkably beautiful the blue seas and white sands are. Look out for more water photos with unbelievable blues and greens!

Cape Town’s charming penguins

One of the most delightful activities you can ever experience is to visit the irresistible penguins that are living throughout the Western Cape in South Africa. These have truly become our favorite birds and you can swim with them at the famous Boulders Beach.  This is a beloved pastime for us when we vacation in Cape Town.  The landscape is stunning and these charming birds can entertain you for hours.

Stunning Suikerbosrand – Biking in the bush in South Africa.

This is definitely one of my favorite places to go biking in South Africa.  This vast landscape was filled with zebra, bok, ostriches, wildebeest and other bush animals.  You never knew what you would see on your bike ride.  The trails were overgrown and added to the feeling that you were the only person amidst all this beauty and the animals.  On this particular bike ride we were able to sneak upon a very large herd of zebras and have them see us and give a thunderous trampling to quickly escape us.  It echoed throughout the whole valley.  Fantastic!

Look how lucky I am to biking in the bush! This place is an amazing, somewhat deserted and windy landscape. We loved to go biking here and in fhe far background there are lots of zebras, and you will find overgrown trails, Sprinkbok, Wildebeest, zebra, snakes, ostriches and various other bush animals. It was always quiet and still except for the animals here. It was one of the places I looked forward to most, to hike and bike and enjoy the nature in South Africa.
Amazing biking in South Africa

Mopane what?!

One morning I came downstairs while we were living in Johannesburg, South Africa and opened the fridge to find this! I was horrified! I did actually scream and then my domestic helper from Zimbabwe began to laugh!  She explained that Mopane Worms are such a yummy snack when fried, becoming crunchy and quite tasty.  Unfortunately, my inclination towards chocolate and disinclincation for eating worms got the best of me and  I could not try one.