Posts Tagged ‘Springbok’

Pick of the Pix.

As some of you know I am a professional photographer working out of Cape Town, South Africa and hope that the photographs in my posts have been fairly interesting. The professional  work  has been connected to theatre  and dance so this type of photography was pretty new to me. After having a look through all the photos from the trip I decided to do this post of a few that I think stand out from the rest.

Interesting to note that only 2 of the photos were taken with a high-end camera – actually a not so high-end Canon 20D with an 80-200 2.8f lens – and all the rest with a point and shoot type Canon G7 camera. I was truly amazed at the quality of the G7 and it was only for the photos of  birds that I switched to the 20D.

Sunrise at Brandkaros near Alexander Bay.
Sunrise at Brandkaros near Alexander Bay.

This is one of my favourites and I am using it as the desk top of my computer.

Beach at Alexander Bay.
Beach at Alexander Bay.

The feeling of desolation in this photo sums up the story of Alexander Bay itself.

Hazy sunset at McDougalls Bay.
Hazy sunset at McDougalls Bay.

Golden Sunset at McDougalls Bay.
Golden Sunset at McDougalls Bay.

Every sunset at McDougalls Bay seemed to produce  different tonal qualities.

Ship wreck at Port Nolloth.
Shipwreck at Port Nolloth.

This happened fairly recently and they were  hoping to re-float her.

Shipwreck just south of Kleinzee.
Shipwreck just south of Kleinzee.

Not much chance of re-floating this wreck!

Spot me if you can.
Spot me if you can.

Photo of very well camouflaged chameleon taken near Kleinzee.

Dragline taken at Kleinzee.
Dragline taken at Kleinzee.

Namaqualand flowers just outside Nababeep.

Namaqualand flowers just outside Nababeep.

Flowers near Springbok.

Flowers near Springbok.

According to most of the locals I spoke to 2009 has not been a great year for flowers.

Seal on the edge.

Seal on the edge at Hondeklipbaai.

About 10 seconds after I took this shot the seal took a headlong dive into that churning white water.

Still standing!

Still standing! (Dooringbaai)

Talk about the power of the sea – the noise when that wave hit that wall was like thunder.

Bird Island at Lamberts Bay.

Bird Island at Lamberts Bay.

The noise, and to be honest the smell, when you went down wind of these thousands of Gannets was quite something.

Bird on the wing.

Bird on the wing.

Toutch down at Verlorenvlei

Touch down at Verlorenvlei

Both bird shots above were taken at Vensterklip using a Canon 20D camera.

Well I hope you have enjoyed looking at the photographs as much as I did taking them. Hopefully there will be plenty more, at new locations, in the coming months.

The Springbok Caravan Park

There are 2 caravan parks in Springbok. The one I mentioned in my first post here is the Kokerboom Motel and Caravan Park and the other is The Springbok Caravan Park. Both are situated just outside of Springbok but that is where the similarities end.

The Springbok Caravan Park is by far the more popular of the two and the main reasons are position – not smack bang next to the national road – and the really nice clean, well functioning  ablution block. The manager is a young guy who seems to keep a beady eye on what is going on, not like many of the other park manager who don’t seem to give a damn, and they are upfront about what is and is not tolerated regarding noise after 10pm. The rules of the park are in bold typed notices stuck up in the ablution blocks for all to see and read.

The Entrance.

The Entrance.

As you can see there is a laundry which has 3 washing machines and a tumble dryer. I got the impression that some of the residents of Springbok also make use of these facilities. I did 2 loads of washing for R20.00 and had my ironing done by one of the friendly ladies who would only charge me R35.00 for the lot. The door on the right is to a small self-contained flat which is also for hire.

The Ablution Block.

The Ablution Block.

Everything was keep nice and clean, toilet paper was supplied – it took me about 2 days to get out of the habit of taking my own – and the showers not only had plenty of hot water,  hooks to hang your things on but also had sliding shower doors so that all your goods did not get sopping wet. What a difference compared to the other parks  I had been to previously.

Well maintained and clean swimming pool

Well maintained and clean swimming pool

Popular section of the park. Check out the back drop!

Popular section of the park. Check out the back drop!

The  set up closest to the camera on the right hand side had a rig worth over R800,00.00.

My set-up.

My set-up.

If I had to criticise one thing it would be that I thought the sites were a bit cramped and close to one another.

They also have chalets/rondawels most of which were occupied all the time I was there.

They also have chalets/rondawels most of which were occupied all the time I was there.

Old converted ox wagon.

Old converted ox wagon.

Spoke to a young couple who slept one night in it and they said it was fine but a bit cramped.

View of caravan park.

View of caravan park.

This shot was taken mid morning so many of the campers had already left.

I enjoyed my 5 day stay at the Springbok Caravan Park. A lot of people only come in for one night on their way to or from Namibia or the Richtersfelt but there were a few, like myself, who used it as a base for a few days to explore Springbok and it’s surrounds. If I had to rate it out of 5 stars I would give it 3½.

Springbok

As a young man I used to travel up to Springbok from Cape Town every 6 weeks. I was working as a sales rep and this area was part of my territory. The roads then, from Bitterfontein up, were all gravel and not very good. Also everything that was brought into the area was transported on massive Jowells Transport trucks which made driving  fairly hazardous. That was over 40 years ago and to be honest whilst  the roads are now tar much of the town has not changed all that much.

Springbok is the capital of Namakwa and also the administrative, commercial, farming and industrial centre. It is 550 km from Cape Town, 1274km from Johannesburg and 113km from the Namibian border. Its history is closely link to that of the copper industry and was the site of the first commercial mining operation in the country. The first mine was brought into operation in 1852 and in 1862 the town of Sringbokfontein was laid out.

Springbok town centre.
Springbok town centre.

I have now been in Springbok for a few days, since travelling through from Port Nolloth, and am staying at the Springbok Caravan Park. (I will do a post on the park soon) I really only wanted to cover the coastal areas of SA but now that I am here might just as well show you a bit of the town.

Monument Koppie.
Monument Koppie.

A small hillock in the centre of town that was wrested away from the British by Boer forces and commemorates the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902)

The Masonic Hotel.
The Masonic Hotel.

This is the hotel I always used to stay at on my travels.

The NG Kerk.
The NG Kerk.
The Springbok Museum.
The Springbok Museum.

The Synagogue was completed in 1929 and is now used as the museum.

The involvement of the Jowell family in forming modern day Springbok.
The involvement of the Jowell family is synonymous with the formation of modern day Springbok.

Copper tray from

Copper tray of about 160 years old.

Namaqualand flowers.

Namaqualand flowers.

The flowers, so far, have not been too great but I did find this one patch close to Springbok. I am still hoping that as I travel towards Cape Town they will improve and I can do a whole post of flowers.

Namaquland flowers.

Namaqualand flowers.

Namaqualand flowers.

Namaqualand flowers.

About 15km’s south-east of  Springbok  is the Goegap Nature Reserve which includes the Hester Malan Wild Flower Garden. I got there too late to go and have a look but believe it is well worth a visit so might try and go back later today.

The entrance to the Goegap Nature Reserve.

The entrance to the Goegap Nature Reserve.

I have also been through to Okiep and Nababeep and will do a combined post about the 2 old copper mining towns in the area next.

I am hoping to move down to Kamieskroon next and then head back to the coast, without the caravan as I believe the roads are pretty bad, and visit places like Hondeklip Baai and Groenriviermond.

The start of my journey. (Part 1)

I left Cape Town last Wednesday (1st July) with the intention of reaching Vanrhynsdorp and staying there overnight. By the time I had hitched up the caravan, checked all the lights and left Noordhoek it was just after 9am so decided to pop in at my daughters house in Claremont and borrow some videos to watch while I am away. Collected the videos, said my goodbyes for the next 2 months and was on my way.

The trip was uneventful, apart from the fact that I was travelling over roads that I had not been on for over 40 years so it was like a trip down memory lane, and I made good time – past Malmesbury, Moorreesburg, Picketberg, Citrusdal and Clanwilliam. I decided to stop for petrol and stretch my legs at a place called Klawer about 320ks from Cape Town. I had been driving smack into a fairly strong head wind most of the way so the petrol consumption was horrendous.

It was still pretty early and  Vanrhynsborp was not to far away so I thought that I might as well push through to Springbok and stay  there overnight. The head wind was even stronger and I could actually see the petrol gauge going down minute by minute as I drove. Also it felt as if I was driving on inclines  most of the time and I knew the petrol consumption was going to be even worse when I next filled up. It was!!

Before I left Cape Town I had had a chat to a guy who runs a 4×4 shop in Noordhoek and got some pointers and advice from him as he was brought up in the area, Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay, as to where to go and where to stay. I also got a mobile deep-freeze from him so I could take quite a lot of frozen food with me.

Lesson 1 -Always try and talk to more than 1 person or check out on the web when you are going to new places. *

Lesson 2 – Always check that what you buy is going to do what it is supposed to do.**

The first bit of advice was to stay at the caravan park situated just before you turn into Springbok. Unfortunately there are 2 turn off’s into Springbok and I should have taken the 2nd. Ended up at the Kokerboom Motel & Caravan Park.

Kokerboom Motel & Caravan Park

Kokerboom Motel & Caravan Park

Pix of the place I ended up at – not very nice and I was the only one staying there.*

I had taken cooked food with me so did not check the deep-freeze at this point in time.**

Kokerboom Motel & Caravan Park

Kokerboom Motel & Caravan Park

Only found the park I should have gone to, The Springbok Caravan Park, the next morning – also not great but a bit better and at least some other people staying there.

To be continued.