Saturday, 3 October 2015

Roadtripping in the Northern Cape (part 2)

We woke from a good sleep at Witsand Nature Reserve and began the morning with the Botanical Walk. At 3.2km, it was a lovely meander through interesting vegetation and we especially appreciated the signs on the trees telling us what they were.

The trail. Lots of paw and hoof prints.
Thank goodness for the tree signs.
Some grasses were labelled too. That's the 'wit' sand dunes in the background.
After breakfast we headed for a viewpoint and then the dunes.

What a great information board

The wind was howling! Sand in everything!
Going up was difficult...

Coming down... lots more fun
And then we were off from Witsand and headed for Postmasburg... but via a road we spotted on the road atlas.

This pass over the Langberg was fabulous. We didn't take any photos (should have). Tight, narrow and steep. Not the place to tow a trailer nor caravan.

This is what it looks like on Google Earth.

We weren't much past the bottom of the pass when I shouted, "STOP!". Celliers reversed and there on our left was a large bird. Like a seriously large bird. Not an ostrich, not a secretary bird, not a blue crane. A big, big bird.

We spent a few minutes watching it through binos until it got out of range. Celliers tried to get a photo but the bird was too far away. This is what he did get.

When it comes to birds I'm mostly dismal. When we got in range I did a Google search for 'large birds South Africa' and turned to the images. And there I found him. A kori bustard! A lucky sighting. Largest flying bird native to Africa and males are the heaviest bird capable of flight.

We headed through to Postmasburg, which is quite a happening town because of all the iron ore mines in the area. Bustling with activity and far bigger than expected.

We then took the R358 (becomes the R31) and then the R370 past Spitzkopdam to Jan Kempdorp, where we spent the night. If you're ever in the area, I can really recommend the place we stayed - Eden Guest House. Beautiful garden, luxurious rooms, excellent rates, warm and friendly and a delicious breakfast. The rooms look like the photos on their website. Exactly! The town is off the N18 (from Vryburg) and about 20km from Christiana, which is off the N12. It is well worth detouring here for the night if you're travelling Kimberley way.

The next morning we made for the N12 and a highway route home.

What a super two days of roadtripping we enjoyed.

Until next time, Northern Cape.

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