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Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

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Kaapsedraai
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Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:05 am

It was 02h00 Saturday morning, 25 June 2016 and with trailer packed with camping gear, we (me, So and our daughter) departed Cape Town on a 20 day circular route winter's camping holiday. Our first stop was Wilderness where we overnighted at Ebb & Flo in one of the log cabins. It is our accustom to pay the Sedgefield Farmer's Market a visit on the Saturday morning which is always a highlight when visiting the Garden Route region and opportunity to stock up on some delicious food.

Early the Sunday morning, 26 June' 2016, we were on our way via the Outeniqua Pass to Graaff Reinet.
As we slowly making our way across the open Karoo, we were greeted by a lovely sunrise.
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Late morning we reached the historical town of Graaff Reinet with the iconic mountain range creating a very interesting blue silhouette.
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One of the interesting places we wanted to visit in Graff Reinet was the 'cactus forest' which is situated in the town, but unfortunately it is closed on Sundays :cry:
After enjoying some brunch, it was time to circling the Green Valley - which is the Khoi-khoi meaning for Xamdeboo or better known as Camdeboo.

The park is divided in two sections namely the Valley of Desolation and Ngwenya dam area.
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We headed up the steep tar road to the viewpoint of the Toposcope and Valley of Desolation, which is also known as 'Cathedral of Mountains'
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This is the view from the Toposcope viewpoint where one could see the Ngwenya dam, town of Graaff Reinet and Spandaukop.
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Interesting fact about Spandau kop is that the name was given by a German settler in the area who drew similarities between the kop guarding Graaff Reinet in similar fashion to Spandau Prison guarding Berlin in Germany.

Reaching the Valley of Desolation parking area, one is greeted by some information on the lay-out of the area and the appropriate hiking trails.
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The wind was howling on top of the mountain and the area very dry, unlike our experience of 5 years ago when we visited the area for the first time.
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The scenery from the viewpoint is spectacular overlooking the amazing dolerite pillars towering between 90 - 120 meters high.
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With this panoramic view one can understand why it is called 'Valley of Desolation'.
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Wind swept, I managed to get back to the car and headed down the mountain to explore the area surrounding the Ngwenya dam.
'Ngwenya' means 'meeting place' . Three rivers, Sundays & Gats & Pienaars rivers feed the dam with water.

The area was extremely dry and water levels relatively low as one can understand as this is summer rainfall region.
I can just image how beautiful this area will look like after a good rainfall season and this section being filled with water.
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We spotted the odd springbok and some francolins, but this Rock kestrel was a highlight.
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Slowly making our way through the park and stopped at the Khwalimanzi bird hide where we were presented with this view.
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It was our first time driving through this section of the park and can imagine that it will be a great place to visit during the summer months when there is a lot of water around.

On this note we arrived at the main gate and made our way direction Craddock for a 4 night camping experience amidst the Black & White roamers. :thumbs_up:
Current: Table Mountain's mood today
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger
Future: 25 Jun - 12 Jul'16 MZNP; ADDO; Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:27 am

Kaapsedraai, welcome back. I really missed your wonderful reports :gflower: Now I am reminded of why.

You will be taking me to some places I have never travelled. I look forward to that. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn:
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by manicwalker » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:44 am

Kaapsedraai,
Good to read another TT from you :D
Thanks for sharing your beautiful scenery photos...
makes one long to get back there too :pray: :mrgreen: :thumbs_up:

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billyf
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by billyf » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:53 am

Wonderful pics of some amazing scenery. What a stark contrast between the bone dry winter months and what I imagine it would look like after summer rains :thumbs_up:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

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umtali1
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by umtali1 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:26 am

Hooray! Kaapsedraai is back with a TR :dance: :dance: :dance: . I wondered how long it would be :hmz:
Beautiful images as ever of a fantastic part of SA - an area I have yet to visit. I'm guilty of driving past to other places :doh:
Your maps are very helpful.
Looking forward to the next episodes :popcorn: :popcorn:
umtali1

Current - Reis Verhaal from Kruger 'Bush' Camps
https://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?&t=93948

2013 Mokala and KNP,
2015 "Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP

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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by isinkwe » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:04 am

Awesome photographs of a place that I still need to get to some time :D
Stunning places we have in South Africa :thumbs_up:
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

So when is old enough to know better supposed to kick in ? :hmz:

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hilda
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by hilda » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:18 pm

Looking forward to read all about your 20 day circular route winter's camping holiday Kaapsedraai! :clap: :clap:

Beautiful sunrise, and lovely scenery pictures! :clap: :clap:
"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." - Nelson Mandela

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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:06 pm

When I saw your TR, I knew I would be in for a treat. And your first episode did not disappoint!
I was born in Middleburg, and my dad grew up in Graaf Reinette, and my parents were married in that gorgeous church, so this area is very close to my heart. Sadly I have not been to the Valley of Desolation in many, many years. Looking forward to the ret of the TR!

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ritad
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by ritad » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:46 pm

WoW this landscape is fantastic beautiful, great a new TR is starting :dance: :dance: :dance:
Our Tripreport has startet: KRUGERFEVER? - YES WE HAVE - September/Oktober 2015

Next trip 2017 planned 21. September 2017 - 09. Oktober 2017 :dance: :dance: :dance: only wait for booking :dance:
*) Car booked
*) 1 night Hoedspruit booked

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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Toddelelfe » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:21 pm

Wonderful impressions :dance:
:dance: Plane is booked, KNP, i am on a mission :doh:
+/- 25.11.-03.12.2016
:lol: 8) :cam:
2 Nights Pretoriuskop, 3 Nights Napi Trail (i am so excited!). 1 Night Lower Sabie, 2 Nights Biyamiti
2014 TR from KNP

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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Pumbaa » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:53 am

So many breathtaking landscape shots, Kaapsedraai :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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Tessa G
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Tessa G » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:05 pm

I was so thrilled to see another Kaapsedraai TR waiting for me. :dance: :dance:

Spectacular scenery Kaapsedraai of an area that we have never been to, :redface:
Your photography is, as always, stunning and the starkness of the area at this time is very evident. As you say, how beautiful it must be when we have had good rain!

Thanks so much for treating us to another photographic feast. Looking forward to more. :popcorn:
Dec 16 - Letaba, Shingwedzi, Olifants, Tamboti, Biyamiti, Berg n Dal
Current: Swathes of Colour at West Coast National Park
CURRENT TR: 23 DAYS WITH TESSA & DAVE - FROM HEAD TO TAIL DEC 2015

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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by barryels » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:29 pm

Wonderful start to this 20 day trip with amazing scenery sightings :clap: :clap: .

Looking forward to the rest of this special report :thumbs_up: .
Always be humble and understanding

Off to Kruger:
17-19/10/2016 Letaba
20-22/10/2016 Punda
23-25/10/2016 Shingwedzi
26-28/10/2016 Mopani

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:49 pm

Image to everyone that is enjoying this TT with me and for the comments shared :D

Meandering Mouse, thank you for the 'welcome back' as I had to attend to important family priorities and hope to slowly get to spend more time on the forum. :thumbs_up:

manicwalker, only a pleasure and thank you for the comment. :D

billyf, this is a wonderful area presenting one something special. :thumbs_up:

umtali1, :hmz: ...time will tell :tongue: If you have the opportunity, it is worth visiting :thumbs_up:

isinkwe, yes - we have stunning places in SA which we need to treasure. :thumbs_up:

hilda, hope I can live up to the expectations as this was lovely family get away. :D

Karin Mitton, interesting information about you and the family having had special connection with the area. I appreciate the comment :thumbs_up:

ritad, this area has a unique landscape and some very interesting discoveries also been made recently. :dance:

Toddelelfe, good you enjoyed the moments :thumbs_up:

Pumbaa, the area has amazing landscape worth visiting and glad you enjoyed the ones shared. :dance:

Tessa G, it is a very special area and worth a visit. Thank you for the kind words. :thumbs_up:

barryels, thank you and hope you will enjoy the experiences still to be shared :D
Current: Table Mountain's mood today
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger
Future: 25 Jun - 12 Jul'16 MZNP; ADDO; Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Kaapsedraai
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Location: Bellville, Cape Town

Re: Circling the 'Green Valley' and camping amidst 'Black & White roamers' - Jul'16

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:59 pm

During the 20 day circular trip, we visited 5 National Parks and saw it fitting to associate each one with a colour i.e. green, black & white, grey, amethyst and gold

We have learnt that Camdeboo is synonymous green, but what could 'black & white' be associated with when visiting the next park?
Current: Table Mountain's mood today
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger
Future: 25 Jun - 12 Jul'16 MZNP; ADDO; Storms river & Wildernis NP


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