Jan 082013

I’m writing this a couple of days before you’ll see it while sat at my friend’s aunt’s house in Cape Town. I’ve had a great time here but tomorrow we are moving on to Livingstone, Zambia. I’ll be traveling with my friend and her cousin.

Yesterday, while taking photos on Nordhoek beach I wondered if they may be getting bored with me wandering about very slowly with a backpack and tripod. Then I looked over and saw this. I think it’s safe to say they’ll do a good job of entertaining themselves the whole trip.

Shortly after I took this photo I heard a shriek of “let’s take pictures of our shadows!”, which was pretty impressive, as the wind was blowing at about 40 knots towards them…

The plan is to spend a few days in Livingstone, then bus our way through Windhoek… though we realy have no idea how we’re going to go about doing that. Hopefully by the time this photo posts itself we’ll have a better idea!

Two women taking photos in front of the setting sun on Nordhoek beach, Cape Town, South africa

Jan 072013

Here’s the first of my photos from my most recent trip to Cape Town. This is on a beautiful, rugged beach in Scarborough. There were a lot of kids playing and swimming here. After dipping my toe in I decided it was far too cold for my liking!

A view of Witwatersounds beach in Scarborough in South Africa with rocks in the foreground and mountains and blue sky in the background

Jul 122012

Three out of five of our group, dissatisfied with seeing penguins hanging about in bushes, paid the cover charge to actually go down onto Boulders Bay in search of penguins on the rocks. That, at least in our minds, was where penguins should be. As soon as we came through the gate we spied a penguin lounging in the middle of a small path forking off the main one. We walked down for a closer look, the penguin didn’t seem at all bothered by our presence. We thought this penguin may be a sign of more at the end of the path. It wasn’t. There were no penguins at the end of the path, but there was this incredible view.

If you want to see more of Boulders Bay and the penguins we did find, click on this image to go through to my South Africa gallery.

Different size of boulders piled up on beach at waterside in Boulder Bay, Simons Town, South Africa.

May 222012

After drinking copious amounts of wine and petting cheetahs (preferably not in that order) this is your view as you leave Spier Winery. This is where we started our wine tour and from here we went for what may have been the best meal we had in South Africa. It’s called bobotie and it’s delicious. Our guide described it to us in much the way that I’m going to describe it to you and all we could think was that it sounded odd. We decided to go ahead with our guide’s recommendation just the same and were certainly please.

Bobotie is a minced beef dish. The beef is mixed up with raisins and spiced up. It has a bit of a curry flavour. It’s cooked in a small casserole and topped off with a really thin layer of egg. They served it with mango chutney and sliced banana. Like I said, this combination of ingredients sounds odd but it really is delicious.

Long straight road of brown soil between lavender and bushes leading to Spier Winery in Capetown, South Africa

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Apr 302012

Operation Horseshoe Bay: Day 3

My original plan to head down to Horseshoe Bay for a week didn’t really pan out due to a couple of alarm clock errors. I went down this morning and got exactly the conditions I was hoping for. I shot the photo I’d been picturing based on the Photographer’s Ephemeris and went about taking some more creative images. I now have so many shots from the 40 minutes I spent down at the beach that I don’t know where to start.

Cute Cheetah

In the meantime I’ve decided to upload this cute cheetah today. I’ve been reluctant to upload it as I’m not sure how good a photo it is. The composition isn’t particularly interesting. It certainly doesn’t measure up to the other cheetah cub photo I uploaded here. But, in the end I decided that this cheetah is so cute and has such amazing eyes that I had to upload it. At this point in time one of the cheetahs’ handler was preparing a ball on a rope for the cheetahs to chase.

Cute baby cheetah with intense brown eyes taken at Cheetah Outreach in South Africa.

Mar 082012

The train journey to Simon’s Town has to be one of the most memorable in the world. We heard it was a picturesque trip. But for the first half we were doubtful as the train trundled through interesting but far from beautiful suburbs of Cape Town. This portion was kept interesting by the various vendors jumping on and off the train.

Then, all of a sudden we were next to the ocean, the tracks running meters from the breaking waves. The view was incredible. We passed small towns as we weaved around beaches that were dotted with colorful huts and surfers making their way to the water’s edge. Birds of all sorts flew over or rested on the rocks and occasionally a seal or two came into sight.

I decided to hop off on our return journey as the sun was setting. We got off the second last train of the day without a lot of time before the final one was scheduled. I walked up the coast a little ways and shot this picture looking back across the bay at Simon’s Town in the distance.

Rocks on the rugged coast of False Bay, South Africa with view across the bay of Simons Town.

Feb 012012

Without a doubt, the main attraction at Boulders Beach is the penguins, which, with a little effort, you can get very close to. Also, If you’re willing to brave the cold water (5 people who’d just completed two overnight flights were not), you can actually swim with the penguins here. Searching for penguins is great fun. However, the beach itself would likely be an attraction in its own right.

The beach is walking distance from the Simon’s Town train station and it’s called Boulders Beach for a reason. It is comprised of inlets in amongst these piles of granite boulders. I’m not sure how these boulders formed, but it makes for an interesting scene – added to by the fact that the tides have created stripes on the boulders. The water is crystal clear and with a bit of luck penguins can be seen swimming about. It’s worth spending some time lounging around here.

I had spotted the interesting clouds in the background of today’s photo coming across the sky and set about finding something to put in front of them. A lot of my photos, particularly in places I know well, like Bermuda,  are the result of seeing something developing in the sky and finding a location to act as my foreground. If I’m heading out in Bermuda I’ll often look at the sky and make a split decision on where to head rather than thinking of what I want to photograph. The approach may be a little backwards, but it works when you’ve got options in all directions, within 15 minutes drive. I wonder how many more photographers regularly let the sky dictate the location they choose to shoot. Feel free to let me know what you think about this in the comments.

Ocean inlet in amongst piles of granite boulders in Boulders Bay, Simons Town, South Africa

Jan 202012

This is the second and third penguin we found. If you look in the background you can see the reason for this penguins terrifying, aggressive stance. He’s got his lady sat in the back of the nest. I’ve included a second picture to include Cameron’s National Geographic-esque attempt to get a better view. My 300mm lens prevented the need for me to get quite so close.

Penguin with an aggressive stance protecting his mate behind him under the rock in Cape Town, South Africa.






Jan 192012

We arrived in Cape Town after two back to back overnight flights. But, it was important that we kept moving. We could have sat around our hostel all day and been bored, then fallen asleep far too early to kick our jet-lag. So, we had a plan. We left the hostel immediately for Simons Town (via KFC for the two heathens in our entourage).

We were going to Simons Town to visit Boulders Bay. This is the location of the Western Capes penguin population. The trip was worth it for the train ride there. The tracks hug the coast and you feel like the waves could break into the trains window. Along the way we saw cormorants, seals, and surfers frolicking in the surf. It was incredible.

We arrived in Simons Town without a clue how to get to Boulders Bay. It was Sunday and the tourist information centre was closed but we kept walking. Eventually, after we’d split up to seek out sources of local information we found that it was a 15 minute walk away. We’d already twenty minutes on our weary jet-lagged legs and had little confidence in our sources time estimate. But, we persevered and it was worth it.

Upon arriving at Boulder Bay we were initially disappointed. It felt like a real tourist trap. We hit a fork in the path. To the left is where all the tour bus crowd were headed. We went right. We discovered penguins huddled under the bushes, but this was not the image I was in pursuit of. Looking down we could see the beach, with a few people sunbathing, with no penguins. However, it looked like the boulders weren’t fenced off, so we decided to do some rock hopping.

Once we got there our suspicions were confirmed and we went in search of penguins. I think we saw four in total, but it was great getting to be so close to them. Climbing over and under the rocks was good fun too. I got a lot of help from my friends in getting my gear through some pretty tight spaces. The below photo is the first penguin we saw on our exploration.

Western Capes penguin in the rocks at Boulders Bay, Cape Town, South Africa.