A Travellerspoint blog

June 10th Mauritius

Last Port of Call until Perth

sunny 24 °C

Yesterday we visited Reunion island and its active Volcano - Piton de las Fornaises. A Long trip with beautiful scenery and a less than wonderful Creole lunch. Then back to the ship where we celebrated 47 years of marriage in the Sterling Steakhouse. Today Celina is laid low with a cold but Melinda Josh and I visited Casela Bird Park and Safari where i had a Cheetah experience and melinda walked with the Lions. After I left to check on Celina Melinda and Josh took a mini safari on 2 Segway vehicles. What a great way to celebrate Mauritius and see in the last week of this cruise.

Lens Cheetah Exprience

Lens Cheetah Exprience

Posted by acudoc 04:54 Archived in Mauritius Comments (0)

Durban and beyond

Goodbye to South Africa

overcast 22 °C

We left Durban last night and said our goodbyes to the African continent for probably the last time. Despite the dire warings about the likelihood of pickpockets and muggings we really have enjoyed the opportunity to see the Cape Town and Durban and the animals in their natural state.

We had another great day in Durban yesterday the morning at the uShaka Marine Centre with its large aquarium fashioned to look like a Shipwreck. We had time for Celina and Melinda to damage the credit cards then back to the ship briefly before we took our arranged tour of the Valley of a thousand hills just outside Durban. Here among the rolling hills and very expensive real estate we were taken to the pheZulu park for a look at some of the largest reptiles in Africa (Josh was delighted as he had already seen reptiles and spiders that morning.) and were give a half hour Zulu dance show. Back at the ship we sat and enjoyed a Country and Western performance by the ships resident singers and dancers. The clocks started moving forward last night and will do so until we reach Perth in a little under 2 weeks. Celina and I have joined the Fun Choir and are part of over 300 voices and tonight we will celbrate Celina's birthday with Shoshanna and Felix.

Posted by acudoc 02:00 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Port Elizabeth to Capetown

Came Parks and Table Mountain

sunny 18 °C

We reached Port Elizabeth and after resting in the safe harbour for several hours we docked in the commercial dock of Port Elizabeth. We boarded our coach after several hours and started our one and a half hour journey to Pumba Private Game reserve. On the way we passed numerous Zulu villages as this area is the heart of Zulu Homeland. Small and large poor and better off they all had small conical buildings which are the domain of the Zulu men. Each man can have as many wives as he can afford the bride price usually expressed as a number of cows. We passed through plantations of hybrid Eucalypts grown for their contributions to the building, paper and cellulose industries. These very straight trees are harvested after 8-10 years and are extensive in their numbers. We also passed numerous private game reserves which were originally farms but now employ more persons than ever. Our Trip to Pumba was very satisying as we saw Elephant, Rhino, White Lions and ordinary Lions along with Wildebeest, Nyala, Impala, Warthogs and Cape Buffalo. We had close encounters with Giraffe and Zebra and finished our 2 1/2 hour safari with an excellent lunch and beer and wine. This organised tour was worth every cent we paid!

After 2 more rough sea days we arrived at Capetown yesterday June 2nd. We got off the ship early as it was perfect weather to go up to Table Mountain and we wanted to avoid the usual long queues. The ship had docked about 7am and we could see the town spread out in front of us from our balcony, of which we have had very little use thus far. Table Mountain looms over this attractive town with its great surf beaches and very expensive and expansive homes and its very poor neighbourhoods. We caught a taxi up to the Mountain for about $A10 and it only took 10 minutes to get to the ticket office. The up in the rotating cable car to the summit and its extensive pathways, each leading to superb views of Capetown. The weather gods must of loved us as the previous day the cable car had been closed ecause of inclement weather. After an hour or so we decended in the cable car and caught the Hop on Hop off Red Bus which I had booked on the Internet the previous night. This takes in all of the tourist sites and lead us back to the Victoria and Albert Centre and its shopping Malls and craft markets. Celina assisted the local economy any and we took a trip on the local equivalent of the London Eye. We had lunch being entertained by local a capella groups and a Marimba band and saw some African tumblers and fire breathers. I then went back to the ship with josh while Celina and Melinda continued the Red Bus for a further 2 hours. At night we were entertained by South Africa Masala a local Folklorico group who came on board to give 2 shows. Josh had bought a magic kit and proceeded to entertain anyone who gave him the opportunity to show his new tricks. In turn, some of the waiters then showed him their own tricks. Last night we left Capetown and started our Journey to Durban our last African port and we will again do our own thing in the morning prior to an organised tour to a Zulu village with Princess in the afternoon.
View from Table Mountain

View from Table Mountain

Rose Goodin Family on Table Mountain

Rose Goodin Family on Table Mountain

Table Mountain at Dawn

Table Mountain at Dawn

Celina Melinda & Josh on Table Mountain

Celina Melinda & Josh on Table Mountain

Posted by acudoc 05:11 Archived in South Africa Tagged cruise holiday africa luxury_travel Comments (1)

Monday 30th May - At Sea

Richards Bay to Port Elizabeth

semi-overcast 20 °C

Rough sea again overnight with large swells and lots of movement on the ship - some creaking and groaning and not all from the metal and wood structures around us. We have sea day today then tomorrow we arrive in Port Elizabeth for the 2nd of our short safaris. Last night after a longer day’s activities than were planned we had a casual evening with a pizza from the onboard pizza restaurant and then we watched Night & Day outside on the 12th deck under the stars. We had started the day at 6pm expecting to go through South African immigration procedures but the boat on which the officials were supposed to board Sun Princess broke down and the Richards Bay pilot apparently forgot to come. We circled outside Richards Bay for over an hour and finally docked in this industrial Port alongside the coal and other mineral
deposits and the nearby aluminium smelter,

Finally clearing immigration we we lead off the ship to the waiting coaches - over 36 of them about 2 hours later than planned. The captain reassured us all 380 of those on our full day safari would have all activities promised and he would leave without us. We drove to the Hluwehluwe (Szhlooey Szhloohey) National park which was established in 1895 and is the 3rd largest park in SA. Along the way we saw pineapple plantations and Eucalypt plantations used for timber, cellulose, cardboard and tissue paper. This is the heart of Zulu land and everywhere there are small properties with round huts for the males, and their many wives live in lesser dwellings. After 90minutes we reached the park and were loaded onto safari vehicles which were open-sided but somewhat crowded. During a 2 hour game drive we saw many White Rhinos some with calves as this reserve is responsible for a breeding programme which has seen thousands of White (Weid) Rhinos sent to parks and Zoos all over South africa and the world and has seen this breed removed from the endangered list. We also saw Giraffe some of which were crossing the road in front of us and we saw large antelope such as the pretty Nyala and Zebra in the distance. We did not see Elephant or the larger cats this time. Eventually we returned to the park entrance where a late and somewhat cool lunch was waiting. IMG_1745.jpgIMG_1721.jpg270_IMG_1688.jpg

Then we travelled back to Sun Princess along a road which was blocked by SA version of a booze bus which apparently carries a mobile magistrates court in some situations.

A very satisfactory day despite the late departure of the ship and the continued heavy weather with swells. We will now miss the extra half day in Capetown because of the inclement weather and the Captain’s need to solw the vessel down.

Posted by acudoc 01:58 Archived in South Africa Tagged cruise holiday south africa Comments (0)

Day 24 Mozambique Channel

One day prior to South Africa

sunny 22 °C

We are now sailing between the coast of Africa and Madagascar and it is finally cool and fresh. We have another day at sea then we reach Richards Bay and our first full day safari. Today I watched the Carlton Melbourne match live on the big screen and Celina took part in a choir rehearsal. Melinda is leading a small belly dancing class and Josh enjoys the Kids Club activities. At night we have lots of activities to attend and tonight we will go to a rock and roll concert dance with Rollin Storm who last had hits on the original 6 o’Clock Rock and was Johnny O’Keefes manager. Today was Felix’s birthday and we are going to have Champers to celebrate. Oh it is a hard life!

The party last night went on despite to ship bucking and tossing in the windy conditions. A few misteps on the dance floor but the deck were closed and we are still pitching and tossing. We will arrive late into our first South African port - Port Richards tomorrow morning.

Posted by acudoc 06:31 Comments (0)

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