Countries for travel
This year the rains were plentiful, and the rivers are swollen with water. This caused us some difficulties in our search for the animals, but at the same time it also gave us the opportunity to film unusual and unexpected creatures. A reptile and amphibian expert from Hoedspruit, a small town at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg range, advised us of a black mamba nest not far from the town. That was an opportunity not to be missed, so we set ourselves up there, with two cameras pointing at the nest, where the “little ones” had begun to hatch, with just their heads emerging from their eggs. We waited for two days for them to come out, and at the end of the second day, just when we were about to give up, one of the little guys finally made his mind up and came out of his shell ... very beautiful, and very poisonous.
I can't give away too much about the wonderful things we saw, but we did also manage to document the birth of a hippopotamus: the mother and calf were exhausted, and resting in a quiet meander in the Olifants River. The balloon trip was another extraordinary experience.
The wind that drove us gently over the savannah gave us some unique views. One of the three episodes focused on sharks, and particularly on the white shark and the fearsome Zambesi shark. Weather conditions were not on our side; the ocean was rough, and because of the heavy rains, the water was colder and cloudier than usual. I had planned to meet the great white without a cage, but that is too dangerous when visibility underwater is less than a metre, so I stayed safe and sound in my steel sanctuary, while the great predators roamed around me.Whereas I got to see the Zambesi shark close up, in the warm, clear waters of Mozambique.
At Ponta Do Ouro there is a pinnacle that rises from the ocean bed to a depth of 40 metres. We stationed ourselves there, and it was not long before the sharks appeared. At first they were cautious, but soon their curiosity got the better of them, and they came closer. On the sea floor, while we were waiting for the sharks, a huge grouper fish, almost as long as I am tall, began hectoring me. It was not best pleased to find me in its territory. It stared me straight in the eyes, and every now and then, it butted me. After a brief skirmish, it eventually accepted us, staying near me while the Zambesi sharks swam around us. It was a wonderful experience, but there is no time to rest; my suitcase is already prepared. In a few days I'll be setting off again, this time for Costa Rica.
Encounter a range of scenic splendours such as the stark beauty of the Karoo region, the flourishing cane fields of KwaZulu Natal and the lush South African Garden Route. There are numerous places in South Africa where one can go on a steam train trip and observe picturesque scenery whilst sipping on refreshing cocktails. Travel through the Drakensberg range, view the shimmering Magaliesberg waterfalls, the dazzling Johannesburg lights and the lush Cape Winelands.
KwaZulu Natal is home to several special trains where one can re-live the sights, sounds and smells of the old steam train times. For example, the Umgeni Steam Railway runs trips from Kloofup to Inchanga on the first and last Sunday of every month. The stations are set up to offer food to the hungry travellers or you can take your own picnic baskets.
In Port Elizabeth, be sure to ride on the Apple Express which will take you through the attractive city to Van Staadens where one can enjoy a lovely picnic and dazzling scenery. A steam train trip through the Garden Route in South Africa is an awesome experience, with its varying natural beauty, indigenous forests and glistening lakes.
South African Tour Companies will tailor-make your personal South African steam train trip to suit your interests. Whether you are looking for a tasty tour of the winelands, the thrill of the big 5 safari or an expedition through the lush Garden Route, these tours promise an unforgettable steam train experience.
If you wish to see the best of South Africa in style, then JB Train Tours in association with Friends of the Rail is definitely for you. Join Friends of the Rail on an incredible 15-day train adventure that will take you for a unique and interesting ride through South Africa. Also on the menu are visits to steam-train locomotive yards and the delight of travelling on steam trains. Many of the popular tourist destinations in our beautiful country will be visited namely Table Mountain,Robben Island and Spier Wine Estate in Cape Town, Durban and the uShaka Marine World, the friendly city of Port Elizabeth and the mystifying and famous Cango Caves at Outdshoorn.
If you wish for more luxury and to ride in style throughout South Africa then take a luxurious train safari on the magnificent Rovos Rail, the Shongololo Express and for true lavishness, take a trip with the luxurious Blue Train. The Rovos Rail is one of South Africa's finest luxury trains and offers you a supreme luxury train safari. Rovos Rail operates 2 classic trains of 20 superbly restored coaches, half of which date back to the 1920s. it has over 36 luxurious suites in which to relax in.
No matter what your preference, be sure to ride on a steam train in South Africa. This gorgeous country promises picturesque views and an unforgettable time! Just relax, sip on a cocktail and enjoy the scenery.