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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Natural Beauty of The Little Karoo in the Anysberg Nature Reserve

The rugged water eroded mountains to the south of the Anysberg range reaches 1600m above sea level, with its incised deep gorges makes this mountain range a special destination to visit.

These semi wild horses roam free on the reserve, but are used to transport visitors on horse back safaris, specifically for overnight stays at the Tapfontein Star Gazing camp, high up in the mountains.

The Ouberg Pass is on the Montagu and Robertson side of the Anysberg.  This pass a picturesque specifically when you leave the reserve as one heads down into the valleys below.

The Karoo landscape as you enter the reserve with the Anysberg Mountains in the distance.

Tapfontein requires a 4x2 high clearance vehicle, but also makes for a fun mountain bike route.  The above image shows the final stretch when exiting the Tapfontein route, with the majestic Anysberg in full view.

Towerkop in the distance, often hidden behind a bank of clouds stands out on clear sky days.
This is the view from our basecamp, Vrede, looking east in the direction of the sunrise (and Ladysmith).

The Anysberg nature reserve was established in 1988 to conserve the local veld-type and reintroduce game species.  The reserve now comprises of 64546 hectors of gently undulating terrain, Karoo plains and rugged mountains with steep gorges.

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking scenery such as this with the beautiful Anysberg as a back drop.

The Anys, Touws and Prins rivers tributaries of the Gouwritz river system, flows through the reserve.  Vegetation is a mixture of mountain fynbos and Klein Karoo veld.

Over 180 separate sites of archaeological interests have been discovered on the reserve.  Visitors are welcome to admire the incredible rock paintings completed by the bushmen thousands of years ago.

The Rooidamme comprises of 4 dams next each other, and in a more affluent water season, Vrede offers canoeing as one of the activities to enjoy when visiting them.  This image was captured inside the very empty dam as 2018 must go down as the driest period ever experienced in the Cape.

When the sun set in the Anysberg, these beautiful mountains light up like a volcanic fire is about to erupt and makes for the most enjoyable sights during sun set.

Location of the Anysberg:

  1. This reserve lies within the Klein Karoo between Ladismith, Lainsberg, Touwsrivier and Montagu.
  2. Even though the distance from Cape Town is only 257km, it is a good 4 hour drive due to the rugged road conditions within the reserve boundary.
  3. Directions to the Anysberg can be downloaded here
  4. Location of Anysberg on Map

Video of the Anysberg

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Anysberg Accommodation

Anysberg Directions:
DIRECTIONS TO ANYSBERG S33 27 48.7 E20 35 18.7 (Office)

Be prepared for a 2-3 hour drive from Cape Town.  We opted for the route via Montagu and stopped at the local coffee shop for a quick leg stretch before we headed onto the dirt road into the wilderness.  The road from Montagu to Anysberg is not very well maintained and a high clearance vehicle comes highly recommended for this route.

Our preferred cottage is the self catering SEPS cottage, which has original building structures of the very thick farm style walls to maintain temperatures and makes for comfortable living.  There is no power here, but there is gas for the stove, fridge and heated showers.

5 Rustic but fully equipped cottages are available, accommodating between 2-6 people with shared ablutions.

The bedding is of good quality and this cottage caters for a maximum of 3 people.

With 800km2 reserve managed by Cape Nature, one can rest assured to have enough space to relax and enjoy the Karoo.  This comes highly recommended as a family friendly destination.

Comfortable camping and caravaning facilities available for up to 5 families.

Should you wish to be more adventurous, you can contact the VREDE OFFICE directly and request a visit to Tapfontein to enjoy this special destination for unique star gazing opportunities.  Overnight huts are 12km from Vrede and are available on request - One can get there by horse back, mountain bike or 4x4.  The 4 wendy house style accommodation is very basic, and no shops are in the area.  Bring your own bedding, firewood, towels and flashlight.

Watching the sun and moon rise over the Towerkop mountain is always a highlight day and night.

Read More aboutThe Anysberg

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Cape Town delivers a beautiful display of clouds rain and lightning

After a blisteringly hot day in the Cape, I traveled from Somerset West in ore of the beautiful cloud formations that were forming ahead of what turned out to be an electric storm and beautiful display of lightning and clouds.

What a wonderful experience to witness the best canvas that nature can offer, clouds (and much needed rain during the biggest drought in over 100 years that Cape Town has experienced).  The lightning display that followed the rest of the night was just as spectacular.  We were very lucky to have followed this storm.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Redbull King of Air 2018 Kite Surfing Competition in Cape Town

The Redbull King of air kicked off from 27 January to 11 February 2018, and the wind proved to be very good the first week of the window period.  The first rounds took place on Saturday 27 January at the new venue, Kite Beach Table View.

The Finals were held on the 31st of January and although the weather was perfect, the wind was not as expected, which resulted in a rather unexciting finish.  One would hope for an event like this to have our typical Cape South Easter pumping up to 40 knots.  This would allow balls to the wire showmanship that we have come to expect from the Redbull KOTA events.

Aaron Hadlow's kite caddie removing his kite off the beach after his chicken loop snapped.  His other kite caddie (Lewis Crathern) was not concentrating on his role as official kite caddie and was caught napping during this incident.  This resulted in him throwing his iPad to a friend and running up the beach to get a kite for Aaron. 15 kite loops later, he managed to hand over the kite to a rather grumpy looking Aaron Hadlow (rightfully so!)

Awesome support from the Spanish Tourists in support of their man Liam Whaley.  Liam was a stand-out performer during his rounds and we feel he could have won this event hands down, but it would have appeared he simply ran out of steam in the finals.  All the other competitors had been training for weeks prior to the event, however Liam flew in the day before to play cover for Nick Jacobson who had broken his leg (while training for the event)  two weeks prior to KOTA2018.

Jesse Richman getting ready for his heat.  In our opinion he was the stand out performer as always and we were shocked when he was knocked out by Lewis Crathern.  This lead to an extremely poor final which was then won by Kevin Langeree.

Keanin who recently moved from Johannesburg, has become a huge fan of kite surfing (forgetting about malls and xbox) and he is today an even bigger fan of Kevin Langeree.  Keanin and his friends are already starting to kite and they love the vibe that the ocean has to offer.

The winning podium with a super stoked and well deserved win for Kevin Langeree, second place went to Liam Whaley and runner up was Lewis Crathern.

Podium Picture courtesy of Redbull Contest Pool