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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Old Groote Schuur Zoo New and Old Photos

We often spend our weekends doing long distance hikes, burning off the carbon and enjoying the great out doors, but this time we decided to do some exploring that was more like a picnic in the park.

The old Groote Schuur Zoo was started by Cecil John Rhodes around 1896 and his legacy left to the state was for all to have free access to his pride and joy zoo.  Unfortunately as we have become more civilised in animal welfare, zoo's have become less popular.  In this case, this zoo was only financially supported by the government until 1980, accompanied by the increase in animal welfare laws, which declared this venue not fit to hold these animals, and it was closed down somewhere between 1980 and 1985.

We suggest that when you come visit, you do not come alone, as the venue is open access to anyone and can be a bit creepy inside the lions enclosures.

Apparently there were two Tahrs that escaped from this zoo onto Table Mountain.  These two Himalayan mountain goats bred like wild fire and they remained on the mountain for almost a century.  In 2000 a decision was taken to remove all of them, but there are still some hanging around the slopes as we have seen for ourselves, if you look carefully, you will see them too.

Around the area are lovely trees and some lovely spots to enjoy a nice picnic with a view.  Stop over here and enjoy the energy that was felt by the creator himself, but do not forget that these wild animals did not ever live a happy life behind bars.

The following images were found off various sites regarding the zoo , that do not belong to us, but we thought they were important as part of the story and worth a share:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Truitjies Kraal Cederberg

Getting to Truitjieskraal one can go either via the lovely Kromrivier Tourist Park, or directly from the main road via Ceres.  

When we first heard about this location, we did not expect much, but it turned out to be one of the places we love visiting and exploring these ancient rock formations and bushmen paintings.

You need a permit which can be obtained from Kromrivier before you enter the locked gate.  

The clearly marked signage and routes makes for a wonderful short and fairly easy walking experience amongst these completely unique rock formations.

Part of the fun is to search for the ancient bushmen paintings in the caves and on the rocks.

Another not-to-be-missed event is to visit the Observatory just outside Sanddrift, every Saturday night, but not when it is full moon. 

To book accommodation at any one of these tourist resorts requires you to make a reservation months in advance, making this an even more sought after hiking and tourist destination.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kromrivier Tourist Park's New Luxury upgrade

Upon arrival at our favourite venue when visiting the Cederberg, we were blown away at the most recent newly built facilities.  At first one is rather sad to not experience the old farm that we learnt to love, but after some investigation, we discovered that it is still there, but one now has a choice of what type of accommodation you would like to make use of.

Above shows an aerial view of the farm in the Kromrivier Valley below.  The newly upgraded camp site facility is nestled among oak trees, where each site has it's own ablution, private lawn and fireplace.  It must be one of the nicest camp sites that we have seen in a long while.

The old farm style kitchen, which was located inside the manor house, used to be the reception and restaurant, with a big fireplace and antique furniture to round it off.  A few sweets on the shelf and some home made goodies to eat was part of the farm-style rustic experience.

Now this venue is being renovated to accommodate weddings and functions, while the newly constructed reception area and restaurant boast a modern new look and feel to cater for your every need.

The ultra modern reception has left a touch of nature in place, by entertaining their local stream to flow freely through the venue.

Anyone who has previously stayed at Kromrivier will be pleasantly surprised and amazed at the transformation of this once quaint tourist park to a new modern holiday venue.

Visitors can now enjoy their locally brewed beer on the porch while soaking up this magnificent view of the Sneeuberg Mountain.

Although we stayed in one of the original huts, it was rather impressive to see the newly constructed ultra modern chalets (spacious, excellently located with views and open balconies, large fire place, modern appliances).  This is a photograph of the completed unit, which is one of 14 in total.

On the last night of our stay we received an old style farm welcome with a meal that one can only get on the farm, and it was delicious to say the least.  Olga Nieuwoudt and her team catered so well for us, with their true typical Cederberg hospitality.

Thanks to our awesome friends (Brian, Hennie, Elza, Shelley, Michael, Jesse, Rachel, Beverly and Justin) who were willing to enjoy this adventure with us and we trust that that this will be repeated next year again.