Load-Shedding and Rolling Blackouts South Africa

South Africa is facing critical social and environmental challenges. Corruption, unemployment, a sluggish economy, violent crime, immigration, street gang violence, and land expropriation top the list. High priorities include education, energy, and government effectiveness. Surprise load-shedding yesterday got everyone’s attention and emphasized South Africa’s energy crisis! Why Load-Shedding and Rolling Blackouts? I’ve experienced load-shedding in…

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Hermanus Wine and Food Festival + Botriver Wild Horses South Africa

It was a festive week in Hermanus. Enthusiastic Heritage Day celebrations continued into the weekend and annual Whale and Wine and Food Festivals. September is peak whale season, when visitors and locals watch the glorious creatures carousing in Walker Bay. Wine and Food Festival I spent Saturday hanging out with locals at festivals and enjoying…

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First Fridays Artwalk Hermanus South Africa

First Fridays Artwalk was a fun and lively evening! Hermanus weather has been warm and fantastic, forcing people out and about. The galleries were packed, and the crowd was overwhelmingly local. It’s late winter and peak whale watching season, but a series of protests at Zwelihle Township have deterred some would-be tourists.It was great to…

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Hermanus South Africa Animal Welfare Society

I began volunteering at the Hermanus Animal Welfare Society (HAWS). HAWS “cares for lost, sick, abandoned, and abused cats and dogs”. I’m spending time with both dogs and cats. The dogs are so happy to get out of their kennels into fresh air and sunshine, walking them is especially satisfying! It’s good exercise when the…

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Sea Kayaking Walker Bay South Africa

A special joy of South Africa is its beautiful coastline. Experiencing it from a kayak is the best, but winter sea swells are often prohibitive. For a week Walker Bay was unsafe for kayakers. This morning the weather was clear, crisp, and calm with minimal swell, so I joined a sea kayaking adventure. Our group…

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Whale Watching Walker Bay South Africa

Humpback, Bryde’s, and Southern Right whales – we saw them all during a whale watching trip yesterday! It’s early season on the Whale Coast, so I was hopeful but not overly optimistic. Heavy sea swells caused cancellation of previous Southern Right charters, but this time we hit the jackpot and delighted in spectacular whale sightings!!…

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Whale Festival – Celebrating Marine Life

Last weekend was the 26th Hermanus Whale Festival highlighting efforts to protect whales from extinction. The festival’s “ocean-themed activities emphasized education and environmentally responsible adventures”. The people of Hermanus “look after their destination, both from an environmental and conservation perspective”. The festival focused on creating awareness and celebrating the annual return of the beloved Southern Right Whale.…

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Cape Town Opera at Simonsig Wine Estate

Although the time in Hermanus is peaceful and wonderful, I miss Cape Town’s energy, excitement, and incredible performing arts venues. It’s only a two-hour drive, but unsettling not knowing what weather might occur while crossing Sir Lowrys Pass at night. Wind and fog on the Pass can be fierce, and there are no lights or dividers…

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Fernkloof Nature Reserve Hermanus South Africa

Fernkloof Reserve is one of nature’s bright gems, and it’s a short 15-minute drive away! I’ve hiked the waterfall trail and am learning other routes. Fernkloof trails are gentler than Table Mountain with spectacular views of Walker Bay, Hemel en Aarde Valley, and Maanskynbaai (Moonshine Bay)! Fernkloof has four “routes” – green, red, blue, and…

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Cape Agulhas and Struisbaai – Tip of Africa

Surrounded by rugged beaches and peaceful De Mond Nature Reserve, the seaside villages of Cape Agulhas and Struisbaai seem to “melt into one another”. From Hermanus, it’s a two-hour drive east via R316 and R319 through rolling hills, sheep farms, and bright yellow fields of blooming canola! It’s hard keeping your eyes on the road, and…

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Sandbaai Adventure Western Cape

What began as a meander along the Atlantic Ocean, turned into an educational mini adventure. Having been in Hermanus for nearly two months, I’m feeling comfortable and relaxed and becoming slightly complacent. I don’t always plan the day, and on a spur of the moment whim, decided to hike the Cliff Path but extend it…

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