ROAD TRIP – Sodwana Bay (1)

Langebaan (Western Cape Province) to Hanover (Northern Cape Province)

Welcome to our road trip of December 2021. We are travelling by car across South Africa (from the west coast → north coast → KZN south coast → back to the west coast). The distance we will cover, will be around 5,000km (3,106 miles).

Our main purpose for this trip, besides seeing places we have not seen before, is for Berto to scuba dive in Sodwana Bay and then to be a little more adventurous … diving with sharks in the ocean in Umkomaas on the south coast of Kwazulu-Natal. We hope to share lots of pictures to show you our beautiful country.

Accommodation – Day 1:

Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve – New Holme Nature Lodge (Hanover, Northern Cape)

We left Langebaan, our home town, in perfect sunny weather. We will travel to Hanover in the Northern Cape province today – a distance of about 840km (521 miles).

Crossing an old railway track

When we crossed the provincial border from the Western Cape to the Northern Cape, long and straight roads awaited us with a few towns in between. When we started to plan our road trip a couple of months ago, we knew that we would like to travel on the back roads – by now, we know when travelling this way, you see unexpected beauties on your journey. Sometimes, our car was the only one on the road … just the way we prefer it!

A straight road going on for many kilometers

It was on one of these straight roads (between the towns of Williston and Carnarvon), where we pulled over to enjoy lunch. We parked our car in the shade of a few small trees, before packing out our lunch to enjoy with a cup of coffee and tea.

I prepared cheese & tomato buns and boiled eggs, while Berto made a fire the previous evening to ‘braai’ sausage (‘boerewors’)

With our tummies full, we continued on our trip. More straight roads followed and after about 200km, we drove into a very small village called Vosburg where we had to refuel our car. Although it’s a super small town, it took us some time to find a petrol station. After a while, we saw three petrol pumps – almost hidden away behind another building.

Re-fueling our car at Vosburg

While stretching my legs at the petrol station, I noticed a couple of goats in the street. They were eating the leaves from a big tree … that was until someone came to fetch them. I love these small towns!

Goats in Vosburg’s streets

Our last part of today’s journey, was through flat landscapes with mountains only visible in the distance. It was already 17:30 in the afternoon when we reached our destination for the day.

Flat landscapes on our way to Hanover

Just pass Hanover, we reached a gravel road that took us to our accommodation for the night, New Holme Nature Lodge in the Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve.

A gravel road leading to our accommodation

And what a lovely place! We were welcomed like family by the owners of the lodge who made immediately sure that we are comfortable after our long journey. Our room is called the ‘stalle’ (old horse stables that were converted into lovely rooms with a luxurious en-suite bathroom).

The front view of our room at New Holme Nature Lodge
Nice smelling flowers decorate the back of our accommodation

Once again, we met some wonderful travelers. A couple, on their way from Johannesburg to Cape Town, also overnight here and we had great conversations with them. That’s the beauty of traveling this way, you have the opportunity of meeting some amazing people.

There is an honesty bar in the lodge and Berto arranged for cold beers after our long 8-hour journey on the road
The dining room where breakfast and dinner are served

I saw the staff of the lodge feeding a couple of young lambs, one of them being only a week old. They asked whether I would like to help with the feeding and I immediately grabbed the opportunity of holding two bottles of hot milk while they were sucking like crazy!

Young lambs waiting for their bottles of milk

After a long day on the road, we still had enough energy to make a big fire to prepare our dinner. The feeling of sitting next to a fire in a far-away place with only nature’s wonderful sounds, is almost magical to us!

Our fire at New Holme Nature Lodge

We saw the most breathtaking sunset while sitting outside … the perfect way of ending a long day on the road!

What a magnificent sunset to end the first day of our road trip

Tomorrow, we are travelling to the Golden Gate National Park near Clarens in the Free State province – high up in the mountains. We will see you there …

69 thoughts on “ROAD TRIP – Sodwana Bay (1)

  1. What a lovely rest stop. And you got to feed the lambs! those long straight roads…great for driving but I tend to get mesmerized by the monotony. How do you avoid it, or is it not a problem for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were so happy with our overnight accommodation – friendly people, amazing bed (and shower 😉) … and yes, how great that I got to feed the lambs (they are so adorable)! As for the straight roads … we’re used to be driving on roads like these in South Africa … and we talk a lot (and I read interesting stuff from our BIG travel book to Berto about the area in which we driving) – this way, we learn more about our country! Oh yes, and we eat and tell jokes to each other 😄.

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  2. It looks like it’s going to be another epic trip and your first night’s accommodation is lovely. I googled your hometown as I hadn’t heard of it and it seems to be a delightful place to live. Wish you could send some of your warm, sunny days our way as this week I’ve had to dig out my hat, scarf, boots and gloves!! Have a good weekend. Marion

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Marion, I’m sure this is going to be indeed an epic trip … we are looking so much forward in exploring new places! Oh yes, Langebaan is such a beautiful seaside town and we’re so happy to call this our hometown! As for the sunny weather … you won’t believe it … but we had rain all day long (thunder storms and so WET) while staying here in the Golden Gate National Park! It feels like winter … but hopefully more sunny weather is waiting for us in the next couple of days!
      Take care and hope the weather is not too cold! Corna 🌸

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    1. Absolutely John. We know with a plane it’s much quicker (and easier), but we already saw places now we have not even heard of before and met some amazing people! Thanks for joining in on our road trip – next is Golden Gate National Park … a BEAUTIFUL place!


  3. Veilige reis! Ek hoop die genotlike eerste dag was sommer n goeie voorbode vir jul hele vakansie. O ja, die padkos laat mens se mond water – dis nou maar n Suid-Afrikaanse tradisie wat nooit mag uitsterf nie.

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    1. Baie dankie! Ons het vandag in Sodwana aangekom … van more af is dit net duik, sand en see! Het al soveel mooi gesien – sjoe, Golden Gate was asemrowend (selfs in gietende reen)! O ja, ons is mal oor padkos … ek kan gewoonlik nie wag dat ons stop sodat ek kan begin eet nie 😄.

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  4. Mm, there’s nothing quite like a road trip. My word the weather looks infinitely better than here in Serbia. And your digs look very cosy, while the lambs are just gorgeous. Do you mind if I grab one of those sausages?

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    1. Oh, I love a road trip … even more so when there are new places to discover! Yesterday, we had real winter weather (thunder and rain storms) – but even that couldn’t stop us from exploring. But today was another glorious day … and it seems so will be the rest of our week here on the north coast (hot and humid) – Berto says it’s the perfect weather for diving 😁. Those sausages was great – afraid, they’re all gone!

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  5. Nou verlang ek sommer na ons onlangse roadtrippie! Ons was by Vosburg en het by die Ketel koffie gaan drink! Dit is regtig die mooiste ou klein dorpie. Daar is soveel mooi in hierdie landskappe! Julle oornag blyplek lyk na ‘n lekker oorslaap plekkie! Mooi ry verder en geniet die pragtige natuur!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ek’s mal oor Vosburg! Ons het by die Ketel koffie verby gery … as dit nie nog so ver was om te ry nie, het ons verseker daar gestop! En ja, ons was baie beindruk met ons verblyf buite Hanover (mens vergeet hoe gasvry die plattelanders kan wees)! Dankie, ons is nou (uiteindelik) na 2200km in Sodwana … van more af is dit net duik, see en strand!


    1. You are absolutely right … we’re off to a great start! Already saw some amazing places and arrived at the north coast yesterday … now it’s a week of sun, beach and sea! Oh yes, I loved the lambs’ feeding – it’s little surprises like this that make for wonderful memories!

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  6. Hooray for current travel! And what a big trip! I agree, fellow travelers are the kindest, most interesting people. And those baby lambs are the sweetest! I so appreciate your selections of the lesser traveled roads & out of the way places. Have so much fun, Corna, and please be safe swimming with the sharks, Berto! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were so surprised to see all these “unknown”, but beautiful places Lisa! I think now is a good time to support our local tourism (especially in South Africa with the current travel ban). Thank you my friend, we’ll make the best of our road trip … I’ve given Berto your message (let’s hope the sharks are kind and friendly like the lambs I’ve met earlier 😉).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Henrietta, you’re absolutely right … those little lambs were just so cute (for only a week old, they had quite a firm grip on the milk bottle 😄). I’m glad you could enjoy our first day on the road with us – thank you for joining in. Take care, Corna 🌸.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ja, ‘n mens sien baie meer. En jy ry deur die platteland wat nog so lekker en mooi is. Soms vlieg ‘n mens wel, want jy wil dan weer eerder jou tyd by jou bestemming benut. Maar so ‘n regte, egte toer … man, dis lekker!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Clarens is such an amazing tourist town at the foot of the majestic Maluti Mountains … just wished we had better weather! Unfortunately, we missed the cherry season (it’s normally towards the end of November and we were there in the first week of December) … but we did get some fresh cherries! Hmm, melktert and koeksisters – my favourites 😋.

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