Journey Around The World – Cape Point, South Africa

Travel Sketching, Trip Around the World 2013, watercolour painting

Baboons, Dassies and African Penguins                      September 8, 2013

On my last entry, Lyn and I were in Namibia exploring the desert. We made our way south to Cape Town with stops at Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Franschhoek. For my last entry in South Africa before flying to Mumbai, India, I thought I would tell you about our day exploring Cape Point, South Africa, an area south of Cape Town.  It is not the southern most point of Africa, but it was a very interesting day-trip out of Cape Town.

Our first stop on the way to the Cape was Simon’s Town, where we saw the only nesting penguins in Africa. In 1982 there were two nesting pairs of Adelie penguins that had migrated to Simon’s Town. Since then the colony has grown considerably and is now a protected area. I never thought I would be seeing penguins in Africa, but considering the geographic latitude it makes sense.

Our next stop was Cape Point where we encountered baboons and dassies, also known as the Cape Hyrax.  I made sketches of both of these animals.  Nothing to fear from the cute little dassie, but the baboon is another story.  In this coastal park there were several families of baboons that were habituated to human food.  With all the tourists that visit this area the baboons spend a lot of time trying to steal food from unsuspecting tourists.  It makes for great people watching and seeing there reactions to being robbed by the baboons.

As an artist, I found this small region of Southern Africa that we explored overwhelming with the many choices available to paint.  I doubt I will ever finish painting everything I saw here, however in the next blog entry we are heading to Mumbai, India.

Journey Around The World – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, South Africa

Travel Sketching, Trip Around the World 2013, watercolour painting

An Afternoon at Victoria Falls                                 August 15th, 2013

After our flight from Buenos Aires to Johannesburg, South Africa we took a relatively short flight to Victoria Falls (only 1200 kilometers).  The next day we spent some time orienting ourselves to our new reality.  We were staying in a camp ground for a couple of days before heading out on a truck with Oasis Overland Tours.  Our trip would take us over land through Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and south to Cape Town, South Africa.

Painting streams, rivers and waterfalls are some of my favorite subjects and so a day exploring at Victoria Falls was an inspiring way to kick off a month in Southern  Africa. In the western section of the park is a monument to Dr. David Livingstone a Scottish pioneer, and missionary explorer.  The monument credits him to “discovering” Victoria Falls which is maybe a British Colonialist perspective when you consider that the locals who had probably lived there for hundreds of years called the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya.  So maybe he was the first European to see the falls.

We saw our first monkey’s in the park called Vervet monkey’s and as you would expect they do very well for themselves feeding on handouts from all the tourists.  We saw this in the Amazon Rain Forest in Ecuador and with the Baboon’s at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.  All along our trip I erred on the cautious side by keeping a safe distance from our monkey friends.

As a former white water raft guide I was very aware that just below Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River is one of the greatest rafting day trips on the planet. If you are an adrenaline junkie this is the trip for you.  Sadly I only had one day to do this and we decided that since I have done hundreds of rafting trips that we would go walking with lions as this would be a more unique experience. This will be my next blog story and was one of the great highlights of our trip to Southern Africa.