Botswana- where the elephants are…

I will post another quick one tonight, before I head off to bed. I am really tired- we did complete about 4000 of our intended 5000 km trip- that is 80%, a passing rate I would think…

When you ride up on the eastern side of Botswana, it really gets to be fun on a motorbike on the other side of Nata. Soon after Nata you begin to see road signs that I have never seen before…  Beware of the Elephants… one of those in your part of the world?


And soon enough we saw some obedient elephants, just doing their elephanty things next to and onto the road…


This is some amazing riding- in Botswana north of Nata up to Kasane… This is still wild Africa. Remember that when you ride here. I heard from our truck driver (story still to come, be patient!) of the time he saved a lady’s life, when she approached a pride of lions and they started chewing on her leg…  Wild animals in Africa still can kill you today as sure as your caveman ancestors millenia ago… Don’t think Lion King and Dumbo the flying elephant if you are in Africa- think Jaws… being eaten alive… and take care… heed the signs…


I have to go back to the city to fetch and repair my bike, so I am not sure when exactly I will be posting again. But something special is coming up when I tell you about the Chobe river experience…

Finally- our Botswana/Namibia Tour- Part 1

The last few weeks and even months have been quite hectic, as we were busy planning the tour of a lifetime, doing a few more Bucket List items.

I have bought my yellow BMW R 1150 GS with this tour in mind. And as I do not have metal pannier boxes on board, it was a huge challenge to think how me, my wife and all our luggage including a tent, bedding, cooking utensils, clothes etc,,, will be carried on board.

We planned, bought, modified, packed, rethought, repacked…

In the last few weeks I had the bike serviced- checking everything… except… we will come to that. I had a new front tyre fitted. And then, on Saturday 27 June 2015 it all came together.

The others of the group came from Nelspruit, Kempton Park and Edenvale, and gathered at my house. After we fed them some delicious hamburgers, we departed on our journey.

The first day was relatively short for me- only 165 km to Ellisras, where we stayed over for free at a friend’s church. The first leg of the journey was not without incident- my wife decided to take her iPad along, and it just jumped out of her backpack and commited suicide onto the tarmac, 30 k’s from home. If anybody want to donate a usable 1Pad, it will really make her smile again!

2015-06-27 12.09.12

Our bike packed just before departure. Man, it was HEAVY!

When we arrived at Ellisras, we went out for a meal. And at the meal Johan and Magda surprised us with this beautiful sweaters they have designed for us.

2015-06-27 18.26.50

On the Sunday morning we got going very early, to be at the Groblers Brug/ Martins Drift Border Crossing when it opened at 08h00. We had a smooth border crossing, and then drove on through Botswana, up to Palapye, where we had a late morning brunch at the local Wimpy. Here we experienced again that service in Africa can be very, very SLOW…


After going on through Francistown, we took the road up north to Nata.  Yes, I know Nata Lodge is great! But we stayed over at Nata Bird Sanctuary, 3 km’s before you get to Nata Lodge. It was much more primitive, But maybe much more fitting of an African Overland Expedition…

I really love how my wife has adapted to the biking trip, enjoying it a lot!



Yes, it was very basic…. but a good experience! And I think that is enough for today…

There is a sadness in my heart writing this. The rest of the tour is still continuing, finishing tomorrow. But my bike broke down at the border post between Namibia and Botswana.  But that is another story… Still to come,

Nelson Mandela…

The news came through during the night that Nelson Mandela has died.

I had a huge amount of respect for him. He came out of prison, and became our president. He pleaded for forgiveness and reconciliation in our divided country.  He really did a lot for nation building, served just one term as president and gave over the power without stealing the country empty.  he was truly an exceptional, world class leader. The last one in South Africa.

I still don’t get it how his shoes could be filled by our beloved President Jacob Zuma, who was broke when he became President, and now built a huge residential complex over R 200 million ($20 million) out of his own pocket. He also has the gift of healing. His friends get terminally ill in jail, gets a presidential pardon to die with dignity at home, and they all get miraculously healed within a week when at home…

Now in South Africa there is a long told urban legend, and tonight is the night to see if it is true. “The night of the long knives…” According to this legend the black people has been buying up machetes (called pangas in S.A) and the night Mandela dies, they are going to kill all the whiteys.

I do not believe this is true. I still have the belief that most South Africans (excluded politicians and thugs- mostly the same thing…) are good people.  Remember- in a long forgotten referendum in 1992  72% of the white population voted to end Apartheid.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy was a message of peace and reconciliation. He dreamed of a Rainbow Nation where all are equal and everybody matters.  That is a dream worth living for. It is so sad that he was the last ANC president who lived that dream.

I salute the passing of a great man! May his party soon follow…

Former president Nelson Mandela. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Photo: Sunday Times

Predator and Prey in Africa

In Africa, most of the killing happen at night. Only the strong will survive.

There are so many ways to die in Africa.
You have probably heard about the Big Five. Lets run through them.

  • The Lion– With his mighty roar-much, much worse than Katy Perry’s roar, he paralizes you with fear. Then his ten ladies gets you, silent but deadly. One moment you hear a whisper in the grass, then you see amber eyes, and then… The Darkness…
  • The Leopard– He doesn’t like you, you are a funny baboon to him. But when he gets old- watch out! He stalks you, and jumps on you from behind, breaking your neck. Then he tenderises you by dragging your carcass into a high tree, so that the hyena and jackall dont get to eat you. There he leaves you until ripened to his tste…
  • The Cape Buffalo– he really needs anger management classes. Especially if you were stupid enough to wound him. He will stalk you, and with those crooked horns he will rip your inners out. He will then stomp you,and in disgust leave you bleeding for the hyena.


    Cute baby- don’t mess with his mommy…

  •  The Elephant– he was quite peaceful towards you as a human. He eats grass and leaves, not you. But after humans killed most of them to make piano keys (think Paul McCartney singing “Ebony and Ivory”)  Elephants dont like pianos or the funny monkeys that play them. So he will storm you and with that hugy body he is much faster than you. He will throw you cartwheeling high into the air, and where you splsh down he will use his ivory to gore you like a kebab, and then stomp you. He then leaves you as a McFlurry for the jackal to drink you through a straw. Think juice extractor- That is Mr Ivory…
  • The Hippopotamus- he looks so deceptively cute and peaceful. Did you see his mouth? His teeth? Dont be fooled, of all the Big 5 he has the most stuffed human heads as trophies on his wall. He outruns you and bites you in half.
  • The rhinoceros– he was also dangerous. But he is dropping out of the Big 5 (That is why I have put the Leopard in…) , as dangerous as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The last one will be poached by a gentleman from Mozambique  with an AK 47 soon. Why? Because a lot of Asian men with extremely short horns believe that Rhino horn will make them beeg and strooong. But they will never be up to the task. They will still have tiny weiners. Like Shania Twain sings: That don’t impress much. While the Rhinos are gone soon, some advice for Mr Small Thingy- the ground horn of rhino poacher works much better for your purpose!


    Beautiful opportunity, BAD camera…

So no, the chance that a Rhino will kill you is quite small… They could do that when they were still around and had horns.

No Katy, there are no Tigers roaring in Africa, except in zoos.

There are a lot of other killers in Africa too. The crocodile is bad news. And even the smallest antilopes have killed humans when they rip open a main artery in your leg.

But the very worst killer n Africa, except the rebel with the AK 47, is the mosquito.
Here in Africa they can be huge.I overheard a conversation between a mosquito and his lady on my ceiling last night. He asked her: “What do you fancy, my love? Shall we dine in or do take aways with him?” Fortunately they dined in. I hate walking miles back home. As it is I need a blood transfusion to get up this morning. I am severely wounded and sucked dry this morning.

Africa is a dangerous place at night!

Relationships are difficult in Africa!

As a pastor, I have to deal with a lot of relationship related problems. Take this past weekend as one example. We had a church camp, where a lot of us went camping with our caravans, some with tents, some staying in the chalets of the holiday resort.

But even here it pops out. Relationships between male and female just can be so tough!

For example: He really works hard to provide a home for her. I know, I know, my feminist friends will be up in arms again, maybe that is a sexistic oldfashioned way of looking at life. But this is Africa, and this is how it still works in some cultures. The responsibility to provide a home rests on his shoulders. He has to really dig deep, and work extremely hard, to get everything ready, before she will even look at him. He tries his utmost best to please her.  It is just work, work, work. He does not even get a single kiss for all his trouble.

And then, when he thinks he has saved enough, and worked hard enough to provide a roof over her head, he finally gathers all his courage and proposes to her- let’s cohabitate! Let us live together, make love, and raise our kids…

But even after all his efforts, sometimes she will just turn him down. She just is not interested in him, Or do he really expects her to live in THAT neighbourhood?  Could there not even be a more scenic view? MAybe her mother and her sister warned her about him and his family.

So this weekend, on our church camp- it exploded between them. It is so hard to see the implosion of a relationship. It is never a good sight to see a home, that was built with such great love and dedication, getting so broken so easily… This all happened on the church camp, of all places…

But wait- I have taken some photos in case you don’t believe me:



When planning a relationship, do your homework to see what is expected from you…

The most important three things to remember in real estate: location, location, location!

The most important three things to remember in real estate: location, location, location!


Plan your work, then work your plan…


Nearly there! Time to start planning the proposal!


Time to go ask for her… paw? Hope I look good enough, and the house I built will make her happy… maybe I will see my unborn children in her eyes tonight…


Love hurts!

So sorry, relationships don’t always work out in Africa! Broken homes are a sad reality in our society as well. And we even see the devastating effects of social disintegration on our church camp!

Back to the dating game, meeting new friends at the restaurant...

Back to the dating game, meeting new friends at the restaurant…

And so- Mr Finch is trying to get back on his feet…

Brown- Ailsa’s Travel Theme

Travel theme: Brown

Posted on October 18, 2013
  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Brown
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS – I’m in the process of changing over to a new website host but will give you all a heads up when the changeover happens. 

xxx Ailsa

“I cannot pretend to be partial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.” – Winston Churchill


I do not know why you from the other continents give the colour Brown such lip in the comments! Brown is the colour of Africa!. It is the colour of the earth, the colour of so many beautiful specimens of wildlife. Brown is the colour of my beloved’s eyes… Brown is the colour of life, but also the colour of sh…. let’s rather not go there…

So what do I have in my archives of Brown. No, not the uniform of our South African Army… I don’t have that digital anyway…

Let’s Go Brown!

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Just call me Mister President… Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Community Service

by michelle w. on October 17, 2013

Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COMMUNITY.


Fear not, dear citizens (in a Pauly Shore voice),

As your newly elected President of South Africa  I am so pleased to address you all on this, my new Presidential blog.

  • Thank you for the 6 people who did vote for me, and for my good friends who counted the votes at the ballot box. It was a Mugabe style take-over, but thank you for your vote anyway! Your vote is important to us. One man one vote- Rider is the MAn… his vote counts)
  • As your newly elected African style dictator, I would like to bring the following to your attention:
  1.  If this was the perfect world, there would only be this one rule: Treat your neighbour as you would want your dear own self to be treated. But as this is South Africa, you still want to be treated like sheep by a wolf  (why else did you all vote ANC???)
  2.  My Presidential  VIP vehicle will only be a white Shitty Golf (the Golf 1 that VWSA kept on producing till about last week… #1 on the car thieves wishlist for some reason I don’t get)

3. Neither me, nor any one of my cabinet, need to go to Sweden to see how a country should be run. All travels further than Pretoria will be out of own pocket…

4. There will be no performance bonuses until every citizen has access to clean drinking water, and electricity.

5. All social grants for producing babies will be terminated immediately. All the billions saved in the process will be spent on job creation.

6. Your mere physical attendance at your place of work does not warrant a full salary. People who work hard will earn much, much more than people sitting around in the sun all day.

7. Criminals will be prosecuted by the full might of the law, It will start with zero tolerance to petty crime. And violent people will be taken out of society for ever. No bail for rapists, murderers and any violent behavior whatsoever. This dictator decrees: if you rape or kill, you lose your human rights. You will be shot at dawn.

8. No one in this government shall have access to any blue light brigade status. You obey the laws of the road like any other citizen, as you were elected to serve them.

9. No tax money shall be spent feeding fat cat politicians. All functions will be out of pocket for officials.

10. There will not a cent be spent on Defense till all the children of our country have good schools that can take them to university access anywhere in the world.

11. All politicians shall use the state health care, to ensure all patients gets treated with respect and dignity.

12. All politicians shall have only one spouse, as the Marriage Law of this country states…

13. All ex presidents, including the last one, mr Z, shall only be entitled to a 3 bedroom townhouse in the east of Pretoria on taxpayers money. Nkandla will be repossessed as an amusement park- Disneyworld Africa may apply for a 99 year lease…

14. Any official caught taking a bribe will be shot at dawn.

15. All racial discrimination, against ALL races, will be abolished immediately. No form may ask what your race is, as all of us are part of the Human Race.   You buy your own farm, Julius. You get a loan from a bank to start a business like anybody else. You get access to state funded education loans like everybody else. You get to play on a level playing field when applying for a job- the best man or woman gets the job.

16. Our new Sport policy- the best candidates gets picked for the national teams. No exceptions. My new minister of Sport has a job description to see that all the new excellent schools have funds for excellent sporting facilities. Every child of South Africa will have the opportunity to show what is inside them, without anyone ever asking about their race again. Ever.  We are South African.

17. Incompetent ministers do not get promoted or get to be ambassadors. They get fired. Or shot at dawn.

19. No grace will be given to criminals who shoot or harm a police officer. They will be shot at dawn.

20. No corrupt police official will be tolerated- they will be judged double so harshly as ordinary citizens.  If you are corrupt, you will be shot at dawn twice.

Thank you for reading this excellent piece of African political drivel.

Now keep calm and carry on…


Share your world Challenge

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

Where do you like to vacation?

Which place do you recommend as a Must-See? Please state which country, state or providence.

If money was not an issue, would you go on a cruise?  If so where would you go?


1. Least favorite mode of transportation– I am an easy traveller- anything that takes me to new places is part of the journey. But the one exception would be the Army lorries that took new recruits to basic training . Troop transport was not that good an experience in my life… especially when some violence is directed at you in the process, and some verbal abuse is flying around… What does it have to do with travel? Join the Army, see the world, meet new people… and kill them…. not my style…

2. Where do I like to vacation? Usually somewhere I have not been before… except Cape Town, South Africa, I am in love with Cape Town- Table Mountain, the beaches like Clifton, Bloubergstrand. The vineyards around Stellenbosch and Paarl. The awesome biking routes like Chapman’s Peak, the road to Rooi-Els, Frasnschhoekpas…  I definitely would put Cape Town as one of the top holiday destinations in my life… and I do have a LOT of wonderful friends living there. I just don’t get their rugby team…


3- Must See- see 2! Must See- the Muratie Cellars outside Stellenbosch.


4. A Cruise? YES please! The Cruise going from Washington State along to the Canadian Pacific coastline up to Alaska.  I have never been to that part of the world, and it sounds so beautiful.

South African Landscapes- Sunday Stills

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Landscapes

Posted on October 6, 2013 by 

For this week its all about wide open vistas, mountains, meadows, canyons, seascapes.ect… baiscally its a chance to showcase the land in which we live….


My favourite landscape in South Africa is this one, taken from the bench on the road between Melkbosstrand and Bloubergstrand:


But that is 1000 miles away from me (1650 km precisely). So one of my favourite parts in our region to go on a ride- the road between Potgietersrust (Mokopane) past Hanglip to Marken:


Around our town this would be a typical landscape- quite dry, and thousands of different types of trees, birds and all the animals you saw in Disney’s Lion King…