About this site

Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

This site will chart our ongoing adventures.

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Safari to South Africa

Aslan rules over his Kingdom
click to enlarge

What an adventure. All two and half months of it. What a treat – but then we are retired!

In a nutshell

We drove hundreds of kilometres across magnificent mountain ranges, along extensive plateaus, visited a crane sanctuary, saw four of the Big 5 in a private game reserve, sampled some of South Africa’s finest food and wines, met our new family members again and made so many friends. Oh, and I had an infected wisdom tooth pulled out.

The term ‘the Big 5’ refers to the five most dangerous African animals to hunt. The African elephant, African lion, African buffalo, African Leopard, and the rhinocerous. We saw all except for the leopard.

Memories of the ‘Jungle Book’ flooded back as we journeyed through Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mthatha, and saw signs for Lesotho and Swaziland. Did we meet Shere Khan and Mowgli? Sadly, no.

We witnessed the stake out, the chase, and the munching
click to enlarge

Our South African adventure was an overload of wonderment, beauty, friendship, sheer bliss and memories.

Drakensberg mountains

The dramatic Drakensberg mountains enclose the central Southern African plateau, stretching over 700 miles and reaching heavenwards to over 11,400 feet into deep blue skies. We’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.

Lichens Pass

Our return journey from Johannesburg to Durban took us through two villages called Egypt and Bethlehem before driving along the Lichens Pass. Majestic and breath taking are poor words with which to describe the visions laid before us.

One deep sadness

Trinity is taken out for a flight
click to enlarge

On safari, the wildlife was spectacular but declining at an alarming rate. Poaching, coupled with a strong tourist trade paying high money stakes to hunt and kill for pleasure, are diminishing the animal kingdom at an alarming rate. For some animals, it’s already beyond a sustainable level.

The facts on poaching alone speak for themselves. In the last three years alone, 100,000 elephants have been slaughtered for their ivory whilst the desire for rhino horn from far east countries means the Rhino will be extinct by 2020; the birth rate is far, far lower than the slaughter rate.

Our human race has so much to answer for.

Return to Guernsey

Having spent so much time in South Africa we found it really hard to leave. We’d met so many lovely people, seen so many wonders and loved every moment. Yes, it was hard to leave.

Mr Weaver uses strips of reed to build his nest
click to enlarge

We landed late in the evening at Guernsey’s ‘International Airport’. Stepping out into the rain, we asked the taxi driver to take us the long way back to the bungalow we’ve been lent whilst Play d’eau is being repaired.

We were soon being driven along the coast road. A strong onshore wind was hurling the seas against the rocks causing the spray to detonate in all directions. Very different from the hot South African summer we’d left behind. The smell of the sea, the sight of the spray. Yes, it’s good to be back, back home.

Photo album

From nearly 3,000 photos we’ve picked 182 in a slideshow for you. Colonial style hotels, mountain passes, game reserves and drives, lion kills, exotic animals – the list goes on.

Image captions appear below the thumbnails. Arrows on the left and right of the main images allow you to change photos manually and you can pause and play by the icon in the centre of the image.

So let the photo album tell our story. We hope you like it.

Piers and Lin
waiting for the return of our
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

9 comments to Safari to South Africa

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