Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sunset in the African Wild

... or my heart belongs in the African Bush.

Sunset at Emerald Palace

It is not easy to explain to people how it feels to be South African and how it feels to be away from South Africa. Many South Africans dream of a better job market, less crime and improved infrastructure so that they can go home one day.  It is often physically painful to think about what we have left behind, especially when we are reminded of the awe-inspiring beauty of our home country.

Sunset at Emerald Palace Casino

Scenes like this sunset at Emerald Palace Casino and Resort on the Vaal River sustain me and fill up my soul until I can return.

Sunset in the African Wild

We spent one night at the resort a month ago today.  We went with our friends, Sara, Donovan and Keira, who used to feature frequently in this blog when they lived in Surrey.  At sunset, Keira and I went for a walk to capture the sunset.  If you look at the photos above, you can see the lightning conductors which look like very tall poles.  Those are there because we have violent electrical storms all over the “highveld” in South Africa which is where I used to live.  The lightning conductor poles are there to protect the little cabins (we call them rondawels) as they have thatched roofs. 

Guinea Fowl in Trees at Sunset

This is possibly my Favourite Photo of All Time.  I have always been fascinated by guinea fowl which are plump little birds with white polka-dot spots on their black feathers.   They absolutely do not blend into the African landscape.  If you enlarge the photo above, you can spot two guinea fowl in the branches of what looks to be a baobab tree.

I could have remained there for hours just watching the sun disappear past the horizon but thankfully Keira reminded that there are more important things to do in the life of a four-and-a-half-year-old.

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17 comments

  1. Hiya Emm ... its so wonderful to read about the love you have for your country. I hope one day I'll get to visit SA. And ... your "favourite photo of all time" is just gorgeous!!

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  2. Oh how gorgeous! I have some South African friends and I'm dying to go for a visit. I always love to read travel blogs of people who appreciate where they came from. It's a beautiful thing.

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  3. Beautiful pictures, lazing around for hours watching the sun setting sounds like a good option to me.

    Hopefully the billions that were spent on the recent world cup so that multi millionaire chavs can bask in the glory that comes from kicking a ball around will have a positive effect and create badly needed jobs for those that have nothing!

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  4. love this entry dearie. and the pics is priceless.

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  5. Hi Emm - lovely pics and post (as always).

    Hope you don't mind but now I'm going to be a little bit cheeky :-)

    Should you ever decide to depart the misty shores of England and head back home to sunnier climes, please keep me in mind...

    My company (Wavecrest Ltd - www.wavecrest.co.uk) provides shipping services to all South African ports for cars, motorbikes, personal effects etc.

    Glen

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  6. Emm I love the African bush. Not that I have been to RSA but have been to Kenya.

    It always surprises me how quickly the sun disappears too.

    The baobab tree if I am correct is the one that looks like its upside down?

    Great sunset, perfect end to the day?

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  7. Stunning photos! I'm also from South Africa so I don't need any convincing about the beauty of the country. Your photos remind me of what I'm missing.

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  8. Gorgeous scenery, and I'll second what William K Wallace said earlier. I hope that WW brings some real positive contribution for the SA people.

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  9. Wonderful photos from a lovely country! I can see some of your love for your country in them.
    Wish you the best and a happy weekend:-)

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  10. Those are some beautiful sceneries of the countryside. I don't hear about this part of the country much so thanks for the pictures.

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  11. Back in the day, I used to have a friend from Cape Town. One of my favourite things was looking at her photos of South Africa--it looked so exotic and beautiful.

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  12. I can understand why u wanted to remain there forever! :-) sigh...

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  13. I'm glad to see another side to Africa, as I'm reminded of the hardships people go through all over this country in my classes. Really lovely shots!

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  14. You should be so proud to come from SA it's a beautiful country.

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  15. beautiful pictures!

    ecwrites.blogspot.com

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  16. @ Suzy: Yeah, it is a visually stunning country and is quite similar to Australia in some places. We have breathtaking mountain ranges and gorges too which I don't think you have too many of in Australia.

    @ Brenna: Aaah, if you have the chance, you should go.. But be sure to not stay in the cities!

    @ William: they made a good attempt at bettering the city I guess but now they have changed the major motorway in Jo'burg into a toll road and that is going to hit the poorest the hardest. It would be understandable if we had a public transport system to speak of but we don't.

    @ Lily: Thank you!

    @ Glen: Heh. Sorry but there is currently zero chance of us moving back. Less than zero, in fact.

    @ Mike: Yes! The baobab is the upside down tree. Maybe it was the effect of coming from an English winter but it felt to me like the sun was there for so long but Iknow what you mean about the disappearing sun, especially around April or May.

    @ Alan: I didn't realise you were also South African! Yay! Kindred spirit!

    @ Con Artist Trickster: Oh dear, don't hold your breath!

    @ Spiderdama: Thank you! Now you understand why I love the scenery in your blog so much!

    @ AVCr8teur: That is true. Visitors might go to Kruger Park, the Cape or the Drakensburg but don't often visit the Vaal. More's the pity too - it is beautiful.

    @ Richard: Cape Town is just stunning. I visited there in... 2009 and was blown away by the beauty of the surrounding areas.

    @ Ash: my heart certainly remains in SA.

    @ Ryan: definitely but I was also astounded by the beauty of Scotland last year!

    @ Elizabeth: thank you.

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  17. such lovely views. Sunsets and sunrises are one of my favourite subjects to see. have a good day.

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