28 April 2017

Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden

From 1999 to 2002 I studied at the Stellenbosch University.  On the last day of our long weekend in October 2016 I decided to show my husband the Stellenbosch Botanical Garden.  I visited it a few times as a student but did not have a camera to take photos.  We also used is as a short cut to get from the hostel to the shopping centre.

We parked the car near the Dutch reformed Mother Church and walked across the street to the garden.   It is open to the public and admission was free. (From January 2017 a R 10 entrance fee will be charged)



This is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa.  The University Council allocated the current site for the Botanical Garden in 1921.

It is a beautiful garden.  There is a lot to see in the small area.  This includes
  • Bonsai
  • Waterlily Pond
  • 4 Glasshouses
  • Vegetable en herbs
  • Beautiful old trees
  • Ferns
  • Insects and squirrels


·    We spent about an hour taking pictures and walking in the garden but could have stayed another hour or two. There is lots of benches or grass to sit and also a restaurant.  The garden is so peaceful that one forgets it is in the middle of a town. We will definitely visit again and again.






USEFUL INFORMATION:
Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden
Adress:                         Neethling St & Van Riebeeck Street, Stellenbosch
Website:                        http://www.sun.ac.za/english/entities/botanical-garden   
Phone no:                      +27 21 808 3054
Visiting Hours:                Every day from 08:00 – 17:00
Entrance Fee:                 R10 per person from 1 January 2017
                       

(Not a sponsored post)

14 April 2017

Butterfly World

The second day of our visit in Stellenbosch was a Sunday.  We decided to have a relaxed day with a bit of shopping and then lunch at the Blauwklippen Market.

On Monday we decided to visit Butterfly World.  It was easy to find and there was lots of parking.  The entrance fee was a bit expensive (R80 per adult) but at our son (under 3 years old) could enter for free. 


I was expecting different rooms with butterflies but all the butterflies are in one tropical-garden greenhouse of about 1000 m2.  There are paths through the plants and the butterflies fly around from flower to flower.  It is very warm and humid to give the best environment for the butterflies but it takes some to get use to it.  Since we did not know what to expect we took JW’s stroller with us.  On some places it was a bit difficult to push the stroller but most of the paths were stroller friendly.



My husband almost the whole 2 hours of our visit inside the tropical garden taking photos of different butterflies.  The butterflies only kept JW’s attention for a short while and then we had to explore further. 

The other animals included reptiles (lizards, dragons and snakes), birds, fish, marmoset monkeys and tortoises.  There is also a small blue duiker.  We walked around in the in the other enclosures and then went outside. 



There is a grass play area with place for picnics.  We bought drinks and had a little picnic outside.  The bathroom in this area is clean but unfortunately it did not have place to change a nappy. JW was very glad to get out of the stroller and run around.

We enjoyed the outing.  After about 90 minutes we were ready to leave but since it was so expensive we stayed for another 30 minutes.  But I hope to return for another visit when JW is a bit older. (If it does not get to expensive in the future)

Blue duiker


USEFUL INFORMATION:
Butterfly World
Adress:                         Route 44, Klapmuts (Near Stellenbosch and Paarl)
Website:                        www.butterflyworld.co.za  
Phone no:                      +27 21 875 5628
Visiting Hours:                Every day from 08:00 – 17:00
Entrance Fee:                Adult     R 80
 Child     R 45
                                     Children under 3 is free
                       

(Not a sponsored post)

31 March 2017

Two Oceans Aquarium

In October 2016 we went to visit my sister in Stellenbosch for a long weekend.  We drove from Mossel Bay to Stellenbosch on Friday afternoon.  The road was busy because it was the start of the school holiday.  Just before we reached Caledon traffic stopped.  After waiting a while we heard that a truck overturned and blocked the road.  We waited for about an hour before we could continue and then arrived safely in Stellenbosch.
Two Oceans Aquarium

On Saturday we drove to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium.  This was my second visit to the Aquarium but the first visit for my husband, my mother and our 2 year old son, JW. 


The aquarium was very busy and quite noisy.  I don’t know if this was due to the school holiday or if it is that busy every Saturday.  We could not keep JW in his stroller for very long.  He wanted to be closer to the fish and free to go where he wants. It was hard work to keep him close to us with all the people.

Loggerhead Turtle


At the I&J Oceans Exhibit we stopped for coffee for the grown-ups, popcorn for JW and to rest the legs.  My mom told JW that it looks as if the turtle is clapping his hands when he swims.  So every time the turtle swam past JW also clapped his hands. 


Then we walked to the penguins.  This was JW’s favourite.  He walked around and around to see them all.  On our way out we stopped to see the clown fish of “Nemo’s”. 


We went to eat lunch at Quay 4.  The food was great and the view of the harbour even better.  Then we took the longer way home past Camps Bay and over Chapman’s Peak.  That afternoon we help my sister to tidy her garden and back yard.  JW loved the lawn mower and the dogs loved the company.  It was a great day.



USEFUL INFORMATION:
Two Oceans Aquarium
Website:                      www.aquarium.co.za
Phone no:                    +27 21 418 3823
Visiting Hours:              Every day from 09:30 – 18:00
Entrance Fee:               Between R 70 and R150 per person (In January 2017)
10% discount if you book online
                                    Children under 4 is free
                                   

(Not a sponsored post)


17 March 2017

Garden Route Botanical Garden

One of our favourite places to visit in George is the garden Route Botanical Garden.  Both my husband and I love taking photos.  This garden is a great place for photography.

The Garden was officially opened in 1998.  The garden is laid out with paths, benches and lots of picnic places.  There is also a tea garden but we have not yet visited it.

The paths go around the dam. The dam was established in 1811 when George was founded and was the town’s first water supply.  Some of the original furrows can still be found in the garden.


We love to just stroll around the garden with our cameras.  There is a wide variety to photograph… flower, plants, insects and birds to name only a few.  Here are a few of my favourite photos from the garden.
Garden Route Botanical Gardens

Garden Route Botanical Gardens

Garden Route Botanical Gardens

Garden Route Botanical Gardens

Garden Route Botanical Gardens

Garden Route Botanical Gardens




USEFUL INFORMATION:
Garden Route Botanical Garden
Address:                       49 Caledon Street, George, South Africa
Website:                       www.botanicalgarden.org.za
Phone no:                     +27 44 874 1558
Visiting Hours:             September - April:             07:00 – 19:00
                                    May - August:                     07:30 – 18:00
Entrance Fee:              R10 per person

(Not a sponsored post)

03 March 2017

Dias Museum Complex

I live in Mossel Bay. The town is next to the ocean and it is a very popular vacation destination during summer.  From mid December to early January it is very busy and we try to stay away from the shops and tourist places during the day.

So when things started to calm down after New Year I decided to take my 2.5 year old son (JW) to visit the Dias Museum Complex.  My last visit to the museum was in 2012 when I went during my lunch hour.  This time we arrived at about 10:00 and spend about 90 minutes at the museum.  (There was still more to see but after 90 minutes my son was getting tired and we went home)

The entrance fee is R 20 for an adult to visit the museum or R 40 to visit the museum and go onto the replica of the carvel.  Children are divided in 2 categories.  There was no fee for JW.  (I think children start to pay from 6 years and older)
Dias Museum

Dias Museum

Entrance fees are paid in the Granary and we then walked through the building to the rest of the museum complex.  JW immediately stated walking on the paths of the Ethno- Botanical Gardens.  But the paths were more interesting than the plants.
Dias Museum


We then walked to the Post Office Tree.  The Milkwood tree is considered to be over 500 years old.  The Portuguese navigator Da Nova found a message in, or under a tree near the watering place in 1501 and this may well be the same tree.
Dias Museum

Next  was the Shell Museum.  This building was erected in 1902 next to the Post Office Tree as an extension to the old mill and was mainly used as a store. In later years Mr. Joe Shirley used the building for his plumbing business, after which it became known as the “Shirley Building”. 

The lower level of the building has tanks with fish and other sea creatures.  JW rushed from tank to tank to see all the fish.  The upper level houses a collection of shells.  The big shells got a “wow” from JW but then he went back to the fish. 

And then it was time for the main attraction.  We walked to the Maritime Museum to see the replica of the Dias Caravel.  The building was originally erected in 1901 to serve as a grain and sawmill. It has now been adapted to serve as a unique Maritime Museum. JW was very excited.  He was on the boat while I was still taking out the ticket.  We spent the next 20 minutes walking/running from one side to the other of the caravel.  Pulling on the ropes, looking into every hole, ringing the bell and climbing every ladder.  I had to keep up to make sure he did not damage something or hurt himself.



Eventually we got of the caravel and bought a drink at the curios shop.  Our last stop for the day was the water spring.  Dias named the fresh-water spring "Aguada de São Bras" (watering place of St Blaize).  The spring still flows today and there were some ducks with ducklings in the dam. 


I could see JW was getting tired and decided to leave the Munro cottages and Malay graves for another visit.


USEFUL INFORMATION:
Dias Museum Complex
Address:                       1 Market Street, Mossel Bay, South Africa
Website:                       www.diasmuseum.co.za
Phone no:                     +27 44 691 1067
Fax no:                         +27 44 691 1915
Visiting Hours:          Monday – Friday:          09:00 – 16:45
                                        Weekends:                        09:00 – 15:45

(Not a sponsored post)


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