My Unforgettable trip to the Mystical Fairytale Land!!!

If long walks in the forest, waterfalls and fairies are some of your favorite things to do and see, then Hogsback is the place for you. Using my hop-on hop-off Baz Bus ticket, I chose Hogsback as one of my stops and spent two days at the amazing backpacker hostel called Away with the fairies and fell in love with all the beauty it has to offer.

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The backpacker hostel is perfectly located with a magical view of the Hogsback mountains, which is an ideal place to just relax and unwind. On my first day I did a 5 hour walk through the forest, which started in the back garden of the backpacker hostel

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I was amazed with all the life inside the forest. I got to see spider webs, fairies, butterflies, birds, as well as the famous big tree. Our first stop along the way was at the natural rock pools. There is no better feeling than having fresh mountain water play against your skin.

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Our last stop was at the Madonna and Child waterfall. The sight was breathtaking, we all just stood there totally blown away by the view. We then decided to just spend the rest of our time right there relaxing and listening to the waterfall with good conversation and a picnic lunch. This was by far, the best day of my life.

 

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There is no better feeling than experiencing it for yourself!!!

4 day Kruger National Park tour – part of my Baz Bus Wildlife Safari & Adventure package!!!

Our adventure began on the 18 January 2014, we left Johannesburg on the exciting journey to Kruger National Park.

Our first stop was Moholoholo Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Centre, where we learnt about abandoned, injured and poisoned animals.  We then had an opportunity to interact with a variety of animal species and I got to touch a vulture and a leopard, all of this was assisted by guides.  Wow!!!!!! It was phenomenal getting up close with such a big cat.

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We then arrived at the camp site and had the option to upgrade to bedded accommodation, which was an additional R1000 on tour and we took it. After settling in, we immediately explored the grounds in search of a swimming pool. We were spoilt for choice and found both, a swimming pool and beautiful lake.

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We woke up at the crack of dawn to the sound of singing birds. We had breakfast and journeyed off to start the adventure of spotting the infamous Big 5.

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We spent the whole morning amazed and in awe of the beautiful life, in the park, such as birds, Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, Wildebeest, flying vultures and plenty of other animals. Our Ranger Brett was excellent. He made sure he chatted to other rangers for information about the big cats as well as other animals.

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We then got back to camp in the afternoon just in time for a refreshing swim, afterwhich we then headed off to a nearby reserve for a night safari drive. Wow!!!!!!! I’ve always heard about the beautiful African sunset but witnessing it, is in no comparison with a picture… Breathtaking comes to mind. The night drive was so different compared to during the day, because the heat ensures the animals hide whereas at night they come alive and roam all over. Dinner was really delicious, look out for the chef Martin, he really knows his way around the kitchen!

 

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Day 3 we spent a full day in Kruger, going as far as the Mozambique border. What an extraordinary day as we were lucky enough to see 4 out of the Big 5 and stopped off for a picnic lunch, in the heart of Kruger, overlooking hectares of the national park.

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On the last evening we were all very sad that this overwhelming experience was coming to an end and decided to party, in celebration, which only ended at 3 in the morning.

On the last day we departed at about 06h30 and head to a view point of the 3 Rondavels as well, as the amazing Blyde River Canyan. This was the highlight of my tour!!! Our last stop was the Caves where the guide explained the fascinating history of the Caves.

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I would highly recommend this tour to everybody!!!!

I’m looking forward to traveling with Baz Bus en route to Cape Town…. Watch out for my next blog!!!

Baz Bus end of year party!!!!

Baz Bus staff ended the year off in style with and delicious dinner at the Hilton Hotel. We were lucky this year with clear skies and got to see breathtaking sunset. 20 staff joined in on the fun which included office staff, guides and drivers.

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Yumna Isaacs arrange the evening and one of the requirements was making a hat for another staff member.The staff became extremely creative with the designs and put everybody into character on the evening. Thank you Yumna!!!

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The food buffet that was served looked amazing and tasted even better the menu ranged from Carved slow braised lamb shoulder with pesto to Individual trifles and profiteroles.

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Melanie, Yumna and Mark started dancing and eventually got everybody on the dance floor. It was great to see all the Baz Bus staff showing off their moves.

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Darren from the accounts department gave a great speech on behalf of Barry the owner getting everybody motivated and ready for 2014.

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Thank you Baz Bus for another great staff party!!!!

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Visit to Community Projects Thursday, 15 August 2013

BABES CRECHE

The property consists of 2 classrooms which houses the children according to age groups. One is a basic wooden structure and the other a proper concrete classroom extending to the road.

When we visited the crèche in February the immediate need was a proper fence in front of the property as the existing one was just a makeshift fence made of wooden planks. This would allow the kids more freedom to play outside of the classroom.

We proudly donated the funds of over R20 000 to erect the fence and hence our visit to view the fence.  The community is so grateful that their kids are able to safely play outside and we feel honoured to have assisted in giving the children the freedom to play safely outside as all children should. We also took other items of food that they desperately need on a monthly basis to keep the children fed such as rice, samp, mielie meal and muffins and much needed toilet paper.

We also spoilt the children with party packets filled with delicious goodies.

When we arrived there the wooden structure had collapsed due to the bad weather. Harriet had to rent a room at a neighbours house and house some of the children there.

They are now in desperate need of a new classroom and ablution facilities as the children use buckets outside the classrooms

Harriet has done an amazing job of pushing forward with her dream to educate the children and get them ready for school and her commitment to improving the school is evident.

The Union of Jewish Women are working closely with Harriet to realise some of these challenges that she is facing by raising awareness and getting sponsorships and donations.

 ELUNDINI DISABLED CRECHE

We also visited this crèche and donated groceries for childrens daily meals.

As usual we always spoil the children with goodie bags full of treats.

Indy has managed to secure the premises including the ground from the council at a very good price. The Union of Jewish Women are also raising funds and getting sponsorships and donations so that she can purchase the land.

Please view our video clips from the Harriet and Indy thanking Baz Bus for all that we have done for them!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuJYjA8NlKM : Baz Bus community project 1: Elundini disabled creche

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlJxI-CdFf4 Baz Bus community project 2: Babes Creche

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“The Little Five” in the Kruger National Park

We are all familiar with the Kruger National Park Big 5: elephant, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard and it is a thrill to be able to spot and take photos of these amazing animals in their natural surroundings.

The Kruger Park also has the Little 5. These are five small animals which share part of their names with the Big 5. The ones that you will most likely spot are the Leopard Tortoise and Red- billed Beetle buffalo weaver. Here’s the lowdown on some of Africa’s finest little creatures!

Antlion
This insect makes a cone-shaped hole in the sand to trap ants and they are visible if you look carefully on the ground in rest camps or picnic sites.
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Eastern Rock Elephant shrew
The elephant shrew is a small mammal which is similar to a mouse but it likes to eat insects. It has a long nose that looks like a mini elephant’s trunk. They live in rock crevices and are active at dusk. They only grow to a length of 250mm, with an average weight of 60 grams.

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Leopard Tortoise
This tortoise gets in name because of the spots on its shell. It is the 4th largest tortoise species in the world and can often live up to be a 100 years old! A mature leopard tortoise can weigh over 23 kilograms, with a shell circumference of up to one metre.
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Red-Billed Buffalo Weaver
The red- billed buffalo weaver is a member of the weaver family of birds and is famous for weaving nests using grass and strips of reed! They nest in open colonies and are a rather noisy and busy lot.
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Rhino Beatle
The Rhino Beatle is one of the largest beetles in the world and the males have horns on their noses used to fight other males and dig holes in the ground!
rhinocerous beetle

Read about our Wildlife Safari and Adventure Packages which includes the Kruger National Park tour!

Pictures courtesy of South African Tourism.

“The Little Five” in the Kruger National Park

Is Baz Bus on your Bucket list – it should be!

Baz Bus is a convenient and flexible way to travel within South Africa. This Hop-on Hop Off service is excellent for independent Travellers keen to meet other like minded travellers.

On the Baz Bus route we travel mainly along the coastal route with shuttle links to inland towns and villages.

South Africa is a diverse nation offering scenic landscapes, awesome adventure activities and countless cultural experiences.

Here is a bucket full of ideas to do along the route.

Hike up to Table Mountain and enjoy spectacular vistas or take the cable car ride to the top! It is one of the new 7 wonders of Nature!

Book a Cape Peninsula Day Tour with Baz Bus with tour highlights including a visit to Hout Bay, Boulders Beach Penguin Colony and hikes in the Nature Reserve to the top of Cape Point and the most South – Western Point of Africa.

During Whale Season Here you have the rare opportunity to spot whales breaching in the bay. Hermanus is the best land based whale watching spot in the world.

Try Shark Caging and get your adrenalin going!

Visit the Kruger National Park and Experience game viewing at its best. It is one of the few places on earth where wildlife can be seen in such great variety and at such close quarters. Baz Bus offers a Wildlife Safari packages!
Visit Hogsback which is a magical world of mountains and forests.

Wild Coast is one of South Africa’s most remote stretches of shoreline which is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world.

Hike in the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains.

Attempt the Bloukrans Bungy which is 216 metres high and one on the highest in the world

Do a cultural tour and enjoy spending time in the local communities.

Happy Travels!

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Visit to Elundini Creche in Dunoon – community project!

On Wednesday, 7 February 2013, we visited this disabled creche in Dunoon!

his has been a long term project of ours and it has been great to have participated in the improvements via contributions and see this crèche grow to where it is today.

It now has 3 classrooms to house over 70 children including many disabled kids with specific disabilities. Indy the principal showed us around each classroom explaining to us the different age groups and activities the teachers were doing with the kids.

There is also a good sized play area, kitchen, sleeping area, ablution facilities ablution facilities (which Baz Bus helped to build) and a combi bus (which Baz Bus made a contribution to the purchase). Indy is now in the process of purchasing the land from the city council which will be a great achievement for her.

The children were so excited to receive their goodie bags and we had another successful morning spent with these amazing children!

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Visit to Community Project Thursday 7 February 2013

 Babes Creche

Our visits to the crèches coincided with the beginning of the school year for both crèches.

At Babes Creche there were 80 children mostly toddlers and some babies which Harriet has taken on. It was delightful to see the happy children eagerly awaiting us. The property consists of 2 classrooms which houses the children according to age groups. One is a basic wooden structure and the other a proper concrete classroom extending to the road.

She desperately needs to erect a proper fence in front of the property as the existing one is just a makeshift fence made of wooden planks. This will allow the kids more freedom to play outside of the classroom. They are also in desperate need of ablution facilities as the children use buckets outside the classrooms. Harriet has done an amazing job of pushing forward with her dream to educate the children and get them ready for school and her commitment to improving the school is evident.

The Union of Jewish Women are working closely with Harriet to realise some of the challenges that she is facing by raising awareness and getting sponsorships and donations so that she can get proper ablution facilities and fence in play areas for the children. To this effect Baz Bus has contributed a substantial donation to these causes.

We made up gift bags for the children filled with delicious goodies and custom made gift bags with stickers to hand out to the children. The stickers were meant to be used as an interactive activity with the children and which they thoroughly enjoyed. What a well behaved bunch of toddlers and it was great to see that they are all well trained in not littering. Each child threw their wrappers in the bin after they had finished eating!!

Children have such pure joy no matter what circumstances in their lives so we always come away from these visits feeling the love.

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The Famous Five!!! – Wildlife in South Africa

South Africa is famous for its wildlife and it’s a thrilling experience to spot the Big 5 on a wildlife safari! South Africa’s bushveld is still home to large numbers of mammals.

The Kruger National Park is home to all of the Big Five, as are other major reserves in South Africa. Kruger is home to 147 mammal (including the Big 5), 114 reptile & 502 bird species. Kruger National Park is the same size as Israel, Wales or Netherlands and contains different vegetation types that attract different animals to different areas of the park.

The Chobe National Park in Botswana is also a great way to see a variety of wildlife such as elephants, antelopes and sometimes lion, hyena and wild dog. Therefore as much time is spent on game drives as possible, so that there is a better chance of seeing different animal and bird species

We have a number of Wildlife Safari and Adventure Packages to suit your adventurous spirit.

Enjoy BIG savings by buying a package!

Here are the famous five! Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo

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Wool donation from Coast to Coast for Babes Educare Centre in Du Noon!!!

Babes Educare is a pre school run by Harriet and her helpers. Harriet is a woman with a big heart. She has a small structure next to her home where she houses 75 kids. The age range is from 2 – 4 yrs of age. The kids are well looked after and get fed by her twice a day. The crèche times are from 6am to 6pm.

We have adopted this project and visited them in August and stocked them with educational boxes that the helpers can use to educate and teach the children. We also bought blankets for all the children. Each child received a food pack and a toy pack which they thoroughly enjoyed. Harriet also needed a pot which she can use to cater in bulk for the children and we also took a pot through to her after the visit!

The Union for Jewish Women, whom we have a partnership with, supplied knitted beanies for each child. Geoff from Coast to Coast joined us on the day and was touched and wanted to contribute in some way. As the children are always in need of warm clothing for the winter season and early spring he donated wool to the Union of Jewish Women. They will distribute the wool to knitting groups who will knit jerseys and scarves for the children.

Thanks Geoff!!!

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