What my American sister thinks of South Africa

I am lucky enough to have an American sister in law. She is a great cook!  Read the story about it here.

I’ve asked her a few questions and here are her answers:

Question: Why did you decide to come to South Africa?
Answer:To meet my husbands family and climb in rocklands
Question: Did you do any research online about South Africa and what where your challenges? What information was hard to find?
Answer: Yes. Finding cheap backpackers in the areas we traveled to. Luckily my husband is from South Africa so we had a lot of friends and family to stay with.
Question: What places did you visit in South Africa?
Answer: Northern Drakensburg, Vredefort dome, Lesotho, Cape town, Cederburg mountains, Pilannesburg, Places in and around Johannesburg.
Question What was a highlight on your trip?
Answer: Climbing in Rocklands, Red Bus, and Pilannesberg
Question: What was a disappointment?
Answer: Public transportation
Question: How would you describe the food in South Africa?
Answer: Full of flavor and spices.
Question: Was it easy to exchange foreign currency?
Answer: Yes
Question: Name 5 places in South Africa that you would recommend visitors to South Africa should see.
Answer: Table mountain, Cape Town, a National Park (Pilanesberg or Kruger national park), Drakensberg, a lion park
Question: Any advice to future visitors to South Africa?
Answer: Come with a smile and open mind and always remember be safe.
For more tips when visiting South Africa please click here.

Clarens and the Free state road trip

In 2009 my sister and I took a road trip to Clarens in the Free State. We left from Potchefstroom and crossed the Vaal river at Venterskroon.

DIGITAL CAMERA The scenes next to the road are amazing!










When we reached Steynsrus we had to wait for cows that were walking down the main street.
Steynsrus is a small Free State town. It was founded in 1910 and named after the last president of the Orange Free State, Martinus Theunis Steyn.

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The church in Steynsrus is beautiful

After Steynsrus we hit the road again to Clarens. As a photographer my sister wanted to take pictures in the Golden Gate National Park. Look at the beautiful pictures she took:



Golden Gate is near the Lesotho border in the Free State . It has golden, ochre and orange-hued eroded sandstone cliffs. There are a lot of caves with San paintings as well as dinosaur eggs and skeletons.
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Clarens is a beautiful town. Known for it’s trout and art work. Clarens established in 1912.  In 1910 a farm was purchased and there was decided to name the new village “Clarens” in honor of Paul Kruger’s influence in the area. During the Basotho war of 1865 – 1866, five “burghers” from the Transvaal were murdered in the Eastern Free State; a direct consequence was the official declaration of war by the Transvaal against the Basotho leader Moshoeshoe. Paul Kruger together with a commando of burghers defeated the Basotho at the Battle of Naauwpoortnek. President Paul Kruger spent his last days as a voluntary exile in the attractive village of Clarens in Switzerland and Clarens was thus a very apt name for the mountainous village here in the Eastern Free State. A monument in honour of the five burghers murdered by the Basotho on the 29th September 1865, during the siege of Naauwpoort, was originally erected on the farm Ararat just outside Clarens. This monument was later moved to Clarens and re-sited on the central square.

IMG_2467_800x533DSCF5222 (2)There are many interesting shops in Clarens, Jan se Dopshop is one of them.

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We left early one morning (in winter) to take pictures of the sunrise. I was geared with a flask of coffee and a warmwater bottle. After we drove around for a bit we decided on a place to park and wait for the sunrise. We waited and waited and finally(after we where half frozen) the first rays of the sun came over the mountain. After we took a lot of pictures we decided to drive on a bit and after about 500m we realized that we chose the highest peak to wait for the sunrise.lol. We where parked just before Sandstone Valley where the sun was already up.

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