Sunday, February 8, 2009

Travel by Train in SA

Have you recently travel by train in SA. Well I have in July 2008 and what I thought to be a stress full experience turned out to be relaxing and fun. We were traveling on the Thosholoza Meyl from Johannesburg to Cape Town with 40 children. First to get the tickets for a big group like that was fun. Although it was booked long before the time they still had to print the tickets one by one when I asked for it and nobody seems to be in a hurry. But if you travel this way you must never be in a hurry it takes about 25 hours to get to Cape Town. Make sure you book on the train with the sleeper couches and not the sitter one. That one is like sitting in a bus non stop and I will not suggest it. It cost us R420 return and bedding on the train was in the region of R40 but we were using our own sleeping bags. At first traveling through the stations of  Johannesburg’s suburbs was not very scenic but once you out of the city you see South Africa from a another angle. The route takes you also through the longest railway tunnels in South Africa.


The food on the Train is very good and fairly cheap. Sitting in the dinning car having something to eat and drink as the landscape around you change is something I can not explain to you. The sounds on the rails make you sleeping at night so much sweeter. No traffic to worry about you can just relax. Off course with 40 children the fun never stops on the Train.

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If you want to do it in more style and much more expensive (from R9999 to R17000) and luxuries way, take the Blue Train we past it on the route or shall I say they passed us in the luxury of a five star hotel. Less expensive is the Premier Class at R1380 to R4900 doing the same route.


This photo’s was on that fun trip.



Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rain in South Africa

South Africa have a summer and winter rainfall regions both of them get moderate rain fall during that season. I stay in the summer rainfall region that is coloured below in the map. The red parts of the map is indicating the winter rainfall regions.

During 2008 we had floods in the Cape regions and I was fortunate or unfortunate to witness it while we tour the Cape with the Highveld Youth and Children's Choir. The Cape can get nasty no wonder it was known as the Cape of Storms by Bartlomias Dias and Sr Vasco Degamas. These photos were taken on that tour and despite the weather we still had lots of fun in Cape Town.

In Mpumalnga we had about 200mm rain in the last two weeks this was taken just after we had a big thunder storm in Secunda on the 18th the small stream running through town looked like a river.


Safety During Storms

  • Never try to cross a bridge if water is flowing over it.
  • Never Hide under a tree if the there is lightning keep your feet together and stay away of high objects try not to touch metal objects. The safest place is in a Car.
  • The place in south Africa with the most lightning is the Highveld and particularly the Amsterdam and Piet Retief regions. This does not mean you must not visit these towns they are beautiful.
  • Do not go out to sea or a dam if the wheather is not good

You can get more information on weather and Forecasts for South Africa on