02 March 2018


The type of places I write about on this blog has really changed.  If I look back the posts of 4 years ago they were about my trips to Europe and Switzerland and our honeymoon through the Eastern Cape.  Now most of the posts are about the places I visit with my 3-year old son.

But today I am writing about a grown-up outing to Botlierskop Private Game Reserve.  My husband and I were treated to a night at Botlierskop in January for a friend’s 40th birthday. 

Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is a Little Brak River, about 22 kilometres from our home.  Just outside of Little Brak we turned off of the tar road onto a gravel road.  This road was not in a good condition but we soon arrived at the entrance.

Once inside we met our guide or host for the 2 days.  He gave us a quick tour of the Main Lodge and we completed all the paper work.  Then another guide took us to our tent with a golf cart.

We stayed in one of the Luxury tents close to the Moordkuil River. This was definitely not the kind of accommodation we were used too. When they say “Luxury” they mean it. The tent had a 4 poster bed with mosquito nets, air-con, electric blanket, telephone, safe, coffee and tea making facilities and minibar.  The en-suite bathroom has a deep oval bath and a outdoor shower with lots of amenities.  The tents are built on wooden deck and ours had a nice view of the river and bush.

After settling in and relaxing for a while we walked on the wooden walk-way to the Main Lodge where we were meeting our friends for dinner at the Fireplace Restaurant.  Our friends were not there yet (due to fog the plane could not land and they were redirected to Cape Town and had to drive from there) and we bought some drinks and relaxed in one of the lounge areas.

Then it was time for dinner.  It was lovely.  We started with amazing butternut soup followed by a choice of two starters.  I had the bacon and cheese tart.  The main course is served as a buffet.  The salads and vegetables were placed on the counters and you help yourself.  Then order your meat at the grill.  There were a lot of options for meat…from beef, different game fillets, pork neck and even crocodile tail.  I played it safe and got some beef and pork neck.  All the food was lovely.  Then to end the meal there was a choice between about 4 desserts.  I choose the chocolate malva pudding with ice cream and it was amazing.

It was a great meal and afterwards we continued our get-together in one of the lounge areas before getting a golf cart to take us back to our tent.  It was windy outside but our tent was nice and cosy.  It took a while to get use to the sound of the wind but soon we were asleep.

Some of the guests in our group decided on an early start to ride the horses.  We don’t get many chances to get up late (Our son is usually awake before 6am) and decided against this excursion.  Arriving at the main lodge to early we, settled on the deck with coffee while waiting for the rest of our group.

Breakfast was once again great.  There were lots to choose from…from fruit salad and yogurt, different breads with cold meats and spread and the warm breakfast.  For the warm breakfast we went to the grill and could order the type of eggs you want and what you want with it.  I had a very nice omelette with bacon and cheese and some other sides.  There were lots of different juices and wonderful coffee to drink.  And my favourite thing was the croissants…delicious.

By the time we finished our breakfast it was time to check out.  And of course after all the paperwork was done and we reached the car I realised my purse was missing.  So all the way back I went to get go get my purse in the tent.

It was a wonderful break.  Even though we were only 20 kilometres from home it felt like we were far away.


Address:                      Gonnakraal Road, Little Brak River, 6503
Tel no:                         +27(0) 44 696 6055
Website:                      http://www.botlierskop.co.za/  
(Not a sponsored post)

25 February 2018

Blasters Mossel Bay

As I wrote in my post about our favourite kids outings in Mossel Bay, I don’t know why we have not been to Blaster yet and in January we changed this.

It was a rainy Saturday morning when I took my 3-year old son JW to Blasters in Mossel Bay.  We found parking easily and went inside.  I paid the entrance fee of R30 (for 3 hours) and completed the form for JW to play and he could not wait to start playing. Within seconds of telling him “Go play” he was climbing to the slide.

Blasters is a family restaurant with a great play area for kids.

There is the great indoor play area for kids from 1 -12 years.  The jungle gym has three levels, slides and lots of interesting things to do with soft balls like machines that blows wind and then the balls blows out at the top.  These “blasting” machines kept JW busy for a long time.

There are lots of tables and benches for parents to sit. I found a table and ordered a coffee for me and cool drink for JW. It was very busy (I blame the rain outside) but there was lots of staff to watch the kids.  I brought my book with me and read while keeping an eye on JW. 

There is also another room with arcade games for older kids and lots of rides for the younger kids.  JW wanted to get on everyone but at R5 per ride he could only ride a few.  He could not decide which one to climb on but decided on the helicopter and the yellow car. The rest of the room has a ball pit, bikes to ride, trampolines and more tables for parents to sit.

What we loved:
·         Big play area
·         Lots of seating for parents
·         Friendly staff 
·         Menu with lots of variety
·         Free wifi
·         Clean bathrooms

What we did not like
·         It was very very busy
·         Service in the restaurant was a bit slow (I guess because it was busy)

And another reason to go is the 9 hole black light Putt-putt course.  We did not play but did take a look and it looks great. The putt-putt course is in a dark room with glow in the dark decorations and balls.  It is something different and we will definitely go back to play .  (R30 for adults and R 20 for children)

Address:                     23 Mascador Street, Voorbaai
Tel no:                         044 692 0521
Website:                      http://www.blastersmosselbay.co.za/
Entrance Fee:             R30 for 3 hours
Trading Hours:            Mondays to Thursday          10:00 – 22:00 
                                    Fridays                                   10:00 – 23:00
                                    Saturdays                               9:00 to late
                                    Sundays                                 10:00 – 20:00
(Not a sponsored post)

09 February 2018

Dias & Port Festival 2018

On 3 February 1488, St. Blaise’s day, Bartolomeu Dias landed at Mossel Bay, which Dias named Aguada de São Bras (St. Blaise’s Watering Place).

The first Dias Festival I attended was in 1988 for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Dias’ landing.  During the weekend of 1 to 4 February 2018 it was once again time for the Dias & Port Festival.  This year the festival was expanded to include two festival grounds…Santos and the harbour.
At the Dias festival in 1988 with my brother and sister
Looking at the Carvel in the harbour
Dias Festival @ Santos

On Saturday morning I took my son JW to the festival ground at Santos.  Entrance to the festival ground and all the shows were free.  JW had no interest to sit down and watch a show.  He just wanted to explore and play.  We walked through a lot of stalls selling toys, clothes, food, etc and then reached the play ground.

JW ran to the nearest ride and I had to quickly stop him.  After catching him we went to buy tokens.  The tokens for the rides were R10 per token.  Luckily for me most of the rides for the young children were only 1 token per ride but some rides are 3 tokens per person.  So it can get very expensive after a few rides.  JW loved it. 

It was a warm day and all the rides are in the sun.  After a while we went to buy ice cream and cool drinks and sat on the ground in the shade to eat.  There were lots of chairs to sit at the stage but nowhere else.  At the stages it was very noisy and we did not want to sit there to eat.  It would be a good idea to put some tables between the stalls and/or play area.

What we loved:
·         Free entrance
·         Lots of shows to watch and entertainment for the kids
·         Lots of food options

What we did not like:
·         No place to sit except at stage
·         Cars driving inside the festival ground

Port Festival @ Harbour

The harbour is usually closed for the public and I could not let the chance to visit the harbour go by.  So on Sunday JW and me went to the harbour for the “Port” part of the festival. 

It did not start good.  We had to park near the Bayside shopping centre and then walk down to the harbour.  This was fine when we arrived but when we went home I had to carry a tired 3 year old boy for a long way and up the bridge to get back to our car. 

It got worse.  The map was not very clear about where everything was.  There was nobody to help at the information stand at the entrance of the harbour.  The Portnet workers at the gates were not helpful at all and we were tired of walking by the time we found out were to go.  It would help if there was banners at the entrance of the harbour to show people where to go.

There were only a few stalls on the harbour on the way to the main stage.  I think 10 maximum, mostly selling food and drinks. We walked past the stalls and the main stage to the Boat and Tugboat rides. 

This was the best thing about the Port festival.  The rides were R 20 per adult and R10 per child.  I paid and we got on the boat but before the boat departed JW changed his mind.  He did not want to be on the boat.  We got off and the kind ticket seller refunded our money.

We then bought some food and cold drinks and sat in the street under an umbrella to eat.  Once again the only seating was at the stage and no other place to sit and eat.

What we loved:
·         Free entrance
·         Tug and boat rides

What we did not like:
·         No signs of where to go
·         Parking far away
·         No place to sit except at stage

Seven Seas Boat Trips

Seven Seas Boat Trips

Other activities

The Dias festival also includes a lot of other activities we did not attend.  They included a fishing competition, maritime museum tours, Street parade (We did see some of the colourful floats when we drove to Santos but did not attend the parade) and even a classical music event at the Dias Museum.  There really is something for everyone. 

I think th festival was a big success and next year can only get better.  Next year we will try the boat rides again and maybe I can get a babysitter and attend the classical music event.

Address:                      Santos beach & Mossel Bay harbour
Dates:                          ± 1 – 4 February each year
Website:                      www.diasfees.co.za
Entrance Fee:             Free
(Not a sponsored post)

02 February 2018

George Wildlife Park

The George Wildlife and Animal Park opened on 16 December 2017.  I visited the park on a very warm Saturday in January 2018 with my parents and 3-year old son JW.  The entrance fee was R 20 per adult and JW could enter for free.

JW did not want to wait for me to buy the tickets.  He could see the jungle gym and just wanted to get inside to start climbing.  The park has a lovely play area for kids.  There is a big jungle gym to climb with monkey bars and swings and slides. JW was in heaven and could not decide where to start.  He is still too small for some of the equipment and I had to help him but he tried everything.

There is a large grass area with lots of tables under trees or umbrellas to sit.  Between the tables are lots of wooden animals for the kids to play on.  There is a pond with ducks and beautiful water lilies. 

After playing for a while we walked to see the farm animals.  We saw pigs, bunnies, chickens, geese, a pony and some goats.  Visitors may not touch the animals but they can buy food at the shop to give to the animals.  There are different packages of food for the different animals.

Next to the goats enclosure is some wooden car tables with wheels and a steering wheel and JW had a lot of fun “driving”. 

Next we walked to the enclosures for the cats. The park is home to two Bengal tigers, two cheetahs, two serval cats (tierboskat) and two caracals (rooikatte).  It was very warm and most of the cats were lazy and just lying in the shade. 

By this time we were warm and headed bank to the tables.  I went to buy cool drink from the Braai area shop.  The service of the staff at this shop was terrible. I stood for more than 5 minutes while they just kept on ignoring me.  I can understand that I need to wait if they are busy but I was the only client there and there were 3 of them and not even one could just greet me and tell me to wait a bit.  Eventually I asked if they intent to help me or should I leave.  They then sold me some cool drinks. (They were kept in buckets of ice and was ice cold). This bad service was the only negative of our visit.

We found a nice table in the shade near the duck pond and enjoyed our drinks.  I did not want to go back to the braai area for food but bought delicious pies at the shop near the entrance.

JW played some more and then it was time to go home.  It was a lovely day and we will definitely visit again.

Address:                      Victoria St, George
Tel no:                         084 249 0442
Website:                      https://www.facebook.com/georgewildlifeandanimalpark/                 
Entrance Fee:             Adults R20, Children R 10, Under 3 Free
Trading Hours:            Daily except Mondays from 9am to 4pm
(Not a sponsored post)

11 January 2018

Pikkieland at Diaz Water Park

This is my first post for 2018 and after a few years of only posting occasionally I hope to continue to post regularly during 2018.  

We spent our summer holiday at home in Mossel Bay and also made a few trips to George.  During this trips we had a lot of adventures from swimming at the Point and Pikkieland to Happy Valley in George and a visit to the Dias Museum.  We also hosted lost of visitors in our apartment.

One of the highlights for JW (my 3-year old son) was the morning at Pikkieland at Diaz Water Park.  The entrance fee for Pikkieland was R 40 per child and there is no fees for the adults that are with the children.

Pikkieland has two shallow pools for small children to play in.  In the smaller pool the water is only about 30cm deep.  In the bigger pool the water reached just above my knee and is is the perfect dept for the children to play in.  There is a tower in the middle with lots of slides that let them slip into the water.
The smaller shallowest pool

The bigger pool

There is not a lot to do for adults.  The Water Park has other activities but you cannot leave your child alone at Pikkieland.  There is a nice wooden deck with benches to sit but most parents were walking in the water with their kids.  After a while I sat in the water with JW and even went down one slide with him (He needed a bit motivation but once he got the confidence he was sliding the whole time.
Seating for parents in the shade

There are no lifeguards on duty at Pikkieland and parents must supervise their own kids.  My dad went with us and we took turns to walk and play with JW in the water and very soon 2 hours passed.  JW was not ready to go home but the sun was getting very hot and we went home with promises to return soon.

This was a great outing and I will definitely take JW again.  I did feel that the entrance fee of R 40 was a bit expensive for a two hour outing.  I hope when the holiday high season is over that the prices will fall a bit.

I also was a bit disappointed in the water quality. The park opens at 9 am and we arrived shortly after 9 am but the water in the pool was murky and full of small pieces of grass. I think they could keep in cleaner.

Address:                      1 Beach East Boulevard, Diaz Strand, Mossel Bay
Tel no:                         044 692 8429 / 083 679 3555
Website:                      www.diazwaterpark.co.za
Entrance Fee:             R40 per child for 2 hours
Trading Hours:            9:00 to 18:00 (Except Sundays 10:00 to 16:00)
(Not a sponsored post)

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