Monday

12 photos that make you desperately fall in love with South Africa

I would write a song, if only I could. I would write how passionate I am in love with South Africa. South Africa fills my mind continually, and to a certain extent even intrusively. I don’t mind. The song would be about how my heart beats faster every time I talk about it, every time I book a plane trip, every time the plane lands at Cape Town airport, and every time I whisper my first greeting and hand over my passport on arrival at immigration. It would be about how hard it is to resist kissing the officers, and how hard it is not to cry out loud of joy to be back in South Africa (Heavens, just imagine I would really do this).

The song would describe that South Africa is as dramatic and eccentric as it is magical. Her sky is of the bluest blue, her rain is made of the biggest drops (if there is rain), her ocean smells like a mixture of a thick crust of salt and tangy kelp, her space is endless, her mountains, big and small, have the most fantastic formations, the grass in the savanna grows high and waves softly in the wind, her sand in the dessert is of an earthy red and her lions are fearless (to me they look fearless) ...

The song would also be a warning. The lyrics would tell you that if you visit once, you are going to be suffering forever. South Africa is a place that inflicts damage. Every time you leave her, you should take into account that you are going to miss her ... every single day ... desperately ... for the rest of your life. I call it love. I am always gonna love South Africa. At first I wanted to call this article “12 photos that show how South Africa inflicts damage onto the world” but a trusted adviser said this wouldn’t sound too magical after all …

Just the thought alone about writing a love song about South Africa puts a spring in my step, but I leave it at that, I am not Prince, David Bowie, The Cure, Barry White, Abba, Sade, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston or Elvis … you better look at these photos …



Chapman’s Peak Drive, also known by its nickname Chappies, was built from 1915 to 1922. It connects Hout Bay with Noordhoek, and you have to drive through a whopping 114 curves.

End of 1990s (maybe it was at the beginning of the new millennium) it was closed for its frequent rock falls; one incident even caused a death. During one summer there were field interviewers, asking drivers how much they were willing to pay if it would become a toll road. I suggested ZAR 50 (for a single use/car). Over the years the road was given a massive facelift, including catch-nets, and it is now open as a toll road, the fee is ZAR 40 (for a single use/car).

In this pic see the Sentinel, that landmark mountain at the entrance to Hout Bay. I remember years and years ago it was up for sale, yes really. And believe it or not soon after there were reports someone bought it for ZAR 10 million, at the same time there were also rumours that it hasn’t been sold, so I have no idea who owns this mountain. Whatever, it looks stunning. 


Simon's Town, South Africa. There are several penguin sites in South Africa, these two live, together with over 2500 other birds, on Boulders Beach in Simon's Town. They used to be known as Jackass Penguins (that had to do with these trumpet-donkey-like sounds they make) but the name African Penguin has now been adopted. They started breeding at this site in the 1980s. An anonymous diary entry from Vasco da Gama's 1497 voyage around the Cape of Good Hope makes mention of flightless birds as large as ducks.

African penguins will remain with a single partner for many years, and I truly believe that these two are very much in love.


Smitswinkel Bay, South Africa. Imagine living like this. Yes please. Have you ever fallen asleep to the sound of crashing waves? Have you ever woken up in the morning to see the sun rising over the ocean? To me it is a beat that brings about a state of complete serenity and a spectacle that works to keep me up-beat and cheery (you know the rays in sunshine improve our sense of well-being by stimulating the production of vitamin D).



Kgalagadi Transfontier Park, South Africa. Days in the African bush are filled with lots of magical things. There is excitement and outstanding beauty at pretty much every corner. In the very late afternoon, when the blue hour starts, and when the sky is painted blue and lilac, and the clouds go from white to a soft pink-orange, and the sky gets dark, I already begin to miss the day. I literally can hardly wait for the new day to begin. And then the stars come out. Being in the open under an African night sky is a totally mesmerising experience. I, secretly, wish the night will never end. If there wouldn't be the sunrise, it is also pretty perfect.

Sunrise. The alarm goes at 5.30am. After a cup of Rooibos tea, heavenly in the slightly cool chill of the morning, it is time to jump into the Landy. This photo is taken at 6.31am (already on the road for half an hour). Sunrise. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to be in love with South Africa?

West Coast - No Words Needed

Stellenbosch - One of the prettiest towns

South African Style

Cape Town Waterfront

Cape Town Waterfront

West Coast Untouched

Kgalagadi Transfontier Park

South Africa will put her spell on you. Just go and visit. Before you start planning read How to Easily Prepare a Self-Drive Safari in Southern Africa and 48 books to read before you visit South Africa.

From Berlin with love

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these beuautiful pictures! I can almost feel the warmth. I visited South Africa few years ago, and this reminds me I have to dig those pictures up and share an article too :)

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    1. Hi Johanna, thank you so much for your compliment. Let me know when you publish the article, I would love to see your photos too.

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  2. Love your photos! Yes, SA definitely looks like a photographer's dream. Some day! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, it truly is a very special place.

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.