Saturday, December 31, 2011

Keep moving

"Come on buddy, just keep moving. The new year is only one day away!"

I'm not sure what this giraffe at Kragga Kamma Game Park outside Port Elizabeth was trying to do. Looking at the pic he was either scratching his head or trying to prod his smaller companion into moving.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Taking township pictures

An international journalist taking pictures of the outside kitchen of a corner take away joint in New Brighton. Informal restaurants like this can be found all over Port Elizabeth's townships and this specific one is a popular sightseeing stop on township tours.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The local waterhole

Hapoor Waterhole is the most popular water(ing) hole in Addo Elephant National Park for the locals (both males and females) to hang out at and as they don't serve alcoholic drinks the littlies are also welcome.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brookes on the Bay's view

The new restaurants at Brookes-on-the-Bay have some of the best views of any of the restaurants along the beachfront with views across Kings Beach.  At night you may not be able to see as far out to sea, but the harbour and city lights also make for a magnificent backdrop. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The place to be this time of year

The places to hang out this time of year around Port Elizabeth is the coastline with the beaches along the city's main beachfront being the most popular.  One of the busiest beaches tend to be Hobie Beach with the Boardwalk across the road and a lot of other eateries, the Pier and beachfront promenade right there.  Why aren't I posting a picture showing the packed beaches?  Well, as you read this I am on holiday having spent the last 10 days camping in Montagu in the Western Cape and on my way to another 9 days in Cape Town.  But even though I am away I am still diligently bringing you your daily Port Elizabeth fix.  I'll pop down to Hobie over the weekend after I get back and see if I can get you a pic of the beach full of people.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A true PE icon

The Donkin Reserve with the Lighthouse, Pyramid and new Route 67 located there are truly one of Port Elizabeth's main iconic attractions both from a visitor as well as landmark point of view.  Here a couple of tourists are standing next to the Donkin Memorial (yes, that's the pyramid's proper name) enjoying the view from the Hill.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas (from a beach in Africa)

The traditional Christmas one always sees is a white Christmas with snow, a fireplace and all kinds of wintery things.  But more than half the earth actually has a summer Christmas where Santa should probably be wearing board shorts and slops while driving an open top vehicle and enjoying the sun.  When Santa isn't going around handing out gifts he must surely go somewhere and that somewhere is a beach in Port Elizabeth close to the Willows Resort.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Christian Port Elizabeth Daily Photo readers and their families a  Merry Christmas and a very blessed day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Shark River lily

The little stream that flows through Happy Valley towards Humewood Beach is actually known as the Shark River and used to be one of early Port Elizabeth's main water sources.  The name have absolutely nothing to do with sharks though.  Even in the early years the little stream never reached the sea and disappeared into the sand on the beach.  In Dutch (and Afrikaans for that matter) the term used to describe the river sinking away into the sand is "sak" and they called it the Sakrivier.  The British misunderstood the word used by the Dutch thinking it was called the Shark River and hence the name which stuck.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ocean Basket at Brookes on the Bay

With the redevelopment of Brookes Pavilion (now called Brookes-on-the-Bay) completed, the new tenants have started to move in.  One of the first restaurants to open was Ocean Basket and I'm sure with the fantastic view it has over the beachfront its sure to become one of Port Elizabeth's most popular seafood restaurants.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The sun shines on the Wildside

The coastline from Cape Recife to Schoenmakerskop is generally known as the Wildside due to it rocky coastline and the fact that the prevailing south-easterly wind can pump out there on the best of days and make the sea well and truly rough.  Don't get me wrong though, the weather isn't always bad and when its good this piece of coastline is an amazing spot to explore, fish from or just have a family picnic.  The spot in the photo is looking back from on of the view points towards Cape Recife.  You can just make out the Cape Recife lighthouse at the point. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Going home for the holiday

This time of year there are a lot of people all over South Africa returning to their home towns to be with their families over the festive season.  A lot of people living in the townships in Port Elizabeth have family in rural Eastern Cape in what used to be the former black homelands of the Ciskei and the Transkei and most of them will make use of long distance taxis and buses to go home for Christmas.  The long distance taxi rank at Njoli Square is one of the busiest long distance taxi ranks in the city. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Post Office tower reflection

The Old Post Office tower in the city centre reflecting in one of the Feathermarket Centre's windows

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two of the Big 5

Visitors to the Addo Elephant National Park often go home with stories of magnificent elephant sightings and sometimes have an awesome story to tell of how an elephant walked so close past their car that you could reach out and touch him (just don't actually go and do it).  On a good day you could also tick buffalo, lion and perhaps even black rhino off your "spotting the Big 5 list", but not often can one say that you had more than one of the Big 5 in one place.  I had a very fortunate day in Addo recently and one of the highlights was having both elephant and Cape buffalo at the same waterhole. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Langa massacre photographic essay

The last in this short series on the Red Location Museum in New Brighton covers "You are my witness", a photo essay dedicated to the mothers, fathers, women, men and children of the Langa massacre, who sacrificed their lives for the liberation struggle of South Africa.  The massacre took place on 21 March 1985 in Langa township in Uitenhage when mourners, peacefully marching in solidarity to a funeral of those who lost their lives while protesting against grave oppressive conditions, were violently massacred and systematically gunned down by the Apartheid State.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Memory boxes

Today's post is the second of three posts about the Red Location Museum in New Brighton.  One of the main concepts of the museum are the Memory Boxes.  These boxes were inspired by the boxes that migrant workers used to accommodate their prized possessions when separated from their families.  The Museum has twelve 6 meter by 6 meter and twelve meters tall, rusted boxes offering a set of different memories of struggle in South Africa.  The boxes aren't identified from outside and the contents are revealed only on entry with the experience in each box being a total one.  The spaces between the boxes are spaces of reflection where one can ponder on everything you see in the museum.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hall of Columns

The Red Location Museum in New Brighton was the first museum to be purpose built in a township in South Africa and remembers the struggle era, especially in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.  Although there is much room for improvement the museum has a number of very good exhibits.  As you enter through the main entrance the Hall of Columns is on your right.  Each of the 15 columns have a different struggle hero from the Nelson Mandela Bay area on them and the idea is to have a nomination process in the future whereby these hero's will be replaced annually to celebrate others.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

South African Junior Chess Championships

For the last week some of the brightest young minds in the country have been taking part in the annual South Africa Junior Chess Championships, this year hosted at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University right here in Port Elizabeth.  I popped down to the Indoor Sports Centre to have a peek and nearly fell on my back when I saw the amount of participants.  More than 2000 kids from all over South Africa are taking part in this event and the hall was packed with tables and chess boards with the players pitting their skills against each other.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrations

Celebrations as the All Blacks receive the trophee as winners of the South African leg of the IRB 7's World Series in Port Elizabeth.

Another reason to celebrate is the fact that today is Port Elizabeth Daily Photo's 1500th post and thus my 1000th post since taking over the blog from Max and Sue.  This comes shortly after I recently did post number 1000 on The Firefly Photo Files as well.  Thank you to all the loyal followers of PEDP for your regular visits as well as to those who only get an opportunity to pop in every now and then and please know that I always appreciate the comments, e-mails and requests I receive.  It's these that make the blog worth doing every day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Running out for the final

The Blitzbokke (South Africa) and the All Blacks (New Zealand) takes the field for the start of the final of the South African leg of the IRB 7's World Series in Port Elizabeth.  The crowd went mad every time the Boks touched the ball and I think most people were on their feet for just about the whole game.  Unfortunately for us the All Blacks got the ball seconds before the end of the game and went over for the winning try.

Monday, December 12, 2011

IRB 7's action

On Friday and Saturday (9 and 10 December 2011) the South African leg of the IRB 7's World Series took place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for the first time.  Getting the 7's to the city was a big scoop and the action on and off the field didn't disappoint.  The event truly lived up to it's billing as "Rugby's Biggest Party".  Below are a couple of snaps I took from both next to the field as well as the media tribune at the top of the stadium.  In the main picture the Blitzbokke (South Africa in green) is playing France in the quarter finals.  New Zealand eventually beat South Africa in the last couple of seconds of the final.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

SAMREC educational visits

In addition to the fantastic penguin rescue and rehabilitation work that the guys at SAMREC in Cape Recife do, they also have educational programmes running all the time whereby schools visit and get taken around the facility.  What makes the place even more amazing is that they only have two full time employees which means that the majority of work gets done by volunteers.  The last time I stopped by there was a group from a local primary school visiting.  The school group was split into four smaller groups with this one being showed around the penguin pool.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Valley by day

Happy Valley has always been a very popular spot for both young and old especially during the summer season when the lights are on in the evenings.  I went down not too long ago to see what it looks like these days.  Although there were one or two of the characters that were damaged the area in a whole was in good nick and looking beautiful.  Its a pity that more and more people don't go there anymore due to the perception that its a dangerous area.  The way I see it is that there are always a chance of something happening in places like this all over the world, so one just needs to be more vigilant and also to make sure that you rather visit in a small group than alone.  Its because there are less people going to attractions like this that we allow criminals to operate there from time to time and by going there in numbers the bad elements are actually forced out.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Glittering Cape Recife

The water around Cape Recife (and not some pretty boy vampire) glittering in the morning light. Real vampires don't glitter in sunlight anyway cause they would be incinerated.  #justsaying

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

There's an elephant in the way

Yesterday's post showed how stunning an encounter one can have in the Addo Elephant National Park when the elephants come walking down the road and passes your car.  These encounters get even more exciting when they pass as close as this one.  Luckily the elephants in Addo are used to vehicles and encounters like this is possible, but visitors must always remember that these are still wild elephants and not to take chances. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elephant roadblock

Some of the best sightings one can have in Addo Elephant National Park is to find a herd of elephants either on or right next to the road.  The best way to enjoy this is to just switch off the car and sit back and watch these massive animals go about their normal daily routine. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Informal settlement road

Most of us take driving on tar roads in the city for granted while there are many roads through informal settlements that are nothing more than a muddy dirt track.  This one is in New Brighton right around the corner from the Red Location Museum.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sundays River dunes

The sand dunes at Colchester next to the Sundays River form part of the Alexandria dune fields which are the biggest coastal dune fields in the Southern Hemisphere.  The dunes truly are magnificent specimens as far as coastal dunes go and the only way to really get to them is by taking a boat along the Sundays River.  For those of us who don't have boats the easiest way to go about visiting these dunes are to book a cruise on the Sundays River Ferry.  At its turning point close to the river mouth the ferry stops for about 30 minutes to give passengers the opportunity to climb the dunes to enjoy the magnificent views from the top. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blue Wildebeest

We really are fortunate to have so many game reserves surrounding Port Elizabeth and places like Kragga Kamma Game Park gives both residents and visitors the opportunity to view wild game up close without having to visit a zoo.  One of the more common animals one get to see are the Blue Wildebeest or "gnu".  Sometimes also called the Common Wildebeest, the Blue Wildebeest is a large antelope and one of two species of wildebeest.  It got its name from the conspicuous silvery blue sheen to its short haired hide, differentiating this species from the plainer black genus member Black Wildebeest with its white tail.  The name "gnu" originates from the Khoikhoi name for these animals.

Did you know?  Blue wildebeest young can stand within six minutes of being born.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Library tower

The Public Library is my favorite historic building in Port Elizabeth with its beautiful facade and many interesting features.  The picture above of one of the library's towers could for all intensive purposes have been taken anywhere in Europe, but its stands proudly right here in good ol' PE.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Barber shop

A couple of guys visiting a township barber shop in Kwazakele.  Behind them on the wall are all the different styles that customers can choose from along with what they are called.