South Africa

Old Stone Joe on R539 in Mpumalanga, South Africa by Harold Brown

On our way to Kruger National Park from Johannesburg we came across "Old Joe" on R539. I have blogged about this before but I thought it was worth talking about again. Old Joe is actually a giant rock dug up by a road crew in the 1920s. It is named after Joe Barbas who was the supervisor of the road crew that built the road. The road crew recognized that the rock looked like a man and it was placed as a mile marker along the road. Over the years the tradition of painting the rock started and now tourists stop and checkout Old Joe when driving to Sabie and/or Kruger Park. In 2009 it was a safe place to stop by to take pictures, if you are headed on safari and near the area stop by and see how Old Joe is painted today.

Old Joe - Painted Rock Statue 2009

Old Joe is one of those rare finds while traveling that many people will drive by without realizing what they are missing. Old Joe has decades of tradition, don't miss it.

Joe Barbas "Old Joe"
Old Joe - Painted Rock Statue 2009

Cartoonists/painters are sent to repaint Old Joe from time to time so his appearance is ever changing. These pictures were taken in March of 2009 while on our way to Kruger Park.

Near Old Joe on R539

On The Road – Mbombela Rural by Harold Brown

Another example of what you can see while "On The Road". Driving in South Africa in Mbombela Rural we stopped by the roadside to see "Old Joe".

On The Road – Mbombela Rural
On The Road – Mbombela Rural
On The Road – Mbombela Rural

The sign in the picture above explains the story of Joe and his contribution to building the highway that was completed in 1927. Joe was obviously a great man to be loved by his co-workers so much that they put this stone in place to honor and remember him.

Taken on our drive from Joburg To Kruger Park

As I mentioned in my first "On The Road" post sometimes the drive from one place to another can lead to some interesting finds. Old Joe is certainly one of those rare finds that isn't a destination and many people will never get to see when visiting South Africa.

The map below shows where you can find Old Joe


Safari - Impala Antelope by Harold Brown

Safari - Impala Antelope

Impalas are medium-sized antelopes that wander the savanna and woodlands of eastern and southern Africa. I snapped this photo in Kruger National Park, South Africa in 2009. You can see the needles sticking out of the impala's face from the barbed trees surrounding it. Impala's are very beautiful animals with very unique markings. If you go on safari you will see a lot of impalas and many times with other animals among the herd. While on safari I typically have my 70-300mm zoom lens mounted on the camera. You aren't going to get a picture like above without one. I have a second camera with a wider view in the event I need to get a picture of something closer to me, like an elephant. You need at least a 300mm lens if you are going to capture good photos of a rhino. It is difficult to get close to them.

I took this picture on the site marked below


Safari – Impala Antelope