Tag Archives: central drakensberg

Tugela Lodge

Tugela Lodge Dawn (Large)


Taming the Dragon

“Russell Tungay had started on an autobiography which he called “Taming the Dragon” where he describes how he together with his parents and brothers came to the Cathkin Valley in the early 1950’s. The Tungay family used to holiday in the Cathkin Valley every year and one year Gwen “Ma” Tungay bought part of “old man Erfmann’s” farm when he subdivided it in 1955.

In 1960, the oldest brother, Peter Tungay was killed in an air crash. This devastated the family as Peter had always expressed his desire to take over the farm and start a dairy. In 1963 the family started a caravan park on the farm to generate much needed money to keep the farm running.

In the meantime, John Tungay, who was a choirmaster at the Trinity Congregational Church, approached his parents to take over the farm and turn it into a choir school. In 1966 John began adding onto the farmhouse a dormitory, dining room, kitchen and a classroom.

Twenty boys enrolled in the first year of the school’s existence (1967). By the second year there were 60 boys enrolled! “The boys were like the Pied Piper, they would attract boys from everywhere they went.”

It became clear to John right in the early days that in order to travel overseas, the choir had to be the best in the country. And in order to achieve this they needed 2 hours practice every day. His initial idea of trekking the boys to Winterton for their academic tuition had to be re-thought and that was when he asked his mother, “Ma” Tungay, to step in and help teach academics to the boys.

The Tungay family continued to play a pivotal role in the history of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School with Russell taking over the management of the school in 1968. The Tungay family sold the School and the 100 acre estate and buildings to a Board of Directors in 1981.

The entire Tungay family, i.e. Ron, Gwen, John, and subsequently Russell, were intimately involved in laying the foundations in one way or another of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. How little they could have realised how much of a national asset their dreams and hard work, in often the most difficult and challenging circumstances, would become.” ~http://web.dbchoir.co.za/

Drakensberg Boy's Choir School (Large)

— at Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School

Deer Meadow

The moon was out in full force last night so the only option was to wake-up at 03:30 this morning (straight after moon-set) at Drakensberg Sun and head out into Champagne Valley, Drakensberg to shoot some stars.

I’m sure I’ll rave about this for weeks to come: up until first light I saw three deer, an owl, a wild rabbit and shooting stars – absolutely amazing!

The photo below was taken with my old (baby) Canon South Africa 550D using my recently won Sigma South Africa 10-20 lens (F4, ISO 1600, 50 sec). I also used a small LED Lenser USA in the pitch dark.

The 550D does not “see” as well as the big 6D so I had some issues with focussing and my horizontal line (the spare tripod with NIL angle adjustment didn’t help).

Deer Meadow

5 Star Durban I Love Durban Led Lenser South Africa LED LENSERDrakensberg Sun Champagne Sports Resort Cathkin Cottage, DrakensbergChampagne Castle Hotel & Resort

— at Drakensberg Sun

Falcon Ridge

The great thing about the holidays is that I now have more time to look through 1000’s of old photos.

The ones below were taken in June 2009 with my previous Canon Powershot S5iS.

Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey display centre in the Central Drakensberg (South Africa) hosts an impressive bird of prey show.

The centre is situated high up in the Champagne Valley 2km past the Drakensberg Boys Choir.

Read more here.

Berg June 2009 (14) (Large) Berg June 2009 (13) (Large) Berg June 2009 (10) (Large) Berg June 2009 (11) (Large) Berg June 2009 (12) (Large) Berg June 2009 (9) (Large) Berg June 2009 (15) (Large)