Google+ Followers

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

South Africa - Gem of the Southern Hemisphere

We recently traveled to South Africa to Kruger National Park for a four day safari. Then it was off to Cape Town to experience the beauty and wonders of the southern most tip of the African continent. It seem a bit surreal that in the same year we have been to both ends of a continent that I never expected to visit in my lifetime. Tangier, Morocco and Cape Town, SA are as different as New Haven, CT and Lincoln, CA. The trip was magical. We were fortunate to have David and Natalie Boucher, (Maria Boatman's uncle and aunt) as our guides. They have traveled extensively to Africa as missionaries.
We began in Kruger National Park, a game preserve, and stayed in the Skakuza Camp. It is fitting that Skauza has the phonetic ooZ in its name as we were literally in a reverse Zoo. We were in the cage with an electric fence keeping out the native animals.
Everyone want to experience an encounter with a least one of the big five. Some visitors count themselves lucky to see more than one. We saw all five every day.
Leopard

Lion

Savannah Eliphant

White Rhinoceros

African Buffalo

In addition to these majestic beasts, we encountered numerous other mammals, exotic birds, giant reptiles.fascinating flowers and unique trees. It was a naturalist's dream. Our tour guide Knut and our safari guide and driver, Sam, made sure that we were up close and personal with the untamed world of Kruger.

Each night we would return to our thatched roof bungalows, gates were closed and we were treated to traditional South African food which is a combination of British meat and potatoes and South African item such as meli pap (a corn based porridge served with tomato-onion sauce) bobotie (a meat casserole) Biltong (jerky) and Malva pudding for dessert.
Skakuza Camp
After a five hour bus ride to the Johannesburg airport we then flew to Cape Town and stayed near the waterfront. Highlights included a gondola ride to the top of table mountain. The most beautiful coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope, Evenings on the waterfront having dinner with the Boatmans and the Cardinets, the trip to Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned for 25 years and strolling through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Native Village near Pretoria

Cape of Good Hope

Don, Jason and Me conquering Table Rock

Coast drive

White sands

Kirstenbosch Garden below Table Rock with a table cloth

View of Cape Town and Table Rock from Robben Island

South Africa will be a trip that we will remember and cherish forever.

Kevin

5 comments:

Wendy Michaelson said...

Kevin, Thanks for sharing your photos of the beauty you experienced in SA! How fun to see you and Barbie and read about your experiences!
Wendy Michaelson

Dena Heath said...

WOW!

Tracy Droege said...

I am so glad to hear of your awesome travel experience. You now have yet another thing in common with my dad...he spent a lot of time in South Africa and I am pretty sure he went a few of the places that you went. He was there on business and ventured out on weekends to explore and collect awesome wooden animals. I think his camera was stolen in South Africa...of all his brushes with death...he says that was the one that scared him most. So pictures are limited...I will dig around, maybe there are some. Dad loved South Africa; I have a friend who credits my dad for her and her husband's green card from South Africa. He stayed in Johanasburg and the surrounding area, I think. He also loved Portugal. I am glad that you are finding time for fun and adventure.

Tracy Droege said...

I am so glad to hear of your awesome travel experience. You now have yet another thing in common with my dad...he spent a lot of time in South Africa and I am pretty sure he went a few of the places that you went. He was there on business and ventured out on weekends to explore and collect awesome wooden animals. I think his camera was stolen in South Africa...of all his brushes with death...he says that was the one that scared him most. So pictures are limited...I will dig around, maybe there are some. Dad loved South Africa; I have a friend who credits my dad for her and her husband's green card from South Africa. He stayed in Johanasburg and the surrounding area, I think. He also loved Portugal. I am glad that you are finding time for fun and adventure.

Emma and Dan said...

Crazy cool!