A fascinating journey through South Africa

... a place of the modern and the mystic

Shirley Rabb

Edie,Gail and I  started our 17 day trip by spending an evening in New York to make an early flight to Johannesburg and on to Cape Town, South Africa.

We spent the rest of our trip traveling on Safari to places like Swaziland and Kruger National Park. We drove through Mpumalanga to view the panoramic wild countryside, forested mountains, valleys, rivers and waterfalls. Blyde River Canyon, one of the greatest spectacles of Africa led us to Bourkes Luck Pot Holes, a place of African legend containing bizarre holes cut into rock by powerful river erosion.

We went to Soweto and the Apartheid Museum, where we were able to look at the past and into the future of Africa. We stayed at Game Lodges, five star hotels and at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

Our trip took us to visit Dumazulu Village where we were able to experience the everyday life of the Zulu tribe. Complete with tribal dancing and a ceremony of beer drinking.

There were days that took us to The Cape of Good Hope, (Africa's most south-western point), Simon's Town where we saw the Penguin colony of South Africa. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Nelson Mandela's home and the cell where he spent three months awaiting trial at the courthouse.

We had a chance to wade in the Indian Ocean, (slacks rolled up to our knees).

There was a cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain with a wonderful view of the modern city, ocean and diamond mines below us.

An excursion to the wine lands region outside Cape Town was beautiful and fun.

Another safari to Chobe National Park in Botswana where one of the largest populations of elephants in the world are, along with lions, hippos and zebras.

We got to Hluhluwe, Swaziland, Sandton, Kirstenboschand and more places with names unreadable.

There was the South African Jewish Museum and Holocaust Center in Cape Town; and the magnificent, Eighth Wonder of the World, Victoria Falls.

There were market places on the streets where we had fun bargaining with the natives for our souvenirs; and lovely shops where we could not bargain.

We had one of the most experienced guides in South Africa and we learned a great deal of history from him. We were told about the Portuguese, the Boers, and the British. He told us about the hundreds of metal shacks that people are living in and about those Africans trying to continue the difficult progress of upgrading the country's poor population.

We heard about diamonds and gold; the Hottentots and the tribal warfare. We went to a school in a small village where the children and adults entertained us with singing and dancing.

We rode the elephants and rubbed the back of the leopards. One of the smallest animals we saw was a dungbeetle. Yup, a dung beetle that can push a piece of dung weighing 50 times its own weight to feed its offsprings their meal for the day.

We saw lions, buffalo, rhino, zebras, wildebeest,bushbuck and giraffes. There
were hippopotamus, crocodile, springbok, baboons, kudu, antelope, warthog, impala and wild dogs.

The birds were plentiful and beautiful and even the vultures were a sight to see.

This was a trip that was exciting, outstanding and exhausting; but not one to
be missed. We agreed that we got much more than we had hoped for and this memory, along with about 3,000 pictures will stay with us for a very long time.

April 3, 2015

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