Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Flashback: South Africa

In case you were wondering, I went to Kenya last month. It was amazing and I can't wait to tell you all about it but there is a problem. I've been back from my last trip for 2 weeks and I still haven't finished going through my photos! At this point I might be done by the time the Mayan calendar indicates the world's end. Maybe.

Enter Mr. Limestone, who reminded me that I have never shared our trip to South Africa. That’s because we went in 2005 (the days before blog) so it never made it here. And while I know Kenya and South Africa are completely different countries, this trip had a lot of similar experiences so I can't help but compare. It should also be mentioned that I'm pretty sure our trip to South Africa was my most favorite ever so it kind of a no brainer. For all of those reasons, a South Africa trip flashback...

We flew into johannesburg and spent the night there. We took a tour of the Soweto townships with a local resident which was extremely interesting but I felt far too uncomfortable to photograph it. (Hey, look at me, overfed American taking photos of the underpriveledged for personal entertainment. Yeehaw!). Since I have no photos of it - and photos are kind of the soul of this blog - I won't say more than that.

LondoSign

Next we flew to a private game reserve outside of Kruger called Londolozi. And if you are wondering, yes - it was on a teeny tiny little plane that landed on a dirt runway. I never clutched an armrest so hard but once we were there, we were in heaven. The lodge is amazing - the common areas built around a large tree. Each room had its own little veranda looking out onto the bush with a tiny private plunge pool.

LondoDeck3BWBed
BathroomMonkeyeatingcolor

They picked us up in the jeep and we started on safari right away. I can't remember much about the sequence of when we saw which animal in which order but we saw so many. Not being much of an outdoorsy nature person, it was hard to say how I was going to react but I just loved it. Seeing these animals in the wild really had a profound effect. Completely beautiful and fascinating and grotesque all at the same time.

ElephantTusk2BWKuduinbush
Giraffeethruthetrees
ElephantWalk
CandleitsundownerbuffaloLionessREOWCloseBWPrideLoungesLeopardLustZeebrarun LeopardLunchClose5BaboonsZazubirds
Crocodilethrureeds AfricanSunriseBW

Suffice to say it was amazing in every way possible. And it wasn't even over yet. After our safari ended, we flew to Cape Town for a few days. What an amazing city! Great restaurants, weather, views, and attractions.

CapeGraceandTableMountainBishopTutuTableMtnBoatsinthequay

After we had explored the waterfront area, we took the ferry to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned) as one of the first stops. With its horrible history and natural beauty, the tour is fascinating. Then we rented a car and drove down the coast to see the Cape and the penguins on the beach. That’s right, I said penguins!
RobinIslandShipwreck
RobinIslandLeperTomb2BWCapeofGoodHopeLighthouse
PenguinColonyPenguincallingfromNest

There are so many other things that stand out to me but this post is long enough and I think I've given you a general idea. If you've ever considered going to South Africa, I would urge you to do it!

It was quite simply an amazing trip. Since the moment we've left I've been wanting to come back to Africa to see more. So 5 years later when the opportunity to go to Kenya presented itself in the form of a free ticket courtesy of frequent flier miles, we jumped at the chance. As soon as I get around to finishing those photos, I'll show you all about it.

For more travel recaps, click here. To purchase some of my favorite photos (starting at just $6!), click here.