I don’t know where to start posting on my recent adventure to South Africa. I saw, experienced and learned so much along this journey. All thanks to my new friend, the African Queen.
Joan along the Sterkspruit Falls trail in the Drakensburg KwaZulu-Natal
Perhaps I should introduce my “tour guide” Joan, the African Queen, from SouthAfricanPhotographs. I’d never had made it there let alone learned to survive without her immense knowledge, positive encouragement and fantastic company.
Joan at the Cradle of Humankind Museum
Joan and I met online as bloggers sharing nature photos of our parts of the world.
Joan holding an Emerald Schaffer
She really knows how to discover the big and small of any environment visited.
Joan photographing bugs at Dinosaur Park
Joan is into bugs, OK call them insects if you want. She’s been called the Bug Lady and is undertaking a Huge project to get identification info out on the cyberworld.
During the nine month plan for me to visit South Africa for all of March I didn’t really lock myself into dates other than arrival in Johannesburg and departure from Cape Town.
Joan at Burkes Luck Potholes
However, I had made an unrealistically long list of possible places to visit along the journey. Which began with traveling with Joan for 15 days through Mpumalanga’s Sadwala cave, to several steep waterfalls, over rivers and on safari in Kruger National Park, past Swaziland into the KwaZulu-Natal’s Drakensburg Park plus more.
Joan making coffee Pretoriuskop Rest Camp Kruger NP
She spoiled me every morning making coffee. Of course she did get me out of bed no later than 5am.
Joan at Monks Cowl camp Drakensburg
Our camps were always comfortably outfitted with Joan’s tent for me and her in the truck.
Joan holding a chameleon in Kruger National Park
Five days in Kruger National Park could have been five years or more. Joan worked as a wildlife guide there for over 20 years and knows about the habitats and where to look for the animals and birds, reptiles and of course bugs. In her soft almost Brit-like accent she explained how much an elephant eats, what the gestation period is for a giraffe, taking pictures of an unknown amount of bugs in caravan parks’ bathrooms, and how to peel a marula fruit.
Joan peeling a marula, very tasty
We shared our herstories as we journeyed along laughing away, both happily comfortable with each others company. It is unique to find a good travel buddy and often doesn’t work out even with the best of friends. I can truly call Joan my friend, a sister of sorts.
What I learned and experienced while on this vacation holiday go way beyond the friendly people and diverse places. I grew so much within and can only thank all who I made contact with.
(I hope Joan won’t let this all go to her head but her heart instead.)
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