Sunrise at Kruger National Park
It wasn’t easy to leave South Africa after only a month of exploration in 2010. I knew I’d return, but when. Now here I am, flying out tonight, landing in Johannesburg early Sunday morning. Am I ready? You bet!
I’m a list maker. OCD yes, but that’s my comfort zone. Once I write something down I don’t have to keep it in my already overflowing brain. Sticky notes are my friend, even on the desktop of my computer. Nothing feels quite so satisfying as crossing something off the list. Besides, the older I get the shorter my memory. Just one of the reasons I’m obsessed with taking so many photos. “Capturing the present for future memories of the past.”
Please don’t be afraid. I’ve been solo traveling for years and I’m more nervous in Los Angles than most of South Africa. I won’t go walking alone at night in any cities or the wild bush either. There are predators in every part of the world. Walk with confidence and be aware of your surroundings. Listen to your instincts and act accordingly. If you’re like a pansy people will pick you. I’m not saying to be cold and cruel, just firm, and maybe assertive when needed. Know your boundaries.
Sushi in Simon’s Town
Don’t let fear stop you from following your dream whether it’s travel to seemingly exotic places, jumping from an airplane or cooking a gourmet meal. That reminds me, I’m not much of a cook, but would sure like to learn how to accomplish a good South African braai for my Grand Canyon friends when I return. Hmm, something else to add to the list.
And to set your mind at ease, I’ll be traveling with my South African friend Joan for the first half of my trip and we’ll have so much fun together.
Warthogs at Addo Elephant National Park
Make a plan
I don’t recommend trying to plan every minute when traveling anywhere, how exhausting. Leave down time. Be spontaneous. I just like to plan, almost as much as I like to go. Plus in the process I learn a little about the new cultures and landscapes I’m about to visit. Remember that “visit” is the key word, show some respect. Knowing certain phrases and etiquette will often smooth the way. Set a good example of your own country.
Sunrise over False Bay
My itinerary is very loose. I fly out of Phoenix February 1st just before midnight and arrive the morning of the 3rd in Johannesburg. Joan picks me up at the airport and we’ll visit Sterkfontein Caves before heading to Kruger for at least a week. From there work southwest to Golden Gate and maybe into the northern edge of Lesotho. Then southward could be a zig-zag route past Gariep Dam and I’d like to explore around both Graaff-Reinet and Cradock on the way to Port Elizabeth. Joan has to be back to Johannesburg for a presentation Feb 25.
George’s Bay Tsitsikamma
I will visit with Jonker in Port Elizabeth then rent a car and head west to Tsitsikamma for several days. What I do from there depends on time left but would like to spend about a week around the Cape. I fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg March 20.
Buffels Bay Cape Point
I am really going to try to keep you updated while I’m traveling in South Africa. Of course that depends partly on available internet, and if I can find the time between lions, mountains, deserts, forests, oceans and fun. The biggest reason I’ll miss being connected all the time is not keeping up with you. So Please leave a comment on posts and let me know how you’re doing.
(If the video loaded enjoy the sounds of Simon’s Town.)
I believe there is no sickness of the heart too great it cannot be cured by a dose of Africa.
–John Heminway, African Journeys
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