South Africa

We had a wonderful visit to South Africa. After a day in Capetown, we took a trip clear across the south, from the Western to the Eastern Cape. The route is called the Garden Route, and we stopped along the way, in Botlieskop Nature Reserve, Tsikamma National Park, and finally in Port Elizabeth, where we visited Addo National Park. Our final day in Capetown we spent in the Boulder’s Beach area, where African penguins were abundant, and nesting.

The Garden Route trip was simply spectacular. We encountered elephants, both in the wild (where we kept our distance), and in a rescue sanctuary (where we were able to feed them, touch them, and walk “hand in truck” with them). From the protection of a jeep, we got close to wild lions, rhinos, warthogs, giraffes, cape buffalo, and more types of antelopes than I can list here. And, of course, the penguins. We also had some of the best food of the voyage so far, and stayed in glorious places, including luxury “tents” that were fancier than many hotels in which we typically stay.

And, a huge leap forward for Joe: he finally went zip lining! He had a blast, as we knew he would. We zipped through the upper canopy of 600 year old trees, some as high as 30 meters up. It was so much fun, for all of us.

I haven’t read the boys’ blogs yet, but I am sure they will talk a lot about the animals, so instead of posting animal pictures here, I thought I’d post some nice family shots we got here in South Africa. Many of the beaches were spectacular, so I’ve combined some scenery in with some nice shots of everyone.

I took more than 500 pictures in South Africa (well, I actually took about 700, but kept 500 in the end). So I may just have to make another blog post with scenery shots. South Africa was one of the highlights so far, for sure. Our plans in Namibia also center around animals and beaches, so we are already getting excited about that. Speaking of Namibia, one of the founders of the Republic (and the man who named the country Namibia, actually) joined our voyage in South Africa and will be travelling with us until we arrive. His talk last night was really informative, as many of us (myself included) do not know much at all about the country. We are really interested to experience it when we arrive…

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