Tag Archives: South Africa

Jack’s take on South Africa

The first day in Cape Town set us up for a great time (which was fulfilled). We went on a city orientation tour with Semester at Sea. It was amazing; we had a terrific guide and company. The first thing we did was go to Table Mountain. We took the cable car up to the top. It is the best cable car in the world. It spins around so everyone gets a 360 degree view. The top was just the most amazing view of a city anywhere in the world.
Then we went to a military museum. It had a lot of old relics from the 17th century. After that we went to the ship and ate dinner and slept. The next day we got up earlier than usual to go to on a multi-day trip. Botlierskop, our first stop, was my favorite place in South Africa. When we first got there they gave use this big lunch of wonderful food. Then we went to our “tents”. They were big and better than any hotel room I have every stayed in. (That could be because no one’s realized my blackjack potential.)
Then we went on an awesome game drive. We saw Black Impala, Elephants, Rhinos, Springbok, Waterbok, and Zebra. Then we got Wi-Fi time and ate the best dinner in a long time. Warthog is the tastiest animal to walk this earth. Then we went to bed. Next we went on another game drive with lots of mud. It was amazing we saw Lions and Baby Rhinos and Baby Giraffes. Then we ate a wonderful breakfast and started another long drive to Plettenberg Bay. We ate a packed lunch and went to an Elephant sanctuary to play with elephants. We held hands and walked with the elephants. Then we rode them for a minute because it was muddy and I don’t think they had insurance. Then we drove to Tsitsikamma Lodge. Our cabin, for just Joe and I, was even bigger than our tent. Not as nice, but good TV. Also, I mean big, as in two stories big. The next day we went zip lining. It was such an amazing view and zip line. Then we had a light lunch of sandwiches and fries.
After lunch we drove to Storms River Mouth to play on the beach and look at baby dassies. Dassies are little mammals that look like a cross between a groundhog and a chipmunk. Oh and the amazing view, that too. Then to Port Elizabeth for a regular hotel with dinner and rest. The next day we went to Addo National park for a game drive. We saw lots of elephants. We also saw the red heart beast. After Addo we went to Port Elizabeth for our flight back to Cape Town. When we got on the ship we had burgers and pizza (it pays to be late for the buffet). The next day was just as fun. We went to boulder beach with our private driver. Boulder beach is covered with penguins. They are the coolest animal in South Africa. Then we had a yummy lunch of burgers and seafood. Then we cleared immigration and left with the ship. Now we are on our way to Namibia.

Joe’s take on South Africa

We were in South Africa. First we went on a city orientation tour. We went to the top of Table Mountain (it’s kind of like a table). We saw a dassie; it’s a brown, small, cute, little, fluffy thing. It’s so cute that Jack started repeating the saying, “sniff, scurry, flinch.” Then we went to a castle with a torture chamber and learned how they hurt people so they would plead guilty.

The next day we went on a long road trip to Botlierskop. When we got there we had a really good lunch. We then went to our tents. Now it is not what you think of as a tent; it has sliding doors, a mini bar, cool beds and an outside shower.

We then went on a game drive where we saw elephants, giraffes, rhinos and springbok (a deer looking antelope). After that we went to a zip-lining place. It was awesome. The first lines are for beginners. Then they got longer and longer, the bigger the better. On some of the lines you did not have to hold on. After we went back to the ship we met our driver and went to Boulder Beach (a place with penguins). 25 years ago there were only two pairs of penguins at Boulder Beach and today there are over 3000.

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…