Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Update

Another day without a computer capable of uploading pictures, so I thought I should summarize where we have been so far and our plans for the rest of the trip.

We started with one day in Johannesburg where we did a city tour and visited Soweto Township and the Apartheid Museum. Then we spent six nights in Zulu Nyala game reserve where we were treated to twice a day safaris other than the one rainout we had because of the typhoon that passed nearby dumping a torrent of rain on us and making many of the dirt roads impassable. One of our safaris was to a neighboring reserve, Phinda, where we got within about ten meters of a resting male lion. We also saw the extremely endangered black rhinos there. The only animal of the so-called Big Five we missed was the leopard.

Then we spent two nights at Spion Kop in the Drakensburg Mountains, the most restful space we have visited where the service was exquisite beginning with being greeted by name as we arrived at dusk and being offered a gin and tonic on the deck before unpacking and having dinner. The owner is a historian who took us on an interesting tour of the Spion Kop Battlefield.

Then the experience of Durban and the many people who have helped us continue our trip. Last week we were at the Hermanus Beach Club on the coast west of Cape Town. While there we did some wine tasting and exploring. We visited Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of the continent, and took two trips to see the African Penguins nearby.

This week we are on the west coast above Cape Town in Port Owen, a suburb of the small town of Velddriff. More exploring and wine tasting. Yesterday we visited West Coast National Park where we saw 15 new birds, bringing our total up to over 125. We leave here in Thursday for a night in Cape Town where we plan to tour Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was h imprisoned for decades before he was released to be elected the first president of the new South Africa. We will also do the spectacular drive around the Cape before we head west again for three nights in the Garden region of the Western Cape. Actually, the Western Cape extends quite a ways east of Cape Town.

Jim and Marcia will then return home while Linda and I spend three days at Victoria Falls and six days in the Okavanga Delta in Botswana. We return home on April 6. I hope to find a way to get some pictures up after we leave here, but I promise that there are many to come, even if they don't get there right away. Meanwhile, I will continue to add pieces on our activities without the pictures.

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