Johannesburg: Mon 23 Oct
Johannesburg Inn is 45 minutes from the airport �
across the other side of the city in the pleasant
north-western suburban of Northcliff.
The bar opened at 5pm and we were really
thirsty. The bartender recommended that I have �the
ladies� beer�, Savanna Dry cider made from Granny
Smith apples. That was it! I�m now addicted to the
lovely light-amber concoction that only has a hint
of apple flavour.
Mpumalanga: Tue 24 Oct
A huge green behemoth of a vehicle was ready and
waiting for us in the driveway. It had four pairs of
reclining seats each side, floor to ceiling windows
that opened down halfway, sixteen huge lockers at
the rear that easily held our luggage individually,
refrigerated compartments to keep our drinks cold �
I think we�re going to be mighty comfortable.
The final destination
was the Balule
Game Reserve bordering Kruger National Park on the
western perimeter 17km north of Hoedspruit
The terrain was changeable as we wound through
the Drakensburg Mountains and the elevation plunged
to the east and temperatures soared � it got quite
tropical, very humid even though they haven�t had
rain for a long stretch.
Blyde River Canyon with its
unique rock formations was our next stop. We dabbled
our feet in Bourke's Luck Potholes which were shaped
millions of years ago by erosion and just below the
wide river narrowed and snaked through the rocky
Further along the canyon, the Three
Rondavels (it seems that everything round in South
Africa is called a �rondavel�), a trio of high
circular rock formations stood majestically above
the deep crevasse of the canyon. The viewpoint was
at the edge of a steep high precipice and strangely,
at the far end, there was no fence � it looked like
a lover�s leap.
Balule Camp: Wed 25 Oct
2:00am: Thunk! Something hit the side of the
tent. I bounded out of bed but looking out of the
windows was useless � total darkness. A rustling in
the trees to the side though made me very aware we�d
had some sort of visitor. Of course, I couldn�t
sleep after that � not because of fear but
excitement to be in this locale.
5:00am � Lightening in the eastern sky, so I slid
out of my sleeping bag and as I stood stretching in
front of one of the giant picture windows, a lone
giraffe sauntered by only about six meters away.
What an exciting way to start the day.
7:00am � We headed out after coffee and tea on
our first game drive. For the first while we didn�t
see much. Then all of a sudden there were zebra,
impala, kudu, more giraffes, steenbok and a herd of
wildebeest lurking at a waterhole.
find elephants, we carried on. The park is overrun
with them and they are the hooligans of the
reserves. We finally glimpsed one off at a
distance. As we spied the waterhole in front of our
camp, there was a rotund elephant and a lone giraffe
cohabiting at the waterhole � How miraculous!
The day became terribly hot and oppressive as it
wore on. Humidity was high in spite of the arid
conditions and lack of rain. So a siesta was called
for and just lazing the day away on our own little
deck that was so close to the waterhole and its
We waited for it to get a bit cooler before
being taken on a bush walk to track game and get
familiar with wild Africa. The guides did not carry
weapons, so I did wonder what would happen if we
encountered a pride of lions but I realized later
that they knew the signs to watch out for.
Townships: Thur 26 Oct
The first stretch of highway 40 south was
riddled with entrances to hundreds of other private
game reserves bordering Kruger National Park - some
of them extremely expensive upscale ones. Further on
a bit it was townships as far as the eye could see.
Not one white person lives in this area. This
polarity between rich and poor is a troubling
The roads through the townships are a colourful
sight � people walking everywhere. The main mode of
transportation is taxi vans, as no one owns a car.
The homes vary from very basic little huts to the
occasional �nice� home.
Wheelbarrows are a proud possession and are used to
transport water in large plastic containers. There
is almost no water or electricity in these townships
and they�ll walk several kilometers to a water
station. It was a constant fascination watching the
Sabie River: Thur 26 Oct
Hazyview Inn is a beautiful large,
thatched log structure deep in jungle, just high
enough on a ridge overlooking the rushing Sabie
River where hippos and crocodiles live together in
harmony. Our rooms exited directly onto a covered
deck running the entire length of the building, in
the centre of which was a cozy little bar leading in
to a high open-beamed great room and massive
I spent a couple of hours mostly alone at the
swimming pool writing � sitting on the edge of the
pool with my legs dangling in the water.
In the late afternoon when it didn�t seem any
cooler (later on I heard it was 40�C), we were taken
on a walk down through the jungle to the river to
look for hippos and crocs. There were fresh hippo
tracks but no hippos that afternoon and we walked
about 300m upstream to no avail.
We ran for the showers after the slogging
afternoon and it was pure ecstasy to stand under the
cooling spray. A couple of Savanna Drys at the bar
hit the spot before dinner was served in the lovely
high-ceilinged dining room � tonight beef
Kruger National Park: Fri 27 Oct
We were on the road by 7:30am only having to
drive about half an hour before entering Kruger
I bought myself a Kruger guide at the
gate to keep track and help identify the birds,
animals, reptiles, etc. It was a wonderful day of
sighting. We encountered so many species but only
four of the Big Five. Leopards are nocturnal
creatures and are the most difficult to spot.
animals included impala, hippopotamus, warthogs,
leopard tortoise, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, nyala, waterbuck, terrapin, baboons, steenbok,
hyena, zebra, klipspringer, vervet monkey, and birds
galore � ground hornbill, eagles, storks, barbets,
starling, francolin, owl, etc., etc.
That night we spent in Pretoriuskop Camp, one of
many in the national park. Round huts � rondavels - scattered about were our rooms.
Drive to Zululand: Sat 28 Oct
It was a long drive south through Kruger and out
at Malelene. We stopped to shop for groceries and
that gave us an hour to browse a large outdoor
shopping centre. It seemed at first glance to be an
affluent area but appearances can be deceiving.
Poverty is endemic.
However, the people were
colourfully well dressed, buying goods and
congregating in large happy groups. The children
were beautiful � mothers carried babies on their
lower backs, the babies� legs encircling their
waists and tucked in to a cotton shawl wrapped
around their waists.
The music attracted us � strong
African rhythms, melodious voices and the locals
were moving their bodies to the beat � so we went
into the music store to ask what CD they were
playing on the loudspeaker and promptly bought it.
We passed vast sugar cane fields and sugar
refineries. The sugar plants are set on fire in the
fields and then the remaining sugar cane stalks are
harvested. There were banana plantations, tomato
fields and further south, pineapples.
limit is 120kph so we roared across the lush
landscape encircled with verdant mountains.
Swaziland, a separate land-locked country surrounded
lby South Africa, and Mozambique is a sovereignty � they have a
royal family. Poverty is widespread in Swaziland �
however, when first entering from the north, we
thought it fairly prosperous, with well-run farms �
irrigated and fertilized, and sugar cane fields as
far as the eye can see.
To enter Swaziland, you must
first sign out of South Africa � present passport,
stamp, stamp, stamp. Then walk across to Swaziland
customs, present passport, stamp, stamp, stamp. This
process is repeated in reverse on leaving the
country. While waiting in line, we educated
ourselves by reading the prominent and graphic signs
warnings about sexually transmitted diseases and
malaria. A big basket brimming with condoms urged us
to 'Help yourself'.
As we waited outside in line to present our
passports to exit Swaziland, an elderly woman with a
beat up old suitcase stood close by waiting for a
ride, I suppose. Her eyes were glazed with thick
cataracts which made me wonder if she was blind, but
she was very proud, rubbing down the colourful
material of her wraparound skirt to make sure it sat
properly. She had a bright turquoise jacket topping
it and shiny black plastic shoes. I said �Hello� and
her face erupted into a broad smile displaying only
two pointy teeth and she grabbed me and wrapped me
in a huge hug. I was so touched feeling I�d made a
Out of Swaziland and into Zululand, which is part of
South Africa. Luxuriant, tropical greenery and
pineapples, bananas and sugarcane proliferated.
Our next Drifters
Inn was at HluHlue, pronounced Shlu-shlui. It�s in
the middle of a private game reserve and our truck
bumped and shimmied down a narrow dirt lane for
several kilometers before our camp came into sight.
This camp was the most rustic and basic of them all.
I�m not used to this
kind of �roughing it� but the experience is far from
negative � in fact it�s freeing. Dinner
was a huge pot of spaghetti and it was delicious.
HluHlue game parks: Sun 29 Oct
Awake at 3am again, just couldn�t sleep. Finally got
up at 4 and it was light by 5. As we were spending
two nights in our little A frame huts, we had a
whole day to fill with explorations.
We started with a walk around the Drifters game
reserve, tracking the animals on foot, trying to
stay downwind and tread on our toes staying closely
together in single file to be quiet and
unrecognizable. We�d watch their ears prick but be
unsure of what we were � zebra, wildebeest, kudu,
impala - no dangerous creatures.
After breakfast, we headed out again � drove ten
minutes to False Bay Park where we headed out again
on a three hour hike through forest parched and
dying in parts from the drought this area has been
experiencing. St. Lucia Bay, a huge inland sea is
totally dried out and it was only seven years ago
that there was a vibrant tourist mecca on the beach
and the lake was filled with crocs and hippos. Returning across the vast salt and dried mud
lakebed, we came upon many skeletons of crocodiles
and hippos � is this another result of global
Lunch and our final wildlife foray. We split into
two groups, piled into the safari jeeps and drove 30km west to HluHlue National Game Park,
another huge reserve teeming with animals including
the big 5 � well, the big 4 to us. There were a
couple of incidences that stood out from the usual
sightings. A rhinoceros snorting and charging
driving out other rhino interlopers from his
territory. In a mud hole right
beside the road, two aging buffalo bulls lay
contentedly, deep in the mire - their useful days in
the herd over, they�ll spend their retirement years
in this jungle spa.
Back at camp, there was a �boma� beside the deck,
fenced by bamboo poles; logs provided seating
circling the fire that was used to barbecue chicken,
pork and sausages. I sipped on a couple of
vodka with dry lemonades and proceeded to polish off
the remains of my bottle of wine. I like this
A sangoma: Mon 30 Oct
Every Zulu tribe has a �Sangoma�, a witch doctor of
sorts but often female. We were privileged to be invited
to visit the Sangoma at HluHlue village � men were
seated to her left and women to her right. She and
her apprentice sat on the floor in a mud and thatch
rondavel hut, huddled in the dark recesses.
voluminous breasts were wrapped in a shawl of black
velvet and her hair was braided and threaded in
multi-coloured beads. She looked at us shyly from
under long eyelashes, her head tilted down. She was
appraising us, readying appropriate answers for our
questions. She shook up a container of mixed
seashells, whistles, stones and coins and threw them
across the floor like dice in a craps pit. It was
then open for questions, which were translated by
� �Will I have grandchildren?�
� �Will my son marry?�
� �What is my purpose in Africa?�
� �What is wrong with my legs?�
� �Will I have another heart attack?�
She tackled each query by looking at the pattern of
the shells pointing to the individual and diagnosed
with care. Not to be left out, I raked my mind for a
question and finally came up with one.
� Will I ever be thin again?� I asked.
A throaty chuckle
emanated from the dark form on the floor and she
looked me over and then looked at the shells. With
her cane, she gestured to a round white one and
� �No, you�ll get fatter!�
The room erupted with laughter and with that our
visit was over. We all tossed the expected coins
into her array of shells and headed over to the
local high school where Drifters have forged a
The children in their navy skirts and trousers
with yellow shirts and striped ties, converged on
their school building high on top of a plateau. They
walked miles and came from all directions. We were
expected for a 2-� hour visit and this was our
opportunity to distribute our duffle bag of
t-shirts, pens, pencils, erasers and calculators. We
passed it over to the headmaster who was most
appreciative and he promised to distribute to the
most needy. There were 951 students attending
classes and we hadn�t brought that many shirts.
Indian Ocean: Mon 30 Oct
It was a short drive that day � only three hours to
the Drifters Inn Dolphin Coast just 30m north of Durban, in Umdhloti (pronounced umshlotti).
We could smell the sea long before we caught sight
of it and as ocean addicts we were exhilarated when
we rounded the corner and the vista of the Indian
Ocean unfolded (azure with huge foamy breakers
roaring onto the golden sand � shark infested waters
however) - it was absolute bliss.
But the beach was calling us to stroll its
length, picking up shells and coloured glass, edges
rubbed smooth by the sand and sea. A terrific rip
tide (not sure if that term is correct) could suck
your feet from beneath you as the water rushed in
and quickly out again.
The population of this Malay coast is primarily
of Indian heritage and the fishermen we met on the
beach were very dark-skinned but with Indian
features much like those from the south of India and
Sri Lanka. I asked one young guy what he was fishing
for and he answered in perfect well-spoken English
�Black tail probably � about 2kg but I�ll take
whatever I catch�.
The fish braai catch of the day
was a meter long hammer-headed dorado; someone said
it was sometimes called mahi-mahi and it�s sometimes
referred to as a �dolphin fish� which disturbed me �
but it was definitely not a dolphin. It was a delicate sweetly
flavoured white fish and we all sat at a long table
on the lower patio and dined under the stars with
the surf as our background music.
We left our patio doors wide open overnight and the
curtains pulled back � I didn�t want to miss a
minute of this magical place. However, having taken
our weekly Larium (malaria prophylactic) with
dinner, the night was filled with dreams. Fernie
woke me from nightmares twice.
Durban to Drakensberg: Tue 31 Oct
Breakfast was elegantly prepared and served by the
inn staff at 9am � none of our utilitarian stainless
steel dishes. Instead china plates and mugs and
glass tumblers � this must be what 5-star is like. We
could have easily enjoyed a second day at Umdhloti
Dolphin Coast Inn but we were on the way to our next
adventure. It�s hard to believe how changeable this
beautiful country is � they have it all. Now we were
headed for the mountains � the Drakensberg but first
we�d visit Durban.
sub-tropical climate and the environs were evocative
of Hawaii � thick dense undergrowth, tropical
flowers and sweetly scented air. The highway skirted
the ocean and tourist beaches stretched endlessly
along the coast. The Golden Mile is the beach mecca
� five star hotels, fun and games, restaurants and
shops galore � very Waikiki!
We stopped for a few hours there beside the beach
near the aquarium.
We took a circuitous route
through Durban on the way out to get a good look at
the city with its Indian ambience, Hindu temples et
Due west, the drive up to the Drakensberg was a
steady climb from sea level to 1,700m at
destination. Through the clouds that seemed to
shroud the mountain range and out the other side, we
got back to glorious sunshine and the silhouette of
the Drakensberg was breathtaking.
The Drifters Drakensberg Inn is high up in the
mountains at the base of the sheer cliffs. We had to
leave our truck below, took just what we needed for
two days and all piled into a specially constructed
4x4 to jerk and clatter up - about a half an hour
Our log cabins finally came into view after our
bones had been rattled and shaken up the curving
stone and dirt roadway. Situated high, they all
faced the magnificence of green valleys and granite
cliffs of the Drakensberg.
candlelight lamps, china and glass, wonderful wine,
good company all made our chicken dinner even more
delicious. It was only 8:30 when
we put on our PJ�s and slipped into the comfy
white-sheeted beds, our sleeping bags atop us and
windows wide open. Then the most amazing sound and
light show broke out � for about an hour, the
lightning illuminated the sky silhouetting the
mountains while thunder crashed in synchronization
and it seemed to come from all directions. It was
thrilling but a little fearsome � I�d never ever
seen a storm like it.
Drakensberg: Wed 1 Nov
Up we went, fording streams and clambering over
rocks until we reached the Bushmen�s caves where the
tiny Bushmen resided hundreds of years ago. A bit
further along are ochre wall paintings of dogs, men
We went to bed that night with the wind whistling
outside, a fire smouldering in the fireplace and we
snuggled into our sleeping bags �as snug as bugs in
Free State & Golden Gate: Thur 2 Nov
The ride down
the mountain in the 4x4 was a jarring and tortuous
one in the rear seat. After the rain, the creeks
were overflowing but the vehicle transited them
without a problem. We were back to our truck and on
the way by 10 am.
The rain continued to
pour down as our highway skirted the northern border
of Lesotho passing through Golden Gate Park. Many
species of antelope and the black wildebeest inhabit
the park. The sandstone mountains stood as sentinels
ringing the green and golden grasslands. Rushing
waterfalls tumbled mightily from the mountaintops.
Rushing streams turned into rivers and etched the
landscape even gushing across the road at low
Oldenburg farm is off the highway along several
kilometers of dirt roads.
The beautiful sprawling ranch style farmhouse was
over 100 years old but the interior was refurbished
Fri 3 Nov
The sunrise was spectacular, with strips of mist
across the distant mountains, trees reflected in a
rosy hue in the valley bottom lake. We were on the
road at 6:30am after an early breakfast.
Freshly shorn sheep grazed the grasslands looking
skinny and naked � they�d scamper away from the road
as our truck approached. Further on, the grasslands
thinned exposing more and more sand. On this rocky
territory, goats prevailed.
Karoo is full of a myriad of desert plants � grass
is sparse and shrubs are scrubby but there are
bright yellow blossoms brightening up the otherwise
gray and beige landscape.
New Bethesda is a little town that time forgot.
Whitewashed stone buildings and black, white and
coloured children running around together.
The Drifters Karoo Inn is at the end of a long and
tortuous road � as usual, extremely remote. The
accommodations were in little stone huts � two rooms
and a shared bathroom in each.
It got really cold overnight so we had our
sleeping bags and an extra blanket over us and then
I descended into oblivion for six hours straight.
The Karoo: Sat 4 Nov
This rising with the sun has got to stop � 5:00am
and I�m energized and raring to meet the day. Why am
I not like this at home? Fernie and I went on a
desert walk tracking some kudu and bontebok � they
were ever watchful though and only allowed us so
A late breakfast today 9:00am and Dorran led us on a
hike around the facing mountain. There were bontebok, springbok,
ostriches, zebra and eland (the largest of the
antelopes). We climbed up to an ostrich nest. The
prime female lay her egg(s) in the centre and the
lesser females deposit theirs around the perimeter
securing the prime females eggs from the scavengers.
There were about 25 or so eggs in the single nest.
November 5, 2006 � Sunday
On the road early � 7:00am, we stopped in the little
town of Graaff-Reinet for a couple of hours, where we
gave a cursory visit to several museums. The Karoo
is full of prehistoric fossils from the Permian
period � way before Jurassic. It was a pokey little
museum but it had some wonderful fossils.
We started the day in
the Karoo desert ringed by hills which became
sparser of plants as we progressed and then as we
got to the mountains, scrubby trees started to show
getting thicker and fuller until it became a full
I rode up front with Dorran across the
Outenqua Mountain pass, a gravel road through a long
deep gorge � a one and a half hour visually gorgeous
transit. It was much like some of the roads I�d
navigated Fernie over in our RV, to his chagrin.
There�s a large squatter camp on the way into Knysna
� mile upon mile of tumbledown, gray clapboard
shacks built up the hillsides in a haphazard fashion
� it reminded me of a film set. Some maybe most of
the shacks were no more than 6 or 7 foot square and
most had black plastic covering the roofs. Folks
were cooking outside on their tumbledown porches. I
don�t think there was any sort of sanitation and
definitely no electricity. A quarter mile away,
millionaires had built their mansions � this is the
Garden Route. The polarity is very troubling.
The Drifters Knysna Inn is, of course, a trifle
remote�.that�s the charm. Today, we encountered
another obstacle � a tree had fallen across the
road��it took all the able bodied to snap off
branches and move it sufficiently so the truck could
The inn was run by Hilda (from Holland) and her
husband, Gavin (from Zimbabwe) with their
two-year-old son. Hilda told me that they�d be going
to Holland to live because they didn�t see much
future for William in South Africa. However, it was
going to be a long and difficult process for Gavin
to emigrate. The anarchy in Zimbabwe has taken the
bureaucracy into chaos and it�s taken him over a
year to be able to obtain his birth certificate.
There was another group staying at the inn in the
main building. We were in the chalets. There were
two rooms per chalet again with a shared bathroom.
Lane and Christie were once again our roommates.
We�ve developed quite a comfort level with them. Set
in a pine forest, we could have been in BC, if not
for the strange birdcalls. The weather is cooler now
and they obviously get a lot of rain � everything is
so green and fertile.
Dinner was prepared by Hilda and her staff � a braai
of lamb chops and sausages with salads � I swear I�m
going home to a vegetarian diet. I�m so tired of
meat. Dead tired, I went straight to bed and slept
soundly in the cool night until my usual waking time
November 6, 2006 � Monday
An early long walk in the woods recharged my
batteries. I�ve reached the point in the trip where
I�m craving �alone time� and the early morning hours
offer me the peace and solitude I need.
The day was so full. We stopped at Bloukrans Bridge,
the highest single span arch bridge in the world
where the highest commercially operating bungy jump
in the world operates. It�s situated 40km east of
Plettenberg Bay along the N2 Highway. Watching the
jumpers, I was so tempted to try it��if only I were
20 years younger. There were no takers in our group.
In TsiTsikamma National Park, we took a hike along
the otter trail, a seaside walk, up to the point
where it was miles of climbing across boulders. The
Indian Ocean is wild and exciting and huge waves
crashed on the rocky precipices. Dorran didn�t
clearly state that we should turn around where the
trail stopped and boulders began and Barbara (one of
the German women) carried on for another hour.
Dorran ran the trail like an antelope to bring her
back while we walked the other direction to the
mouth of Storm�s River where a suspension bridge
crosses the wide gorge just as the river empties
into the ocean.
A beer and a cider and a bit of lunch at a caf�
right on the rocks and we were revived to explore
the long white sand beaches and rocky coves. On the
way back, we took a drive through the town of
Dinner out in a restaurant � what a treat. We all
dined in a seafood restaurant on the Knysna
waterfront overlooking the wide lagoon. There�s
always a curry on the menu in South Africa and the
seafood curry was superb - just nice to get away
from meat. It was almost 10:00pm by the time we got
back and Fernie and I changed rooms to one where we
didn�t have to share a bathroom. So even though
tonight was Larium night, I fell asleep immediately
and had no nightmares. Maybe I�m getting immune to
the side effects of the malaria drug.
Cape Town; Knysna
November 7, 2006 � Tuesday
Our third night in Knysna. The world famous Garden
Route runs from about Tsitsikamma National Park in
the northeast to George in the west. It is so named
for the fertile, lush tropical foliage and beautiful
ocean beaches bordered by the statuesque Outenqua
Mountains. In early spring � four weeks or so before
we got there � it�s ablaze with wildflowers.
We explored Knysna today starting with a boat ride
in the Drifters twelve passenger wide bottom ski
boat. We were lucky that the weather cooperated and
the seas were fairly calm because they can�t get out
of the lagoon when it�s too windy. The narrow
channel between �The Heads� is treacherous. We found
lots of dolphins but our search for whales was a
bust. It was a great ride though slapping across the
wide swells of the open Indian Ocean.
Fernie played sous chef for the last time assisting
with the South African version of �bangers and
mash�, one more high cholesterol meal � tasty
Wed November 8
The days have been flying by � active, exploratory
and fulfilling days. I can�t wait for the next
adventure and greet each day with eagerness and
Plettenburg Bay, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay and all
the other picturesque towns on the spectacular
Garden Route are retirement communities primarily
and tourist destinations because of the extensive
white sand beaches. Today is our longest driving day
and we were on the road at 6:00am grabbing a boxed
breakfast to eat enroute. I was pensive as we
traveled and mulled over the adventure holiday that
we embarked on. It surpassed my expectations mostly
and I felt we coped well with the sharing of
facilities. Unlike the first day when the truck was
full of excited chatter, everyone was quiet but in a
comfortable and companiable way.
We detoured off the N2 to the consternation of some
of the passengers who were starting to complain
about rocky roads but it was pure pleasure for us.
The bumpy and dusty roads don�t annoy us, they offer
the opportunity of seeing the country unfettered by
signs and commercialism. Endless farms in rolling
land � wheat fields, some already harvested, sheep
everywhere and also cattle. Our intended destination
was DeHoop (pronounced de werp) Nature Preserve
stretched along the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Baboons scampered about through the fynbos (hardy
vegetation only found in the dune areas of South
Africa). Bontebok could be seen in the distance, but
the dunes themselves were the draw � whiter than
white sand looking like snow from a distance,
stretching for miles. We hiked down to a cove to
enjoy some beachcombing and whale watching. The
whales were out quite far though. With the day being
the longest travel day, every chance of a walk was
The small coastal town of Hermanus, only two hours
east of Cape Town is renowned for whale watching.
The ocean tumbles and boils over the rocks on the
rocky headland, the wind whipping up a froth of
whitecaps. It made it difficult to discern the
whales at first but then suddenly a mass of flesh
breeched directly in front of us only meters from
the shore and it continued to put on a show as it
slowly transited across the bay.
We hugged the coast line of the jade green waters of
False Bay on a winding highway carved into the sides
of the rugged mountains that hug the shore �
reminiscent of the Big Sur in California. The sun
shone brightly from clear blue skies but the wind
was gale-force as I sat up in the cab with Dorran
for the last leg into Cape Town. Sheets of salty
spray sailed across the choppy sea steered by the
keen wind. The truck was solid and stable though and
the gusts didn�t seem to affect it � thank goodness.
Shantytowns proliferate on the N2 freeway leading
into Cape Town. These squatter hovels constructed of
any available bit of material they can get their
hands on are usually topped with flapping black
plastic to keep the rain out. Groups of children
played soccer and other games on the grassy verge
beside the freeway amongst the seldom-removed litter
only inches from the speeding traffic. With a speed
limit of 120 kph, it would seem impossible to cross
the freeway on foot, but thousands climb the medians
and dodge through the thick traffic, not all making
it to the other side. The carnage is shockingly
The facts of life in a black South African�s life
are shocking. There�s a rape every sixty seconds �
often little girls ruined for life after; a murder
every 29 minutes in the urban areas particularly
Johannesburg; AIDS decimating the poor population
and a total lack of education. Out of a 50 million
total population, 40 million are black and the vast
proportion of blacks live in townships and the
deplorable conditions of the surrounding squatter
camps. There is supposed to be mandatory primary
education but where are the schools for the millions
in the shantytowns. It seems an impossible task to
eradicate the poverty and educate the masses.
I�m confused about the distinction between �Black�
and �Coloured� people in South Africa. It seems that
�Coloured� have become their own sect and have
garnered a higher level of respect from the
�whites�. Service jobs in the Cape area are mostly
held by �coloureds�. It�s a fine distinction and one
that I�m definitely confused by. I did notice though
that shopkeepers and restaurant servers were
articulate and refined in manner while their skin
was a lovely mocha colour. Does it hark back to the
days where the ratio of white blood to black blood
denoted position in the hierarchy? I noticed that
most of the black and coloured shopkeepers and inn
workers spoke in modulated tones and smiled shyly.
Is this behavior taught by and expected by the
whites of South Africa? Have they been intimidated
into this submission? It�s all too much to grasp by
our tolerant Canadian minds.
Cape Town is ranked as one of the five most
beautiful cities in the world and it upheld its
reputation. With Table Mountain as its backdrop and
its oozing �tablecloth� of cloud hovering over the
sparkling city and the ocean hugging it on three
sides, there can�t be a more beautiful setting. Sea
Point, just ten minutes around the coastal corner
from the city core, is a fairly safe community of
hotels and condos, shops and restaurants and that�s
where the Drifters Inn is located, just a half block
from the seafront.
Nicole, a statuesque German blonde has been running
that inn for six years. After coming to South Africa
to visit her uncle, she loved it so much that she
stayed. We were assigned a small but comfortable
room on the second floor with its own bathroom.
YEAH! Downstairs, there�s a lovely old sitting
room/library ringed with big comfy leather sofas and
chairs. Beside it is the dining room set beautifully
with china and linen and just outside is a patio
where we�d sit and enjoy a convivial drink.
November 9, 2006 � Thursday
I woke up singing that old Beatles song �When I�m
64�. I never thought I�d reach such a ripe old age
when I first heard it forty years ago and here I am
feeling no older than I did then.
We�re not on our own yet � we still have Dorran for
two more days until 4pm tomorrow. Of course, we
could elect to head off by ourselves if we want and
a few did but there was a wonderful planned day in
store so we hung in.. With plans to hike up Table
Mountain and take the cable car down after, we were
disappointed that the wind was so high up top that
it was closed. I guess we could have hiked up but
we�d have to walk down too which would have eaten up
too much time. However, Table Mountain was more
glorious than usual with its tablecloth of cloud
coating it like seeping dry ice at a rock concert.
With a little extra time, we stopped at Hout Bay for
a stroll and we mooched around the markets there. I
told myself that I wasn�t going to buy any tourist
trash but I weakened and bought a painted ostrich
egg when I found out part of the profits was going
to an ecological cause, the seal rescue. Fernie
bought me a pair of originally crafted copper
earrings for my birthday � they�re gorgeous and I
wore them the rest of the day even though they
looked a bit out of place with my scruffy clothing.
The South African penguins are a tiny species and
they choose to abide in a tiny cove, Boulders Beach,
south of Simonstown on False Bay, on the eastern
coast of the Cape Peninsula. The trouble is they
don�t stay down at the beach but wander uphill
crossing the highway to end up as road kill. We
spent a bit of amused time watching the little
darlings mosey around like wind-up toys.
Table Mountain National Park is at the southern end
of the peninsula and the endemic fynbos is protected
and beautiful as it covers the moors and slopes down
to the sea. Dorran parked the truck at Cape Point
and we walked up, rather than take the funicular, to
the lighthouse. The view was spectacular overlooking
the Cape of Good Hope a couple of kilometers to the
west. We had the choice of driving over with Dorran
or hiking across the rocky and windy headland and
being picked up at the bottom, at the Cape of Good
We grabbed a couple of takeout sandwiches, our
walking sticks and headed off, just the two of us
across the blustery cape � it was awe-inspiring but
there were moments I thought the wind would carry us
away. The actual most southerly point of Africa is
50 or more kilometers east at Cape Agulhas but it is
not anywhere near as dramatic as here. We sat on the
rocks high above secluded sandy coves munching our
sandwiches and agreed that �Life ain�t at all bad�.
The worst part of the trail was the last 500 meters
down a steep and narrow rocky path. I concentrated
only on my next step because otherwise all I could
see was the rocks and ocean below, which gave me a
bit of vertigo.
The winelands of Constantia sit on the north end of
the peninsula just south of Cape Town. We didn�t
stop but drove through the stunning green hills
twisting through the vineyards � my mouth was
salivating at the thought of some wine tastings �
What a great day we had � I want to bottle that
It was time for the group�s last dinner together so
we all jumped on the public bus which runs along the
oceanfront around the corner to the Victoria and
Alfred (I always thought is was Albert) Waterfront
which is a reclaimed wharf area now teeming with
hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions.
Masses of tourists and daytrippers crammed the area
and after spending so many days with just the
wonders of nature, I was horrified by the crass
behaviour of the loud and obnoxious sightseers.
Quay 4 was a lovely seafood restaurant right on the
seafront. We sat at a round table with our
favourites, Christie and Lane, Jean and Andre and
Dorran while the rest were at a long table beside
us. A martini to start and a superb Cabernet
accompanied my seared tuna � Yummy! I was secretly
enjoying my 64th birthday - - - or so I thought.
Jean passed me a parcel wrapped in tissue and raffia
with a card signed by the whole gang. I was glad the
lights were dim because the combination of the
fabulous day, the martini, the new friends and
Jean�s thoughtfulness brought tears to my eyes.
Could anyone ask for a better 64th birthday?
November 10, 2006 � Friday
Things are winding down now � this is our last day
with the group. Two of them elected to skip our
proposed wine tour to Stellenbosch � not us!
Before heading off to the winelands, we took a drive
around Table Bay as far as Tableview � aptly named
for its picture postcard view of Cape Town and Table
Mountain. There are so many gorgeous and affordable
seafront properties � it would be a tempting place
to buy and live if we could overlook the poverty,
crime and politics � but we couldn�t.
Morgenhof Wineries is one of the oldest in the
Stellenbosch area and have vast underground cellars
filled with French Oak casks. The tastings were very
generous and I didn�t spit or pour out � I drank the
lot � the sign of a true WINO! We sampled a Rose, a
Sauvignon Blanc, a Cabernet and their Premiere Red
finishing off with a late harvest. The Cabernet was
superlative so I bought a bottle for Jean and Andre
who sadly missed the day. Jean had to go back to
hospital to have a cast put on her broken wrist.
We visited a Raptor Rehab Centre in the afternoon
where we had some interaction with falcons, owls,
eagles and kites. One of the fellows who runs the
facility put on a display of each bird�s skills. I
wandered over to a bench and no sooner had I sat
down but a falcon landed on my head, hoping for some
food I guess. But I felt quite silly sitting there
with a bird on my head. A cheetah rehab compound sat
beside the raptor centre and we wandered through but
apparently they weren�t going to be reintroduced to
the wild and they were being bred in captivity and I
didn�t understand why - so we didn�t give it our
I nicely asked the German women to vacate the front
seat beside Dorran. They had been up there for two
days and I wanted to sit up front for the last hour
of our expedition. Such complaints ensued.
�I have a chest cold� said one and pointed to her
throat wrapped in a scarf (in 25 degree weather). �I
can�t ride in the back where the windows will be
Whine and complain, that�s all they did. I guess the
eighteen days of togetherness has been a bit too
much � the natives are restless. After severely
pointing out that we all must cooperate and we take
turns, they finally gave in when I snapped �If you
insist on riding up there, I can�t forcibly remove
you�, and I threw up my arms in dramatic disgust as
I climbed into the back of the truck. I guess I made
them feel guilty because with that they moved to the
back � what a damned fuss!
I did enjoy the last hour chatting to Dorran as we
drove back to Seapoint � Fernie prefered to stay in
the back and snooze. I was full of mixed feelings �
happy that F&I would be on our own now � sad that we
were leaving some of our fellow passengers and
Dorran � happy to be planning future expeditions -
sad that the wonderful journey in the �Jolly Green
Giant� was over.
We spent an hour repacking our bags when we got back
to the inn, so that we�d live out of the single
smaller suitcase for the next week. We then headed
down to the patio for a glass of wine and beer.
Dorran still hadn�t left for Johannesburg and he
said �I just got two bits of bad news�. We urged him
to continue. �Jean has gone back into surgery � they
had to replace the pins� he seemed so worried about
her. ��..and, they�ve cancelled my days off between
trips, so when I get back to Johannesburg, I do an
immediate turn around with a brand new group�. So
after eighteen days of sixteen hours each, he has to
drive two days back to Johannesburg and immediately
repeat the same journey � I don�t know how the
guides don�t burn out but I guess they probably do.
Christie and Lane were flying home that night so we
joined them for dinner at the Spur, a hamburger
joint across the road from the inn. Exhausted, we
said our goodbyes, promised to email each other and
we had an early night.
November 11, 2006 - Saturday
Andre was down for breakfast and he filled us in on
Jean�s condition. She was kept in hospital overnight
but he was going to pick her up soon. One of the
bridge women, the aggravating one, sat down with us
too and started nitpicking � she�s like a dog with a
bone. I asked her to desist but she wouldn�t shut
up; I then suggested she move to another table,
which she wouldn�t, so we ignored her and then
excused ourselves. She was one that we could have
The Drifters Inn was overbooked so Nicole moved us
to a B&B several blocks away � Sundown Manor. It was
a definite upgrade � a lovely large room with king
sized bed, huge shower and all the amenities and the
house and grounds were beautiful. The move was done
quickly as we were being picked up for a �Township
Tour� at 8:30.
There were seven others on the tour and Sean, the
tour driver. The others were all young � in their
twenties, I�d guess. It was a fulfilling experience
� very moving and I think it should be mandatory for
everyone that visits South Africa. The townships of
displaced blacks started when the Group Areas Act,
passed in the 1950s, prohibited Blacks from living
in the cities. However, the true beginnings were in
1901 when Bubonic plague hit and blacks were
considered carriers of the disease and therefore
resettled away from the white population. Then in
1918, as a result of the Spanish flu, blacks were
once again segregated to separate compounds.
District 6, a central area of Cape Town was a lively
black and coloured community in 1960 when it was
decided they should all be forcibly removed and
relocated to the Cape Flats, thirty kilometers away
so that �white folks� could build and reside there.
So the ages old homes were razed but somehow it
never got redeveloped. It stands now as mostly
vacant land and they are building a few small homes
for some of the displaced persons. However, most of
them are dead or too old now. The bare land stands
as a stark reminder of the atrocity. Just a few
blocks down the road, the old Methodist church has
been turned into The District 6 Museum chronicling
those awful times. Most moving is a huge scroll
inscribed by the affected, articulately expressing
how it felt to be considered less than a person.
Our next visit was to the Langa (meaning �sun�)
Township, one of the oldest in the area. The
residents are squashed into mostly squalid
conditions. A township is made up of government
built projects, prefab shacks and squatter huts
thrown up by the newer arrivals who don�t qualify
for anything. The squatter shacks are made of old
bits of wood, plastic and whatever they can scrounge
or steal. They are lucky if they have six-foot
square of space, extremely fortunate if there�s an
outhouse not too far away and if they have
electricity, they�re the upper echelon. There�s a
long list for RDP (Reconstruction and Development
Programme) houses and it gets longer every day.
Alongside the townships, an empty tract of land (the
bush) is kept for �the initiation process� of young
men 16 to 18 years of age, much as traditionally
happened in the wild tribal days. The boys are sent
out, usually roughly circumcised without anesthetic,
allowed only a loin cloth and must stay out there
for a pre-determined time. The �bush� beside the
Langa Township is right beside the N2 freeway and we
spied what looked to be rough shelters made of
newspapers here and there.
In 2003, Sean drove Oprah to Langa � or say he says.
It was there that she offered to pay the wages of
all teachers for one year to focus the residents on
education. Apparently, she continues her support and
has enlisted several other large corporations to
Each township is a functioning community with
entrepreneurial businesses run out of their sordid
little shacks. There�s a proliferation of one type
of business and that�s hairdressers � with fancy
names such as �Ebony Coiffures�. No matter how poor,
a black woman must have her hair looking good.
We were taken to a drinking establishment, a shebeen
- an illicit beer hall, the name taken from the
Irish apparently. A dark dirt-floored hovel greeted
us. We were ushered in to sit on battered wooden
benches, hardly room to fit us all. The two women
brought a galvanized pail of foaming home-brewed ale
and placed it on the floor in the centre of the room
and we were all asked to take a drink right out of
the pail. Fernie started and I, next, first of all
said �No thank you� but was convinced to try it. It
was a sour, foamy and quite nasty brew � Yuck! I
prayed I wouldn�t get sick from it. The town men pay
either six or nine rand and for that they can drink
as much as they want all day up until either 6pm or
9pm. How sad their lives are if they choose to sit
all day in that dim and musty pit sloshing down that
Sheep�s heads � a delicacy? No I think it�s because
they get them very cheaply or maybe for nothing from
the abattoir. A small fierce-looking woman, her face
and arms smeared grotesquely with calamine lotion
threw the heads onto a large grill with leaping
flames which burned off the wool and cooked the
little bits of flesh on the skull. Tongues are the
favoured bit, but all gets used including the
An elementary school had been set up in several
brightly painted shipping containers � no windows �
no electricity � how on earth could they see inside?
We weren�t shown. South African law states that all
children must go to school but how is that possible
in some of the rural townships where schools don�t
exist. Their chances of education are at least
better in the urban environment.
Quite a few years ago, a young woman arrived in Cape
Town without education or money and she ended up in
the largest (1.5 million population) township in the
Cape Town area, Khayelitsha (meaning �new home�). A
surprisingly eloquent woman, Rosie now has two
children of her own (19 and 21 years old) and she�s
well-known for the soup kitchen for children that
she started out of her home with the help of
personal donations and corporate help. Her house was
a proper brick structure with appliances and
comfortable furniture. Her garish and ostentatious
sofa and chair were tightly covered in thick clear
plastic � which did double duty, it protected the
fabric from soil and wear while showing the �beauty�
of the colour and design. Our driver Sean loved
Rosie and said several times that he wished his wife
was more like her. Dressed in blue jeans, she stood
elegantly in her living room, while we sat on her
plastic covered sofa and told us about her soup
kitchen and her life in the Mikasa area of
Khayelitsha. We were pleased to donate to the cause
� actually personally felt it mandatory.
Wherever we went in the township, the little
children horded around us like hungry dogs. They
were shiny clean, their clothes sparkling as if they
were in a Tide commercial. There�s a lot of pride in
the community. Next, a recycling entrepreneurship �
a man uses tin cans to make colourful flowers. He
demonstrated how he used very basic tools to make a
flower out of a Coca-Cola can in just a few minutes.
I had to buy one � a daisy for 15 rand ($2.50 Cdn).
Betsy, a garrulous young woman from Colorado (rare
to meet Americans traveling away from 5* hotels �
mostly Germans, French, Belgian, Dutch and Canadians
� strangely didn�t meet any Australians) was
visiting Cape Town on business but found time to
sightsee. She�s on the Paralympic Committee. We
chatted while on the township tour and she said she
was unable to get a ticket for Robben Island �
totally booked. We had reserved tickets several days
earlier and suggested that she see if there were any
last-minute cancellations. So she got off with us at
the V&A Waterfront and joined us for lunch at a
Pannekoek caf� on the patio with circulating buskers
entertaining us. I had a pancake wrapped Bobotie �
the spicy Malay/South African dish which was quite
memorable. There were no cancellations for Robben
Island initially but just as we were boarding the
ferry, along came Betsy waving a ticket, happy as
Robben Island lies just outside Table Bay and the
crossing is just 35 minutes. It was hot and windless
on the top deck and we enjoyed the calm crossing.
Nelson Mandela and many other political activists
were imprisoned on the island for so many years but
at the outset it was used in the very early days as
a compound for domestic animals � cows and sheep,
and then for the incarceration of naughty sailors.
All tours on the island are on buses between the
buildings. It�s a World Heritage Site that is being
tightly protected from the ravages of tourism. The
guides were apparently all ex-cons formerly
imprisoned there so their stories were accurate and
poignant. The groups were much too large though and
the opportunity of one-on-one conversations with
them was impossible.
A prison - is a prison - is a prison! It seems to me
there�s not much difference between them (we could
easily be in Alcatraz) only the reasons for
imprisonment and the unfair treatment that blacks
and coloureds received. The designation of being
�coloured� covers blacks with whites, blacks with
Indians, blacks with the aboriginal San and Khoisan
but they get lumped under the one term �coloured�
and were segregated from the blacks and the whites.
The �Cape Coloured� were whites with San or Khoisan,
the African bushmen. The San were the
hunter-gatherers while the Khoisan were the herders.
They both originally spoke with the �click� sound in
What a change in the sea for our return journey �
windy and wild, chopping the waters and making for a
blustery and cold ride. We dug out our windbreakers
and put the hoods up to protect us from the cold and
spray. Almost 7pm by then, we waved goodbye to Betsy
and stopped for a quick dinner of kingclip and
calamari before catching the bus back to Sea Point.
We got off at the wrong stop for our new hotel and
had to walk quite a way. We were exhausted when we
Andre and Jean had also been moved to the same B&B
but they were out to dinner when we got there so I
put the bottle of Cabernet that I bought for them at
Morgenhof, on their doorknob. I hope they got it ok
as they left for the airport before we got up next
November 12, 2006 � Sunday
What a wonderful sleep we had in that enveloping
king-sized bed with the crisp white linens.
Breakfast was served on the patio overlooking the
swimming pool and we chatted to Gary the 45ish
owner. He and his wife and two children were from
Zimbabwe and had owned a farm there. The farm was
confiscated by the Mugabe government and not $1 was
given to them. Obviously by the lovely hotel they
owned in Capetown, they had been aware and prepared
by hiding money out of the country. I guess they
were lucky not to have been shot and burned out as
happened to many white farmers there.
We walked from Sea Point to Green Point for the
massive weekend marketplace running for about a
kilometer on the Green Point parkland. Fernie had
one thing in mind � he wanted an African tablecloth
for our dining room table. With the new culinary
skills gleaned from his apprenticeship with Dorran
and his keen interest in �crockpot cookery� he�s
becoming quite the domestic man and I�m terrifically
pleased. We couldn�t find a three meter tablecloth
so ended up with two � two meter ones which we�ll
We were more than half way to the V&A Waterfront by
this time so we carried on � on foot. We�d received
Cape Town Passes delivered to our hotel. The passes
covered many tourist attractions, activities and
tours and the �Hop-on-Hop-off bus�, an open topped
double decker with a guide who gave a narrated tour
of the city. We hopped off at Table Mountain and
finally the cable car was open � the winds moderate
and no cloud tablecloth � it was clear as a bell. At
the top, it is as flat as it appears from below and
it�s been developed into some wonderful walks. The
360 degrees of views were phenomenal � from the city
centre right to Cape Point and we spent a couple of
hours exploring the trails before descending and
�hopping on� the bus again. We didn�t have time for
any museums � the day flew by � but we did �hop in�
to the aquarium. It wasn�t a patch on the one in
While briskly walking through Sea Point later on, we
encountered a tall and stately, elderly (70+ish)
gentlemen sporting a handlebar moustache. He greeted
us with a barked
�Are you part of the Irish walking tour?�. He
obviously had an interest in walking because he
carried a worn and bent walking stick.
�No, we�re on our own� I answered, wondering at his
�Well, you certainly look Irish and you have a
lovely lilt to your voice� he said to me
flirtatiously, ignoring Fernie. He spoke in an upper
crust English accent � or so I thought.
�Where are you from?� I asked in friendliness.
�Rhodesia� he barked, straightening his bent spine
as if he�d been a military man.
�Zimbabwe?� I replied.
�Rhodesia� he determinedly answered �It will always
be Rhodesia� and then he carried on an oratory about
the previous Ian Smith government and the current
Mugabe regime. ��..and the natives thought it would
get better with Mugabe� he bellowed �Hrmph!�
Another seafood dinner at the Ocean Basket a couple
of blocks from our hotel was fabulous � mussels,
calamari and baby kingclip. Our tiny server�s name
was Adelaide and she sparkled with happiness and
charm � she so reminded us of our daughter-in-law,
Janet. Fernie, as was I, was totally taken with her
�So you�re a Zulu?� Fernie asked her after hearing
an adolescent boy at a neighbouring table ask her.
�Yes � I am a Zulu� she proudly rose to her full
five foot of height. �You were listening��
She told us she was a student studying at university
�Accounting� she said proudly, obviously full of
ambition and enthusiasm.
November 13, 2006 � Monday
6:00am What a Godforsaken time to have a flight. It
meant having to get up by 3:30am for pickup at 4.
But we were up battling hordes of mosquitoes that
invaded our room from 1:00am. Why don�t south
Africans have screens on their windows?
We were in Joberg or Jozie, as those that are
familiar refer to their largest city, by 8:00am.
We�d booked one overnight in the Drifters Inn and a
tour of the city to become acquainted with it.
Mpho (pronounced Umpo), a charming and gentle young
man (26) dressed in a black suit and tie, was our
escort for the day. He lived in Soweto and regaled
us with stories of his village (4.5 million live
there � it�s mind boggling) as he drove us around.
We didn�t see one white face as we drove street
after street in the downtown core. Mpho said �I
won�t take you to that area over there � that�s
where the Nigerians live with their crime and their
drugs and corruption � it�s very dangerous over
�I take you to �Top of Africa� now� he said �tallest
building in all of Africa�. The Carleton Tower � 50
stories with a viewing area on the top floor was
accessed through an underground parking lot and a
shopping mall above.
�Why are the mannequins all white?� I asked, still
not seeing a white face anywhere.
�I don�t know � I never noticed before� he answered.
I suggested that they should be painted black and he
laughed uproariously, mentioning it again later and
laughing heartily again. The view from the top was
marred by the dark clouds quickly gathering over the
city core but we got an idea how vast the city was.
Constitution Hall, formerly the prison where Mahatma
Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were held is now the
Supreme Court but parts of the squalid prison are
left intact as a memorial. While visiting it under
the tutelage of a strong African woman with shaved
head, deep voice and manly attire, thunder roared,
lighting flashed and the heavens opened up. We got
soaking wet as we ran for cover and it got suddenly
very cold. We huddled in a depressing and dank
cement room while the roar of the storm masked the
audio of the film being shown of interviews with the
excons. Luckily, subtitles were shown.
Storm over, we progressed to the Nelson Mandela
Bridge and the Gandhi Memorial Square. So there
wasn�t really too much to see but we got an overall
impression of a city that�s seen better times �
however, a good infrastructure and definitely not
third world. More tales of his home life ensued and
especially of his girlfriend who�s studying to be a
�We have a huge hospital in Soweto for all the
people who get hurt � broken bones all the time� he
said. That�s where she will work.
�And I want to have my own tour company with my own
cars� he said ambitiously. Goodhome
luck to them all.
We didn�t expect to see Dorran again but his new
tour was meeting that evening at the Drifters Inn.
It was strange to see the new ones taking our places
in �our� truck. This was a much younger group � 20�s
to 40�s I�d guess. He�ll have an easier time with
them, I think. We had a quick chat with Dorran after
we got back from dinner at an Indian restaurant just
down the road and wished him all the best.
Mon/Tue 13/14 Nov
Fly to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) for
extended holiday before returning home to Vancouver,
There is so much more to see in South Africa
than the game reserves, Kruger and Cape Town and I
feel we did much more than scratch the surface on
our wonderful overland adventure. It exceeded our
expectations and the memories will stay with us
forever. My senses are overwhelmed when I think of
what we�ve experienced � the game reserves and parks
overflowing with wildlife, the Indian Ocean
coastline with its explosive seas, the majestic
mountains of the Drakensberg, the desert of the
Karoo, the luxuriant Garden Route, the pristine
coves and beaches with silky white powder sand, the
fertile winelands and farmlands, the tropical
jungles, the velvet valleys, the smiling faces. This
trip energized us � I feel younger than ever. So,