My trip through South-Africa
Johannesburg Travel Blog› entry 15 of 15 › view all entries
South-Africa. What a country! Where must I start? What do I have to tell, and what is not important? It is so much!
We started our trip in Johannesburg. We’ve been to the Apartheids museum and Soweto. If you walk through the Apartheids museum, you almost feel guilty for being Dutch (for those who don’t know there history very well, the Dutch invented apartheid. That’s also why there’s no English word for it.) Soweto is a township of Johannesburg. Even there, at the townships, you can see the difference in class and income. We drove through the area where the students of Soweto rose up against their oppressors because of the new language ��" Afrikaans ��" on June 16 1976. It was very impressive. The ambience makes you speechless. This day was all about history, and I loved it.
After Johannesburg we went for Graskop (to the north). We’ve seen many natural sights in this area (waterfalls, view points, strange shaped mountains, that kind of things). It was absolutely beautiful!
After Graskop we drove to Kruger National Park. That is absolutely amazing! What you’re used to see on television now walks around your car. That is só weird! We’ve seen the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) in one day. That is really special. Although I have to admit that we saw the leopard at such a distance, that you had to look very, very good to see it. The lion, or really the lioness, we spotted in the evening, on a night drive, along with 3 cups! That was so beautiful! Really incredible. Apart from the Big Five we’ve seen a lot of other animals of course! Zebras, giraffes, countless impalas, bushbucks, reedbucks and other bucks, baboons, vervet monkeys, lots and lots of birds, hippos, ostriches, hyenas, crocodiles…
After one night in the Kruger National Park we went to Marlothpark. This park is right next to Krugerpark. The two parks are separated by a river. The difference between Kruger and marloth is that in Marloth houses are build in the park to live or to stay for a couple of days. Wild animals literally walk through your backyard. We had house-warthogs and house-impalas, and every now and then vervet monkeys and giraffes came to visit us. The most beautiful experience was the night that four wild zebras came to our verandah and wanted us to feed them. Do you understand? WE FED WILD ZEBRAS!!
After almost a week in this lovely house our parents decided to go to Swaziland (a kingdom surrounded by South-Africa). So we packed our stuff and went to Swaziland. The original idea was to arrive in the early afternoon to find a place to sleep, and then off to see some culture. Unfortunately this wasn’t as easy as we thought. The one night that we didn’t arrange a place to sleep before we left home, we couldn’t find anything. So we drove for ours, and that’s how we’ve seen Swaziland. Through the windows of the car.
The last location we went to was St. Lucia, in the so called Wetlands. The name makes you think that it is a lot more humid and greener, but that wasn’t the case. The winter is the most dry season in South-Africa, but is hasn’t been as dry for a long time as it was this year.
In St. Lucia and vicinity we’ve seen other wildparks, been to the beach (it was too windy to lie in the sun, and the one day we could, I had a headache =S), been to a Culture Village of the Zulu and made a trip on river and sea.
In this ‘backyard’ we also saw a couple of animals. One day the vervet monkeys decided to take a closer look at our house (on the second floor). And then, in an unguarded moment, there was a vervet monkey sitting in our living room! You have to know that these monkeys can trash down your whole apartment, so it’s not good when they’re inside! My sister was frightened to death! We chased the monkey out, and then we saw a whole family sitting on our balcony and in the backyard. Very cute! Until they started to find my sister’s toes very interesting.
In this backyard we saw a hippo with her youngster at night. You don’t come this close to a hippo that often. It was very remarkable.
The trip on the river was to take a closer look at hippos, crocodiles and bird. We’ve often seen them close enough, so it wasn’t very interesting, but it was fun.
The trip on see was nothing less than a Whalewatch-trip. Before we left we took pills against seasickness, but unfortunately they weren’t very helpful. From what I’ve heard the whales were very special, but I was so seasick, that I missed it all. I’m glad we have a DVD =D
After a week in St. Lucia is was time to go home. Our 3 weeks during holiday was over. We stayed one night in Ladiesmith because the trip from St. Lucia to Johannesburg was too long. We were really spoiled in Ladiesmith. Not only with the great bed and the lovely food, but the lady of the house had 5 dogs!
If you ask me: “What was the most remarkable moment? What was the climax?” I don’t know what to say. I can’t pick one moment. It stays unreal to be amongst wild animals. That they cross the road, right in front of you, without worrying about anything. Or that they come to your verandah to beg for food. Or the most curios one that suddenly sits in your living room. Or just a sweet dog or cat that runs to you to be cuddled.
What was my climax?
To see all those animals in their natural habitat enjoying life. With my own eyes.