South Africa is one of my favorite places I have traveled to! That is probably why I have been there six times. Although, that also has to do with the fact that I had family living there. With each visit I saw something new or even went to a new country! I will break down what I did on each trip, so here is what I did the first time I visited:
February 2010, my first trip to South Africa. It was amazing and beautiful! We saw so many things in that one short week. We stayed in Johannesburg which became a headquarters of sorts, but we also went to the Kruger National Park and Cape Town. 6 years later and I still can’t believe we managed it all.
Landing in South Africa was like entering small paradise. Absolutely Beautiful. We enjoyed the traveling and the wonderful weather, before we had to go back to the cold February weather in Prague.
We didn’t get much of a chance to explore Johannesburg, because left for Kruger Park at 3am the morning after we landed. We did get a chance to go the Lion Park. This was a great way to set the mood for the entire trip. Not only did we get to see grown lions, whose caretakers were casually drinking coffee by the open gates into the lion enclosure, but we also got to pet and hold lion cubs!
Kruger National Park was another great trip. Although we got lost on our way there from Johannesburg. So good luck, don’t get lost, because it doesn’t feel all that safe when you are driving at night past signs that say “hijacking hotspot”. So, one important tip make sure you know where you are going and get a GPS!
We only had a couple of days, but we managed to go in the Park in a Jeep with a guide as well as on our own, in our car. There were a couple of scarier moments when we were in our own car, one of which included an angry looking elephant that did not look like it particularly cared for us. In fact, it looked quite mad that we were on that road at all.
We also had time to go to a evening/night safari, which was a whole new experience. This was in a private park with a guide, which meant we could go anywhere in the park and follow the animals into the bush. For the first time in my life I even saw giraffes sleep, which looks absolutely amazing, because there were like 10 giraffes lying on the ground, with their necks still sticking up. Not something you see all the time. This private park was a great place to go, because it was just us, possibly one other tour happening at the same time. Even though there were roads for the jeep, the nature had an untouched feel to it. I definitely recommend looking into these private parks.
One short flight took us from Johannesburg to Cape Town. A guide took us to so many beautiful places around Cape Town. Since we had a local guide, he managed to take us to several little places, that would have been so easily overlooked if you didn’t know they were there. Not only did we get to see the Cape of Good Hope, but we also saw the penguins that come to the cape of South Africa, when it’s too cold in Antarctica. He took us to some small towns around Cape Town, some of which looked like they belong in the Wild West. The guide also took us to a Cheetah Outreach center, where they take care of and breed cheetahs.
After we got back, we got one more taste of Africa when we went to a local market. The market was in a garage parking lot and the locals were selling all sorts of products. Anything from little souvenirs to practical clothing and kitchenware.
More about South Africa and Africa in general coming soon! Check back to learn more about where to go and what to do!