South Africa Part 2

My second trip to South Africa was in the summer of 2010. This trip was very similar to the first, because I went to all the same places, Kruger Park and Cape Town. I did get to experience a couple of new things though.

In Cape Town I went to Robben Island, the prison that was used during the Apartheid. Robben island was originally used as a place for Lepers, it isolated the sick from the populated city. So one of the places we saw was the graveyard specifically used during the epidemic. We also saw the prison that was used during the Apartheid. The tour guide used to be a prisoner on Robben Island, so he gave great insight into the recent history of the island, where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years.SA6

In Cape Town we also took advantage of the sunny, cloudless skies and we went up to the top of Table Mountain. We were amazed at the beautiful view from the top. The city spanned below us and we could see all the way from the small township on the outskirts of the city to the rich parts and even the soccer stadium where FIFA was hosted.

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While we were in Cape Town, we also rented a car so that we could go see sights that were slightly more removed. On our way to the Cape of Good Hope we got slightly lost. Instead of getting on the highway that would lead us to the Cape, we drove along the coast, with the ocean on one side and a township on the other. Getting lost actually worked in our favor, because we got to see more of the city and the towns surrounding it. As we drove through the different towns we noticed that they were very Dutch, still maintaining the look the first Dutch settlers brought with them in the 17th century._DSC1742

The Cape of Good Hope is one of those places that is a must see. Definitely go up to the lighthouse, from there you will be able to see the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet. From the lighthouse you can clearly see the difference between the two oceans, because of the temperature of the water. And, of course, it is a great place to take pictures! :)

Another trip we took was to some of the wineries in the area, Klein Constatia and Groot Constatia. Both were great and both were just gorgeous. Whether or not you like wine, this makes a great trip, trust me, I was too young to drink when I went! South African wine is delicious, so I definitely recommend going to the wineries!

Read even more about Cape Town here!

Kruger National Park was a very different experience this time around. It was the dry season, which mean fires. Every year, fires take over the Kruger National Park and a large percentage of the land is burned, destroying the natural habitat of thousands of native animals. It was a huge difference to the never ending sea of green that I saw just a few months earlier.

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Kruger Park concluded my trip this time and it was a great way to end it. That was the last time I went to Kruger Park, but I went to so many other interesting places the next time I visited, so come back for more stories from South Africa!


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South Africa Part 1

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South Africa Part 1

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.

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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.

24209_370421519249_4916125_nWe 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.24209_370436149249_3604956_n

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.

SA5One 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.

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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!


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