Safari in South Africa

January 1, 2020

South Africa is, I would say, one of the most beautiful and at the same time heart-breaking countries. Its beautiful nature and devastating townships are in stark contrast.

This year I made it back to the country that has all of the big five — lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. It was a stunning experience.

We started our trip in Johannesburg, going to the north-west to the Madikwe Game Reserve.

Overview of Madikwe Game Reserve

Overlooking Madikwe Game Reserve

Elephant on safari
Drinking coffee early in the morning in the safari park
Magical tree
A lion
Sun rising over Madikwe
Lion that is photographed by people out of safari vehicles
Picture out of our car into the sun
Artsy picture of dusk in the desert

Pink and White Skies

Waking up at 5 in the morning while the sun was still down, coffee at 8. Our schedule was insane. The early bird, gets the worm – I guess; getting up early meant we were getting all the sunrises. At 9 we were done. We went back to sleep, only to be ready for the next safari at 4 in the afternoon.

After three awesome days in Madikwe, it was about time to move to our next destination. We went to the Welgevonden Reserve. It was north of Madikwe, near the border to Botswana. Getting there was a bumpy ride. Roads on a map do not necessarily translate to tarred streets in South Africa. Take note.

A map of South Africa which highlights our journey

The three stops on our journey: Madikwe, Welgevonden, Cape Town

Once we arrived, everything changed. It was quite interesting how much the landscape differed. Even in Madikwe, on the same day, it felt like we were visiting different locations on earth although it was all part of the same game reserve. Welgevonden felt completely different yet again. If Madikwe was like a steppe, this game reserve was like a jungle.

Sun rising in the Welgevonden Reserve

Do you feel the jungle?

Elephant on the street
Giraffe in the wild
Elephant moving away from our car

In this game reserve the elephants were messing with us. Usually, they came running towards our safari vehicle when we encountered them. Get’s your blood pumping. Apparently they were in their musth phase which means they are more aggressive. With their 6 tons of weight, elephants could easily turn around a safari vehicle.

After a few days and many elephant encounters, we drove back to Johannesburg. From there we flew to our last destination: Cape Town, one of my favorite cities I have been to. We stayed in Cape Town over New Years Eve. It’s crazy how cheap good food is in this city. One restaurant I can highly recommend is called Manna Epicure in Kloof Street. It’s damn good. And also, did I tell you about the light?

Clouds over Cape Town and Lions Head

Mystic haze

Beautiful lions head during dusk

Lions Head at dusk

Clouds over twelve apostels

Clouds over the twelve apostles