Jan Hünermann

28. January 2020 - Safari in South Africa

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 jour­ney in Johan­nes­burg, going to the north-west to the Madik­we Game Reserve.

Over­look­ing the Madik­we Game Reserve

We were mov­ing through the game reserve using a 4×4 safari vehi­cle. Our guide was super friend­ly and he could show us a wide vari­ety of dif­fer­ent ani­mals and tell us more about them. 

The safari sched­ule was very rough though. Every­day we got up at around 5.30am to start the morn­ing safari. The ear­ly bird, gets the worm – I guess; get­ting up ear­ly meant we were get­ting all the spec­tac­u­lar sun­ris­es. At around 9am we were done, only to sleep until con­tin­u­ing with our next safari at 4pm.

After three awe­some days in Madik­we, it was about time to move to our next des­ti­na­tion. We went to the Wel­gevon­den Reserve. Get­ting there was not quite as easy as expect­ed, because – well – the road net­work in ZA is not very thor­ough. Our car was a Volk­swa­gen Car­avelle, a bus that is not real­ly designed for off-road dri­ving. After a rough ride through lone­ly dirt roads, we arrived.

It was quite inter­est­ing how much the land­scape changed. Even in Madik­we, on the same day, it felt like we were vis­it­ing dis­tinct degrees of lat­i­tude, although it was all part of the same game reserve. Wel­gevon­den felt com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent yet again. If Madik­we was steppe-like, Wel­gevon­den was jungle-like.

An angry ele­phant block­ing our way and run­ning towards us.

This game reserve was after us. Dur­ing our stay we had mul­ti­ple encoun­ters with ele­phants block­ing our way. They start­ed run­ning towards our vehi­cle, prob­a­bly because they felt threat­ened or had only lit­tle space to flee. Our guide told us that they need space. So we drove on one side of the road and wait­ed till the ele­phant passed. Some­times they were mere­ly half a meter away. It got our adren­a­line pumping.

After a few days in this reserve, we drove back to Johan­nes­burg. From there we flew to our last des­ti­na­tion: Cape Town. It’s impos­si­ble to put into words how much I enjoy being in Cape Town. The humid cli­mate, amaz­ing light, table moun­tain, beach­es, and of course the sea are all just some rea­sons why Cape Town is stunning.

We stayed in Cape Town over New Years Eve. It’s crazy how cheap good food is in this city. One restau­rant I can rec­om­mend is Man­na Epi­cure in Kloof Street. It has very nice food and good seating.

Dur­ing our stay we hiked Table Moun­tain, did a run to the top of lions head (our time was 45 min­utes — what’s yours?) and vis­it­ed the Cape of Good Hope.

Look­ing at Lions Head from Table Mountain

Clouds over the twelve apos­tles like liq­uid nitrogen

Cape of Good Hope