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.
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.
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.