August 13, 2013
I’m sitting in the Victoria Falls airport waiting for our fight so I thought I’d write a little since I’ve already had one water, two beers, three bags of chips and two chocolate bars (every time I buy a beer the bartender can’t make change so I take it in chips). I’m trying to keep my hands occupied. We’re flying to Johannesburg and then we’ll fly on to Cape Town. We have another long layover in Joberg (more time for shopping which is what everyone in my group is doing at the moment) but we’ll probably be starving by then and need the time for eating.
Speaking of eating, we haven’t missed any meals on our safari. Our days generally start with a 6 o’clock wake up drum, knock or call depending on the camp, then breakfast at 6:30 and a game drive or some other activity at 7. With a stop for nature and tea, coffee and cookies (always homemade and always delicious — still debating if our favorite was the rosemary shortbread or peanut butter), then back to camp for brunch at 11. Tea time at 3 which consists of tea, coffee, a savory snack and a cake or some other sweet like banana bread.We usually had an afternoon drive or activity that would include a “sundowner” drink and snack, then back to the lodge for dinner around 7.
After dinner we would generally go back to our cabins where we had to stay until our wake up call the next morning. All of the cabins were stocked with an air horn which we were to use if we had an emergency. Some nights we would sit around the campfire and enjoy the bright stars but generally we were pretty tired and would retire early.
You may be wondering why we had to stay in the cabin at night. All of the camps are located within or just adjacent to the national parks. The animals were almost always active, and at night the predators come out, though many of the animals that seem docile can be dangerous. We had one incident on a game drive where a baby elephant crossed the trail in front of us and just as we passed the mum came running out of the thicket to cross behind us. She flagged her huge ears out, trumpeted, and charged our jeep. Luckily we were safely out of her way.
Cape Town, August 14, 2013
We’re back in civilization now. Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and certainly one of the most beautiful in the world. We spent the morning visiting a penguin colony and touring the shoreline around to the Cape of Good Hope — the southwestern most point in Africa. Rain was forecast but our luck held and we had nice weather, if perhaps a little chilly at times. I have been so surprised by the weather — I don’t know what I was thinking but southern Africa can certainly be cold this time of year.
After lunch we spent the afternoon at a botanical garden then back to our hotel for another wonderful meal — another great day.