South Africa

Somewhere in KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa

I don't know if I can call my experience of travel in South Africa divinely inspired but I can absolutely say it was magical. South Africa was one of the best trips I have ever taken, and that is saying a lot. However, it wasn't the obvious parts. Sure, the lions and the giraffes on safari blew my mind. Visiting Robben Island "“ the converted prison Nelson Mandela lived for far too many years "“ was an education. Cape Town is a fantastic city with wonderful views from Table Mountain. For me, it was the Drankensberg Boys Choir, which expertly bridged gaps between African and Afrikaans tradition, the brief but unforgettable moment I shared with 250 elementary school students visiting the Mandela Capture Site Museum. It was my realization of how far South Africa has come socially, and how far we (the U.S.) still need to go. My visit was about possibilities. South Africa is far from perfect but a wonderfully eye-opening one.

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South Africa travel stories

The Bo Kaap, Cape Town

The Bo Kaap, Cape Town

Located on the slopes of Signal Hill, close to the City Centre, and with Table Mountain looming nearby, the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town is one of the most interesting neighbourhoods in any major city. The residents of this inner city area, with its brightly painted...

Dancing in Capetown

Dancing in Capetown

The Tweede Nuwe Jaar, or second New Year holiday, on January 2nd dates back to the time of slavery "“ their owners had New Year's celebrations, which required the slaves to cook, serve food, and attend to the guest's needs. These owners allowed the slaves to...

Ostrich Run

"If you are ever chased by an ostrich," said the farmer, "never run. Instead just lie on the ground and just cover your head. This way, it might jump all over you, even break a few ribs, but it will not kill you. But if you are standing, a kick from an ostrich could...

Wild Dog Chase

I've met my match, and it's the wild dog. My check of rare African animals is almost complete, but the elusive wild dog, numbering only in the few thousand for all of Africa, has evaded me so far. I knew Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Nature Reserve had them, and for two days...

Lion Overdose

As I entered the gates of Kruger National Park, it took less than a minute to spot a lion. Lions in Kruger are traffic-jam animals "“ the herd of cars around them being a dead giveaway. I wonder what lions think when their sleep under a thorny tree is disturbed...

The Amber-Eyed Prince

The Amber-Eyed Prince

In the Kalahari our eyes met and I melted. My knees would buckle if I wasn't already sitting. For a second there, I thought he was about to jump into the car through the open window and tear me apart, but I didn't care - he was just that beautiful. Young, three-four...

The Great Kalahari Desert

The Great Kalahari Desert

I'd walk the Kalahari Desert if they'd let me. Herds of springbok would race by, pronking in the insane and magnificent way they do, showing me how strong and healthy they are so I wouldn't even attempt to catch and eat them. Oryx would watch me carefully, then run...

Living Desert

In a seemingly dead place, barren of any signs of life, only by reading the "Bushman's newspaper" - tracks in the sand, he found them all and then showed to us on an outstretched hand. I've learned to appreciate a good guide. One who seems more like a magician when he...

Great White Diving

A rough boat ride from South Africa's town of Kleinbaai brought me into stormy open sea next to a small island with a fur seal colony. Crammed into a steel cage like sardines in a can with a few other brave souls, I submerged to see great white sharks. To my surprise,...

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