Travel

Out of Africa, part 2

By on December 4, 2016

Now this is the last Africa post, for reals.

Zimbabwe

We packed a lot in to a short time in Zimbabwe.  This made up for our lack of activities in Tanzania.

Interesting fact about Zimbabwe-they kicked out all white foreigners in the 80s.  They just said ‘you have 45 days to leave’.  You could only stay if you were born in Zimbabwe.  The country is in dire financial straights and apparently 95% of the country is unemployed.  It was hard to get my mind around that.

Great Zimbabwe Ruins

We had a tour of these ruins as they are a World UNESCO heritage site.  They took a total of about 500 years to build from the 11th centur to 16th century.  This king that started to build them happened to have about 300 wives.

They are built on top of a huge hill and like the pyramids, you wonder how they managed to build everything.

Total creepy pic i took tying to show the narrow width of the passageway.

Total creepy pic i took tying to show the narrow width of the passageway.

Caught in thought..

Caught in thought..

 

Adrenaline Sports

I signed up for something called the Gruesome Twosome.  White water rafting the Zambezi and bungee jumping the bridge over the Zambezi.

If you can believe it, the rafting was more scary than the bungee.  The bungee had a huge build up and was over in like 5 minutes.  The rafting was 4 hours and it was heart pounding, ‘I think Im going to die now’, for all 4 hours.

A team high five after escaping nearly unscathed after a particularity harrowing set of falls.

A team high five after escaping nearly unscathed after a particularity harrowing set of falls.

That would be a picture of my ankles.

That would be a picture of my ankles.

I had my go pro for both activities and putting together a quick vid as well to relive it all.

The hike down the gorge was difficult. But the hike up was ridiculous. For those who know Goldstream trestle, it was like 3 in a row but in 40 degree heat. My head was a tomato.

The hike down the gorge was difficult. But the hike up was ridiculous. For those who know Goldstream trestle, it was like 3 in a row but in 40 degree heat. My head was a tomato.

Victoria Falls

‘The smoke that thunders’ is how the locals refer to Victoria Falls.  We visited in low water season and it was very hard to imagine it in high water season.  It was better than I could imagine and worth a visit in high water season as well.

Vic Falls in all its glory.

Vic Falls in all its glory.

David Livingstone who 'discovered' Vic Falls.

David Livingstone who ‘discovered’ Vic Falls.

Safari

We went on an all day long safari with Rhino Dundee at Matobo National Park.  The Rhinos were a big deal of course, but we were also see a lot of other things.

I tried to stay close to Rhino Dundee as he had a lot to say and most likely could save me from a lot of things that wanted to get me.

I tried to stay close to Rhino Dundee as he had a lot to say and most likely could save me from a lot of things that wanted to get me.

I seriously snapped this pic for no other reason than he was fascinating to me. I have him talking on video and when you hear it, you will agree.

I seriously snapped this pic for no other reason than he was fascinating to me. I have him talking on video and when you hear it, you will agree.

We climbed the hills of Matobo to see some bushman paintings that were made somewhere between 30,000 years ago and 5000 years ago.

Once again Im reminded of the Bayeaux tapestry and how new it is in comparison.

Once again Im reminded of the Bayeaux tapestry (TOM!)and how new it is in comparison.

A warrior on his way out to kill some sort of giraffe or warthog.

A warrior on his way out to kill some sort of giraffe or warthog.

Also in the Matobo hills is the gravesite of Cecil John Rhodes.  At one time he owned 6 countries in Africa including North and South Rhodesia.  Today his wealth is still responsible for the Rhodes scholarship and his money also supports many universities around the world.  I should mention he also made his money by diggin for diamonds.

The grave of Cecil John Rhodes.

The grave of Cecil John Rhodes.

We also went on an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi.  We didnt expect to see animals, but we saw hippos, crocs and an elephant.  And an amazing sunset.

Imagine our surprise as we came along this guy eating his fill on the riverbank.

Imagine our surprise as we came along this guy eating his fill on the riverbank.

Gorgeous sunset on the Zambezi. Sure the next day it would toss me around, but that night it was delightful.

Gorgeous sunset on the Zambezi. Sure the next day it would toss me around, but that night it was delightful.

We went into a couple cities in Zimbabwe to tour around a bit. It was an eye opener.

This is in one of the cities of Zimbabwe and was just parked on the street. I think someone lives in it. And there were other cars like that as well.

This is in one of the cities of Zimbabwe and was just parked on the street. I think someone lives in it. And there were other cars like that as well.

South Africa

My ticket allowed me a stay in Johannesburg and I thought I would just park myself there for a few days and rest up.  But then Mom got involved and she talked to her friend and her friend talked to her friend and next thing you know, I’m no longer staying in Jo’berg and headed to Capetown to stay with some strangers.  And Im so glad I did!

For some reason, even tho we had emailed, we didnt think to exchange our ages.  So they thought they were getting a 20 year old (friends daughter) and I thought I was getting a couple 70 year olds (moms friends)  Turns out they are in their 50s and so we got along just great!

I got off the plane in Capetown and looked around wondering how the heck i was going to find them.  I found a couple that looked like they wished they would have asked a few more questions about who they were picking up-and BINGO!  We were a match.

Imagine their surprise when they picked up a grey haired lady.

This wonderful welcoming note made my day!

This wonderful welcoming note made my day!

Martin and Maritha were horrified I only had a couple days to explore their city and went out of their way to fill the days up with as much as possible.  I only had to promise I would return to see it all properly.

When Martin went to work, Maritha toured me around the beautiful countryside of the Western Cape.  That includes olive farms and wineries and chocolate factories.  We chatted like we were old friends the entire day.

Lunch at yet another beautiful winery. There are something like 700 in the area.

Lunch at yet another beautiful winery. There are something like 700 in the area.

the inside of another winery.

the inside of another winery.

Just picking a ripe plum from the tree in the gorgeous botanical garden.

Just picking a ripe plum from the tree in the gorgeous botanical garden.

Maritha and I enjoying our chocolate tasting.

Maritha and I enjoying our chocolate tasting.

After taking in the countryside all day, we came home to Martin cooking us dinner!  They do something called a Briee(BBQ) which is over an open fire in the back yard.  He also made some kind of cheese sandwich over the grill made with cheese and bananas and onions or something.  Whatever it was, it was delish.

Martin hard at work while Maritha and I enjoy his cooking.

Martin hard at work while Maritha and I enjoy his cooking.

Martin took the next day off work to tour us around some of the other sites.

We went to table mountain, but did not have time to walk or take the cable car to the top.  Its the sort of site you can see from all over Capetown.  I still managed to get a good pic of the view.

Table mountain from afar.

Table mountain from afar.

The amazing view of Capetown from Table Mountain.

The amazing view of Capetown from Table Mountain.

We drove to Cape Point to see where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic  Ocean meet.  It was super windy but amazing scenery.  And of course, the penguins!!

It was a bit of a drive, but Cape Point was a highlight.

It was a bit of a drive, but Cape Point was a highlight.

A real local place for lunch-fish and chips in the harbour and Savanah ciders.

A real local place for lunch-fish and chips in the harbour and Savanah ciders.

Martin was a great tour guide, and I think I have him convinced that he should be a guide when he retires.  If you’re going to S Africa-hire Martin!

So even tho it was a very short couple days in Capetown, I was able to see a lot and even more importantly I made some new friends.

I hope to be back to S Africa sometime soon to be able to see everything with more time and of course see my new friends.

So thats officially it for Africa. 7 countries in total and every single one of them different from the other.  One of my friends from the last tour only vacations in  Africa and hasn’t been to the same place twice.  There is a lot to see and I will be back again for sure.

I have got to see those damn lions.

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. Reply

    Kim

    December 4, 2016

    The whole journey is amazing Kerri!!

  2. Reply

    Auntie Sheila

    December 4, 2016

    Wow – 7 countries in just a few days. Amazing. And, every place having it’s own unique cultures. So glad you were able to spend a few days with English speaking folks and I’m sure they were thrilled to have you. Where is your go-pro video?

    • Reply

      Kerri

      December 4, 2016

      Hey Auntie. Those 7 countries were over 5 weeks. But yes, still a lot of traveling.

      • Reply

        Auntie Sheila

        December 4, 2016

        Yes, I figured so, Kerri. A few days vs 7 weeks is what international around-the-world-trip would probably feel like. But, I know those bus rides must have seemed pretty lonnnng.

  3. Reply

    Auntie Donna

    December 4, 2016

    Oh my, you sure did see a lot in Africa! I’ve so enjoyed reading about these excursions.

  4. Reply

    Aunty Sheryl

    December 6, 2016

    Another great blog Kerri – you have definitely seen many parts of Africa – even those less appealing sights but that’s what makes this so real.
    I must say I’m looking forward to your go-pro video – even though I can’t believe you did that bungee jump – but since I now know you survived it I won’t have as big an issue watching it (I think ?)
    I am so happy your mom got involved and you were able to see those special spots around Capetown making new friends while doing that – what beautiful memories you’ve made.
    Next up Peru, bring it on… ?

  5. Reply

    Annette

    December 7, 2016

    I love your description of your South African leg, especially Martin and Maritha expecting a 20 year old and you expecting 70 years olds – LOL! What a special connection to find along your journey!

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