Out of Africa, part 2
Now this is the last Africa post, for reals.
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.
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.
I had my go pro for both activities and putting together a quick vid as well to relive it all.
‘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.
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.
We climbed the hills of Matobo to see some bushman paintings that were made somewhere between 30,000 years ago and 5000 years ago.
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.
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.
We went into a couple cities in Zimbabwe to tour around a bit. It was an eye opener.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!!
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.