Sunday, May 1, 2011

Waka Waka - South Africa

Shortly after we had entered Namibia overland, my new Korean friend turned to me, 'Hey, now it's really starting to feel like Africa.' I could not have agreed with him more. After spending a couple of days in Cape Town and a few more camping in the Cederberg Mountain Region and Gariep (Orange) River, it was the first time on the trip that I felt the real sense of Africa.

boulders beach

Do not get me wrong, I like South Africa. It is without doubt, a premier travel destination in Africa with some amazingly beautiful scenery and top-class game parks. It is also an ideal jumping-off point to the rest of the Southern African nations. But the further up north I went, the more it felt like the 'real Africa' to me. I think it was partly due to the changes in the terrain and color of the land as we traveled north and the frequent sightings of wildlife at places where I least expected to in some of the other countries. It was common to see springboks and to a lesser extent, giraffes, ostriches, oryxes and other antelopes all over Namibia. In Botswana and Zimbabwe (near Victoria Falls) elephants were surprisingly spotted on and off the paved roads. I even saw an elephant one evening in the middle of the town of Victoria Falls. In S Africa, outside the parks and game reserve, wildlife - with the exception of baboons - were not seen.

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