Our darling contributor Sora is currently on safari in none other than Africa! This is a continent I haven’t had the opportunity to travel to yet (someday!), so I’ve been living vicariously through Sora’s emails and photos. Since I know many of you have a case of wanderlust just as bad as I do, I thought I’d share some of her experiences:
Dear Jess & UYC Readers,
I love Africa. There is something about it that is magical and I can’t even pinpoint what it is…but I will certainly try! Here’s just a few of my magical moments in South Africa…
First, I spent 4 days in Cape Town. If you closed your eyes while in many parts of Cape Town you’d think that you were in Miami. Many parts just look that western. Palm trees, upscale houses, beaches and lots (and lots!) of shops!
While in Cape Town, I braved it and took the cable car up to Table Mountain, and experienced a spectacular view of the city and its coast line.
Then going to Robben Island, the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela had been incarcerated, was a sobering experience, as you can imagine.
We lightened things up a bit going to a fabulous wine tasting in Stellenbosch…the beautiful wine estate totally made the day look brighter!
The next leg of my trip took me to Zululand and to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. Visiting a Zulu village as it used to be and going on a game drive was just awesome…I returned to Africa (I’d been to Kenya 3 years prior) and was IN MY GLORY back in the jeep looking for The Big Five! Well, The Big Five certainly didn’t disappoint and between The Hluhyluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve and Paul Kruger Park it was worth every 4:30 a.m. wake up call.
We then took off for Paul Kruger Park, and for that it meant driving through Swaziland. Swaziland was very interesting. It’s an independent state (who knew!) and it definitely has it’s own unique set of challenges! Having said that, Paul Kruger Park was gorgeous, and staying at the upscale Protea Kruger Gate Lodge was a wonderfully memorable experience as well. Then another three game drives AND AGAIN I WAS IN MY GLORY!!!
Off to Johannesburg where I visitied The Nelson Mandela Museum and the township of Soweto. Both really put the history of South Africa and its present day challenges into a very understandable type of perspective for me to think about.
The last day was the absolute highlight of my trip. And that was because I signed up for a tour called Walking with the Lions. Upon arrival we were greeted by Colin and his lovely wife Theony. Not knowing what to expect, Colin gave us a quick lecture on how to let the lions know that you were in charge (ha!) And then, we got to walk with 6 month old lions.
I admit, not the big ones, Are you serious?! They were in big cages with a secondary fence which if they touched would set off an electrical change. I guess that’s one way to teach boundaries.
I loved feeding the three month old lions. SO. CUTE.
So, as I prefaced with, I love Africa. I bought a book while there named The Trouble with Africa (Stories from a Safari Camp) by Vic Guhrs, who at the beginning of the book quotes C G Jung in a letter to his wife (written on March 15th, 1920) which says, “This is all nothing but miserable stammering. I do not know what Africa is saying to me, but it speaks.“
Well, I guess that it’s just the same for me as well.
It just speaks.
From Africa, With Love,