Saturday, December 3, 2016

South Africa Adventures--2005

After a very long flight from Seattle January 2005, we arrived in Cape Town, South Africa for a six-night stay and tours before we headed to our one week photo safari at the Zulu Nyala Game Lodge. 

We began our exploration of Cape Town with a city tour that took us to the major tourist attractions.  

We were at the Castle of Good Hope for the Key Ceremony. 

 We then visited the District 6 Museum that displayed how the apartheid government forcefully evicted 50,000 people, some of whose families had been there for five generations and relocated them to segregated townships.  

We toured the colorful Bo-Kaap area where Cape Muslims lived and bargained at the nearby Greenmarket Square for carvings, jewelry, and weavings from all over Africa.

The remainder of our tour took us to Signal Hill, Table Mountain, Camps Bay, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Houses of Parliament, Slave Lodge, and the Grand Parade and City Hall where Nelson Mandela addressed the people after his release after 27 years of imprisonment February 1990.

City Hall

We sailed to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated and were given a tour by one of the former political prisoners who described his treatment there as if it were yesterday.  

Nelson Mandela's cell room

Rock Quarry where Nelson Mandela and other prisoners worked.

View of Cape Town and Table Mountain from Robben Island.

Our final tour was of the Langa Township where we visited some of the families’ homes, drank beer at a sheeban, were offered cures from a medicine man, and sang songs at a crèche or daycare facility with the preschoolers.

We learned that this woman shared the room with another renter.  In some cases up to three people shared the same quarters by working and sleeping in shifts.

We stopped at this sheeban where people would pass the day sharing buckets of warm beer.  It tasted partially fermented to me.

Tani is with a medicine man who practices traditional medicine with the Langa Township residents.  We passed on his suggested treatments.

Here is the daycare center where our guide encourages visitors like us to give donations for materials, supplies and salaries.

We then flew to Durban where we rented a car and drove about 3 hours to the KwaZulu-Natal province and the Zulu Nyala Game Lodge which was located on a private game reserve where the movie, “I Dream of Africa”, staring Kim Bassinger was filmed.

We saw a bit of wildlife around the lodge area.

The pool was a bit off color when we first arrived--kind of like the recent diving pool at the Olympics in Rio.

Looking better now

For a week we went out with our guide in an open Land Rover to see the game in its natural setting both in the morning and afternoon.  

We saw elephants, cape buffalo, giraffes, hippos, zebras, nyalas, kudas, crocodiles, wart hogs, wildebeests, and other game and an abundance of birds, small lizards, and snakes.  We also did a game walk with our guide who was armed with a rifle as we tracked and found a rhinoceros.

We spotted these elephants during our night drive.

Cape Buffalo were enjoying the soothing mud bath.

Lots of giraffes in this game reserve.

Bathing hippos.

Lots of rhinos

We are walking with our armed guide to locate some more rhinos.

Watering holes were popular gathering spots for the wildlife.  We did not see any of the big game cats at this reserve.

Herds of Nyala


Clusters of hanging birds nest.

graphic warning.

Hungry crocs.

We ended our trip by visiting a Zulu village and their vigorous dancing and singing entertained us. 

We then drove back to Durban, flew to Cape Town and then boarded our South Africa Air flight back home.

Trip Cost
The total South Africa trip cost for the two of us was $4,141 for a daily cost of $295. Our business class flight from Seattle to Cape Town  cost 120,000 Delta Frequent Flyer miles.  The Zulu Natal Safari Lodge and Tours cost $2,018 and the total travel costs were $2,851.  The lodging costs were $749 or $125 per night, and the food costs were $541 or $39 per day.

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