19 February 2008

Surfari - South Africa - December 2006/January 2007

Probably the last post before the new adventure starts, and as you may have noticed I have written everything from earliest to latest (which is not how I planned it, but in my case my blog is definitely learning by doing)

After Christmas 2006 we were joined in Johannesburg by our friends from Hawaii. The plan was a 4 week SURFARI around South Africa, taking in most of the sights along the way.

SURFARI-ers: Jaco, Gilly, Susanna, Koen, Jennifer, Christina, Frauke, Nicolene, Benji and Me

As I mentioned we started off in Jo'burg where over the course of a couple of days we picked up the stragglers from the airport. Our first real stop was Pretoria where we spent an epic evening at the best bar around "Tings 'n Times" (For anybody visiting South Africa this is a must!!!). A brief stop at the Union Buildings - Parliament we
travelled east to Waterval Boven to do some rock climbing and to get accustomed to camping. As Murphy would have it we almost got washed away and our first braai (BBQ-USA; Grillen-Germany) was hastily relocated!

Due to the weather i.e. poor visibility, we were forced to cut our time on the Panorama Route short. Just after visiting Mac-Mac Falls the fog really closed in as a result we headed directly for the Kruger National Park. (For anybody visiting South Africa the Panorama Route offers some spectacular viewpoints from the escarpment, not to be missed are God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Berlin Falls, the three rondavels, Blyde River Canyon and of course Harry's Pancakes in Graskop)

I don't think I have to write much about the Kruger National Park. For those who don't know it is a massive wildlife area where the animals roam free. Mostly it is a self-drive area but all the camps offer guided night- or morning drives. When in the Kruger an early start is imperative.... take along your breakfast goodies and find yourself a camp where you can prepare your "Skottel" with bacon, eggs, baked beans and toast!!!

From the Kruger National Park we made our way down to the east coast, hugging the border to Swaziland. On the way we found these ladies braaiing mealies (maize) over an open flame.

Destination: Lake St. Lucia. This World Heritage Site is a wetland area that is home to hippos, crocodiles, a huge variety of birds, etc. It was also the first opportunity we had to get ourselves into the ocean for some surf action. And we weren't the only ones who wanted to surf....

From St. Lucia we travelled down the KwaZulu-Natal coast into the Eastern Cape. We found an amazing backpackers at Mdumbi and decided to stay for a couple of days. The setting is spectacular as are the waves (the break can be up to 200 meters long). It is also not far to Coffee Bay and Hole-in-the-Wall.

From Mdumbi we made our way to Cape Town along the Garden Route via Knysna, Buffalo Bay and Hermanus. Unfortunately I had to leave our group as soon as we reached Cape Town and head back to Germany.... so no fotos....
this way at least I haven't spoilt everything for you and you still have reason to visit South Africa. If you want to do a big trip plan in at least 4 weeks!!!

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