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A Trip of a Lifetime to South Africa

In May, 2009, we traveled to South Africa and Zimbabwe.  We toured Cape Town, went of game drives at Kruger National Forest, saw the magnificent Victoria Falls, and cruised the Zambezi River. 

We started out in Cape Town, South Africa.  We stayed at the Table Bay Hotel overlooking (obviously) Table Bay.  We walked around Cape Town, and also took a tour of the surrounding area.  We saw penguins, took photos at the Cape of Good Hope  and went to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and saw beautiful plants and flowers.  One night, we entered a Scottish pub and watched the Rugby World Cup match between Scotland and South Africa.  It was wild, and packed with rugby fans.

We then headed to the Timbavati Game Reserve near Kruger National Park.  We spent spent three days in the Camp Shawu lodge that had bungalows instead of hotel rooms.  Ours had an indoor and outdoor shower, and it was pretty amazing showering outdoors and seeing wildlife in the near distance.  There were separate buildings for hotel lobby and dining, and we had to be escorted by an armed guard as we walked between buildings because lions frequented the area.  

We went on four game drives in a small, open-air Jeep with two other couples.  We saw the Big 5 animals, leopards, lions, cape buffaloes, African elephants, and rhinoceros'.  We also saw giraffes, zebras, and other big and small game.  A male lion strolled up to within a few feet of our Jeep.  I didn't realize until later that he could have swiped me out of the Jeep with one paw.  We also got charged by a bull elephant because our Jeep lights startled a small herd.  He charged at us from a tree line, and didn't let up until we quickly backed the Jeep up.  It was truly an amazing adventure!

Our second leg of the trip was to Zimbabwe.  We spent a couple days in a lodge that was within walking distance of Victoria Falls and had view of a watering hole where elephants, buffalo, and other wildlife congregate to drink and tell stories of their day. 


We saw Victoria Falls, which was magnificent.  It's not like Niagara Falls where you can view the entire falls from a short distance.  Victoria Falls is huge and you are at eye level with the top of the falls, so you can't see the entire falls from one vantage point.  Tip for Victoria Falls - the falls generate a tremendous amount of mist that flies into the air and comes down as rain.  I had not protected my camera and it got ruined.  So protect your camera under an umbrella or poncho whenever possible.


We also went on a Zambezi River cruise and saw crocodiles, hippos, and other river life.  Caught a fabulous sunset as well.  

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