1999 Trip to South Africa


Well, "South Africa is the most dangerous place on Earth" they told me, and I even wavered about going there once before, but not this time. My curiosity about the place had got the better of me. What was the real story behind this once apartheid ruled land? Was the media image of a modernised country just a sham, and would I even be able to find out anyway? What wasn't in doubt was that there was some great countryside to see in South Africa, and I needed a holiday, so off I went!

South Africa has come a long way, but still has a long way to go. The country has some of the best infrastructure (roads, buildings, facilities etc.) in the world, yet only a stone's throw away you can see shanty towns and the like. How can this be? I never really found the answer to this question, but what I can say is that we were welcomed with open arms in Soweto - the black township just a few miles from Johannesburg.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling on now and here are a few photos of the country. I am not really into wildlife, but we did visit a few game parks and there are a few token shots included along with all the scenery.

One of the first places we stopped at upon leaving Johannesburg was the Blyde River Canyon, apparently the third largest canyon in the world.

"Can you guess what it is yet!" There is a fair range of animals to be seen in the Kruger National Park just 400km east of Johannesburg.

From Kruger, we headed into Swaziland, and here is the very colourful scene in one of the fruit markets in the capital Mbabane.

Just outside Durban, we visited a Zulu village and reptile park. The crocodiles seemed fairly tame!

The Drakensburg Mountains are one of the most scenic places I've ever been to, and luckily I had a 100 film in my camera that day, so the colours have all come out really well!

South Africa is a big country, and by the time we reached Tsitsikamma National Park on the south coast, we had already covered around 2000km. The camp site was only yards from the Indian Ocean, and you can see how scenic the area is.

The southern part of South Africa is ostrich country. There are thousands of them. Here we had an amusing demonstration of the size of the objects an ostrich can swallow!

When we first reached Cape Town, cloud covered Table Mountain. We had to wait nearly 24hours before the clouds cleared, and then I overdid it with the photos!

On Robben Island, 10km off the coast of Cape Town, I finally saw hundreds of penguins. One day I will go to Antarctica, but for now this will have to do as my link to the continent (!?).

The early explorers became somewhat misguided with their lack of GPS equipment and believed the Cape of Good Hope to be southernmost point of the continent. It now boasts the rather dubious claim of being the south-western-most point of Africa, but is nevertheless a truly striking coastline.


I forgot to mention above that the beer is cheap (but weak tasting), but the local wines are great. The trip was arranged through  The Adventure Company (formerly Travelbag Adventures) in the UK and a local company in South Africa. If you want any more information then please email me at steve@tijou.co.uk. For more general travel info, why not visit http://www.travel-library.com?

This site was last updated 21 January 2001.

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