Wednesday, December 3, 2014

South Africa part 1

Well, South Africa. The trip was different from what I expected in both directions - better and worse. It started by flying 11 hours from Frankfurt to Johannisburg in the most uncomfortable airline seats I ever sat on (by South African Airline. The food and service were excelent, though!). I'm infamous for falling asleep almost instantly whenever I sit down and travel starts. I can sleep in virtually every cheap airline but this time, I closed my eyes for maybe 2 hours at all. Not the best start, but I was really looking forward to meeting my mum in Johannisburg.

The trip we took was organized travel by Gebeko. We met our travel guide Eva directly at the airport where we waited for 2 more hours for the rest of the group that spent the first 10 days in Namibia. When they arrived we were taken to the bus and left Johannisburg on a whim without ever seeing much of the city. The weather constantly got worse; we started out with about 30°C and sunshine and traveled in to rain and 24°C.

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Our hotel was in Whiteriver and had very beautiful apartments and a great pool! I was the only one from our group to use it which I totally could not understand!

We visited several natural sights the next day. I really loved the panorama route with a beautiful view on the mountians of Zulu land! The landscape was much greener than I exected even though we arrived in the early rainy season. Everything there was flush with trees, flowers, ferns and grass.

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Our next stop was Burt's Lucky Potholes which reminded me of the Grand Canyon a lot. There was a waterfall and sandstone caves with beautiful layers of different shades of red:

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That evening we visited a project which I had hoped to like. Children and adolescents which are AIDS orphans or living on the streets dance traditional African dances. But it was way too touristy and felt bad for being asked for money and tisps time and time again... *sigh* The next day we went on a Safari in Krüger National Park. I won't bore you with all the 50 or so pictures I took, just some examples of what we saw. By the way, that day we had 17-20°C and rain. Not what we expected from Africa! ^^

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Birds of a feather stick together! If anyone finds a fabric in the shade of these birds, I'd love to sew a dress inspired by them!
On that night I had a nice little chat with a concierge from our lodge Ingwenyama who discussed the Burda Vintage edition I brought with me. I totally forgot your name, but I will definetively sew the dress you liked best first! The next day we already took off from Whiteriver again and headed back to Johannisburg. Another 400 something kilometers and only peaks from the bus on Johannisburg...

This was one of the major annoyances of this part of the trip. Our travel guide Eva was constantly blabbing on with stuff most people were not interested in (even after recognizing that it was 7am and everyone was tired). She also made racist and chauvinisitic remakrs which did not settle well with the group. And she asked the group whether they wanted to change palns and then decided on her own what the group will do in the end. Not the best style in my eyes! I also realised that this kind of travel is not my preferred one. I really like to interact with people living in the country I'm visiting. I love to visit Supermarkets to see what they buy and how they cook. I love to explore cities on my own and not only the sights that the travel agency deemed worthy. I will robably not use Gebeko again, but can recommend the route if you like organized travel and will not have Eva as a tour guide! ^^


Jade said...

Lovely photos! Reality is always full of contrasts and can cause contradictions in one's mind like those people with AIDS asking money repeatedly. :-/ still, a trip like that is a valuable experience!

Trisha said...

OHHHH wie neidisch ich bin :D wie schön die landschaft ist <3 ich hoffe, die schönen seiten haben überiegt :)

MindLess said...

@ Jade: Thank you! Yes, it was a great experience and I fell in love really hard with Capetown. But the whole of South Africa was worth the money and time spent.

@ Trisha: Ja, haben sie! Ohne Eva wurde alles viel besser! ^^

ette said...

Wow, was für eine tolle Reise. Schade dass es mit Eva so Probleme gab. Wir hatten auf Sizilien nur einen Tag eine geführte Gruppe, das war völlig ausreichend, den ganzen Urlaub über fände ich das eher schade. Wie du schon sagst, man bekommt vom wahren Leben irgendwie zu wenig mit.
Aber deine Fotos sind toll geworden! Und wenn du es trotzdem geniessen konntest freut mich das sehr! lg ette

MindLess said...

@ ette: Ja, ich fand es im großen und ganzen gut. Aber das nächste Mal würde ich es anders machen! Und ich habe daraus gelernt, dass ich solche Reisen nicht mag und damit nicht mehr buchen werde. Ist doch auch was wert... ;)