South Africa was an amazing experience from start to finish and there was a ton of things to do and see. It's a fascinating and complex country with endless opportunities to explore nature and people. The trip began with 8 days in the Limpopo district which is located three hours outside of the country's capital city, Johannesburg. Traveling outside of the city there wasn'y too much to see. The African countryside was a flat plane almost barren of any significant foliage. It was the winter season so it is more vibrant in the summer.
The Entabeni Game Reserve was absolutely beautiful however and gave me flashbacks of both the Lion King and Jurassic Park movies for a number of reasons, mainly because the centerpiece of the park was a large mountain known as Hangclip Mountain which had one single protruding spire and both the gates and trucks in the reserve screamed Jurassic Park. You can decide for yourself but I think there are some striking resemblances and my inner nerd was freaking out because I thought it was awesome.
REAL LIFE (also electric)
I mean it looks close enough to me. And the wildlife was absolutely amazing. To see these animals in there natural environment living in an area that covered thousands of acres was exhilarating. To watch giraffes migrating over the planes or elephants creeping through the tree line in almost perfect silence was a spectacle you can't stop thinking about. Hearing rhinos huff and grunt inches away from our parked truck with a skin that looks like a dinosaur was crazy. Bottom line I felt like I was in a movie and I was loving it, lol.
and then there was Cape Town
Cape Town was an incredibly complex city that truly exemplifies the "rainbow nation" concept of the country with peoples from both tribal background and generations of city dwellers living together. There is also a diverse mix of ethnic and racial groups that live in the country most prominently the Dutch who settled in the country in the 1600s and native South Africans. This culminated in 3 major languages, english, Africans ( a slight variation of Dutch mixed with traditional African tribal language, and original tribal languages. There is also a incredible economic gap between the rich and poor in the country and is crystallized in the city with shanty towns erected across the street from gated communities.
Despite the challenges and tensions the country moves forward and has a ton to offer travelers with incredible vineyards, nightlife, shopping, and extreme sport and thrill seeking experiences that are available at VERY affordable prices with the dollar at a 1/13 ratio. Basically, 1 dollar is worth more than 13 African dollars or rand as they are called as of July, 2018.
The people are incredible friendly and can provide good information to the wayward traveler about were to go and not to go. Like any major city, Cape Town has some dangerous areas which are strained by the enormous economic gap in the country. I did find one or two streets (ex. Longstreet video above) that I received some predatory looks walking around with my camera. But this was definitely the exception and not the rule. To see all my pics and videos click on the Cape Town and Entabeni tabs under South Africa.