An African safari

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    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wine Country

    sacrifice!  That’s what this is.

    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wine Country

    Our welcome to South Africa, in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront…

    No. we didn’t do much hiking there.  But thanks to my long history in the wine business we got invited on a spectacular trip to visit Southern Africa, from Capetown to Kruger Park, with stops in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe as well.  it was a truly memorable experience.

    We began in Capetown, where we visited the infamous Robben Island prison and were given a tour by an ex-political prisoner of the apartheid regime.  It was very moving to hear him describe the enormous courage and fortitude of the prisoners, who effectively overthrew the government from inside the prison–a true triumph of the human spirit.

    From there we visited the Cape of Good Hope, where Vasco de Gama found his way around Africa towards the eastern spice trade.  Beautiful scenery. and some remarkable wildlife, including penguins, elands, baboons, ostriches, and more.  And we polished off the day in the wine region of Constantia–legendary wines that even Napoleon revered.

    The next day we visited the wine region of Stellenbosch, where we tasted great wines and ate wonderful food.  It is something else to see a vineyard with impala grazing in a field nearby

    After Capetown we flew to Botswana and then took small boats to Namibia for a cruise on the Chobe River.  Astonishing wildlife were, and we loved the huge herds of Cape buffalo and elephants,  And yes, we did get quite close to them!

    This crocodile was about fifteen feet long….

    During our time on the Chobe, we also did a land safari along the river in Botswana, where we got very close to some lions…

    Since we were only about 75 miles away, a visit to Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe was in order.  Even though this was the dry season, and the falls were only about 10% of peak flow, they were still thoroughly impressive.



    And from there we flew back to Johannesburg to tour the Nelson Mandela House in Soweto and the Apartheid Museum–both remarkable.  I wish our politicians thought this way

    And finally, we spent four days in Kruger, doing more wildlife safaris, morning and afternoon.  Each one seemed to raise the bar in terms of the wildlife we saw, including a long list of antelopes (Impala, eland, kudu, duiker, bushbok, springbok, puku, waterbuck, wildebeests, roan antelope, sable, letchwe, steenbok…I am sure I am leaving some out here) plus hippos, hyenas, wild dogs (quite rare and endangered) leopards, warthogs, baboons, vervet monkeys, water monitors, giraffe, zebra….it was an absolute smorgasbord of nature.  And that doesn’t even begin to touch the huge variety of birds, from eagles, vultures and storks, to endless brightly colored bee-eaters, oxpeckers, rollers, weavers, kingfishers, hornbills, lapwings…it was almost overwhelming.</

    Here are a few more photos, but a larger selection can be found at the link at the bottom:</

    Every day we were treated to a sunset worthy of note…here are just a couple of them.

    link to the rest of the photos:

    Gotta go!

    Erica R
    BPL Member


    Wow! Thanks for posting this!

    BPL Member


    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    Nice pics!! My elderly father and step-mom did one about 10 years ago, traveling through South Africa and doing the actual safari in Zimbabwe, which needed the hard currency.

    Apparently they are serious when telling overnight (canvas) tent campers to close the doors shut or lions may visit.

    Then they complain my North American backpacking is sooo dangerous




    I had an encounter with a tiger in 2014 near Odisha in Eastern India. I just sat down and let it digging through my stuff because running away wasn’t an option, it would have killed me, don’t know if it saved my life but I told her/him “You take everything you need and you leave me alone”. Luckily I was storing my food far away from the campsite. Having such a predator near you is quite scary.

    Doug Coe
    BPL Member


    Locale: Bay Area, CA, USA

    Your trip sounds awesome! I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos of African wildlife and will probably never get over there. It’s great to hear from someone who’s actually gone and seen it for real.

    @ox Romain—Uh, holy yikes. “Quite scary” sounds like an understatement. What an amazing experience to have had…and lived to tell about it.

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