Thursday, July 12, 2018

South Africa Trip Summary

South Africa has to have been one of my more interesting trips since moving to Euroland.
Technically I've been to Africa before.  There was the day trip to Morocco.
However, this was my first real taste of Africa proper.

My adventure started off with an 11 hour overnight BA flight from London to Johannesburg.

Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa.

There's plenty to see and do so I kept busy.  The best parts for me were my visits to the Lion Park and Soweto.

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, July is the start of winter here.  Many people were complaining about how cold it was. It did drop down to 2℃ (35,6℉) but having lived in Czechland I kept thinking that these people don't know what cold is.

"Christmas in July" is a popular Southern Hemisphere thing.  Every so often the radio would play Jingle Bells or Feliz Navidad.

Normally when I travel I'm game to just go out and explore.  I'll take a random street just to see what I can find.  Not this time!  South Africa's crime rate is out of control.  Except for walking to the local mall in Rosebank, I took an Uber anytime I wanted to go somewhere.  Every sightseeing thing I did was through a booked tour.  The nice thing was that since this wasn't a busy time, I was the only person on all but one of my tours.  So I had private tours for the price of group tours.  Sweet.

I had a half-day tour to Pretoria.  The Voortrekker Monument was definitely worth seeing.  But given my limited time I probably should have skipped it and gone to see the Cradle of Humankind.

The flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town is just over two hours.

While on the airplane I had a look through the inflight magazine.  There was a full page story on why Brno is the place to go visit.

Whilst I'm glad that Brno gets the recognition as a great place to be I kind of hope it that it retains its status as a hidden gem.

Cape Town was a bit warmer.  Fortunately, they had a few days of rain before I arrived which actually got their reservoir up to around 70%.  Water restrictions were still in place.  My hotel removed the plugs from the all of the bathtubs and asked people to keep showers to a maximum of 90 seconds.  This was rough considering it took over a minute for the water to warm up.

I enjoyed Cape Town much more than Joburg.
Especially the day trips out to Robben Island and the Cape of Good Hope.

As a mentioned, security is an important thing to be aware of in South Africa.  Way more so than in Euroland.  In South Africa, all of the nice houses are hidden behind high walls and electric fences. In poorer areas the electric fences are replaced with razor wire.  It gets exhausting always being on guard.  I don't get how people live here full time.

I'm very glad that I came to South Africa.  It was educational.  The scenery is absolutely spectacular.

There is so much potential here but people are squandering it.
There is so much fraud.  I think Nelson Mandela is turning in his grave over how things are playing out in the country.

I still want to visit Durban and Port Elizabeth.  I would for sure return to Cape Town but I don't feel a burning need to go back to Joburg.

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