Final Stops in South Africa


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Published: July 28th 2009
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Young Impala
Hello Everyone;
Here are our last stops for South Africa. Kruger National Park, here we spent 4 nights all at different camps throughout the park. The park is almost 500 miles long and over 300 miles wide so you have to do alot of driving to see animals, but it was so neat. The first night we tent camped at the main camp, we went on a night safari drive with a guide and I got to see some animals I've been wanting to see and hadn't yet. Besides lots of other big game we saw African Eagle Owls, Bushbabies, and Hyena. We actually came upon 2 Hyena in the road tearing an Impala apart. They are so evil looking and you could actually hear their jaws breaking the Impalas bones. We stopped to watch and one of them started circling the vehicle. It's mouth was all bloody and the sound they make when the "laugh" is absolutely hellish. Nothing out of a horror movie even comes close. It was a great drive. We absolutely froze that night in our tent. 2nd night we were farther in the park and stayed in a safari tent and did our own daytime drive.
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Flower on blooming boabab tree
It was so cool, we heard lions roaring literally all night long. They were probably 2 or 3 miles away. 3rd night farther in, stayed in a little rondoval, saw lions eating a zebra they had just killed. 3 females, no male. The absolutely gorged themselves then walked under a tree and flopped down and went to sleep. 4th night farthest in, tent camped again but we had moved up in the park several hundred miles and it wasn't cold anymore, thank goodness. Saw a Hyena in the early morning light walking up out of the bush. It's stomach was so full and so distended that it had to walk slow and it looked really tired. It was covered with mud and blood so whatever it had been eating had put up quite a fight. The park was absolutely beautiful, it's so big that it covered forest, jungle, and savannah, the animals change a little with the change of habitat. I thought all the big tusker elephants had been killed off long ago, but Kruger still has about 10 of them and they protect them with a vengence. A big tusker has tusks that weigh on average 150 lbs. each
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Big Tusker
and are more than 10 ft. long. Some of the ones in their elephant museum are completely mind boggling!
After leaving the park we went to Blyde River Canyon, just a beautiful, awesome view of forest, mountains and lake, then stopped at the Bourk's Luck Potholes, so cool, awesome formations cut into the rock over the centuries by the Blyde River. It reminded me a lot of our hike into Paria Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, without the high canyon walls. From there we went to Pretoria, a suburb of Johannesburg, which has over 9 million people. Today is our last day here. We went to the Apartheid Museum which was quite overwhelming, and we took a tour of Soweto, a township in Johannesburg. A township is where black people were segregated to during Apartheid. It now has over 3 million people in it. There is now a very wealthy upper class there, we saw Nelson Mandela's house, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house, 2 Nobel Peace Prize winners on one block! There's a middle class section, a lower class section and a section of people that are destitute. A lady invited us into her home, 2 room shack for herself and 5 children,
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Horn Bill
she said she's lived there 15 years. No running water, no electricity. There are places on the reservation around Farmington that are similar, but not to this scale of number of people. It's pretty overwhelming.
We leave here in the morning for a two week safari in Botswana. We turned our rental car in yesterday so traveling will be different now. We've been in South Africa for 10 weeks and we're ready to move on to the next place on our itinerary. South Africa has been great. If any of you think you might want to come to Africa but are a little unsure, South Africa is just like traveling through the US. Great hiways, I've have not even seen a dirty restroom since I've been here. It's clean and modern and safe, you would take the same safety precautions traveling at home that you would here. Everybody speaks English, the food is great. Even fast food restaurants bring your food to your table and serve it on real plates and glasses, no paper waste. South Africa is very litter consious. They're trying to do away with plastic shopping bags and if you want one they charge you extra for it so everyone that lives here takes their own bags to the store. I think that's great. The people here are so friendly and the kids are just wonderful. They come up and hold your hand and ask you where your from and what do you do there and what it's like where you live, then they show you how well they can read, they're great.
Things will change alot as we move into countries that aren't as wealthy as South Africa.


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Olifants River
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Ancient Baobab Tree
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Huge tusks at elephant musuem in kruger
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Blyde River Canyon on a cloudy day
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Apartheid Museum
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Apartheid Museum


28th July 2009

final Stops in South Africa
Everyone here looks forward to me giving them your comments and beautiful pictures---They return them and say they can't believe you guys are really in Africa. We really appreciate you sharing your experiences. Be Careful! Have Fun! Miss You Both! Thanks, Rick

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