South Africa - Johannesburg

After a couple of months hiatus back at home in Kelowna, British Columbia, catching up with friends and family, we were more than ready to start our next adventure down to South Africa!

Leaving Home Again…

As we were going through security at the Kelowna airport for the first of our four flights we were approached by one of the security guards who recognized us and told us he loved reading about our adventures and was looking forward to following along again.  We never did catch your name but it was the perfect way to send us off on our next adventure so thank you!!

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So our flight path this time looked like this:  Kelowna --> Edmonton --> Toronto --> Amsterdam --> Johannesburg.

With a solid 24 hours of travel under our belts to say we were in need of a hot shower and a comfy bed was an understatement!  Lucky for us South Africa has uber everywhere, so we hopped into an uber who took us straight to our Airbnb.  After a much needed sleep our two friends Mike and Steve arrived from Calgary to join us for our 3 week road trip through South Africa ending in Cape Town where we will be staying for the remaining 5 weeks of our trip.

We spent a couple of days in Johannesburg fighting the jet lag (we are 10 hours ahead of Kelowna) and touring around the city.  The main attraction that we went to go see was the Soweto, a township in the outskirts of Johannesburg that was developed under the apartheid system.  In the late 1970’s, there was a huge student uprising aimed at overthrowing the apartheid state and many students were killed.  They have a huge memorial museum that outlines a lot of the history which was very interesting to learn about.  The Soweto is also where Nelson Mandela grew up and you can see his very first house along one of the main streets.  We also experienced our first real African meal which consisted of “pap” which is like a spongy potato dish served with a very flavourful tomato gravy.  I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot more flavour in the South African foods than there was when we were in South America.

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Road Trip Day 1

From Johannesburg we left and headed towards Sabie, our first stop on our road trip.  We took a beautiful scenic road trip and made a few stops along the way.  Our first stop was at the Three Rondavels which was an ancient wonder and absolutely stunning.  It’s a deep valley with gorgeous views all along the gorge- we found ourselves just sitting and staring out at its beauty for the better part of an hour.  The site itself is named after these 3 famous peaks shaped like old native houses (as you can see in our photos).

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Our second stop landed us at Bourkes Luck Potholes which almost felt like we had landed on the moon as the landscape had changed so much.  There are these cylindrical rock foundations that have occurred over time from a massive amount of water erosion and they are everywhere in this area, some larger, some smaller.  It was interesting to see the different levels of erosion as the rocks changed colours from bottom to top.

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Driving on our first day was interesting as a two-lane highway can often become a 4-lane highway.  Passing lanes seem to be whenever and wherever, sometimes cars move over on to the shoulder to let you pass while others do not.  You really just have to go with the flow and drive as the other drivers do- watching out for numerous pedestrians hitchhiking along the side of the road and trying to steer clear of some of the largest potholes any of us had ever seen!  Not to mention we are now driving on the left hand side of the road as well!

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Next Stop: Arathusa Safari Lodge