South Africa My Way
Nadia Eckhardt, January 2003
Selecting South Africa My Way as my Insider's Choice can hardly be surprising. After all, I designed the itinerary and will lead this expedition through my native land. My national pride notwithstanding, I have a number of reasons for touting South Africa's virtues as an adventure travel destination.
South Africa has been called a "world in one country," and during our travels I shall show you why it deserves that appellation. We begin in my home city, Cape Town. In addition to striking architecture and a cosmopolitan flair, the Cape is home to wondrous scenic beauty and an array of wildlife. We plan to stop at Boulders Beach to meet inquisitive jackass penguins; the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and its baboons, ostriches, and cormorants; and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where a resident horticulturist guides us among unique African flora. Visits to Robben Island and the District Six Museum illustrate the apartheid era, while a tour of the South Africa Museum offers a wide view of the nation's history.
We depart Cape Town for ten days exploring the coast and interior of the country. Our expedition coincides with the annual southern right whale migration near Hermanus, on the south coast, and on the west coast, wildflowers will be in bloom. Mid to late September is also the optimum game-viewing time. We've exclusively reserved the Lion Sands River Lodge located in Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. We have excellent chances to see zebra, elephants, lion, leopards, as well as Cape fox, gemsbok, and aardwolf.
Venturing into Swaziland, Africa's smallest country, we shall learn about Swazi life in a traditional village and have the opportunity to spy endangered black and white rhinos. The 10,000-year-old rock paintings at Bushman's Kloof are another cultural highlight. These remarkable paintings record the lives and exploits of the San tribe and compose the world's largest open-air art gallery.
First-time visitors to southern Africa should begin their explorations with our optional Namibia fly-in safari pre-extension. Aboard privately chartered light aircraft, we'll experience the dune fields at Soussusvlei, the Skeleton Coast, and Etosha National Park - one of the region's greatest wildlife reserves.
Christopher Hines will be joining us as naturalist and guide. Born in Zimbabwe, educated in South Africa, and a longtime resident of Namibia, Chris is well versed in wildlife, botany, and regional culture and history. His knowledge and interests make him the ideal person to help me present my homeland to you.
From historic Zululand to multicultural Durban; from surf-pounded coasts to the Cederberg Mountains; from whales to Cape buffalo - South Africa is a nearly inexhaustible treasure-trove; come with me next September to see for yourself why it's my favorite place on earth.