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South Africa 2012

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S: South Africa 2012

BC: Damian, Sophia & Gabe, We are coming home! We miss you lots. Love, Mom & Dad | Grandpa Thomas' House Coeur d'Alene, ID USA

FC: South Africa 2012

1: We met my mom in Portland to transfer the kids, then caught a Delta flight from Portland to Atlanta. We hung out in the USO in Atlanta until our direct flight to Johannesburg departed. | The flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg took 15 hours and 30 minutes. We landed at 6:30 p.m. local time and 'hired' a car and cell phone before venturing out on the wrong side of the road to find our accommodations for the night.

2: April 2, 2012 | johannesburg South Africa | We stayed overnight at Mzanzi Rock Guest House B&B in Johannesburg before driving down to Kwazulu-Natal. We had some difficulty finding it as there was a concerning lack of road signage. Fortunately, we had a cell phone and a phone number. The owner, Zane, was very friendly and helpful. He gave us directions with landmarks and we eventually found our way. The home was beautiful as were the grounds. Like most nice homes in the area it was walled with electrical or razor wire along the top due to the high crime rate. We had an excellent breakfast of eggs, sausage, baked beans and Rooibos tea before beginning our 7-hour trek south to Zulu Nyala.

3: Grandma Sony's House Coeur d'Alene Idaho U.S.A. | To: Damian, Sophia & Gabe We've landed in South Africa! Hugs & kisses! Love, Mom & Dad

5: Driving in South Africa...the real adventure!

6: After a 7-hour drive that took 9 hours, we finally arrived at the lodge. They served us fresh squeezed mango juice as we checked in at reception. After checking in, we went to dinner at the restaurant which sat atop a hill overlooking the entire preserve. There was a wall of windows separating the main dining area from a massive deck where you could dine al fresco if you so desired. Some evenings included entertainment by local Zulu dancers which was...interesting. The food and service were outstanding! We stayed here for three nights before moving to the tents. | Game Lodge | Reception | Reception | Game Lodge

7: Zulu Dancers | Restaurant | Dessert | Tunnel

8: Our Room


11: Soaking up some African sunshine poolside at the Zulu Nyala Game Lodge!

12: We went on a game drive almost every morning & evening. Our ranger, James, was very knowledgeable & made every trip out unique. | Our carriage | Going on a game drive! | Game Drive

13: Monkeys

14: Bugs... | Dung Beetle

15: Birds.... Reptiles....

16: Cheetah | Zebra Carcass

17: Impala Carcass | Zebra Carcass

18: Elephants | False Charge

19: Baby

20: Rhinoceros | Baby

21: Poacher Patrol

23: Giraffe | Baby

24: Zebra | Baby

25: Baby

26: Warthog | Wildebeast | Baby

27: Water Buffalo | Baby

28: Female Nyala | Hippopotamus | Female Nyala

29: Kudu | Male Nyala | Impala | Female Nyala

30: Awaiting our tractor | Roadside entrepreneur

31: We took a day trip to Sodwana Bay on the southeastern coast to go scuba diving. We climbed aboard the Mako, our zodiak boat that took us from the beach to our dive location, 2-mile reef. There were 5-foot swells, so the ride through the surf & out to the dive site was sporty. It was also quite the challenge to put on our gear when the boat was pitching wildly. Once we got in the water & headed to the bottom it went from work to pure enjoyment. The coral & sea life was spectacular, the best we've ever seen. It was over too quickly due to Eric's overconsumption of O2. The real work was getting the gear off & getting back into the boat. Eric was a little passive seasick, but was a trooper! We loved our dive trip! | After a great dive!

32: We took a day trip to HluHluwe Game Preserve to look for lions. Zulu Nyala was too small of a reserve to support a lion pride & the nearby Mkuze Game Preserve was booked full...we didn't get to see any lions but we saw lots of other wildlife. | HluHluwe Game Preserve | Hunting for lions

33: Vukuzame Market

36: R H I N O

38: Elephant Rubbing Post

39: Bird Nests | Turtles

42: Heritage Tented Safari Camp | Heritage Tented Safari Camp[

43: We stayed 3 nights at the Heritage Tents. The walls & ceiling of the room were tent material. It sounded neat when the wind blew. We loved waking up to zebras and nyala grazing outside our front door. We also befriended & dined with Halina, Jim & Jeff Rosenthaul from Boston. | Heritage Safari Lodge

45: Acacia Tree

48: We caught a South African Airways flight from Richards Bay to Cape Town. We said goodbye to our new friends, the Rosenthauls from Massachusetts, at our layover in Joburg. They were continuing on to Mozambique for some diving. | In-flight live video of our flight from the tail of our aircraft...cool! | Richard's Bay to Joburg | Joburg to Cape Town | Mango Airlines | Jeff Jim Halina

49: After hiring another car at the Cape Town airport, we went for a scenic drive. We took N2 east from the airport and headed toward the winelands. We saw our first 'slums' on our way to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. There was no running water or indoor plumbing but they had satellite t.v. dishes on the roof. | Slums | Franschhoek

50: Cape Town | South Africa

51: Cape Winelands

52: After our scenic drive, we checked into our room at the Premier Hotel Sea Point, on the corner of Beach & Malais. The beach was just across the street & we had an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean from our room! | Our first sunset in Cape Town | Eric in front of our hotel

53: Table Mountain & Lion's Head | We walked from our hotel to Harvey's on Beach Road. We enjoyed a cocktail & hors d'oeuvres while watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. | Premier Hotel Sea Point 1 Malais Road Cape Town, South Africa

54: Karyn at Yonder Hill Winery | This small boutique winery ended up being our favorite. They grew olives & made their own olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette, which we were able to taste, too. | Yonder Hill Winery

55: Avontuur Winery | fine wines & Fast Horses

56: A day of...

57: ...wine tasting!

59: Spier Winery had some excellent wines, Block 5 being exceptional. Karyn tasted a flight of five while Eric ordered a food & wine pairing. The most interesting pairing was beef tongue; however, we preferred the open-faced samoosa with butternut squash, feta cheese & caramelized onions. The best pairing was a chocolate truffle topped with grape preserve. We loved their chandelier made of wine bottles & their display of the 21 Dutch architectural gables used on the historic property, the source of one of their label names -- 21 Gables. Karyn also bought a unique Mambu Design jewelry set from their craft shop.


62: View of Camps Bay as we drove down the coast from Cape Town | Lion's Head | Beachfront Bars & Restaurants

63: Camps Bay | Lion's Head | A walk along the beach at sunset is the perfect end to our day of wine tassting

64: Our beentheretv.com photo op at the top! | Shop @ the Top | First stop on the Peninsula Tour

65: Closest relative... | The Rock Dassie | elephant! Really. | on the peninsula tour

66: Lion'a Head with Robben Island in the distance | Cape Town on Table Bay View from the top of Table Mountain

67: Robben Island Nelson Mandela's prison

68: We drove next to Hout Bay for some fish & chips (and dry cider for Karyn) at Snoekies on the harbor. It was as good as advertised. It's a working harbor so we watched a hull being repaired as we ate our meal.

70: We drove through Chapman's Point next on our way to Boulder's Beach. The views were breathtaking. Someone must have been so distracted they drove off the side of the road. We came upon a tow truck trying to pull an SUV up an embankment. We don't know how it didn't end up in the ocean. The road hugged the coastline the entire way. Part of it was even built into the side of the cliff. We got a great look back at Hout Bay & south to Slangkop Point Lighthouse before turning east across the peninsula to False Bay. | The Sentinel

71: Hout Bay | Slangkop Point Lighthouse | Noordhoek Beach

72: We ended up just south of Fish Hoek at Glencairn on the east side of the peninsula. We had a great view of Roman Rock in False Bay. We drove through Simon's Town enroute to Boulders Beach. | Roman Rock in False Bay

73: Simon's Town had a large Navy facility as well as a quaint seaside village.

77: There was a funicular that you could ride to the lighthouse, but we were in need of some exercise. It was a great hike with a rewarding view.

80: April 11, 2012

82: Founded 1685 | Gestig 1685

83: Groot Constantia has been making wines for 325 years. It is recorded that one year King Louis Philippe of France ordered the entire vintage of Groot Constantia. A glass of Groot Constantia wine was one of Napoleon's last wishes before he died in exile on St Helena. We had to fit in at least one tasting to end our tour of the peninsula. It was a great choice!

84: After a day of touring the Cape Peninsula & some excellent wine tasting, we were in the mood for steak. We chose Tasca on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which advertised "Portuguese food with Turkish hospitality." The umbrellas with heat lamps & blankets at each table sealed the deal as we wanted to sit outside on the water & enjoy the evening. The waterfront was a mix of bars, restaurants & a shopping mall with various outdoor entertainment attractions. | Drink Order: Passionate Brazilian | Drink Order: Caiphriana

85: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront



89: The Protea is the national flower of South Africa.

90: EAGLES NEST WINERY | Our last stop before heading to the airport & home to the States was Eagle Nest Winery...we had to fit in one more tasting :o)

91: The Dutch gable is the dominant architectural style in Cape Town

95: Hout Bay | Lion's Head

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  • By: Karyn C.
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