Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Passage to South Africa

September 28th I will start my passage to South Africa. This will be my first voyage across the equator into the Southern Hemisphere and first visit to the African continent. I am happy to say that I will leave the emerging fall on the Northern hemisphere and meet the spring as I arrive in Johannesburg. After a terrible summer, getting an additional two weeks of sun and heat will be most welcome.

The full plan for the trip is not fully decided, thus leaving room for improvisation. We plan to stay in Melville, one of the Johannesburg suburbs, and leaving for KwaZulu Natal and the mighty Drakensberg Mountains, bordering the small kingdom of Lesotho. From there we live for the capital of the province, Pietermaritzburg. We hope to get a few nights by the beach in the Saint Lucia area. And finally we are determined to enjoy a few days of safari at the Pilanesberg National Park north of Johannesburg.

It is great to improvise, but we will have to book some nights in advance in order to get rooms at the most popular destinations. We are luck, however, as Jan Bjarne, one of my fellow travellers knows this beautiful country and its inhabitants. In fact I have declared, that if I love the country half as much as he does, it will be the start of a long love story, and my expectations are high, but I am not afraid to be disappointed.

So it will be very quiet here for two weeks, as I explore South Africa, but be patient. I will return with my memories from this passage to the Southern tip of Africa to share with you!

Travel plan for our trip to South Africa September 29th to October 13th

  • September 29th: From Johannesburg intl. airport, in a rented car to Melville Gauteng, a suburb of city. Staying at Melville Guesthouse, a charming small hotel
  • September 30th: In Melville Gauteng, morning service in a Baptist church in Alexandra township
  • October 1st: Melville Gauteng to Giants Castle in the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu Natal, bordering Lesotho. Here we will stay in a charming mountain lodge (See map)
  • October 2nd: Giants Castle Drakensberg Mountains
  • October 3rd: Giants Castle to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu Natal (See map)
  • October 4th: In Pietermaritzburg
  • October 5th: From Pietermaritzburg to Cape Vidal, in the beautiful St. Lucia Area by the Indian Ocean (See map)
  • October 6th: Cape Vidal
  • October 7th: Returning from Cape Vidal to Pietermaritzburg
  • October 8th: From Pietermaritzburg to Melville Gauteng, revisiting Melville Guesthouse
  • October 9th: From Melville to Pilanesberg Natural Park, located north of Johannesburg (See map)
  • October 10th: Pilanesberg - safari
  • October 11th: Pilanesberg - Johannesburg intl. airport returning to Europe

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