Best time to visit:
The climate varies according to the region, but the ideal times to leave are the so-called middle seasons (March, April and September to November) when the heat remains within acceptable temperatures.
In a word:
Recommended Antitific, Prophylaxis Antimalarial (chloroquine-resistant)
- Many lodges do not accept children under the age of 12
- For safety reasons, do not go around at night, either on foot or by car, especially in Johannesburg
- Avoid deserted places and always lock your car, leaving nothing in sight
- When you dive into the sea, do not lose sight of your items on the beach due to common thefts
At the table:
In South Africa, the cuisine is cosmopolitan. Avoid fast food restaurants that offer chicken dishes as the quality often leaves something to be desired
Experience a photographic game drive inside the Kruger National Park; Conquer the mythical Cape of Good Hope not far from Cape Town; Visit the Cheetah Outreach in Somerset West where many cheetahs in distress are cared for and pampered
In this great adventure we rented a 4 × 4 truck in Johannesburg and slowly began the crossing northwards to the mighty Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe crossing boundless landscapes, savannahs, rivers, still virgin islands and some of the most beautiful parks in all of Italy. Africa.
We will sleep most nights in tents, cook using our camping kitchen before moving on to the Atlantic coast and descending to Cape Town, conquering the mythical Cape of Good Hope.
Unfortunately this time we were unable to visit the two small states of Lesotho and Eswatini but we reserve this honor for a future trip.
Our suggested itinerary (14 days)
Kruger NP (game drive in the national park)
Cape Town (excursion to Robben Island and Cape of Good Hope), Simon's Bay
Johannesburg, Jo'burg (for the locals), welcomes us after a long flight from Europe ... we will spend the first night here just to organize the last things for our truck, make a good supply of food as we will spend many days in the heart of nothing and to mentally charge us!
When we try to go downtown, just to visit this great city: "How far is Johannesburg from here?" - I ask the receptionist of our hotel.
- "Jo'burg? But it's 5pm! It will be dark in a while!
You can't go to the city at night! It's too dangerous! "
Now I begin to understand all the cartels that threatened an armed intervention in case of violation of the law! Electrified wires, armed guards everywhere ...
What a stress to live here!
Speaking with local boys, I discovered that despite the end of apartheid, the situation between whites and blacks has not been resolved at all!
Old whites complain that others don't want to work, “they are violent parasites”, textual words; blacks accuse them of being arrogant, racist and of treating them, despite everything, like slaves!
The good thing is that at least the younger generations are growing up with an excellent vision of equality and integration!
In the end, I don't have time to get an idea of the city that we leave on board of two vans for Pretoria.
Loaded the equipped truck that will accompany us throughout the journey: tents, mattresses, food, backpacks, we leave for the Kruger National Park.
We arrive late in the evening, we are exhausted, hungry ... setting up the tents without light, tents used for the first time, it is really complicated and puts a strain on our nerves but we do not lose heart and in a short time we not only set up a good camp but we can also prepare, thanks to Anna, a dish of saffron rice that we devour wildly!
It is 9.00 pm when I collapse on my sleeping bag ... We haven't slept for two days!
At 4.45 am someone is already wandering among the tents!
Shortly after we are all aboard the truck completely immersed in the atmosphere of our first safari together.
Hours and hours in patient silence, in the jungle, with our old truck trying to see the slightest movement of the animals in their natural habitat ...
We are delighted to observe all the wonderful animals of the jungle, from elephants to gazelles, crocodiles, buffaloes, giraffes, impalas, wildebeest, zebras ... it seems to live in a documentary and every unexpected encounter fills our heart as well as the eyes.
In the evening we return to our camp and, in a short time, we divide the tasks: who prepares the field, who cooks, who thinks about the next day's journey… team work!
Fish River Canyon. The second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon.
We walk a couple of kilometers along the ridge and we remain enchanted and amazed before such great majesty. It really seems to see the bones of the Planet Earth...
Not far away we stop at Noordewer, the border between these two nations; bureaucratic practices are slow, but once they enter the country of Mandela, the landscape changes considerably. Instead of arid rocks and desert spaces there are now green vineyards and cultivated fields, even the road is no longer a dusty dirt road but a clean tongue of asphalt.
In Springbok we set up our camp and our beloved tents for the last time ... we already miss them ... we celebrate with one of the best dinners of the entire trip based on wraps and beans ...
Slowly we approach the dusty city with our tired and dusty trucks. Its outskirts is a sea of sheet metal slums where the police can't access them. It is a world apart and makes an impression and sadness. Fannie says that people from almost all of Africa of central and southern Italy live here.
Here we are in Cape Town. We stay at the "Dale Court Guesthouse", excellent accommodation a few steps from the Waterfront, the most touristic area.
We immediately lose ourselves among the crowd of tourists, we feel almost lost we who come from Namibia, the least inhabited nation of Africa, we are not used to seeing so many people.
Our trucks clash in the rush hour traffic of Cape Town, our safari look is almost out of place when we mix with well-dressed and perfumed tourists!
There is a huge Christmas tree in the center of Waterfront, many illuminated Malls, pubs, nice restaurants, lights, colors, music, street artists ... a party everywhere!
Cheetah Outreach. Not far from Cape Town, in omerset West, various felines are welcomed, cared for and sometimes released: cheetahs in the first place!
For the first time we meet a cheetah up close, they even make us caress it, it has a bristly and hard coat, a beautiful speckled! And to think that this is the fastest animal in the world!
Unfortunately the sea is very rough so skip the boat tour in search of whales, we decide to go then to Robben Island, famous for the prison where many political prisoners were detained including Nelson Mandela.
Colonialism and apartheid have played a very important role in the history of this country, so many people have suffered and some of them, due to their ideas of equality, have even paid with their freedom by spending several years behind bars!
Cape of Good Hope!
Exciting also the only sign, seen many times in documentaries on TV ...
We decide to "climb" the mountain by taking an hour's walk, the scenarios are spectacular, overhangs against the green ocean, then turquoise, then intense blue!
This impressive and extremely perfect nature has captivated my soul!
In the afternoon we reach Simon’s Bay and its chief penguins.
Here they are all stiff and immobile: these funny and round birds, someone sometimes dives into the water, someone else walks with the classic awkward pendulum gait, others relax in the sun ... the little ones, with that soft fur that looks like cotton full of ash they look around confused ...
Today we visit the Nazareth House, an orphanage in a Victorian-style building from the end of the 19th century, home to abandoned babies, maladjusted children and the elderly ...
It strikes me a lot to see so many black babies, some are only two months old, they are all very calm and pampered by the many "mami" who work there. It was a very touching moment for everyone ...
A little further on there were children suffering from handicaps ... thank goodness there are realities like this that manage to give a bit of hope and dignity to such unfortunate people ...
Our visit ends with the retirement home ... everything changes here, it seemed like a scene of " The pages of our life ", so many old people, all white this time, well dressed, cared for and pampered who spent the last pieces of their lives there ...
We meet Angelina Damiani, an 82-year-old from Naples, a guest of Nazareth House. He speaks a broken Italian and tells us that he had been there for three months or since his poor husband had passed away (the same man who had taken her to Africa for "business" about 60 years before) ... it makes me so tender, tells me that the children are good because every so often they went to find it ... we all do a little company before leaving ...
The sister of Zimbabwe who accompanies us on this visit tells me that Mrs Damiani had been there for 10 years and that no one had ever come to visit her ... a thrill ...
Same house ... black children are born ... white elders go out ...
We leave all the bags full of clothes and toys that we brought from Italy just for this occasion and sadly we go away ...
Last day of travel! We wander aimlessly between the city center and Waterfront trying to get lost and enjoy every little piece of this huge city to the end!
We return home with a baggage of real life and increasingly heavy experiences. Thanks Africa.
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