Sunday 24 August. Drove to Addo Elephant Park , a huge national park covering 164 thousand hectares where we saw wart hogs, bushbuck, red hartebeest and a lone buffalo then a family of at least 20 elephants strolling through the scrub crossed the road in front of us. amazing!!
We hadn't planned on going further that PE, but with a week left before our next flight, decided to press on: The drive to East London was incredibly beautiful, winding passes and deep valleys. In East London we visited the museum: They have the world's only dodo egg - unfortunately it was away undergoing research, much to Max's disappointment. However, they did still have the original coelacanth (prehistoric fish) which was caught off EL in 1938 and proved that the fish, believed extinct for 80million years, was still in existence. We liked that!
We then did a long drive (6 hours plus stops) across the Transkai to the Province of Kwazulu Natal. The scenery was stunning rolling grasslands, dotted with colourful villages. After an overnight stop, we continued up to Durban, staying in Umhalanga Rocks to the North. We had a great day in Durban at the U Shaka waterworld - an amazing aquarium (complete with dolphin performance which FM loved), sharks, rays, puffer fish. Brilliant! Then to the water park element, swimming, slides, floating rubber ring river etc etc.
Flossie writes:29th of August, We went to a really fun place called Ushaka,it was split up in 3 parts.1st one was the shopping place 2nd one was the Aquarium and last but not least
wet and wild. The shopping place wasn't that exciting but the Aquarium was though.
It is the 4th biggest Aquarium in the world and it is the largest Aquarium in the southern
Sat 30 Aug left for the Drakensberg mountains, drove north-west from Durban through Pietermaritzburg, with a quick look at the town (very European looking - architecturally), then on up to Cathedral Peak Hotel. Again a fabulous drive up into the hills, near the battlefields of the Boer-British-Zulu wars. Up and up, the hotel is at an altitude of 1500 meters. The mountains are incredibly beautiful. We walked down to the river where FM played by the rocks and splashed in the water for hours. Also visited a Rock Art center, which explained the history of the cave and rock paintings of the indigenous (FM can now spell this) San people.
Monday we drove up to Johannesburg, across the high plateau for hundreds of kilometers. Up here it is the end of the dry season and there were quite a few fires across the grassland, nothing too scary though. Jo'burg is a busy old place, with a reputation for being the crime capital of South Africa, but we managed to get in and out without being mugged! We stayed in a whacky guest house in Melville: part tuscan villa part safari lodge, filled with interesting junk!
Tuesday 2 Sept flew to Windhoek, capital of Namibia. Baboons on the road int town rom the airport! It feels very different here, much more secure. The city is clean and orderly but boy is it hot here - and it is just the end of their winter! We had a great lunch yesterday at an african spit and sawdust restaurant. Afterwards we were in the town center looking at the 22 meterorites which they have lined up as a permanent display on the street. Apparently there was a huge shower of them in southern Namibia in the dim and distant past. They are 90% iron, and the largest weighed 650kg and is in cape town museum. We also met up with our tennis contact Elysma (who visited Newquay in July) and she is taking great care of us, coming up with all sorts of helpful information (like where to get Stef's highlights done - critical stuff)! We are coming up with some exciting travel plans - watch this space to see if we carry them out (though we might not have internet access for a while. FM thought of all their school friends this morning at 9am (we are in the same time zone now) - then we did some times tables and more latitude and longitude - also bar charts and averages for distance travelled. Don't worry we haven't forgotten!
Will blog more when we are out of deepest darkest africa.