Author Topic: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report  (Read 9970 times)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #90 on: September 07, 2015, 09:42:32 AM »
We are spoiled the way we live...........
Sheesh, no joke.

Thanks for continuing the TR! Crazy how close you were able to get to all these animals!

Offline ponash123

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #91 on: September 07, 2015, 03:29:50 PM »
Day Five: Cape Town, Table Mountain/ Winelands
Cape Town (and its surrounding areas) is ridiculously beautiful. I kept snapping pictures frantically but none of them do any sort of justice at all to the real thing. On Friday we took the cable car up Table Mountain. The scenery from up there is like no other.
DSC01321 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01432 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01359 by ponash, on Flickr

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town's Muslim Area:
DSC01478 by ponash, on Flickr

Leaving Cape Town, we drove through the spectacular mountain scenery and fertile valleys of the Cape to Backsberg Estate Cellars. The winery is owned by a Jew and we were able to do a kosher wine tasting there.
DSC01509 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01516-PANO by ponash, on Flickr

We then went to another vineyard - Delaire Graff Estate. They call this The Jewel of the Cape Winelands and with good reason. The owner, Laurence Graff is an English jeweler and the founder of Graff Diamonds. Heís extremely wealthy and built this magnificent estate. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking and all together itís just an incredible place to be.
The view from the estate:
DSC01578 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01584 by ponash, on Flickr

The South African National Flower, The King Protea (open and closed)
DSC01562 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01561 by ponash, on Flickr

We then drove through Stellenbosch, South Africa's second oldest city. This oak lined university town has really interesting history, showing different styles of architecture from the Dutch to the English.
We then returned to Cape Town and prepared for Shabbos.

Day 6: Cape Town (Shabbos)
Shabbos was nice and relaxing. Our hotel was right near the water and we were able to walk on the promenade. After Shabbos we went to the V&A Waterfront, which is a working harbor. They have a lot of nightlife there and a big, nice mall.
DSC01599 by ponash, on Flickr

Day 7: Cape Town, Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope
Sunday morning we started by going to Hout Bay, a beautiful little fishing village. On the shore of Hout Bay we went to Marinerís Wharf, from where we took a boat trip to Duiker Island, also known as Seal Island. The boat ride was really nice and we got to get a close look at the seals.
DSC01639 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01707 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01646 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01676 by ponash, on Flickr

Our guide then took us an awesome, little known (to tourists) market where we browsed for a bit.  We then continued on the Chapmanís Peak Drive. This has got to be the prettiest drive in the world. Every time we thought we had seen the most beautiful scene, we rounded a bend and were faced with another.
Some scenes from the drive:
DSC01773 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01789 by ponash, on Flickr

Cape of Good Hope:
DSC01947 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01944 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01957 by ponash, on Flickr

We continued on to Cape Point. The peak above Cape Point is higher than that above the Cape of Good Hope. The higher peak has an old lighthouse on the top. At that point it was really cloudy and we werenít sure we would be able to see anything but decided to try our luck. So we took the funicular up. The clouds over there are really low and we were practically in the cloud. They ended up moving very fast and we got some incredible views.
These 2 pictures were taken one after the other:
DSC02020 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02021 by ponash, on Flickr

At the bottom of the lighthouse:
. by ponash, on Flickr
DSC01979 by ponash, on Flickr

From up top:
DSC02007 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02027 by ponash, on Flickr

We then continued on to Boulders Beach, home of a colony of African penguins.
DSC02040 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02048 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02065 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02044 by ponash, on Flickr

After we got back to the city we went to Avronís for dinner. They were busy and we waited a really long time for our food, but once it came out everything was delicious.

To be continuedÖ

Online TimT

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #92 on: September 07, 2015, 03:57:54 PM »
That's some really beautiful scenery photos you got there. Not sure if you mentioned it yet, what was your camera of choice ?

Offline ponash123

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #93 on: September 07, 2015, 04:00:44 PM »
That's some really beautiful scenery photos you got there. Not sure if you mentioned it yet, what was your camera of choice ?

I had never used anything other than a p&s before, but courtesy of Prime Day I bought the Sony a3000 and it served me beautifully. I got some really amazing pictures.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #94 on: September 07, 2015, 04:01:15 PM »
Great memories again, pics don't don't do Cape Town justice, (though ur pics are beautiful), miss that place.

Offline ponash123

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #95 on: September 07, 2015, 04:05:56 PM »
They really don't. I had seen tons of pics before going and it's completely different when you're there.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #96 on: September 07, 2015, 04:09:48 PM »
Wow, excellent pics! It makes me want to go even more.

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #97 on: September 07, 2015, 04:25:34 PM »
Great TR. You convinced me.
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Offline Chapshnell

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #98 on: September 07, 2015, 05:41:50 PM »
amazing TR, keep it coming! The travel bug has bitten me again now..

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #99 on: September 07, 2015, 05:55:27 PM »
BTW just wondering, did you guys rent a car in Cape Town? Joburg?
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Offline morgs

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #100 on: September 08, 2015, 02:11:14 AM »
amazing tr and fantastic pics! Thanks for taking out the time to write it up!

Offline ponash123

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #101 on: September 08, 2015, 10:01:20 AM »
BTW just wondering, did you guys rent a car in Cape Town? Joburg?
No we didn't.

Offline ponash123

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #102 on: September 09, 2015, 10:38:17 AM »
Days 8, 9,10: Hoedspruit, South Africa
Monday morning was chilly and misty. This was basically the only non-perfect weather we had and we were on our way out anyway. We went right back to Cape Town airport and caught a flight to Hoedspruit Airport. Itís actually an air force base and was an emergency landing site for the space shuttle, but it looked like a house with tarmac in the backyard. At the airport we were greeted by a ranger and taken to the game reserve.
We stayed at Kapama Southern Camp, a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger. It was truly amazing! We stayed in these cabins that were beautiful on the inside. The staff were really helpful and nice and everything worked out perfectly. The schedule goes as follows:
5:30 AM wake up call
6:00 AM morning tea
6:30 AM morning game drive
9:30 AM breakfast
1:00 PM lunch
3:30 PM high tea
4:00 PM afternoon game drive
7:30 PM dinner
The game drives are incredible. Every jeep has a ranger and a tracker. The tracker, who is usually a local, reads the spoor (tracks and other signs) of wildlife to help locate the game in the area. The tracker is seated on a little open seat attached to the front of the vehicle to see the ground clearly. Once it gets dark out the tracker holds a torch and continues to look for animals.
After settling in we went on our first game drive. We saw all kinds of animals, including 2 lion cubs playing while their mothers slept nearby. Our ranger was really amazing and so knowledgeable in all areas. 
After the drive we had dinner outside, around the fire. This is what they call Ďbraaií which means to grill. The waiters treated us to some very entertaining song and dance while we ate.
Later that night while in the cabin we heard a male lion roaring for a long time. It sounded like it was right outside and it was, quite literally, awesome.
The next morning we were awakened at 5 AM to go on our next game drive. This too was amazing and we saw 2 lionesses chilling out by the water, as well a whole bunch of other animals. After returning from the drive and eating breakfast we chose to do a bush walk from the variety of extra activities they offer. A bush walk is a way to go out into the bush and focus on the smaller things that you donít focus on during a drive. Our ranger, after giving us strict instructions, walked in front holding a rifle and we all followed in a single file line. He showed us how to identify some tracks, different plants and the like. The focus is on smaller mammals, birds and insects, with a spotlight on animal spoor and dung, small flowers and plants, bird calls and the like. We did spot some large animals like elephants and giraffes but we avoided them while on foot.
After the bush walk we went to the spa, or wellness centre, which was fantastic. It was so beautiful and out there in the bush with the sounds of the wildlife in the background.
We returned from the spa for lunch, some rest and then off to the next game drive.  This game drive was just as great as the others. We spotted the 2 female lionesses again and they walked so close to the jeep that I couldíve reached out my hand touched them. It was really cool and slightly scary too!
That night we had dinner right out in the bush.
Wednesday morning was our last game drive and we still hadnít seen any male lions. And so our ranger and tracker were very busy trying to find and track it, when out of the blue he just ran out in front of us. He proceeded to sit himself down for the next while, with 2 lionesses nearby.
During breakfast our ranger called us, and showed us a different male lion that was sitting right in view of the dining room. It was just sitting there by the water staring at us.
After we packed up and checked out, our ranger, who was taking us to the airport, took us a bit early because he thought he knew where the lions were. Sure enough we came across the whole family sleeping in the sun. Dad, mom, 2 older female lions and 2 younger cubs. After staring at them for an infinitely long (yet not nearly long enough) time we finally went to the airport where we flew back to Joburg. We had a couple of hours to kill until our flight home so we left the airport and went out to eat at Michelos, a nice place with pretty good food. After eating we went back to the airport where we took our flight back to JFK.

Kapama entrance:
DSC02113 by ponash, on Flickr

Outside and inside of our cabin:
DSC02149 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02150 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02153 by ponash, on Flickr

Kapama's library/lounge and pool:
DSC02342 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02139 by ponash, on Flickr

Spa:
DSC02365 by ponash, on Flickr

Dinner out in the bush:
DSC02651 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02262 by ponash, on Flickr

2 cubs playing while their mothers slept:
DSC02222 by ponash, on Flickr

Rhino:
DSC02277 by ponash, on Flickr

Wildebeests:
DSC02334 by ponash, on Flickr

Moving a tree that one elephant had knocked down:
IMG_1934 by ponash, on Flickr

The family of lions sleeping:
DSC02748 by ponash, on Flickr

Kudu and Impala:
DSC02495 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02491 by ponash, on Flickr

Zebras crossing the road:
DSC02660 by ponash, on Flickr

The male lion running out in front of us:
DSC02666 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02676 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02685 by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02688 by ponash, on Flickr

Lioness stretching:
DSC02625 by ponash, on Flickr

Crocs and Giraffes:
. by ponash, on Flickr
DSC02346 by ponash, on Flickr
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 11:25:20 AM by ponash123 »

Offline Chapshnell

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #103 on: September 09, 2015, 10:52:20 AM »
I have a few questions & thoughts...

1) The cabin is really modern on the inside, on the outside you wouldn't know it.
2) How is that safe in the picture with that lion with the jeep in the background.. Cant he just jump into the car &............??
3) LOL at that giraffe drinking. A+.
4) I see people are wearing coats and a ski hat? is it cold there?

Absolutely amazing TR & extremely well written...

Thanks for sharing..
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 10:58:04 AM by Chapshnell »

Offline stbaum

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Re: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana Trip Report
« Reply #104 on: September 09, 2015, 11:01:01 AM »
not gonna lie. these pics literally bringing tears to my eyes. so beautiful! i NEED to go now. we've surpassed want... do you know how much a night is at that cabin? do you know if the game drives are included? It looks magnificent from start to finish!!!
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