But Tori, Why South Africa?

If you’re reading this post, hopefully you have read the one I posted prior to this stating that I am embarking on a two week vacation in South Africa next month.  I know I post big news events before I make a life change by moving somewhere new, but rest assured this is just a vacation.

Alright, so top five reasons for this trip are:

  • Cage diving with Great White Sharks
  • Exploring several of the national parks including Kruger, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Mount Zebra, Karoo…
  • Seeing South African Penguins
  • The various vineyards

For those of you who are interested, here is the itinerary for our two weeks of exploring.

South Africa Itinerary:

15 May – Arrive at approximately 0830 at JNB (airport in Johannesburg).  After grabbing some coffee and SIM cards so that we’re able to give updates from the road, we will pick up our rental car and head to our first place of interest – Kruger National Park.  The first night there, we will be staying in the Lower Sabie Rest Camp.

16 May – We will get up to explore the area between Lower Sabie and our next rest camp – Satara – during the day.  Head to Satara to set up camp and possibly catch a nap before our first game drive of the trip, a sunset drive in Satara.

17 May – Exploring the area of Kruger between Satara and Pretoriuskop rest camp where we will spend our last night and have our first night game drive of the trip.

18 May – We depart Kruger pretty early to head to our next National Park – Hluhluwe-Imfolozi.  We will be staying at the unfenced Mpila camp and taking another night game drive.  This is the night I’m not expecting to sleep much.  There is one fence that is meant to keep elephants out of the camp but everything else can get in.  Lions.  Hyenas.  Zebras.

19 May – After getting up and exploring Hluhluwe a bit, we will drive to our next destination – the Drakensberg Mountains and the KwaZulu-Natal Park.  We will be staying at one of the lodges since the higher elevation may make it a bit chilly for camping.

20 May – Hiking around in the Drakensberg Mountains for a bit and then off we go to Golden Gate Highlands National Park where will explore and camp for the night.

21 May – Wake up, make some coffee and off we go to Mount Zebra National Park.  We will spend a few days exploring here and taking in a night game drive as well as a morning session of Cheetah Tracking!

23 May – After spending time at Mt. Zebra, it’s off to Karoo National Park for some more sightseeing and exploring. We will be camping in the Karoo and hopefully I’ll get some good astrophotography shots since light pollution should be very low.

24 May – Checking out the Karoo for a bit and then it’s off on our final long drive to Simon’s Town!  We are renting a lovely cottage in the area.  This will be our home base for our visits with the African Penguins at Boulders Beach, two scheduled cage dives with African Shark Eco Charters (www.ultimate-animals.com) and our day on the Vinehopper checking out several vineyards.

29 May – Flying from Cape Town to Jo’burg to pick up a car and head out on the road one last time to visit the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng.  After checking out the site of our ancestors, we will head back to the airport for the long flight back to the states.


Upcoming Adventure Notice

Greetings all!

For those of you who may be wondering, life in Cayman is still good.  Hot and humid but good.  I’ve put in my request to extend my contract for another two years.  My current 2 year contract will be complete in September, so fingers crossed that I get an extension.  I enjoy the slower pace of life here and, of course, the beaches.  The job is still great and the benefits are amazing.  One of my favorite benefits is the vacation time.  In my old place of employment in the states, one accrued vacation hours monthly and could only take time off when they had accrued enough hours.  Here, you are allowed use of all of your vacation time starting at the beginning of the year.  You don’t have to wait MONTHS in order to use the time that you’ll gain.  It’s wonderful.  And thanks to our 4 days on, 4 days off schedule, one is able to take a mighty long vacation at a time.

SO!  With that being said, I’m getting ready to take the trip of a lifetime next month.

Hang on to your hats:

I’m going to South Africa for two weeks!

Just a fair warning, the next several posts will be all about the trip.