Original Leisure & Entertainment


On the second day, Russell found some lion tracks and followed them and we parked right next to 4 lions (1 dominant male, a lioness, and 2 younger males). We spent a lot of time with the lions that day, as we’d drive to where they were and watched them for a while, went on a game drive for a while, and then go back to the lions. Like the leopard, they watched us but weren’t bothered by us at all. We had strict orders from Russell not to stand up and let them see we were humans, since that would have changed their behavior dramatically. Since we were all sitting down, they just saw us as part of the Land Rover and pretty much ignored us. Because of that, we were able to get really close to them – maybe 10-15 feet. Once again, I couldn’t believe that I was sitting there so close to predators!

Each day, something new and interesting happened on the safari. We saw animals everywhere, including baboons, hippos, lots and lots of elephants, giraffes, impalas (really graceful deer-like animals), cape buffalos, lions, leopards, zebras, crocodiles, wildebeest, lots of types of birds and antelope, and countless other animals. We also had a great time meeting the staff at the different places we stayed, especially at one camp, where they poled us around in mokoros (small wooden canoes). They invited us to their staff village to show us some traditional ways of life, cooked a traditional African meal for us, and sang and danced for us in the evening. It was fantastic! I wish I had enough time to describe more of the safari experiences. I’ll have to tell more in person, when I’ll have photos to show as well! Our safari ended in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and Gia and I spent a couple of extra days there. We went on an elephant safari that included a long elephant ride (which we called ‘elephant therapy’ to recover from the one that charged us). We also spent a full day whitewater rafting on the Zambezi river.

It was so exciting and fun. We started just below Victoria Falls and rafted about 28km through rapids from grades 1-5. Our raft never completely flipped, but I was thrown from it a couple of times and got to ‘swim’ the rapids, which basically meant letting the water carry me along until the raft could pick me up again. The good news is that there weren’t many rocks sticking up, so I didn’t really have to worry about hitting them when I fell out. We did see a crocodile on the side, but only in a place where the water was more still, and I made sure I was on the raft in those places! We also went into the national park to see Victoria Falls, of course. The waterfalls were beautiful. They stretch for a long way over a narrow, deep gorge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Very impressive. My last Victoria Falls adventure was a 111-meter bungi jump from the Victoria Falls bridge. (I just couldn’t resist!) It was excellent!

Now, Gia and I are back in Cape Town. Gia will be here for a couple more days, and then I’ll be heading to a hostel to start my travels as a budget backpacker. My current plan is to travel along the southern coast of South Africa for a couple of weeks (which is called the Garden Route), and then to go to Namibia. I’ll try to send another email update sometime before I leave South Africa. Thanks to all who have sent individual messages! Sorry that I don’t have time to respond right now, but please keep sending them!


More soon.



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