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Day 21: Returning home

My last day in South Africa started with another pre-breakfast game drive. Somewhat sadly it was devoid of big animals, which I think everyone was disappointed by since it was our last morning at the lodge—we were all hoping that nature would put on a magical show for us, like in the YouTube video Battle [...]

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Day 20: Kruger National Park, Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

We began the day with the customary pre-breakfast game drive. The fall air was crisp and I was happy that the stadium-style bench seats on the Land Cruiser were supplied with wool blankets. The rangers bantered among each other (e.g. KG to his fellow ranger: “Friend, you are the best ranger at Sabi Sabi. But [...]

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Day 19: Kruger National Park, Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

My second and third nights in Kruger were spent at the Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, one of the aforementioned privately-owned reserves that shares a fenceless boundary with public land. Sabi Sabi is apparently a hotbed for wildlife due to a relative abundance of water in the area, and as a result it’s one of the [...]

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Day 18: Phalaborwa, Kruger National Park

The reward for a wicked early-morning flight from Cape Town was landing in Phalaborwa, a small city just outside of Kruger National Park, by mid-afternoon. Adél took a “save the best for last” approach in planning the itinerary, and South Africa’s premier tourist destination—the home of its lions and tigers and elephants, oh my—was going [...]

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Day 17: Grootbos Private Nature Preserve, Cape Town Vineyards

Michael dropped us off at the dock just after there was enough daylight to see. The crew was already prepping the 25-foot shark boat; the seas had subsided overnight and the captain was comfortable going out today. Our host, a very attractive 32 year-old wildlife biologist with a Kiwi accent that had me drooling, welcomed [...]

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Day 16: Gansbaai, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Roller coaster-like screams took over all of us, followed by relieving laughter as the plane leveled out from its rapid ascent. I looked over at the pilot, who had an ear-to-ear grin. “It’s always a pleasure to fly with people who are willing to have some fun,” he cackled over the radio, glancing down at [...]

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Day 15: Cape Town, Cape Point National Park

The day began at Boulders Beach, one of the classic tourist stops that I normally would avoid and would encourage others to do the same—I overwhelming prefer authentic, impromptu experiences, not mass-produced ones. However, Boulders Beach is an exception—nearly everybody who visits Cape Town visits the beach, and I’d recommend you do as well. Located [...]

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Day 14: Cape Town

Based largely on the fact that there is a Trails Illustrated map for the city of Cape Town and Table Mountain Park, I had been looking forward to this leg of the trip since I first arrived in South Africa. Unfortunately the weather today has been awful—“On a clear day, Table Mountain would be right [...]

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Day 13: Otter Trail, Plettenberg Bay

I finished up the Otter Trail this morning at the beautiful Nature’s Valley, where that sought-after long stroll on a sandy beach awaited me. Adél picked me up and we returned to the The Plettenberg, yet another high-end luxury hotel, for another superb breakfast, this time more deserved. I was very happy that one of [...]

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Day 12: Otter Trail, Tsitsikamma National Park

This morning it was difficult to leave the small National Park cabin I stayed in last night. It was perched 20 feet from the ocean, on a rocky bluff, and all night long I could hear the pounding surf outside. But there was a good reason to get going: for the next 1.5 days I’m [...]

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