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Day 11: Garden Route and Tsitsikamma National Park

 There were no strenuous activities on the schedule today, but I felt compelled anyway to gorge on breakfast at the Pezula Resort Hotel, a top-of-the-top-end place located on the Eastern Head of Knysna, from where there are views of both the Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean. Pezula features beautiful condo-like rooms (decorated with a […]

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Day 10: Garden Route

Before my mid-day flight I took a long run along the beach that climaxed with a swim in the Indian Ocean—Why not, right? I’m starting to feel much more comfortable traveling alone in South Africa—it’s not as if locals stop to cheer me on or give me water, but no one has bothered me either, […]

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Day 9: Leaving the ‘Berg

The sunrise from Twins Cave was impressive—pink-hued light lit up the escarpment wall to begin the day. I packed up quickly and began to descend, slightly concerned about making an 11am shuttle that would take me back to Durban. (Actually, I was concerned with making the shuttle after a shower, which I desperately needed.) The […]

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Day 8: Drakensberg Mountains

Drakensberg Last night over dinner I planned today’s outing, with help from Craig, the General Manager of Cathedral Peak Hotel who has been hiking in the ‘Berg for at least 20 years. He highly recommended that I stay out overnight and camp at Twins Cave, one of many caves in the area that is popular […]

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Day 7: Drakensberg Mountains

The breakfast buffet spread at the Cathedral Peak Hotel was a perfect pre-day-hike meal: eggs, sausage, home fries and hash browns, yogurt and granola, and a better selection of fresh fruit than you’ll find at a Whole Foods: kiwi, guava, mango, pineapple, honeydew melon, apricots, litchi, etc.—I found myself passing over the grapes, bananas, and […]

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Day 6: Durban & the Drakensberg Mountains

The combination of warm shark-infested waters and throngs of scantily clad beach-goers prompted the installation of shark nets off the coastline in the 1940’s. A tour of the nets is available, but that aspect of the boat ride is its least redeeming—instead, it’s enjoyable for its views of an orange sun rising above the Indian […]

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Day 5: Durban

Durban is South Africa’s version of Miami Beach (beautiful beach, towering ocean-front hotels, and nighttime techno beats), minus some of the bling, most of the plastic, and all of the Latin food. It sits on the bath-water-warm Indian Ocean, and unless you are from the Southeast or unless you visit during their winter you may […]

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Day 4: Cradle of Mankind

 A 60-minute drive from our hotel (the Melrose Arch, a swanky place with the feel of a night club and with creative touches like rubber ducks in the bathtub) took us out of Jo-burg, beyond its sprawling townships and dilapidated shanty towns, past enormous mine dumps, and into a landscape that looked more National Geographic-like […]

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Day 3: Johannesburg and Soweto

It is difficult—actually, I’d say impossible—to understand modern-day South Africa without understanding apartheid. And so today I spent the day learning about it: I visited the Museum of Africa (disappointing), Apartheid Museum (excellent), and the Hector Pieterson Memorial (sadly unmaintained), and took a tour of Soweto, a Jo-burg township where violent uprisings against apartheid occurred […]

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Day 1 & 2: Welcome to South Africa

“Can you please sign your passport?” the TSA official asked, handing it back to me with a pen. I chuckled, thinking that it was an appropriate start to this trip—I had not even left New York before I’d made it very clear that I was a newbie to international travel. Yes, I’ve been to all […]

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