Jambo safari fans,
Following our Madagascar adventure we flew to South Africa to experience the wealthiest country on the dark continent. We started with a safari for a few days in a tented camp where the sub freezing temps of -4C (25F) in the morning made game viewing a shivering affair, but as we gazed at all the amazing wildlife we thought about how special it would be to have some of the first recorded cases of frostbite in Africa. That was prevented by a roaring fire and plenty of hot tea and coffee when we returned to the camp with stories of elephants, rhinos, zebras, cheetahs and lions feasting on a wildebeest. The rhinos we spotted were quite a distance away from our vehicle which was committed to staying on the designated dirt road, so our driver chanted a sing-song “come come come come come!” as our smirks turned to smiles because the four adults and two babies sauntered over to within 50 feet of us for a great photo session. The rest of our safari time was spent taking lots of pictures, eating wonderfully prepared meals by the staff of the camp and longing for the warmth of a hotel room or restaurant once we returned to civilization.
Half of our group headed home to the US while Pat and I flew south to Cape Town to hang out with a friend who teaches physics at the University of Cape Town and is the son in law of a patient of mine. Saalih was a great resource and took us out for some delicious meals in the city, as well as sharing sobering stories of growing up labeled as “colored” since he is from a marriage of Indian and Malaysian parents. Cape Town and the surrounding region is a mix of modern highways, schools, restaurants, hotels, malls and shops with the challenge of sprawling slums and ghettos called townships against a backdrop of the Atlantic and Indian ocean on one side and towering Table Mountain on the other. We taxied and walked though a great deal of the city, and then rented a car to drive to see penguins on the beach and gaze out on the rolling waves at the Cape of Good Hope, which technically is not THE most southern tip of the continent but was close enough for those of us that no longer need ADD medications. Both days on our way back to the city we stopped to sample wine and food around the vineyards of Stellenbosh and Constantia, which rivaled any wine region of the world. Now it’s back to work but the next trip is just a plane ride away!