BLOG | WE SHARE OUR THOUGHTS ALONG THE WAY

We’d been driving along South Africa’s gorgeous southern coastline and the famous Garden Route for 10 days. Heather was my trusty navigator, spotting road signs, tracking our mileage, and guiding me through the turns. I’d gotten comfortable driving on the left side of the road from the right side of the car, but still appreciated her reminders to “hug, hug, hug the curb” when turning left.

 

Approaching Port Elizabeth we veered north, following signs for Addo National Elephant Park. Heather read our travel agent’s instructions aloud, guiding us towards River Bend Lodge, a private game reserve where we would stay for two nights and three days. We finally reached the massive gates and buzzed for permissi...

I hesitate to include a budget report about South Africa, as it was the only country where we stopped being independent travelers and hired both a travel agent and a safari company. Determining a plan for Africa took longer and was more difficult, somehow, than the other countries on our itinerary. Perhaps this was because Africa felt more unknown and dangerous than South America and Europe. (Read my blog post “South Africa: we are already looking forward to the day we return” for more details.)

 

Subsequently, South Africa was far more expensive than any other country and is not easily broken down into the categories I normally report on. That being said, a financial accounting of our trip would not b...

 

For me, half the fun of traveling is planning the journey. During the three years that we were saving money, I read countless books about the countries we were considering. I sketched out possible routes on a poster-sized wet-erase map and tracked airline ticket prices online. I followed travel bloggers and thought about our budget.

 

Determining a plan for Africa took longer and was more difficult, somehow, than the other countries on our itinerary. Perhaps this was because Africa felt more unknown and dangerous than South America and Europe. None of us had ever been to any African nation, so we had no first-hand knowledge of what it would be like. Additionally, there were times when it seemed that o...

We toured a section of Cape Town called Langa. It is a very low-income area of Cape Town owned by chiefs of native tribes and clans. The township was originally a designated space for Black Africans during the apartheid era, and still today, it is made up of 99% Black Africans belonging to native tribes and clans. Langa is the oldest of many governmentally designated areas for Black Africans in South Africa, during the apartheid era.

 

We started our tou in the Langa Community Center, where there are crafts and skills taught, such as mosaics, pottery, painting, and building, as well as a place for people to just hang out and occupy themselves. When adults are unemployed, they often go to the community...

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