Rob and Dee Overland in Africa 2014 – 10,000 miles – 4 months – 10 countries

animals

Selfie with lion

Selfie with lion

We spent today exploring Ngorongoro crater.  The light was pretty overcast so the big scenic vistas were not very photogenic.   Fortunately that type of lighting is excellent for portraits so I concentrated my camera on close-ups of some of the regulars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three weeks in Africa and much has happened. One great week outfitting our new home the Toyota HiLux 4×4. Bushlore folks were terrific and we left Saturday morning for our first camping adventure. Up to the Drakensberg escarpment for Golden Gate Nat’l Park. Chilly in their autumn season – down bags and long underwear in the evening. Got short hike in – up ravine, around meadows for good views. Noticing mostly white people at the National Parks. Some South Africans and lots of European tourists. I guess the local majority (Black) have to deal with 45% unemployment and a battered education system so visiting national resources is a luxury, not a high priority. All people are very friendly with wonderful smiles that shine forth from a sincere inside of good wishes. Onto Royal Natal National Park with more walks and a view of San rock art. Indigenous tribes were prolific in drawing events of lives and dreams, as the story goes. Then our first 4×4 mountain pass- Sani Pass- up to 2873 meters, about 9400 feet. Rob did a great job around the hairpin turns. Luckily the grading was pretty good and he has been a 4 wheeler for 40 some years! Next stop was home of Tina & Jones between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. An excellent visit for gaining local knowledge, having fun with Maya, 6 yrs old, and Noah, 4 yrs old. They even took us to a local private reserve where we did our first animal viewings – zebras, wildebeests, blesboks (they graze together sharing their individual specialty senses of smell, hearing and eyesight), giraffes, hippos and then rhinosorous! Really a great day. Then we moved on to Hluhluwe/Imfolosi National Park for three more days of great animal viewing.

Dee


Drakensberg Mountains

Drakensberg Mountains

Our first few days and especially nights camping in Africa were a surprise. When one thinks of Africa heat is what comes to mind but our nights high up in the Drakensburg Mountains in the Golden Gate Nature Reserve were frigid. The second morning we awoke to find ½” of frost on our windshield. We were very glad to have brought our down bags from Colorado to supplement the lightweight ones that came with the truck. Not surprising is how friendly everyone is. As we have found everywhere people are proud of their country and when a foreigner notices what is special about it they go out of their way to be good ambassadors. In the campground we met some locals who spend lots of time camping and they filled out our itinerary with great spots to visit. Over the next few days we followed their advice and visited Royal Natal National Park and drove our 4×4 over the famed Sani Pass which connects So. Africa with the independent country of Lesotho which is completely surrounded by So. Africa. Even though it was only 10 am when we got to the top of the pass we had an obligatory beer at the highest pub in Africa at 2,874 meters or 9,429 feet.

Dee contemplating the top of Sani Pass

Dee contemplating the top of Sani Pass

 

Africa's Highest Pub

Africa’s Highest Pub

 

The top of Sani Pass connecting S. Africa and Lesotho

The top of Sani Pass connecting S. Africa and Lesotho

We have not yet been to any of the huge game reserves but even in our first few days we have already seen black wildebeest, zebra, eland, springbok, baboons and a few other animals from the antelope family.

Drakensberg cliffs-sm drakensberg mtns ridge- sm

Zebras in Golden Gate Park

Zebras in Golden Gate Park

As you can see I am still challenged in figuring out how to correctly layout photos on our blog- so please bear with me until I get the hang of this.

 

Rob