Friday, June 18, 2010

And Now a Message from Fiona

Hey everyone, well we’re nearly half way through our adventures in Africa and I thought I’d add a bit to Steve’s blog.

I thought I’d start with what it meant to me in 2004 when South Africa was announced as the World Cup host for 2010. To begin with I thought ‘awesome, another great adventure to a country I haven’t been to’ but more importantly I realised that my dream (of 12 years at that stage) to go to Namibia would come true. Of course six years ago we had a holiday to Germany to plan so the planning stage for 2010 had to go on hold for awhile.

Anyway, back to Namibia, as Steve has mentioned earlier, it was up to me to plan this part of the journey. (I had persuaded him to spend a disproportionate amount of our budget on this portion of the trip so I had to make sure it was a winner!) My fascination with Namibia began in 1992 after I did an overland truck safari from Zimbabwe to Kenya though 5 or 6 countries on the way. At the time South Africa wasn’t really on the agenda as it was considered far too soft to go to on an ‘overlander’ – you just went there to visit your Saffa flatmates from London. As for Namibia, it had recently emerged into the world in its own right in 1990 and I have to admit I knew very little about it. It was only once I was on my trip in ’92 that I heard stories from other travellers and it became my personal Shangri-La. Back in 1999 when I was going through an early mid-life crisis I flipped a coin for a ‘get away from it all’ holiday and Alaska came up trumps but even then I knew I would get to Namibia one day.

The planning was easy, very early on I found Wild Dog and I knew that was the one for us. They had the right itinerary, the right price, the right kind of safari, they were a local company that employed Namibians (not just another Kiwi, Aussie or Brit working for a mega tour company). Everything said about them on Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet was what I wanted to hear and it just felt right. Enough of the touchy feely stuff – in reality it all worked out better than we could have hoped for and I cannot recommend it enough as a holiday destination.

After 10 or so days in Namibia we ventured down to the fairest Cape of All – Cape Town! So begins another love story...

I really didn’t think Namibia (yes, all of it) could be topped, and I’m not saying that it has been, but Cape Town is right up there but in a different, big city kind of way. To start with CT is just beautiful – geographically, geologically, architecturally and then just add in the people. Every day impressed and improved on the previous one. I got to do everything on my personal agenda: -
  • Cape Point – amazing to literally see two seas merging – and an ostrich on the beach! 
  • Simons Town – I saw a doco years ago on the penguins that live there and knew I wanted to see them, so cute! 
  • Table Mountain – you cannot over estimate the awesomeness of this mountain and the views, OMG the views!
  • The Wine Lands – Stellenbosch was a wonder, I could wandered around for hours.
  • The Shopping – not really on my agenda but a real surprise, if you have the money, you can buy it in Cape Town.
  • Robben Island – I know Steve has covered this but it was amazing to hear the stories from an ex prisoner about life in prison, although trip was a little rushed – I would have liked a little more time to take it all in.
I was also really pleased that we would be able to come and visit the homeland of Madiba, Mr Mandela (calling him Nelson seems a bit informal when you’re here). Being here, talking to people and visiting Robben Island has reminded me what a great man Mandela is. I don’t think I need to say much more than that.

I now find myself sitting in the lounge car of the overnight train from Cape Town to Jo’burg. It is a real indulgence and I realise how lucky we are to be doing this. It’s another part of the journey that is flying by far too fast..


  1. you guys look like you're having a great time! So beautiful there. It's 9am and just got the news that US tied Slovenia. what a comeback! and got that critical second point...I've enjoyed getting to know S Africa better reading your blog;)


  2. Glad you are so lyrical about Cape Town Fiona :) Occasionally I deleted what I wrote for my blog thinking it might sound too over the top, but there is no other city I can think off which gets my creative juices flowing like Cape Town does ! And how happy I was to return a week ago even after the most amazing and varied "visiting 3 countries in Europe 6 weeks trip" , I immediately did touristy things evry afternoon, went for a wine tasting and a wander in the Waterfront a walk along the beach in Landudno,walked along the boulevard of Sea Point, nipped over to Cavendish and Canal Walk shopping center and more which escapes me right now but the one thing I did not do was take a photograph of anything :)