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South African airlines

The first few days in South Africa were really hard. Although we both consider ourselves very open minded and flexible, the cultural immersion was a shock. Our skin color overshadowed everything else and we stood out like a sore thumb even in our non-descript plain clothes.

J-burg is coined as the most dangerous city in the world caused by the havoc created by decades of apartheid. We stayed cooped up in the hotel room by the airport for two days before finally getting enough guts to rent a car and head out of town. Once we got past the city limits, the perspective became so much brighter. 

What's different in this picture?

Passing on the left and right is ok. Slow vehicles often drive in the emergency lane as a courtesy to the faster drivers. This is ok, until the road is shared with pedestrians... 

On the road
Entowani Sun

The world changed in front of our eyes the further we got from J-burg. We arrived in the town of Nespruit, soothed by the greenery and relative leisure drive. Out of the few handful hotels, the Entowani Sun had rooms available. Intimidated by the majestic look of the place, we were hesitant at first to go in; no way we could afford this one!

We were very glad to be wrong. Thank goodness for favorable exchange rates. U$ 60/night bought us 5-star accommodations, with marble bathrooms, wait staff that literarily anticipated our every move and cuisine to die for. On our entire journey we have not found people more hospitable, more competent and more business savvy than the management and employees of this place.  

The dinning room.

Our very favorite waiter in the whole southern hemisphere.

The guest at this place were very mixed. As in most of the travels in South Africa, we were one of the few Caucasian folks and the only people "all the way from the USA". 

Our favorite waiter.
African woman

These images are now popularized by the National Geographic magazine. Seeing it with our own eyes however was something else. The most unusual load sighting: a woman carrying a 21" TV on her head. 

Remember the second picture on this webpage of the slow trucks driving in the side lane? This is exactly the reason why it gave us goosebumps. If this country had a higher car driving population, the automobile fatalities would most likely skyrocket.... 

South Africa school girls

Hey, who sprayed love potion into the air? 

Bure roof

Lodgings at the Lower Sabie camp. The camps were surrounded by electric fences to protect both the animals and the humans. No visitors were allowed in the park after 6pm unless accompanied by a ranger. 

Kruger Park Lower Sabie camp
Elephant on the road

Elephants are the true kings of the safari. That includes the roads.

For creatures large and larger and huge, visit the Kruger Animals page.  

Safari landscape 

Safari landscape
Safari tree
Safari delta

Sunset over a safari delta. This river was the dividing line between Zimbabwe and South Africa. In the early mornings you could see the hippos bathing, the lions drinking and the elephants spraying water all over.  

A'loft in Africa 

Upper Sabie


The camps were designed to give visitors as much nature immersion even after the 6pm curfew. 

Camp view
Geoff with river view
Safari jeep

Wild safari ride! We were super fortunate to be in a camp when two of the rangers gave a 5am morning walk through the safari to a handful of visitors. The early morning started as the sun was rising, and temperatures were at a comfortable 70deg F. We boarded the jeep and were ready for ... something. We didn't quite know what to expect. 

Five rules of the safari;

1. Walk single file.

2. Walk single file ...unless being chased by an animal; then you're on your own.

3. Listen to the rangers.

4. Do not allow your camera to start making film-rewinding noise while near a dangerous animal.

5. Trust your instincts. They can't get everyone. Just make sure you run faster than the next guy.  

Safari ride
Safari walk

Walk single file... 

Listen to your rangers...

Meet Lucky, the ranger. An amazing animal tracker. In his bullet holster, 2 out of the 5 bullets were missing. When Geoff asked about it, all Lucky said was:

"I am Lucky. Trust me."

Enough said. 

Ranger Lucky
Geoff and Lenka on safari

Can you find the while rhinos in the picture?  

A tiger on the safari! 

Tig with ranger
Safari rangers


Geoff having Jeep envy 

Geoff on the jeep
Baobab tree

Ok, we lied about only getting out of the car once during the trip. We stepped out twice. Once to take a picture with an elephant. Second, to fulfill a lifelong dream of Geoff's to stand next to a real Baobab tree (Exupery's Little Prince).

Only as Geoff was trying to climb it did we realize there may be some really big snakes or territorial felines sitting in the tree. What is it that they say? "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" 

One of the camps didn't have bures; instead the accommodations turned out to be safari tents. Twist our arm! A kid's dream come true. Howling hippos and snickering wildebeests 20 feet behind the tent were included.  

Safari tent
Inside safari tent

The tents were mosquito "proofed". We were lucky enough to arrive during a dry rainy season so mosquitoes weren't as much of a bother as we though they would be in February. Nonetheless we ended up taking Malarone for malaria prevention. 

Outdoor kitchen

The bathroom didn't quite say "roughing it" but after spending entire day in 90deg F temperature with 90% humidity, we really didn't mind the luxury... 

Safari tent bathroom
Lenka's outlook

Living the good life. What does Lenka see out in the future? 

For African beasts big and small, click here; otherwise pack your bags for Sydney, Australia!

(c) Geoffrey Peters and Lenka J.,, 2003. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
Other web sites include:,, ...intangible northwest..., Travel Logs, Where in the World is Tig?