Southern Africa Snapshots, Part III

South Africa, Swaziland & Zimbabwe wrap-up.

More places. More wildlife. More connection with the noble battle against Apartheid. More experiences to tuck into my memory bank. And more images to post here, starting with Kruger National Park that by itself is the reason that many international  travelers visit South Africa. Scroll back for previous days’ thumbnail reports, and watch for more to come until I post about my final day.

Day 8 – Kruger National Park

One of the nine gates into humongous Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, covers an area of 7,523 square miles. It was first protected by the government in 1898, becoming South Africa’s first national park in 1926. To the north is Zimbabwe and to the east Mozambique. It is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, an international peace park and also part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

And below are some uncaptioned images from the too-short time in his enormous park. We visited for less than a day. Sigh.

The visitor center’s “sightings board” indicates what was seen where. Rhinos are not listed because of the ongoing poaching problem.

Day 9 – Travel Day & Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Long day in the bus driving quickly through landscapes reminiscent of the American West — some agricultural, some natural. At God’s Window, we were in a cloud with zero visibility. I didn’t bother getting off the bus.
Deep chasm at Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a series of waterfalls and rock formations.
Bridge over the gorge at the Potholes site.
Ocean Basket is a restaurant chain offering sushi and other Japanese dishes plus lots of Greek food. Unexpected location for such a menu.
Best roadside service area ever. Wildlife outside the windows, even from the restrooms.
Few rest areas along the highways of the world are equipped with water holes that attract mega-fauna.
Magnificent sunset coming into Johannesburg.

Day 10 – Johannesburg – Soweto and Odes to Nelson Mandela & Others Who Fought Apartheid

Nelson Mandela’s home after his release from prison. He was a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and author, a leader and a world hero by then.
Soweto (an abbreviation of South Western Townships is South Africa’s largest with a population of some 1.3 million. It borders the city’s mining belt — like many cities where the poorest neighborhoods are in or next to its worst industrial zones.
Vibrant street art is a characteristic of Soweto’s main commercial streets.
Nelson Mandela’s Soweto home was a modest brick house. Many of his honors are displayed inside.
Energetic dancers perform on the street near the Mandela house.
Outdoor memorial to Hector Pieterson,  a 12-year-old killed when police opened fire on protesting students during the 1976 Soweto Uprising.
No photography is permitted inside the Apartheid Museum, documenting the abuses of old South Africa, those who battled it and the reconciliation that subsequently occurred, making the former apartheid state in some ways more equitable than our own country.

One thought on “Southern Africa Snapshots, Part III”

  1. Claire, your Southern Africa posts are stunning, with photographs that really give us the feel of the wildlife, people, and landscapes! Thank you for your adventurous spirit and the talent with which you share your adventures with us.

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