Out of (South) Africa

One of my many firsts in South Africa was my first hot air balloon flight
One of my many firsts in South Africa was my first hot air balloon flight
After 32 hours of airports and airplanes, I am back from South Africa.

The last 10 days have were an amazing experience and I have to give a big thanks to South Africa Tourism for the opportunity to visit a country which had been high on my list of places to visit.

Here is a short list of some of the things I did and saw in South Africa:

  • Went swimming with great white sharks
  • Visited my 123rd UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Went on my first hot air ballon flight
  • Took an overnight train from Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Went rafting on the Orange River
  • Visited the 2nd largest waterfall in Africa: Augrabies Falls
  • Witnessed the live capture of a sable antelope which included a vet shooting a tranquilizer dart from a helicopter
  • Saw zebras, giraffes, multiple species of antelope, seals and penguines
  • Got kissed by an elephant (which is more action than I’ve gotten in years)
  • Got enough frequent flyer miles to make it to the Premier level of the United frequent flyer program

I also had the opportunity to travel with some great people: David, Lori, Shannon, Mary Frances, Sean and Sara.

I took about 2,000 photos while I was in South Africa and I’ll be spending the next few weeks editing them. There are about a half-dozen articles I’ll be posting once I have my photos edited, so stay tuned. This week should be packed with writing and photo editing, so expect a flood of posts this week.

I’ll be in Wisconsin for the next 5 days until I leave for Toronto on October 1.

15 thoughts on “Out of (South) Africa”

  1. Amazing blog, Gary! I love the photography and layout. I’m going to subscribe to your RSS feed so I can keep up with your adventures :) I just started my own blog two months ago and am inspired!

  2. Your appetite for adventure is inspiring – encounters with sharks, elephants, defying gravity, rafting. Sounds like the grueling plane ride was worth it!

  3. I thought that I’d done a lot of travelling until I saw your blog. Your adventures – from French museums to swimming with sharks sound truly amazing. Pop by and visit us if you’re back over this way. Enjoy the journey!

  4. Hi Gary,

    You went swimming with Great White sharks…and don’t tell us more?

    That’s a whole blog post with that story.

    Do share.

    All the best,

  5. I am positively jealous of your South African trip. I was there some 35 years ago during which time there was much racial tension and political strife. The South Africa of today is an all new place, thank god!

    I have always wanted to do 3 things, which are swim with Great White sharks, white water rafting and ride on a hot-air baloon. Wow…you did all three in one trip! Though I had been to all the game parks, you have painted a rather rosy picture of possibly taking another trip to South Africa.

  6. What was the story behind the vet capturing the antelope? How did you meet the vet? Why was the antelope being hunted down?

  7. South Africa is definitely on my list. I think you hit several items on my bucket list with this trip! I’ve been wanting to do the swimming with sharks thing for a while, almost got to do it in Fiji.

  8. Premier status on United is pretty good. Probably the biggest benefit is being seated in Economy Plus and having a better chance at a free upgrade.

  9. Wow. That is such an amazing trip… Traveling is a perfect opportunity to explore the beauty of the world and to appreciate better life for having the gift of nature. For me, it is the best way to relax and reward myself for all the good works.

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