Africa is on so many travellers’ bucket lists, but that wasn’t the case for Megan Butler. For some reason the thought of being on safari in South Africa didn’t grab her, but after reluctantly agreeing to make the trip she soon got a lot more than she expected…
“After arriving in Johannesburg and then travelling by van towards Kruger National Park, my attitude was starting to change. The scenery and towns were so different from home. I sat with my face glued to the window as we approached the park and saw a wild monkey and impala. Wow – maybe this will be fun after all. Still didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t explain why I didn’t want to go.
Everyone has power to make real change and impact in the world. Including you. Join in this years Earth Hour on 29 March, and you will be part of the world’s biggest and most engaging grassroots movement.
Of course it’s not just about one hour. It’s about the future of our planet!
Earth Hour is the planet’s single-largest call-to-action on climate change. Through the simple act of turning off lights for one hour, millions of people across the globe come together to raise awareness for this issue and to work on the solutions.
In Africa, most action takes place on the streets and roadsides – people hawking their wares, kids running to and from school, friends hanging out just chatting. There’s always movement and there’s always food.
Day and night you’ve got people selling all types of snacks at traffic lights, on buses, at street corners and in roadside stalls. And a wealth of people buying them. For a true taste of Africa you won’t see in any guidebook, check out the following tasty treats.
“It’s difficult to describe just how vulnerable you feel when your eyes meet the unwavering stare of a predatory lion.”
Real life experiences are those moments when you suddenly become aware that you are taking part in something fantastic. Those “wow – this is incredible” events that turns an OK trip into an extraordinary adventure. It was one of those very moments that caught Pat Venning by surprise when she happened upon a family festival in South Africa, but luckily (or not) her partner made sure the night was preserved for perpituity…
“Come sit my friends”, beckoned the tall man resplendent in leopard skin and wielding a rather large shield. “We are celebrating the birth of my first-born son and would be honoured if you would join us.”
This year, following the legacy of Nelson Mandela, or Madiba as we call him, our Intrepid South Africa team celebrated Mandela day by helping out in our local community, trying to do something that actually makes a difference.
Benjamin Disraeli wrote “The youth of a nation are the trustees of prosperity.”
Kruger has a sub-tropical climate and temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius or warmer most days, but it’s not only the weather that makes this South African national park such a hot spot to visit. Kruger is almost 2 million hectares in size and as Intrepid’s Sue Elliot discovered, it’s where you can enjoy some of the most extraordinary wildlife viewing on our planet…
“Setting off on our first game drive in Kruger National Park the adrenalin is pumping. Sure the morning air is brisk, but with the thrill of being out on safari we barely notice. And if yesterday’s savannah weather is anything to go by, we should be enjoying the cool air while we can. The golden light is starting to bring the grassy plains into focus and we can see the well-trained eye of our Kruger guide keeping watch. “Look there!”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Our Intrepid Bundu team in South Africa used this Nelson Mandela quote as their inspiration to invest in the local community school in Zandspruit. As their celebration of Mr Mandela’s 94th birthday on 18 July, the team decided to plant fruit trees at the primary school and then teach the children how to take care of these trees. It was a fantastic day and Intrepid’s Lorell Strydom fills us in on what it was like to be filled with the spirit of Mandela…
A bit about Zandspruit…
Zandspruit is an informal settlement in the West Rand of Johannesburg. This is like a forgotten community as it is too small (although 70,000 permanent residents!) to be recognised by the authorities. It started in 1994 just after the election, when people came to Johannesburg with a dream in their hearts for a better future – today housing and primary living conditions are still a daily struggle. This community has 2 primary schools – 1 that looks after Grade 1 to 4 and the other looks after Grade 5 to 7. There are no secondary schools, libraries, youth centres or parks and recreations areas, and a lot of children are still not getting the opportunity to be educated.
It might be hard to put into words what it’s like to spot your first wild animal, but Intrepid’s Danielle Jeffreson still can’t stop talking about her South Africa experience…
“It’s 5.30am and the temperature is hovering around a fairly chilly 10 degrees Celsius (50F). We are about to set off on our first game drive in search of the Big 5 in Kruger National Park. The open backed safari vehicle definitely gets the cool wind rushing through your hair and everyone is excited with the prospect of sighting their first animal.