South Africa

Have been to South Africa twice, once in the 1996 (pic above) and again in 2016 (pics below). When visiting, travelers cannot miss out on a safari at Kruger National Park, a park about the same size as Israel! If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the Big 5: Elephant, rhinoceros (black and white)  leopard, lion, and a Cape buffalo! Adventures also cannot miss out on visiting Cape Town for its scenic mountains and beaches. Try the ultimate challenge and climb Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Signal Hill, and Lion’s Head all in one day. The view from the tops of each mountain is incredible! Also don’t miss out on the penguins of beach at Simon’s Town, which was my kids’ favorite!

In South Africa, there are three capitals of the country, Pretoria, the legislative capital; Cape Town, the Parliamentary capital; and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital. There are approximately 60 million people living here. South Africa is linguistically rich with 11 official languages! The official languages are isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga, siSwati, Tshivenda, and isiNdebele. The majority of the population practices protestant Christianity. The time zone is 6 hours ahead of EST.

South Africa was home to Nelson Mandela, the leader of the South African anti-apartheid struggle. Apartheid was the system of racial and social inequality that plagued the country from 1948 to 1994.  During his lifetime, he fought to bring racial and social equality to the country. Visitors should visit Robben Island, the home of Nelson Mandela and many other anti-apartheid political prisoners during the apartheid era. While the island is no longer used as a prison today, the prison itself is still standing.

 

Running along the coast of Capetown
The penguins at Simon’s Town
Cow brains … a delicacy in Capetown?
On a game drive through the park
Kruger sunset
Running through Kruger Park trails, with two security details (one in front, and one behind!)

Chad

This girl was staring at me ... they OBVIOUSLY don't get many tourists here! Country Information:  15 million people live in Chad and the capital is N’Djamena. The primary languages are French and Arabic, though Chad is called the “Babel Tower of the world” because of...

Swaziland

Making dinner in Swaziland ... or Eswatini! (2018) Jim's Perspectives: After spending the night in the Marriott Fire & Ice, which is adjacent to a lovely outdoor mall and shopping area, far from the chaos and danger of downtown Johannesburg, I journeyed four hours...

Zimbabwe

Spectacular Victoria Falls from the air (helicopter) Jim's Perspectives: Staying at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel in 1996 with a view of the river, was an incredible experience. We were greeted by Odell, the famed doorman who wore a red jacket adorned with hundreds...