Robin's Adventures

Expedition to Africa
Safari Adventures

The Adventure Begins

Our journey began with great anticipation as we boarded an airplane in Los Angeles and headed for Johannesburg. We were looking forward to seeing some interesting things in Africa that we had not seen the first time around. Flight time was twenty-one hours.

Johannesburg

Our first stop was Johannesburg where we stayed in the Saxon Hotel. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and, at first glance, much of the city seemed to be very modern.

Soweto

The reality is that there is a big divergence in Johannesburg between the wealthy and everybody else. The people that have nice housing live behind tall fences with barbed wire and many have guards on duty 24/7.

Many buildings in the city center have been abandoned and are occupied by squatters.

Many others live in an areas like Soweto, which is an acronym for South West Town. The homes here are tiny structures built of scrap metal and discarded lumber. Things like plumbing, electricity, and running water do not exist in these homes and living conditions are deplorable.

Historical Johannesberg

We took a drive down Vilikasi Street to see the homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. This street has the distinction of being the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Prize recipients. After Mandella died, people started leaving rocks with messages on them in the planters outside his home.

We also saw the site of a former prison for political detainees and the site of South Africa's high court. On the steps leading to Constitution Hill is a sculpture called the \"screaming Godzilla\" made from a single leadwood tree.

Apartheid

There was a monument to a young 13 year old boy, Hector Pieterson, who was killed in the 1976 uprising of school children protesting the requirement that school instruction and testing be in the Afrikaans language regardless of the local language used.

The Apartheid Museum also had many interesting exhibits and historical photos. As is the case with museums the world over, guests end up exiting through a gift shop. If there was an award for the best item ever in a museum gift shop, we found that item in the Apartheid Museum...

Flight to Okavango Delta

We boarded a small Airlink flight from Johannesburg to Maun in Botswana. Then we caught a very small bush plane to a small landing strip in the Okavango Delta. From the air, we could see the interesting landscape of the delta. The area is an inland delta that floods in the rainy season and dries out during the rest of the year. It is a great ecosystem for a large variety of animals and birds and we hoped to see as many as possible.

Stanley Camp

We stayed in a safari tent at Stanley's Camp for the next two nights.

Mokoro

We spent the afternoon navigating the waterways on a peaceful mokoro excursion. The boat is a small canoe that is carved out of a long straight tree trunk. The boatman uses a long pole to propel the boat, sort of like the gondolas in Venice.

We enjoyed the up close look at the sights and sounds of the delta. The sun reflected off of the water and through the reeds. The water strider insects walked along the smooth, glassy surface of the water. Frogs called to one another as they hung out on the reeds. It was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Mokoro Video

Game Drive

We spent most of each day in a game drive vehicle with a guide looking for animals. Some of the roads were very dusty and bumpy and others were flooded so that the whole bottom of the vehicle was submerged as were drove. Even though it was an open car, we were told that the animals would not bother us unless we had to get out of the vehicle...