South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Christmas time for me means family and my favorite way to spend it is this way, with my family. However three years ago we decided to spend them in a different way. We visited South Africa, amazed by the stories told by our friends who have visited this country before. First we thought to go just after the Christmas time, but because of the much higher plane tickets prices we were somehow pressed to leave on the Christmas Eve.
Africa was on my mind for a long time, it was my dream to go there. Who read the book In Desert and Wilderness and loved it,knows what I am talking about:) However South Africa is not so representative country for this continent. It looks different now, and it is more developed. Its history is related to the white people, posterity of Dutch people, which colonized it in the 15th century. They first build the port on the Cape of Hope at which large trade ships coming from India could stop on the way and refuel their food supplies. Nowadays the white population of the country is about 9%, whereas black inhabitants are at 80%. After 70 years of the apartheid politics people learn to live together-Whites, Blacks, Mixed-race, but also a large Indian population.
Our first stop was in Johannesburg, the economic capital of the country. Because of the fact that our first day was a Christmas Day, many places were closed. For this reason we decided to go for a privat guide who showed us all the important places in the “condensed” time. It was also a peculiar time, as just after the death of their political leader- Nelson Mandela. We had a chance to see his house in Johannesburg and also Soweto town, where he used to live before he became a president.
Below pictures from the front of Mandela’s house, where people left memory cards and stones:
Mandelas’ Soweto house, a museum:
The monument next to the Court of Justice in Johannesburg:More of Soweto, which you probably remember from the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Bungee jumping (didn’t try;) )
Apart from visiting South Africa, we also decided to go to Zambia, to see Victoria Falls. This is a real wonder of nature, what pictures can’t show!
The falls were discovered by David Livingstone, who was the first white man to visit this part of Africa. He named them after the British Queen Victoria. His monument stands proudly not far from the falls. The nearby city holds his name. Our hotel was so African! On its large yard there was a herd of zebras and antelopes running around. It was located just at the entrance to the falls.
Christmas decorations:)On the way down to the river monkeys were everywhere
Crossing to Zimbabwe, the other part of falls.
We went also on the trip with the boat on the Zambezi River, which waters create the falls.
We took the opportunity to visit the neighboring village. When our kids want expensive Christmas gifts, maybe they should see different kids that do not receive any… And they need to dig the garbage hole!
After coming back to South Africa we had already planned our New Years Eve in Sun City, the Las Vegas kind of the place.Who is interested in the casinos for sure will not be disappointed, but yet we decided to visit other attractions, like the alligators farm.
That Christmas time was for sure a special one.
This was not the end of our African story, much more to come soon…