Alone in Southern Africa for two months

Section 3

Next 18 Days Driving Alone

This was perhaps the most fabulous single adventure of my life. In my Avis Volkwagen Golf, I left Johannesburg went to Pretoria then to Cullinan where I visited the Premiere Mine and museum. The highways in South Africa are in excellent condition, and allow for driving at the highest allowed speed in confort. Along the way I was able to drive through another of the long tunnels under another of the many mountain ranges, the Soutpansberg. Then on to Venda. Here I stayed in another of the Sun Hotel chain. The Sun Hotels are the most fabulous in size, beauty and services, including the inevitable casino. From there I drove over and south along the almost entire length of the Krueger National Park Along the way I was able to view lions, elephants, giraffes, etc. right along and on the roadway. My car never seemed to startle them. Guess they are used to nuts driving along. I spent the night in a safari camp, at Skukuza, in the Park. Then I drove over to the Drakenberg mountain area. There were many waterfalls, dropping hundreds of feet, and large crevices leading out to large open areas. I traveled to Swaziland, where I spent the night at the Swazi Inn, another super hotel like the Sun chain. Then I drove across Swaziland ind into Natal where I drove around the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, in Zululand. It was there that in addition to the other species of animals, I saw several both White (square-lipped) and Black (hook-lipped) Rhinoceros, both of which are on the endangered species list. At one point I got out of the car to take a photo and one started to charge the car. But, I got in and drove away. At Durban, I stayed at this huge Holiday Inn, with a great corner room with both ocean and northern views. I was able to take a swim in the (then) "Whites Only" beach on the Indian Ocean. The weather, temperature and humidity reminded me of Florida. From here I drove through Transkei, Ciskei and along the southern coast, called the Garden Route, to Cape Town. Along the way, in Oudtshoorn, I rode an ostrich, stood on an ostrich egg, ate ostrich and crocodile meat, crawled through small openings in the Kongo Caves, and visited lots of museums, small game reserves, and crocodile farms. And of course had my share of good wines at the many wineries. At Cape Town, I took the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, drove to the tip of Cape Point, and walked all over the main part of town. (Later, after my next safari, I had a personalized tour of the Houses of Parliament.)

The photo quality in all the chapters is not so good. All the photos were orignally on slides. I had to convert them from the slide to the .jpg format, using a slide scanner.

Inside the plant of the Premiere Diamond Mine. I had an excorted tour of the whole facility. The building shown here is the one that processes the newly mined materials that contain the few diamonds found.

A photo of the replica display of the famous "Cullinan diamond" after it was found and the replicas of the cut stones that were yielded from it. This display was part of those in the mine's museum.

Here is an arial view of the whole facility. The big hole in the rear has over the years been the source of about 20 tons (that is "tons") of diamonds.

Hyenas blocking the road, but they did finally move on letting me pass. This was at the start of the northern entrance to Krueger National Park. I drove the Golf from the northernmost entry of the park to th main entrance in the south. That was a lonely long drive. Saw lots of animals, but never another human.

Various groups of monkeys or apes, or whatever, were always full of mischief. Here they are frollicing on the road, also at rthe northern end of Krueger National Park. I just had to await their departure. This part of the raod was a dirt bypass off the main road heading east. It rejoined the main road that was paved as it headed south.

Giraffes shown eating from the high bushes along the main road as I was driving south through the Krueger Nationa Park from the northern area of Venda.

A giraffe taking its time crossing the road. The rules require drivers to give way to those animals crossing and give them plenty of room to cross.

Here is a zebra calmly grazing along side the road. I could not help but notice that my car did not phase them or scare them one bit.

Elephants also, of course have the right of way, and no doubt I would never challenge one. This elephant did not charge me as I got close, as those in the other parks of Botswana and Namibia did.

It seems that the most populated animals seen are the Wildebeasts or Water Buffalos. And they always seem to be grazing or drinking water.

Here is the small, but yet quite large round cabin that I rented for the night inside Krueger National Park. I was alone, but it was capable of having up to 6 person sleeping quite well. Just to the right of the building is my Golf vehicle.

One of the many hyenas that roamed around, usually in packs. They were extremely friendly to me as I got quite close without being snarled at.

One of the many great water falls in the Graskop area. At this time it was only mildly running. When there is a lot of rain and snow melting, it can be quite large and noisy.

Typical of the thousands of small homes ditting the landscape, these are in the small nation of Zwaziland. They all look well kept up and roomy.

These next few photos are from the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Not sure which, but this one is either a White Rhino or Black Rhino, while the other photo below is the opposite. I met at least five of each in this reserve.

More water buffalo at their best, feeding. But, they had to look up for their photo to be taken.

More either white or black Rhino.

Here are more rhinos at their watering hole in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

I have not idea why I took a photo of this plant at the time. It does look like some sort of poppy bulbs. But they are all over the Reserve.

Continue to the next section.

Now, let's continue with the second Karibu 15 Day Safari from Kimberley, RSA, into and around (now called) Namibia.

Just click on the arrow

Created by that great traveler, 20 July 2001
Updated 22 June 2002, 17 January 2006
by Lester Gideon