Our South Africa trip is winding down. Ramie and I (seen with the Three Rondawels rock formations along the Blyde River) are in Johannesburg now on our last day in the country. We’ve been to Cape Town and been in the bush country on a safari. It’s been a great trip. The aftermath of apartheid can still be seen almost everywhere, and the country is still very segregated.
Blacks, whites, coloreds (that’s the acceptable term here for mixed-race people) and Asians (mostly Indians but we saw a few Chinese people, and restaurants, around) don’t seem to mingle much with each other, but mostly that’s attributed to economics. Throughout apartheid whites controlled most of the money and that’s still very true now. Not that there aren’t racists out there still, which I’m sure there are. There’s democracy and non-white people have more freedoms, but the economy still lags behind the human rights gains that have been made since the new South Africa began in 1995.
For a foreign tourist, South Africa is a great place. Things are affordable for Americans, with food and drinks about half the cost of what it is back in the States.
Cape Town is very much like the Bay Area with natural scenery, water and some nice night life. There’s also a wine country outside of the city that we also visited. We had a taste as well.
On the safari we took to Kruger National Park, we saw all of what’s known as The Big Five animals: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. It was amazing to see wildlife up close like that. It’s a shame that so much of the territory where these animals once roamed is gone and they’re relegated to national parks and game reserves in most places in Africa.
It’s been fun, but now it’s almost time to go home. Knight Ridder has been sold, so my job at ContraCostaTimes.com could be in jeopardy when the sale closes and the whole thing is sorted out. If only we could stay here.