Almost out of South Africa

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.

6 thoughts on “Almost out of South Africa

  1. Stunning scenery (not to mention the couple), sounds like you had a terrific trip. Carmen and I did the same in 2002. She was posted in Angola for three months, so I met up with her in Johannesburg for a tour when she was done. Isn’t it wonderful to have a partner whose job takes you to the far-flung reaches of the globe?

  2. Wooooooooooooooow! That all sounds amazing…I HAVE to go there someday! I want to see more photos!

    As for your job being in jeopardy…seriously dude, if you opened a bar right next to the CC Times you would make a CRAPLOAD of money. Not even kidding, man.

  3. Good lord, I hope your rock perch is safer than it looks. But I have a thing about heights without visible railings.

    Glad you had a great trip.

  4. Glad you guys had a good time. Never been to South Africa — in fact, haven’t visited Africa itself since I was six (when my parents sent me off to Kenya for 2 weeks on my own.. well, almost on my own.. flew there alone, was met at Nairobi Airport by family friends with whom I stayed)…

    Hope all works out jobwise in the US for you, Harry — I’m sure it will.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Alan and I are off to Beijing AND Vancouver .. we could be saying goodbye to the US for a while, in the very near future…

    Roy

  5. Rarry, sounds like you’ve had a great trip! it’ll be great to see more of your pics and hear more about your experiences in SA when you get back! continued safe travels and prepare yourself for coming home to our own local set of race-based issues (the latest being a proposed federal anti-immigration law). and if the job isn’t waiting for you when you get back, at least you’ll be able to stay up late and sleep in!!!

  6. Wow. Sounds like an amazing time.

    Harry, hope the employment works out. Your job as f.b. commissioner is always safe.

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