Cue the bells y’all! Im sad but super pumped to be sharing what is easily one of my most favorite trips! What seems like a year ago, I was doing what I normally do, creeping the interwebs of good flight deals to other parts of the world. I found what I thought was a steal of a deal for a round trip flight to Johannesburg, South Africa via Virgin Atlantic (the BEST airline ever by the way) for about $750. I would be in for a 7.5 hour flight to London with an 11 hour layover in London before embarking on a 10.5 hour flight to Jozi. Not too shabby if you ask me because I would get to stretch my feet while exploring a bit more of London. I met with another local photographer in the area, Kyle of Kyle Weaver Photography, who you should totally check out because his work is killer. Anyhoo, we got together at Panera to chat business and I crap you not, we sat there talking about 11 dang hours straight! I mentioned my Solo trip to South Africa and the flights were still a decent price so he asked if he could hop on the trip with me and the rest was history!
I had to let him know that the main reason I was going to South Africa was to cage dive with the elusive and powerful great white shark! Thankfully hes just a crazy as I am so it was a sealed deal! Flash forward 9 months and the day was FINALLY here! We had a hot date with the skies before we started our explorations! First up was conquering a bit of London within the short amount of time we had there and the best way to knock that out, the hop-on hop-off bus of course! This way, Kyle could see all of the city in a short amount of time and we could hop off anywhere he wanted to see more closely. We even hopped on the London eye…. still not sure how I let Kyle talk me into that. I am TERRIFIED of heights and every time our little pod on the wheel jerked I was freaking out! The views of Westminster and downtown London really are stunning though, even with big ben under construction.
We both surprisingly survived our first long haul flight of the trip. We were both so delirious from the lack of sleep and exploration of London that we both crashed on the flight to Johannesburg. We watched a movie and then the next thing we knew, we were landing! If only our flight home was the easy but thats for a later story! We finally arrived to Joburg and we were ready to conquer South Africa! We knew we didn’t want to do too much in Jozi but gave it 3 solid days to see the top spots. Our flight landed at 7:00 in the morning so we had ALL day to get things done. We dropped our bags off at our airbnb and went straight to the Apartheid museum. One thing I love about traveling is the surreal feeling I get just being in a certain location. We learned so much about the Apartheid and Nelson Mandela so to be in Joburg and see the artifacts and reading the history of segregation of South Africa was other worldly. We conquered the museum in record time before we hopped on yet another Hop-on Hop-off city tour bus! What can we say, we are lazy! haha
Traveling is tiring! And apparently Kyle falls a sleep super easily in a car… or a bus.
Our second day in Jozi we were extra excited for! We had a hot date with an open top safari tour of Pilanesburg National Park. We were aiming for Krueger National Park but it was a much farther drive and with only one day to spare, we opted for the closer, smaller but equally stunning, Pilanesburg. Its crazy to think how our tour guide Rus mentioned that the park had lost about 13 rhinos this year….. That a place so stunning and so open is still battling against illegal poaching is mind blowing. The worst part, Rus mentioned that 13 was a good number. =/ . These beautiful creatures are far and few between and the world is losing them. As well as their elephant friends. Rus mentioned that the park is considering bringing in Drones to help fight against poaching of Africas beautiful animals. Speaking of Rus, he was the BEST tour guide! We risked it for the biscuit, even though the lions are damn good at staying hidden! We saw almost ALL of Africas big 5 except for the elusive lion! We tried! We saw Rhinos, warthogs, wildebeest, elephants, giraffes, zebras, meerkats, hippos and an array of birds! I was in heaven!
Our last day in Jozi was very lazy. We knew we were going to hit some of the infamous markets of Jozi and they did not disappoint. We walked outside of our airbnb apartment building and realized that there was a small food/music market on the roof of our building! Score! Our views of the city and good tunes with incredible bbq food! Winning! We stuffed our faces and shook our shoulders a bit before catching an uber to the infamous Neighborgoods market! Im actually pretty sad we ate at the rooftop market because the array of food this market had was out of this world! It was a shock to the senses but it was awesome! I had some good brews, ice cream and scored my 3rd, yes you read that correctly, 3rd pair of sunglasses! haha I forgot my pair at home and just couldnt find the right pair in Jozi. Thankfully our money goes so far in comparison to the Rand so it didnt hurt the bank.
Our time in Cape Town was a hit! We had three shoots and a butt load of exploration! Cape town part I coming tomorrow! =D