South Africa: Why actually South Africa?

2015/08/22 – 2015/08/23 Leipzig/Frankfurt/Johannesburg/Hazyview

In the last blogpost I announced, that we go to South Africa for vacation. Why South Africa? At first I thought I don’t want to go to South Africa, because a lot of people go there especially for honeymoon. After some research we decided to go there after all. 

All what we read sounded very nice, interesting and exciting. Also the most people we spoke about their trip to this country, were enthused. So, why not South Africa?

South Africa - map

We wanted to do the most of the trip by ourselves and bought some travel guides to look where we want to go and what we want to do. We recognized, that there is a lot to do. The idea: the arrival in Johannesburg, take a rental car and do trips to Kruger National Park, Lesotho, Durban and then follow the Garden Route to Cape Town. With planning with Google Maps it seems possible. But some people give the advice, not to do that, because the route is to long. So there is no relax and it is not recommended to drive in the dark.

So we thought about to change the route and we get a recommendation from one of Nadines colleagues to contact a travel agency which is specialized in trips to some countries of Africa. The agency is called Out of Africa GbR and is located in Hamburg. So we contacted the owner, told him our ideas, he told us his ideas and recommendations and so we mixed them to a hopefully good trip.

Our adventure will bring us to:

  • Blyde River Canyon / Hazyview
  • Kruger National Park
  • Swaziland
  • St. Lucia
  • Cape Town

For all this we planned 18 days including the flights to and from South Africa. The lodges and rooms where we stay, the rental cars and also the game drives in the Kruger we booked in advance.

In the following posts we will try to take you with us to this trip and to report about our experiences and adventures.

The way to South Africa

flight information - South Africa vacation

We started at Airport Halle-Leipzig and flew to Frankfurt (∼1 hr). After a break for round about 3 hours we went straight to the flight to Johannesburg. For the next 10 hrs we were in a plane – the longest flight we’ve done until now. It was an overnight flight. But after boarding there was the late dinner and until we fell asleep it was 1am. At 3:30am I woke up, because it isn’t very comfortable to sleep in a plane seat. Because I can’t fell asleep again, I watched a second movie shortly before we departured in Johannesburg.

Arrival, mobile data, rental car

After a quick and uncomplicated passport control we picked up our luggage and looked for an ATM to take some cash. As we know that we go to South Africa I registred for an Number26 bank account, because they offer taking cash and pay in foreign countries without any fees. So we decided to use this bank account and the credit card for our travels abroad.

The next step: getting a SIM card with a data plan. So we went to the vodacom shop at the airport and bought 2 prepaid SIM cards. Nadine choosed the 1GB (including SIM-card 254,00 ZAR = 16,65 EUR) and I took the 5GB data plan (including SIM-card 504,00 ZAR = 33,74 EUR). With a good internet connection we go straight to the rental car station in the airport and picked up our car – we ordered a off-road vehicle for the first part of the journey.

rental car - South Africa vacation - part one

Jo’Burg to Hazyview

It was my first time to drive a car with the steering wheel on the right side and also my first time to drive an automatic. So we left the airport. After a few meters we got directly on a big road with direction to Hazyview. It felt a little bit weird to drive left. On the main road it wasn’t a big problem. But as we got to a T junction, it was difficult to drive the right way. :) It was also not seldom, that I tried to press the coupler. :D

route Johannesburg to Hazyview / Gecko Lodge

It felt fantastic to be finally in this country. It smeelled very nice. After round about 5hrs we have arrived Hazyview and our first lodge, the Gecko Lodge. After the check-in we didn’t do so much, because it was already evening. We had a delicious dinner and then we went to bed. For more information about the lodge, a review is forthcoming.

Vlog

Subsequent the vlog from day 1/2 about the flight and the arrival in South Africa:


All pictures in the article above are under CC-BY-NC-SA licence. If you use one or more and it is technical possible, please link to this article. Thanks.

This text is posted in English. I’m not a native speaker and I know I have to improve my English as well. If you want to learn a language the best way is to use them as much as you can in your daily life. To publish tweets or blogposts in English it is a extra motivation for me. I’m sure I will do mistakes. Please give me a notice if you spot some of them. :) Mainly I create the most of them in grammar. :blush:

Steve Rueckwardt

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