Category: South Africa, Malawi 2016

Sabi Sabi to Cape Town

May 9
Up for coffee and croissant/Danish, then out for morning ride, highlight of which were very cute, playful baby rhino, two leopards (one in a tree), and a hyena.  Maybe if I ever get to connect my camera to the iPad, I’ll be able to actually show you photos that reflect what I’m writing about.  Meanwhile, here are a few taken today with the iPad.

One of the best aspects of being on safari for me is that it provides an opportunity to be totally in the moment, not thinking or worrying about anything else.  In general, I find it very difficult to achieve that state, so I cherish anything that facilitates it.  Another time that I find it easy to be in the moment is when I scuba dive, which is one of the great attractions of that sport for me.
Towards the end of our morning safari ride, it begins to drizzle for the first time since we’ve hit Africa, then to pour on our uncovered jeep, adding a not unwelcome dash of adventure to our final game drive at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge.

Breakfast at the lodge, finish packing and say goodbye to our fellow travelers, Sue and Heather from Australia, and Jill and Bob, who we’ve already arranged to meet for dinner in Cape Town on Wednesday evening. Though I’d been disappointed when I first saw that four others would be in our jeep, it worked out great. We’ve been invited sincerely to visit Australia and to stay with Sue and her husband.

Half hour drive to the landing strip for our short flight to an airport from which we’ll fly to Cape Town provides a nice contrast to similar rides to US airports. Roads are dirt and bumpy, not four lane, but instead of constant directional signs–14 miles to Kokomo, keep left for US 239 East, Road Construction next 79 miles, fines doubled for killing workers–and advertisements for everything under the sun–adult video stores, McDonalds, the Table Tennis Hall of Fame–we pass monkeys, water bucks, kudus, and water buffalo, as fish eagles soar overhead. I’ll opt for the African airport run any day.

Haven’t talked about our guide, Gus, and tracker, Jack, who have been with us on each drive and have done an excellent job. Professional, friendly and knowledgable. Our accommodations and services at Sabi Sabi have been terrific. Very comfortable and attractive suite, friendly staff and very good meals (better than our first dinner might have led me to expect). Our server at the table has been a lovely woman named Evidence. The traditional healer we met with in the village, it turns out, is a cousin of Evidence’s.  

Zoe seems to be enjoying the safaris as well, though her frequent eye rolling has led me to conclude that she may not fully appreciate how hilarious her grandfather is.  Yesterday, though, I did catch her trying to stifle a giggle when the guide pointed out the only meat-eating antelope and in reply to a question from a group member as to what kind of meat the antelope ate, I replied, “Cheeseburgers.”  Probably she’s enjoyed many other comments that I’ve made on the trip, but has managed to conceal her appreciation of them.  I’ll assume that that’s the case, and continue to share my observations with her freely.

Overall, the safari experience met, indeed probably exceeded, our very high expectations. So, I’d say the assessment to date is “safari, so goody.”  We’re expecting different but equally interesting experiences in Cape Town.  

On our arrival in Cape Town we are met by our guide/driver, Rudi, who has gone to the Apple Store to buy the plug I was missing to download photos.  Except that when I try it back at the hotel, it’s the wrong plug.  I’m sure it’s my fault.  Maybe we’ll get it sorted out tomorrow.  Or maybe not.

Anyway, Rudi drives us to our hotel, The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, which is located on the edge of downtown Cape Town and is a short stroll away from the vibrant areas of Kloof and Long Streets, known for their bustling markets and restaurants. The hotel is located in beautiful gardens with spectacular views of Table Mountain.

We had originally intended to stay at The Cape Grace, a beautiful hotel on the waterfront at which Carol and I had stayed thirteen years ago. But when our travel agent, Jean Zunkel, suggested that we switch to the Mount Nelson, we told her that we’d rely on her advice, since this was why she was paid the big bucks. We’ll be at the Nelson for five nights, which is really nice, because it gives us a chance to unpack and settle in.  We’ve now checked in, and both the room and hotel are lovely.  We have dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant near the hotel tonight, and plan to make it a rather early evening.

6 comments to Sabi Sabi to Cape Town

  • Phoebe Snell

    Awesome! I didn’t realize you were in Cape Town already! Keep me posted!!! Looking forward to hear about how your Cape Town experience compares to the Sabi Sabi experience!

  • Wendy

    Excellent to get the updates! Staying tuned for your Cape Town adventures!
    Love to all,

  • Kay M Osborne

    I’m all eyes and ears. Looking forward to the photos as I’m sure that you’ll work out the camera stuff sooner than later. K

  • D.J. (Jan) Baker

    Arnie – wonderful commentary and descriptions as usual; even your iPad photos are great!



  • How wonderful, and beautiful! Will you be visiting the cities as well?

  • Jean Zunkel

    Finally I can leave a message. I have loved reading your blogs as you are traveling. It sounds like Zoe is really enjoying herself and your feelings on being in Africa are the same as mine. There is NOTHING in the world like that feeling of just being one with nature and out there and thinking of nothing else.

    For some reason my iPhone doesn’t let my name and email pop up and it won’t let me send it w/o it so finally I am on the computer….
    Safe Travels and keep writing…

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