South Africa · 18 Days · 125 Moments · January 2015

Don&Yvonne Ash

Don&Yvonne's trip to South Africa

6 February 2015

Happy Dog!
Don wearing his flip flops as long as possible.
Home Coming!!
I think this is a model plane.
Lift off from Atlanta.
Just called to board our flight to Charleston
Sunrise in Atlanta.
2/6/15. 24hours later we are still on the plane.

5 February 2015

2/5/15 Our trip is coming to an end. Waiting on the terrace of the Radisson for time to go to a movie at 2:00 at the Gandhi mall then back here to pick up our luggage. Train to the airport by about 5:00pm. Boarding the plane at 8:30 South Africa time arrive in Atlanta 6:30 am our time. Leave for Charleston 9:30 arrive Charleston 10:55.

4 February 2015

Last stop is back to Santon, and an early dinner. Susan ordered what she thought was a side salad.
More of the city.
Only got off at one stop. The Gold Reef City Theme Park and Casino.
Back on the bus
Downtown. We don't think we want to live here.
We're off to the big city
Hop on hop off tour of Joburg. First stop was Burger King for my first fountain drink since we left Atlanta. I'm addicted.
2/4/15. Honey straight from a honeycomb.

3 February 2015

2/3/15 Made it back to Johannesburg and no scratches on the car. Keith is so relieved he does not have to drive anymore.

2 February 2015

We went to a place called Sun City. Keith went to the casino and left us in charge of Susan. We took her to a maze that after crossing the bridge where there was a sign that said"Watch for snakes on the path." I Wasn't sure if she would go farther. But when she found out there was a bar at the end she persevered. 
Of course Don beat me at air hockey. Though it was a quick game it only let you score 1 point each then the game was over. Somehow it didn't give Don a point the first time he scored.
Rough life.
Quite a stretch to get wildlife now. I was surrounded by red dragonflies thought they were going to eat me.
He is going out into the field and getting straw to weave into his nests. These nest were everywhere.
2/2/15. The groundhog saw his shadow. 6 more weeks of summer.

1 February 2015

New home for couple of nights
The stadium of the 2010 World Cup. Pretoria
Just some of the people walking to Church. This and last Sunday. I'm so amazed by this, I wish you could see how everyone walks everywhere.
Saying goodbye to our treehouse.
Early morning walk in the bush. Not very eventful. The tall cactus in the background is poisonous and they will break it open, put it on arrow tips to hunt when they hunt. Another dung beetle in search of dung. A white baby lion. So cute. Someone local is raising 2of them. Élan in our front yard.

31 January 2015

One final look at giraffes. Love em.
Then like a high speed search our guide heard about this sighting and raced for it before we ran out of time. It was amazing!! The came right up to us. It was really intense. One kept coming closer and closer. We were all frozen almost afraid to breath. It came almost face to face with Don. Then they walked away.
Then we ran into this Bush traffic jam.
1/31/15. We took another Safari from our resort Pezulu, tree house. First thing we saw was this mom and baby giraffe. Baby was so cute. They have the cutest little black tuffs of hair on top of there heads.
And back to our treehouse
1/31/15 Sunrise and up for a morning walk into the bush.

30 January 2015

New bar tender in town. Sitting out at the bar with the gremlins. Gizmo and Sally. Little monkeys
This zebra was brought here very young but growth stunted after being caught in a fence they use a sheep as its companion/mother she follows the sheep and is protective of it. She will not be returned to the wild.
Baby cheetah the one with the dark back eating is called king cheetah. Named that because the Egyptian king would keep them as house pets.
We were sitting right beside these cheetahs without any fence. They were young and had just eaten
Wild dogs. Rescued because they are shot or poisoned because they kill the farmers sheep and chickens.
This is the feeding cage for the cheetahs. They can feed the males together became they are social, but they have to separate the females become they fight. I can understand that there's times I would fight for food.
White rhinos. The rhino are becoming extinct very quickly do to poaching for their horns. They are shot or drugged. The drug is very hard for them to obtain, but it is preferred because they can get the horns without being heard. They actually cut into the face to get the whole horn. The horns are ground for use in Asia as a fertility drug. These two Rhino were rescued after having there horns removed and very fortunate to have survived.
Long horned black antelope.
These lions were in a circus they have mark from being whipped. The male was castrated so he never grew his mane. They will not be returned to the wild.
Our first stop the endangered species centre. Of course we had to eat before we went and Don is trying to talk the bird out of taking his food. Also these meerkats were trying to look cute to get some food as well.
This is for the vaulters. They take the bones after feeding the cheetahs and lions and put them out so the vaulters can pick the bones clean. And guess what is make from the dried bones. They are ground up to make lipstick.
They are endangered even though they have a long life, 50 years, they only produce 2 eggs every three years and only one of those will survive. Either only one egg will hatch or if they both survive ultimately one will die because they don't have the ability to provide for 2. So if they have 2 one is removed and raised by hand.
1/30/15. It is amazing the people walk everywhere. You can hardly drive for them. Even in the outskirts of towns. Some must have to walk miles to get to work. We left Hazyview today and heading to the Pezlulu treehouse game lodge

29 January 2015

Walking and feeding the elephants.
Keith walking and feeding his pet
Touch and feel time. Susan has nice kiss mark left by a sloppy elephant kiss
1/29/15 Elephant sanctuary today. Waiting to go to on our tour of sanctuary. I have captured the elusive black panther. Susan and Don having coffee while being photo bombed by Keith.

28 January 2015

Don called this the Dolly Parton peak. 😉
Blyde River canyon
Cows just wondering on the road everywhere. Strange
Burkes luck potholes was the most amazing area. One thing is always a constant in these pictures. Susan and Keith are always ahead. We're like little chicks following.
Burkes Luck Potholes. This was my favorite place of the day.
Back on right road.
Took a wrong turn down to the Treur river. There is falls there that reminds me of Kanawha falls.
This little guy was in the parking lot. You can't tell by the pictures, but he is a baby and his mommy very quickly came and got him. He was getting a little to friendly.
Next stop a place called Gods window. Absolutely amazing views. The pictures can not convey the true beauty.
Great savory and sweet pancakes. Our waitresses name was Pretty and when she walked up to the table Keith said hello Pretty. I'm sure it is something you would have to be there for, but it was very out of character for Keith to say something like that and Susan looked quite shocked. Pretty laughed and smiled such a beautiful smile.
Next stop was and early lunch in Graskop. Semone approached Don trying to sell macadamia nuts. When we came back to the car he was right there waiting for Don. When we came back through town he chased the car saying you promised.
First stop is Mac Mac falls. It's beautiful and so different from the areas we've been in up to now.
1/28/15 Off today to see the mountains and canyons in the area. Passed banana plantations.

27 January 2015

Nice evening out. Don and tried ostrich and alligator. Ostrich did not seem cooked very very thin strips. It was a appetizer. The gator was very good. Don ordered but we traded steak for gator.
Game day. Of course Don beat me all 4 games. But I looked good. Lol.
They use a broom made of twigs or straw. They constantly clean. It is so much cleaner here. They take so much pride in there work. Seems everyone works at something. Nice concept wonder if the US should try it.
1/27/15 Taking a day to enjoy or resort. And after a day of driving on these roads you need a destress day.

26 January 2015

Just some FYI when you look at the pictures you tap on them and there May be up 10 pictures at each day
Oops almost ran over a dung beetle. Dung beetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on dungs or feces. They possess exceptional dung disposal capacity and one dung beetle can bury dung that is 250 times heavier than itself in one night.
Waiting for us back at our room. Love this day it was great!!!
Water buffalo and last picture is hippos in the water.
1/26/15Awesome awesome day. The elephants were amazing.
The mountains in the background at Tangala are the Blyde River Canyon where we will visit later in the week

25 January 2015

Back to our rooms and dinner provided for us. Up at 5:30 to go back for the hunt.
Getting dark so we start spot lighting. Don feels Stephen would like it here.
Here we go off to the bush in search of the Big Five of Africa . That is rhinos, elephants, water buffalo, leopard and lions.
This is gross and be glad you couldn't smell what we did but it was amazing. We were told that the dominant lion ran this giraffe down and killed it. Then seems to me this lazy one came along with the buzzards to clean up.
More giraffes but that's ok they are my favorite.
Let's go to tea. Tea time or we would call it snack time at 3.
Susan and Keith right across from us
Our cabin
Arrival at Tangala. Awesome place, but primitive. Oh yeah no electricity
On our way into the reserve it was like 4 wheel driving. Unfortunately we did not have the vehicle for it. Keith wasn't sure we had 4 wheelin insurance coverage. We did see our first wild animals, wart hogs and the middle of the road greeting committee. Giraffes
1/25/15 We left Sunday to go for an over night trip to a private reserve Tangala for a Safari. On the way we encountered so many people walking to Church wonder how many of us would go if we had to walk a mile to church in 80 degree weather.

24 January 2015

Ran into some more monkeys. Also this weird tree.
Another wild animal. They take good care of the cats to keep down the rodents
Reminds me of Jurassic park. Electric fences to keep us in or them out not sure which.
Huge tree thought we would just climb it. Harder then it use to be. Not pretty.
Evening walk down by the riverside
Don slaughtered me in chess.
Enjoying the pool
Tea on the terrace
1/24/15 Woke up this morning to monkeys everywhere. Amazing they were playing in the trees like squirrels.
I think he's trying to feed her to the alligators.

23 January 2015

Backyard at night. Hippo family
Dinner at resort think Don may have been a little stressed driving today. They kept taking his utensils. So he was holding onto his fork.
Backyard daytime
We made it Sanbonani Resort.
Left Johannesburg today, Friday January 23rd to head toward Hazyview. Long long trip about 4 hours. People just walking along the side of the road, cars stopping in the road and 70 MPH on a 2 lane road. Scared me to death. So weird because you drive on the left side of the road and steering wheel is on the right side of car. You had to remind yourself when you made a turn to go to left lane not the right.

22 January 2015

Keith photo bombing Don.
Susan had some coffee from McDonald's
View from the gym. Crazy people driving down the wrong side of the road.
Starting my workout routine. Weighed today and will weigh again when I get back. Susan is my task master.
Just chillin out in Africa. This is our day of rest day after the long flight here. So far the city is just like anywhere USA except they are driving on the wrong side of the road.
Quick excursion to Mandela mall. Very expensive.
Just sitting around the pool
Our breakfast, none of us has baked beans, typical English breakfast includes baked beans. Thursday January 22

21 January 2015

Radison in Johannesburg or Joburg as they call it here.
We made it. Waiting in line to get our passport stamped. They also scan you for eboli check. Wednesday January 21st

20 January 2015

Don doing what he does best. We left Atlanta 6:30 PM 1/20/15
Beautiful sky.
Lift off
Take off
Here we go
Small Plane
What a cute couple. Ready for long 2 days of flying
Winston is so sad I think he knows we will be gone for 3 weeks Tuesday January 20th