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What's on your 'bucket list?' For me it has always been Africa

I didn’t quite achieve my goal by the intended date, but I only missed by about eight months. Yes, I’m very pleased to say that I have tickedpart of Africa off my bucket list.Fortunately, all it has done is whet my appetite for more of this stunningly beautiful continent and its inhabitants, be they wildlife or people.

Capetown – what a stunning city and incredible part of the world in the Western Cape of South Africa.From Table Mountain to Robben

Table Mountain - Capetown

Island, V&A Waterfront, out to Stellenbosch wines and brewery regions – (yes I may have sampled a couple or three quite nice wines and craft beers one day) to the westernmost tip of the African Continent at Cape of Good Hope (or Cape Point) - a wonderful day trip to this part of the world.

Off to Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls for the next part of my travels took me to see the mighty falls - a wondrous sight even if, due to lack of rain they weren’t at their best, they certainly impressed me.A quick look from above via Helicopter had me a nervous passenger to start with, but once you see the falls from there and relax it’s quite magic and an absolute must do.

Chobe National Park, was fantastic. We were lucky to see numerous buffalo, elephants and hippo’s. Next, we experienced a famous Boma

Nobel Square Capetown waterfront

Dinner – an unforgettable evening of non-stop entertainment that includes performances by traditional singers, dancers and drummers, face painting and a four-course dinner featuring local cuisine.Jungle Junction dinners and a Sundowner Cruise capped of a marvellous few days in Victoria Falls.

Now for the real fun, which was three-and-a-half days of game drives in Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe) staying at Robins Camp.One of the most magical experience of my life so far has to be having an hour and a half in the presence of a group of lions hunting some Impala for breakfast - an unsuccessful hunt for the lions but it was truly amazing to watch how these playful looking beasts creep so quietly and sit almost invisibly in the grass waiting to pounce on the Impala that get too close. Other animals viewed throughout my time there included elephants, zebra, giraffe, water buck, impala, antelope and lilac breasted roller (a small bird with the most beautiful blue wing span). I was also lucky enough to experience the most amazing Cheetah sighting; to

Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope - this is the Southern most tip of the African Continent

see a Cheetah and get some photo’s really made the trip worthwhile and was a highlight.

The last few days of adventure were in Johannesburg – don’t be put off by how the media portray Jo’burg and also Soweto as they are beautiful spots albeit with a dark history.A visit to the only street in the world where two Noble Peace Prize winners lived (The Rev Desmond Tutu & Nelson Mandela) Vilakazi Street Soweto, was a real highlight and well worth it.As was a tour of the Cradle of Human kind Museum - a look at our ancestors and an opportunity to learn about the history of early Africa’s gold and diamond mining. Cullinan Diamond Mine & Vortraaker Monument in Pretoria are also worth a visit.

Lilac breasted roller in Hwange National Park - Zimbabwe, with a stunning blue wing span, i was never able to get a photo of

Lions -Hwange national Park Zimbabwe

I came away from the whole trip humbled by my experience, especially with the people who were all wonderfully friendly and pleased to share the culture and history with me. But I have also gained a newfound respect for the world’s wildlife and how lucky we are to be able to view them in their natural habitat. We, as humans need to do more to preserve their habitat, so our future generations get to experience the cheetah sightings and elephant charge, as I did.

Perhaps we humans should be the ones fenced in – just like we were in the National Park I visited. The animals there have earned their borderless lives and are so deserving of it.

If I can steal this quote from Marshall Mcluhan…

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth

“We are all Crew”

Elephant charging

Zebra crossing (new meaning)

Zebra crossing (new meaning)

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