African Safari 2010  Header

Gene & Lee's African Safari
South Africa - April 28 to May 24, 2010


Introduction to our African adventure!

April 28 - Edmonton to Calgary

April 29 - Calgary to Frankfurt

April 30 - Frankfurt to Jo'burg

May 01 - Jo'burg

May 02 - Jo'burg to Livingstone

May 03 - Victoria Falls, Zambia

May 04 - Livingstone to Jo'burg

May 05 - Jo'burg to Hazyview

May 06 - Kruger National Park

May 07 - Kruger National Park

May 08 - Kruger to Pongola

May 09 - Pongola to Durban

May 10 - Durban to Cape Town

May 11 - Cape Town to Gordon's Bay

May 12 - Gordon's Bay / Gansbaai

May 13 - Gordon's Bay / Stellenbosch

May 14 - Cape Town to Jo'burg

May 15 - Jo'burg to Lephalale

May 16 - First day of hunting safari

May 17 - Second day of hunting safari

May 18 - Third day of hunting safari

May 19 - Fourth day of hunting safari

May 20 - Fifth day of hunting safari

May 21 - Sixth day of hunting safari

May 22 - Seventh day of hunting safari

May 23 - Jo'burg to Frankfurt

May 24 - Frankfurt to Calgary


Monday, May 9th - Pongola to Durban

Another early morning as we were all up at 6 a.m. for a pontoon boat cruise on Lake Jozini at 7 o'clock. We met in front of the lobby, climbed into the vehicle that was waiting for us and enjoyed the 200 yard ride down a very steep hill to the boat launch.

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This manmade lake was formed by the construction of the Pongolapoort Dam on the Pongola River in 1973. And Lake Jozini is the only water in South Africa where you find the ferocious fighting tiger fish. Jozini is also the only lake in the country that has houseboats.

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In the water, along the shore and up into the hills teemed with every kind of wildlife. There were lots of hippo in the water and we spotted an abundance of giraffe, impala, zebra, blue wildebeest, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthogs, kudu and dozens of different bird species. Unfortunately, no crocs were to be found anywhere.

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A bit of a wind came up halfway through our two hour cruise but it wasn't too bad. Overall, the cruise was exceptional and well worth the price of admission (it was included in our tour cost).

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After the cruise it was back up the hill and into the dining room for a breakfast buffet. Once we had seated ourselves, our hosts surprised the girls with a rose, a poem on a parchment and a chocolate bar for Mother's Day. Hate to say it, but at this point, Mother's Day wasn't on our radar and this very thoughtful gesture sure bailed Harold and I out big time.

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We left the lodge at 10:30. Again, it was unfortunate we were on such a tight schedule as this place was magical. We all would have loved to stay at least another day. And, on the drive out we got our first good look at a Nyala bull.

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Once we were back on the pavement we travelled south on N2 towards our destination for the day, Durban. Along the way we stopped at the Zamimpilo Zulu Market for a short break. We made a couple of souvenir purchases and Andre bought some bananas and tangerines which were very tasty.

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We continued on and just north of Mtubatuba came upon a horrific single vehicle accident. It appeared that a light truck carrying several people in the box hit the ditch and overturned. The cab was crushed and there were bodies, luggage and debris everywhere alongside the road around the flipped truck. Several police cars and five or six ambulances and EMT's had already arrived and were trying to sort out the carnage. As we continued south several more ambulances and police cars raced past us on their way to the scene.

Just past Mtubatuba we started to see the vegetated sand dunes towards St. Lucia on the coast. These are some of the highest dunes in the world. Just north of where the dunes start is Richards Bay, one of the largest coal and ore ports in the world. Also, they mine titanium under the sand dunes in the area. And this is where we caught our first glimpses of the Indian Ocean 100 km north of Durban.

Along the way we had a quick pit stop at the Ultra City Truck Stop where they had a Steer's fast food place, Shell gas station and restrooms.

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We made good time and checked into the Fairlight Beach House in Umdloti just after 3 p.m. Umdloti is a resort town of 3,000 or so and is located a few miles north of Durban. The Fairlight is a five-star guesthouse right on the beach. On the way through town we made dinner reservations at the Bel Punto restaurant. After we got settled into our rooms we kicked back for a few hours, enjoyed the exceptional view of the Indian Ocean and I caught up on my notes.

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The Bel Punto is an Italian restaurant within walking distance and we were seated on the patio looking out over the ocean. We did have some difficulty reading the menu as it was now dark out, but managed to muddle thru the ordering process. The meal was very good with lamb chops for Harold, prawns for Wend and I and pork chops for Lee.

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After dinner, it was back to the Fairlight and everyone shut it down just after nine.

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