Victoria Falls

We have been off the grid for the last few weeks on a Zimbabwean safari with Spencer’s parents and siblings. It was a trip of a lifetime, and I am so excited to share it all. The adventure started at the seventh natural wonder of the world, Victoria Falls.

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Urban Safari

 

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Maboneng, with the Ponte Tower in the distance.

Spencer’s parents and sister are visiting, so we are trying to show them as much of Joburg as we possibly can in a few days. In doing so, we discovered just how eclectic and diverse this place is. It was, as my Father-in-law described it, an urban adventure.

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International Rugby – Springboks vs. Ireland

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Ellis Park Stadium

The South African International Rugby Team, known  as the Springboks or simply ‘The Bokke’, recently took on Ireland on a crisp winter evening in Johannesburg.  Ireland’s top international squad is currently on a three-week, three-city tour of the country to face the Springboks, and South Africa will travel to Great Britain later this year to face the rest of the UK.  The first test of three took place last weekend in Cape Town, where Ireland edged out South Africa 26-20.  Little did Cici and I know, our first experience with International Rugby would result in one of the most exciting comebacks I’ve witnessed in all of sport.

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The South West Africa Campaign: WWI in Namibia

Aus is a small, dusty village along the unending stretch of desert road that links Lüderitz to the rest of the country. There is not much to Aus, save for a white-washed German church, a gas station, a railway stop and a school. But it turns out this sleepy town played an important role in a forgotten chapter of the First World War.

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The town of Aus

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Cradle of Humankind

Just a short drive outside of Johannesburg, unassuming tracts of farmland and rolling hills hide the scientific garden of eden.  Here, an area of just 180-square miles has produced some of the oldest hominid fossils ever found. More than 40% of human ancestor fossils found in the world have been unearthed here, and they have provided vital clues in piecing together the story of where humans came from. It was from this sites that science was able to determine that all of humanity came to be in Africa. The scientific discoveries made here, some as old as 3.5 million years, and the discoveries that continue to be made in the area, are why Cradle of Humankind is included as part of one of South Africa’s eight UNESCO world heritage sites.

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Lesedi Cultural Village

Spending a year in Johannesburg makes us not-quite-locals and not-quite-tourists. We have been spending a lot of our time in the city trying to get a real feel for the place, finding hidden gems and our favorite spots. But when visitors come to town, we get to do all the real tourist stuff, like visit a lion park and ride around on the red tour bus. This is also how we ended up booking a night’s stay at the Lesedi Cultural Village.

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Serendipity in Swaziland

There is a small kingdom that is circled on all sides by green mountains, shrouded in mist. It is ruled by a benevolent King who tries his best to take care of his people with the help of his wise mother, though he has a penchant for collecting wives and fine things. The people here are not rich, but they are happy with their king and proud of their land. They live according to traditional customs as they have for hundreds of years, but wonder about life outside of their tiny kingdom, and yearn for more opportunities.

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This place is the Kingdom of Swaziland, a mountainous country sandwiched between northeastern South Africa and Mozambique. Driving through this tiny country on our way back from Mozambique, we were treated to an inside view of this incredible place that we never expected.

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