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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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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Vredefort Dome: A Johnson Family Adventure

 

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Growing up, my family had a tendency to get into exciting situations on our travels. We would find ourselves in scenarios that we really shouldn’t have been in, with no clear escape route. Like during a family vacation to South Africa almost 20 years ago, when we managed to get lost, at night, deep in a township. Or later on the same trip, when we parked our safari car a little too close to an angry African elephant, causing him to uproot a tree and come after us with it full force.

My parents always did a pretty good job of downplaying the true extent of the physical danger we faced until after the fact, by which time the euphemistically named “Hoffman Family Adventures” had become the stuff of family legend.

This knack for getting into perilous situations (adventures!) has clearly been passed down to me, because Spencer and I walked right into our own “Johnson Family Adventure” this weekend.

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Stellenbosch: 2 Days in South African Wine Country

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After our exciting train ride from Joburg to Cape Town, we disembarked and headed north for the mountains. This area is called the Bolands, which means ‘up-lands’, and it has just the right climate and soil to be a world-class wine making region. And seeing how I love wine, and Spencer loves mountains, it was the perfect place for us to spend a weekend.

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