South Africa (Rowley - 1990)

Map South AfricaThis is one of those lucky countries that has pretty much everything to offer the traveler; culture, history, mountains, beaches, game and an excellent transport system (a rarity in Africa...believe me). I was here for about a year and could have quite easily stayed for more if not for money. It's not the cheapest place to stay in Africa but if you look hard enough you can live fairly well for fairly little money. I did some rafting in the Orange River with my Uncle and friends for about a week, which was great fun, and really scenic.


Cape TownI stayed in Cape Town for 3 months and loved every minute of it. It's a very social city with great bars, beaches, galleries, people and food. I used to go the beaches allot here, including Muizenberg beach, Camps Bay and Clifton.

nearly nudist cycling

SA BeachOne thing I did do on a regular basis was cycle from Rondebosch East to Muizenberg Beach which was a 1.5 hour ride each way for me. Because the beach was pretty much deserted and there were thieves about I used to bury my trainers and clothes and just leave the towel there. I thought it was a fool-proof way of keeping my stuff safe while I was swimming. After 3 days of doing this I came back from a swim and found a nice digging hole where all my clothes, towel and small change used to be. Lucky for me I kept the bicycle lock on me at all times so managed to unlock the bike but it was painful on the feet cycling without shoes and embarrassing to cycle through Cape Town with just my shorts on. Well at least I wasn't wearing Speedo's.


Bungee BridgeOne of the scariest things I've ever done in my life was a Bungee jump. I did it for the first time off a bridge crossing a river near Mossel Bay. Scary is an understatement! I had to have a few beers down me to even cross the bridge yet alone do the jump. I also did a Bridge Swing where you jump but instead of dropping straight down you swing across.

An Orange River?

Orange RiverI had some really nice trips along the Orange River which is in the North-West of South Africa. Me and a group o friends would take camping gear and air mattresses and just float down the river for days. Sometimes it would get pretty rough but most times it was just a nice way to chill and drink beer. On one occasion I was a bit too chilled and as I was floating down and the water got rougher I got sucked into a small crevice where the power of the water kept me stuck there for at least 10 minutes and it was quite hard to breath as the water was rushing past my head and into it. I eventually freed myself by slowly inching the air mattress down which eased the pressure and then I could escape.


Ostrich RidingAfter these few months of decadence I decided it was time to do something as I was getting those itchy feet again. By now I was getting poorer and poorer (yes South Africa is quite expensive), so my next plan was to get a part time job. I got the Cape Times every day and after nearly giving up found an ad looking for a tour guide at an Ostrich Show Farm. Now this I couldn't resist so I packed up my gear and made my way to Oudtshoorn in South Africa's Klein Karoo to have my first ever interview as an Ostrich Tour Guide at the Safari Ostrich Farm.

Ostrich CatchingI did get the job in the end and have to say it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. It was great fun looking after and showing off these huge birds. After work we'd have Ostrich riding races (don't worry, they're very strong). The main duties from morning to dusk was to help feed the Ostriches, greet coaches or cars of visitors, take them on a 45 minute tour of the farm then let them get close to the birds.

Oudtshoorn itself has allot to see and do: miles and miles of caves, a cheetah reserve, crocodile farm and great open-air hot springs. 


South Africa is without a doubt a beautiful country and has very friendly and hospitable people.



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