A Nerd’s Tale: Two Weeks in South Africa

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words.

Well, how many words do you think THAT picture is worth?

Greetings from my “home” in Washington, DC! After 16 hours in airports, 27 hours of flying, and 7 time zone changes, I am officially back from my trip in South Africa.  To say I had fun would be an understatement.  My buddy Cash (who I’ve been friends with since 1st grade) met me down in Cape Town, South Africa, and we spent two weeks hanging out, hiking, having the occasional adult beverage, and going on an epic animal safari.

I started to take photos with my more-than-adequate point-n-shoot camera, and then realized halfway through the trip that Cash is a way better photographer and has a way better camera…so today’s photos are ALL courtesy of Cash – thanks pal, hope you’re enjoying Mozambique right now!

Thanks to this trip, I was able to cross another group of things off my Epic Quest of Awesome (which I’m bringing up to date ASAP).  This is also my 6th continent (all visited in the past 14 months)…only elusive Hoth Antarctica remains!

Today’s post will be light on words and heavy on photos.  I hope you don’t mind.

Cape of Good Hope

The day after hiking up Table Mountain (TOTALLY WORTH IT), we rented a car for our trip down to the Cape of Good Hope On the way down, we stopped by Simon’s Town to check out the penguins, because penguins are the coolest.  I tried to high five one, but he just tried to bite my finger off – I kept all of my fingers, or else typing this article would have sucked.  Cash was able to capture some incredible photos, including this one that should win some sort of award for “most adorable photo ever.” 

You may now say “AWWWWW”:

After Simon’s Town, we continued down to the Cape of Good Hope, where we passed dozens of street signs saying “WARNING – BABOONS” and then were handed this warning sheet about baboonsNow, I don’t know about you, but this made me instantly want to find some damn baboons.  As luck would have it, we didn’t have to wait long as one mean mofo decided to jump in the back of the truck parked in front of us:

After successfully avoiding a baboon attack, we spent a few hours hiking all around the Cape of Good Hope.  We even found a secluded beach where Cashy decided that a front flip going down the hill was necessary, which he landed (surprising the hell out of me):

From there, it was on to the Ostrich Farm, where we treated ourselves to delicious ostrich burgers.  We walked outside to take pictures with a few; needless to say, they were none to happy that we just ate one of their brothers.  Unfortunately, this particular ostrich farm didn’t allow you to ride them…next time.

After getting pecked by ostriches, we headed back up to Cape Town.  Upon driving away from the farm, Cash drove for a good 2-3 minutes down the road before quickly jerking the car to the other side.  “Ooops, yeah…we should be on the left side down here, huh.”  Best part was that I didn’t even notice til he moved lanes.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate for a few days which didn’t allow us to do any cage shark diving because we had to cross the country in time for our safari!

Kruger and The Safari

Our 4-day safari was up in Kruger National Park, made famous in the YouTube video “Battle at Kruger.” 

Unfortunately, we never saw such a battle during our escapades; due to it being summertime in South Africa, the watering holes were full, the vegetation was plentiful, and all animals were pretty happy.  If I come back for another safari, I’ll make sure to do so in August or September when resources are low.

On top of that, the 4-day safari was really like a 2-day safari with 9 hours of transportation on days 1 and 4.  If I could do it over again, we would have probably booked our own lodging near Kruger, hired a guide for the first day, and then drove ourselves around for another day or two…sure it was an expensive lesson for us to learn, but it was still worth it.

Here are some of Cash’s best pictures, all taken in one day at Kruger:

We were able to see all of the big five: Lions (though we only saw females – no simba), Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Buffalo…success!

Good times

If you want to see more photos from the trip check out the full sets here and here.

Lastly, wanted to give a quick shout out to Glen over at ViperChill and Diggy from UpgradeReality.  I had a chance to meet up with these guys down in Cape Town for a night of adventure – great guys running awesome websites.

And that concludes my international traveling for 2011!  I’m going to run a post VERY soon looking back at my past 14 months of adventure travel: favorite places, tips for other travelers, highs, lows, and my favorite memories and stories.  Want to see what my flight chart looked like?

Next week, I’ll be looking at how 2011 went for Nerd Fitness, and where the Rebellion is headed in 2012.

Oh, what the Hell…Let’s give away another NF shirt Whoever can come up with the funniest caption (subjectively decided by yours truly) for my ostrich picture up top wins a free NF t-shirt.  You have until Dec 26th at 11:59 PM to submit your comment on this article.

….GO!

-Steve

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