UNESCO site

Colonia del Sacramento

Day trips to Uruguay are a common offering in Buenos Aires. You’ve got two options: Montevideo, which is the capital of Uruguay; or Colonia, a small town of about 30,000 people and a lot nearer (1hr). You can buy tickets for the Buquebus yourself or do as we did and simply walk into any of the many travel agencies located on Avenida Córdoba near Galerías Pacífico. Trying to drum up tourism, they offer packages designed exclusively for foreigners which end up being cheaper than buying tickets at the station; plus they give you a guided walking tour of Colonia’s historic downtown, a bus tour around the outskirts, and they even throw in a sandwich, not a good one but hey: free food.

Some tips about the ferry. Once you arrive at the Buquebus station, get thru security and into the waiting area immediately. Don’t be fooled by how few people are milling around pre-security. By the time we got in, the line to get on the ferry snaked around the station 3 times already. Why does this matter? Seats aren’t numbered, you simply get the one you can and it is a free-for-all once those doors open. Best is by the windows. Aisle rows are directly below the A/C vents and made us long for the heavy jackets we had left back at the hotel in Buenos Aires. A curious fact is that since this is an international trip, they’ve got duty-free shopping aboard the ferry. We wandered into the store and were shocked by what people were willing to pay for products they can’t get back home.

That’s US Dollars!

Items were flying off the shelves nevertheless.

Arriving in Colonia offers a pretty view of the lighthouse and the Uruguayan flag.

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Colonia del Sacramento was founded in 1680 by Portuguese settlers who built a fort around the city. Today you can still visit some vestiges of the old city wall

as well as the drawbridge.

On the outside of the drawbridge you will find a plaque commemorating José Gervasio Artigas who led Uruguay’s struggle for independence from the four nations which claimed it for themselves: Spain, Portugal, Brazil & Argentina, and the men who courageously followed him back in 1811.

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Downtown’s tallest building is the lighthouse. Buy tickets at the base and then climb the very narrow stairs all the way up to the lens.

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From this height you get unobstructed views of Colonia’s water treatment plant on one side,

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as well as the Rio de la Plata on the other. This is the widest river in the world and was named so for the silver the Guaraní tribes along its coast traded with the early European explorers.

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Sit a while and take it all in.

Colonia’s Historic Downtown Quarter has preserved the fusion of Spanish and Portuguese architectures and for this reason UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1995 .

It’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is never forgotten as evidenced by the exhibits in its tiny museum.

Once our walking tour ended, we rented a golf cart to drive out from the old downtown to visit one of Colonia’s most famous landmarks: the Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos. It is famous for its Moorish architecture which came about simply because the Argentinian entrepreneur who built it, liked the style. The bullring was opened in 1910 and shut down just 2 years later when Uruguay banned bullfighting as cruel to animals.

The ring sits abandoned and could be visited up to a few years ago when a small earthquake caused some wall crumbling. The authorities fenced it in and closed it to the public for their own safety. It’s nice to look at but…

More interesting is the long road leading up to it which borders the river and has access to several beach spots. Although the water is a bit smelly, it is warm and people do swim here.

You will see a few people fishing from shore but actually Uruguay is an increasingly known destination for deep-water fishing for much bigger catch: the hyper-aggressive Dorado, or Mahi-Mahi. This is due to the country’s safety and relative affordability. I do say relative because we found things in Colonia to be shockingly expensive. One could go broke on ice cream here.

While cannabis is legal in Uruguay, don’t get any ideas as it is legal ONLY to citizens and they have to register with the government for it.

We spent the entire day in Colonia and to be honest it was half a day too long. Of course you could always just sit at one of their many, many downtown cafes and pass the time, food was pretty good every place we tried.

Or stroll through their beautiful old colonial streets. Just make sure you watch your step. Colonia takes its animal love to the extreme: dozens of dogs wander the city unaccompanied leaving their mark literally everywhere.

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I bet the humongous insects don’t mind.

This post concludes my interlude and now we get to the really awesome part. Why were we all the way here at the oddest time of the year? You see, the destination we were headed to can only be visited now because the ice engulfs and isolates it later. Have you guessed yet? Antarctica!! Which was absolutely incredible but you’ll have to wait until next time to read about it.

Categories: South America, UNESCO site, Uruguay | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Stone Town

Zanzibar City, the capital of Zanzibar, consists of the new area, simply called “the other side” and the old one: Stone Town. Stone Town was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

Forget New York, Stone Town is the true definition of a melting pot. The Persians were the first to establish a trade base here back in the 3rd century amidst the local Bantu people. The first mosque in the Southern Hemisphere was built by these traders right here.

Trade attracted merchants from India, Indonesia and China and the local culture incorporated these new elements. The Indian culture is evident in the exquisite wooden balconies of many buildings.

In the 1500s, the Portuguese took over control of the island but with a very hands-off approach to its administration by putting in place Arab sultans and giving them wide latitude. In 1631, the Sultan of Mombasa killed off all the European settlers after which act the Portuguese decided to bring in European rulers to Zanzibar. The people of Stone Town grew dissatisfied with this development and invited the Sultan of Oman to help them overthrow the Europeans. The Sultan gladly did this and kept power for himself of course. Stone Town came to be ruled by the Sultanate of Oman until the death of Said bin Sultan in 1856 which caused his two heirs to quarrel. Britain saw the opportunity and stepped in to settle the dispute by dividing the area to be ruled among the two sons: Majid then became the Sultan of Zanzibar while his brother Thuwaini became the Sultan of Oman.

Majid bin Sultan made Stone Town one of the wealthiest cities in East Africa by promoting the trade of, unfortunately, slaves. These slaves were “bought” from their villages in East Africa for almost nothing and employed in carting ivory into Stone Town. Once the ivory had been sold off, the slaves were next. It was a no-losses business model. Stone Town had become the epicenter of the slave trade.

Slaves were sent from Stone Town into all corners of the world: Arabia, Oman, Persia, as well as the new continent. Both the slaves’ and the traders’ cultures came to shape Stone Town’s culture and made some merchants very wealthy. At this time, slave traders were proud of their trade and built their houses to reflect this. Look closely at the edges of this intricately carved door, notice the chain links? That meant the owner of the house was a slave trader.

Tipu Tip was one of the (if not THE) richest such slave trader, although as you can read from this sign and observe from the covered edges of his door, his history has been cleaned a bit.

In 1842, the British decided to end the slave trade and applied pressure on the Sultan to do this. While the trade towards the East was diminished, the British found it almost impossible to stop the slave trade to the Americas as France, Spain and the United States continued to engage in it. In 1873, the British threatened the Sultan of Zanzibar with a blockade if he didn’t stop the trade in slaves to these nations finally forcing the slave market in Zanzibar to close down for good. The Cathedral was built on the very site of the former Slave Market with the altar incorporating the base of the whipping post.

Zanzibar became a British protectorate in 1890 and remained so until 1963. In 1964, Zanzibar and Tanganyika came together to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Stone Town is rich in history and flavor. Unfortunately, they don’t have the means to invest in preserving it and most buildings seem to be crumbling. Houses in Stone Town were traditionally built from coral and this material does not weather well.

That white building in the background is “The Palace of Wonders” called thus because it was the first building in Stone Town to have electricity. It is the largest building here and one of their most important historical sites. It was built in 1883 by Sultan Barghash bin Said as a ceremonial palace and it is said that he kept wild animals chained in the front yard.

Sadly, while one can roam the front “yard”, the museum is permanently closed as Zanzibar simply doesn’t have the resources for the upkeep.

Even with the decay, Stone Town is a wondrous place full of twists and turns to lose oneself in.

It is very safe as far as crime goes, Muslim nations usually are. Traffic is a whole other story. Most of the streets in Stone Town are too narrow for cars and one must walk everywhere which is actually a delight. The locals though employ motorcycles to get around and you can imagine the fright one gets when turning around a corner puts you in the direct path of one of those speeding locals.

Freddie Mercury, lead singer for Queen, is the most famous son of Stone Town and our guide took us to see the school he attended

as well as the house he allegedly lived in. His fans might be disappointed as there really isn’t much to it but hey, taking a picture of his door is free.

On the day we were here, a street food fair was taking place on the square across from the Palace of Wonders. Families were out in droves and people were enjoying the pleasant weather.

Food smelled delicious and even though there was a cholera outbreak, we decided to risk it telling ourselves that no germ could survive frying.

The food was indeed delicious and no, we did not get sick. We only wish we had had more time to enjoy lovely Stone Town at leisure.

Categories: Africa, Tanzania, UNESCO site | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Gorillas 

Bwindi Impenetrable Park was established in 1991 and is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority which is tasked with the conservation of the area. The park is home to about 340 critically endangered Eastern Mountain Gorillas, almost half the world’s population.

In order to visit the gorillas, one must buy a very expensive ($600USD) trekking permit from the UWA months in advance. The permit is good only for the date, gate, and person indicated on it, which means that if anything in your plans changes, you’re out of luck. Furthermore, no one feeling ill or visibly sick will be given entry either, permit notwithstanding. For these reasons, spending this huge amount of money gave us great pause but we took the plunge and bought permits for one day. At the time, our agent strongly suggested that we buy permits for two days but we refused. Her rationale was that if we didn’t get to see the gorillas one day, we had better chances of seeing them with two treks. For anyone thinking of buying permits, that reason is nonsense: you will see the gorillas almost guaranteed. We didn’t know that at the time of course and when we changed our minds a few days later, permits for the area were all gone! Our agent managed to get us permits to a different area of the park from where we were staying which meant a very early (4:30am) wake up and over two hour drive to get there but we took them anyway. We are not at all sorry we did and actually think it worked even better for us this way.

For our first (far away) trek into the Ruhija area, the wonderful people tending our lodge woke up early to outfit us with waterproof covers for our pants, walking sticks and boxed breakfast and lunch. Upon arriving at the meeting area, we were divided into groups of eight. Three gorilla families here are habituated to humans and thus able to be visited. Each group of 8 people visits one gorilla family for one hour of the day, that’s all that is permitted. Two trackers follow each of these three gorilla families all day, every day, from when they wake up to when they bed for the night. The trackers make a note of where the gorillas bedded down before leaving them for the night and must get back to this place before the gorillas begin their next day in order to not lose them. As the group of people is about to set out on their trek, the guide radios the trackers for their location and then guides the group to that place. This method makes seeing the gorillas an almost certainty. The group is also accompanied by an armed guard since in 1999, Congolese guerrilla fighters abducted a tourist group, killing with machetes and clubs over half of them before releasing the others. The armed guard is really just for show I think since he’s only one person, but better not to dwell on these facts as you’re about to set out.

Before starting on your trek, you are presented with the choice of hiring a porter to carry your stuff for you. We were carrying so much water (heavy packs) that they did come in handy but if you don’t carry as much, a porter isn’t really necessary. Most of the people in our group didn’t hire any. There is another way of looking at this though: jobs are hard to come by in this area of the country. Some of these porters walk a couple of hours every morning to be there when the tourist groups arrive. Those that are not hired are dismissed for the day as there will be no other tourists; dismissed without work. Paying for a porter is providing a source of income for that person if nothing else. Plus they are super nice and helpful when pulling an out-of-breath tourist up a mountain. However, once close to the gorilla family, porters must stay behind and allow for the group of tourists to continue the trek on their own so it happens that the toughest part of the hike is done without their help.

It is not called the Impenetrable Forest for nothing.

Walking in here was exhausting!

This might be the toughest hiking we’ve ever done. It is oppressively humid even though we visited during the “dry” season and the average elevation is over 6,000ft which makes it hard to breathe. There are no paths as the group is simply advancing toward the gorilla family wherever they might be. The advice is to bring a waterproof jacket (leave it), good walking shoes (make that heavy duty boots), gloves (absolute MUST), and 3 liters of water per person (half a liter is more than enough). The hardest part of the trek is that the ground isn’t really there. The ground seems solid until you step on it and fall thru to a stream below which you hadn’t even heard, that’s how thick the cover is. The trees have spikes, thorns would be too gentle a word, so grabbing hold is inadvisable. I literally clawed my way up and probably slowed our group down considerably

but we were well rewarded as suddenly there we were, right next to the family.

female gorilla just chilling

Silverback Gorilla, head of this family

yawning

yawns are contagious

Can you believe that these beautiful creatures have been killed to make their hands into ashtrays? Don’t you just want to reach out and touch it?

I do, but we didn’t. That would have been completely inadvisable, not to mention against the rules. Visitors are supposed to stay 7ft away from the gorillas at all times. That’s a truly difficult rule to follow though as finding a solid place to stand is almost impossible. The gorillas take up the best spots! Sometimes being able to stay put means being quite close to them. Plus they move around with no regard to the rule. The distance is meant to provide a safety zone for the gorillas. Since we share over 97% of their DNA, that makes them vulnerable to human diseases; particularly airborne ones, which is the reason for denying entry to ill persons. It has been determined that 20% of natural gorilla deaths which have occurred in the area are due to illnesses transmitted to them by humans. While tourists such as ourselves bring a much needed source of income for the villagers, we also bring diseases from all over the world which threaten their very livelihood from said tourism. The best we can do is abide by our guide’s directions.

Male young gorillas are called Blackbacks. This guy will become a Silverback soon and he will either have to challenge the patriarch of the family or most likely, leave in search of his own family.

Blackback gorilla

The Ruhija trek was very difficult and getting good pictures of the gorillas almost impossible with all the vegetation in the way.  It was so thick that we didn’t even notice the gorillas trekking alongside at times:

What our feet looked like after the trek.

The boys loved this trek as it was a rugged adventure, just up their ally. I loved it too but had to take a two hour nap once back at the lodge. It certainly was beautiful and as hard as it was, I would gladly do it again.

Our next morning, we didn’t have to set out as early and were able to have a good breakfast at the lodge since the Buhoma area was right next door. Once again, we hired a porter mainly to help me out. I was still exhausted from the previous day’s trek and seriously doubting my ability to follow the group on this second day. I was thoroughly surprised when this day’s trek was the easiest walk we’ve ever done! Turned out that this gorilla family had made their nests the night before quite close to the park’s entrance and we only had to jump over a small stream to get to them. When we arrived they were just lazying about in their nests, not ready to come down just yet.

Our guide instructed us to stand under the trees and wait for the gorillas to come down. After about half an hour of standing around, craning our necks out to look at the gorillas overhead, I asked the guide if it wouldn’t be better to stand aside as it seemed to me that we were the obstacle impeding the gorillas from coming down.

He told me to stay exactly where I was. I think he did it on purpose. Seconds later, I wondered how the rain could penetrate such a thick canopy until I realized that was no rain: I was being peed on by a gorilla! I chose to take it as a lucky omen. As soon as the shower stopped, they began descending.

Some stopped to pose for pictures. Isn’t he handsome?

Once they were all on the ground, they began walking toward the stream. The Silverback brought up the rear of the column as if to protect his family from this group of hairless paparazzi.

Once at the stream, they settled down to groom each other.

While the adults looked at us with boredom, the babies were very curious.

This guy is only weeks old but with a head of hair to envy.

There was a sense of peace and contentment in the group. The kids played and climbed then upon falling, would run back to their moms for comfort, which these ladies never failed to provide.

Can you feel the love in that gaze?

Everything happens under the watchful eye of the big guy.

Our group of tourists was so affected by the privilege of sharing the gorilla’s day that there were some tears shed and the boys declared that they will never again visit a zoo. While the benefits of a good zoo can be debated, one thing is an absolute certainty: free animals exude a sense of happiness that is not present in caged ones.

Going on two gorilla treks only intensified our desire to be able to enjoy such privilege again some day. May it be so!

Categories: Africa, Uganda, UNESCO site | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Victoria Falls

We bid goodbye to South Africa and landed in Zambia, home of Victoria Falls (shared with Zimbabwe).

welcoming committee

David Livingstone, in 1855, was the first westerner to see the falls and named them after Queen Victoria. The locals knew about the falls since much before though and had their own name for it: Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders. Today the area is part of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We began our exploration of the falls by taking a “sundowner” cruise along the mighty Zambezi river.

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This is the fourth longest river in Africa and it begins its life in Zambia from where it curves into Angola, Namibia & Botswana only to end up in Zambia again before cutting Mozambique in half and dying in the Indian Ocean.

The cruise was a totally turisty thing to do but still quite enjoyable and we saw an incredible number of hippos in the water

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and even some elephants.

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The falls are 1,708m wide and 108m tall.

view from the airplane

The combination yields an astonishing 625 million liters of water PER minute going over. At times, the water spray from the falls rises more than 400m and is visible from kilometers away.

double rainbow

Bring a raincoat for the walk to the viewing area if you don’t like getting soaked.

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Otherwise, the sun will dry you right up once you get there.

Beware the baboons at the entrance to the park.

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While the boys were so enthralled by the little ones

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that we spent over an hour watching them, their elders are not cuddly creatures and we saw them attack people and steal purses and hats.

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In the afternoon we took a more adventurous excursion to Livingstone Island by boat. This is the site which made Dr. Livingstone exclaim: “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” The guide walks you out to the edge of the falls and holds you by your hand while you peek over.

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There are no rail guards here and you can easily imagine yourself falling over. In fact, our guide asked us if we’d like to take a dive as they do at La Quebrada in Acapulco. Nope. He then helped us maneuver ourselves into “Angel’s Pool” for a short swim in the frigid water at the very edge of the falls.

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Thrilling!

We ought to give a mention to our very cute hotel situated right outside the park: Avani Falls. Zebras

“not going to pose for any more pictures!”

and giraffes

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roam the grounds as do the more bothersome Vervet Monkeys and apparently even crocodiles

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although we saw none.

Victoria Falls are twice as high as Niagara Falls and a sight worth seeing.

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We came, we saw, we loved them; we’re off to Kenya next!

Categories: Africa, UNESCO site, Zambia | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Southernmost Family in Africa

Our next stop was Cape Agulhas. Agulhas is Portuguese for needles. You could be misled into thinking that the Portuguese named this cape so because of the needle-like rock formations on the beach.


There are tens of shipwrecks just off the coast here. The real story is that it was named so because these early sailors noticed that the needles on their compasses pointed true north without being deviated by the magnetic field. In other words, the earth’s magnetic field has no effect on compasses and its needle will point true north when held here. Have you guessed why yet? Cape Agulhas is the true southernmost point of Africa. If you were to swim straight out from here, and survive, you would reach Antarctica! How cool is that? Here is the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.


This place is a bit out of the way which makes it perfect as tourists are few. The water is freezing of course but that didn’t deter the boys from trying it out. They tried to best one another by going out farther than the other had and ended up soaked of course.


We continued on to Waenhuiskrans Cave which is allegedly a gem. To get here you need to drive on an unpaved, rocky path and after parking, walk up a sandy hill and down the other side to reach it.


The place is beautiful and there is a soft sandy beach to go swimming in if you can bear the frigid water.


It is surrounded by dunes and locals come to fish as well. After all that hiking, we were deterred by the high tide. See, the cave is only accessible at low tide which happens late in the evening, a tiny fact which we were unaware of.


We couldn’t hang around because we still had several hours driving to get to Knysna where we had a reservation for the night so we hunted for sea shells and moved on. I guess we will just have to come back on another trip to find out if indeed Waenhuiskrans Cave is as astounding as they tell.

We arrived in Knysna in pitch blackness. This being winter in the southern hemisphere, dusk happens about 5pm and by 6:30pm all light is gone. While the day lasted almost 23hrs in Iceland, here our days are so short, we barely get time to visit the sites we’d like to visit; it’s been a huge contrast. It doesn’t help that everything closes incredibly early. South African time also seems to run slower than we’re used to.

The next morning we took a long drive to Oudtshoorn which lies over the mountains. Why? To see the ostriches of course!


We visited the Highgate Ostrich farm where we got a very colorful guide, I can’t even repeat half the things he told us about the ostriches without getting an R rating for this blog. He showed us the incubators and the workshop. Every last bit of the ostrich is utilized, nothing goes to waste. One ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 hen eggs. Can you picture that omelet? The skin is used to make shoes, handbags, etc. The meat is eaten (we didn’t like it too much) and the feathers are used for decorations, women’s boas


and even dusters. But I haven’t gotten to the good part yet.


That’s Alejandro riding an ostrich! Yep, this is the reason we came all this way: to ride the ostriches. It was a hoot! The ostriches of course don’t appreciate getting a rider and they take off running around like headless chickens, it’s hilarious. After everyone who wanted to had gotten themselves tossed around like rag dolls, it was time for the Ostrich Races. They actually hold races here with jockeys and all. Ferrari (red) lost to Mercedes (green) by a feather!


After the exhilaration of ostrich riding, we drove back to Knysna and visited “The Heads”. Knysna is a beautiful town located on the Knysna Lagoon. The lagoon opens to the ocean which moves in past “The Heads” and fills it up at high tide. The Heads are famous locally for being responsible for fishing boats capsizing and the subsequent loss of life on their rocky shores. While treacherous to navigate, they are beautiful to admire.

We even spotted whales out at sea. Also in this area are two national parks which we had planned to visit: Wilderness and Robberg Natural Preserve. The boys nixed that idea the very next day. Next to Knysna is Plattenberg Bay which is the site of many admirable attractions and we visited most of them over the next few days.

We began by visiting Monkeyland which is a sanctuary dedicated to caring for apes and monkeys which have been rescued from private owners and labs all over the world. Baboons are everywhere


and they are a nuisance.


Electrified fences keep them out of the sanctuary. Inside, the monkeys are wild and it is humans who are asked to not touch or bother them. They didn’t pay us any heed. We saw Capuchins,


Ringtail


and Ruffed lemurs, Squirrel monkeys, Bearded Saki, Langur, Vervet,


and Gibbons.

Our guide led us to the longest hanging bridge in South Africa where several Vervet monkeys were hanging out. He explained that the monkeys are highway robbers, they are actually waiting for the tourists to walk by to steal anything they can from them so we had to put valuables, including my cheap sunglasses, away. He said that “as usual” males don’t respect the females so he had the boys go in front of me and Fernando in back. At one point, the boys walked too fast for me and one monkey took the opportunity to zero in on me. Fernando had to get in front of me to get it to back down.


Sheesh, not even in nature can sexism be avoided… It wasn’t my choice to visit Monkeyland, the boys insisted; but I am glad they did because this place was one of the highlights of our visit here and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.

We then visited the Elephant Sanctuary. We got to walk thru the forest with the elephants while they held on to our hands with their trunks.


It’s actually kind of gross, as if you had stuck your hand into a cow’s nose. We fed them seeds and melon pieces, rubbed and cuddled them and even rode them. While getting so close to an elephant was an amazing experience, it was also very sad. We were assured that the elephants are treated humanely and are well taken care of but we left the park feeling kind of depressed about it. Unfortunately, we really can’t recommend this place, in our opinion, the word “sanctuary” in its name is misleading.

The third sanctuary we visited was Tenikwa, dedicated to cats. Here we got to visit with African Wild Cats, Servals, Caracals, Cheetahs, Leopards and Lions.

We actually walked into the cages of all but the Leopards and Lions. They told us it was important to never turn our back to the cats and when Alejandro did so at one point the Lioness began stalking him. It was funny, until she actually jumped up a post and tried to get out of the enclosure and at him. It happened in an instant and took us all, including our guide, by surprise. She had been lying lazily in the sun showing no interest in us and the next moment she was high on the wooden post with her eyes locked on Alejandro. Witnessing the power of that cat made me glad we had an electrified fence between us.

And then…we took Tanvi the Cheetah for a walk!


We “walked” her all over the sanctuary but in reality it is more like she allowed us to walk alongside her. She would lie down or sit whenever she wanted and the guides (two of them this time) had to coax her into continuing, she mostly ignored them. As the boys said: “Tanvi does what Tanvi wants”. At one point she almost took one guide’s arm off for trying to grab the leash when she wasn’t ready. As comfortable as the walk was, it’s impossible to forget that this is a wild animal and can easily kill any of us in an instant. We got the feeling that the animals here were respected and allowed their space, something we didn’t feel at the Elephant Sanctuary. Tenikwa definitely gets our seal of approval.


The one national park that I would not be deterred from visiting was Tsitsikamma. It is gorgeous and has a wooden suspension bridge over the Storms River.We hiked along the coast to get to the bridge and spotted whales playing in the ocean along the way.

Unfortunately, they were far away and without a guide we can’t know for sure which kind they were but most likely they were Southern Right Whales which are abundant here.

The highlight of this visit for the guys though was the Bloukrans Bridge which hosts the tallest bungee jump in the world at 216 meters. The place is full of European tourists and is probably the most touristy thing we’ve done so far.


The guys loved it! Me? I stayed in the cafe and took pictures. When all my friends jump off a bridge, I don’t follow them! They’ve been teasing me nonstop about it but honestly I have no regrets.

We started our drive to Port Elizabeth late because of all these activities and arrived after dark. We’re flying off early tomorrow morning so we won’t get much of a chance to see this place but that’s alright. We’ve seen and done so much in the past few weeks that I think we’ll be alright.

Categories: Africa, South Africa, UNESCO site | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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