7. Johannesburg, South Africa

It’s been almost 5 months since my first step into Southern Africa. It’s so different from Morocco though, and at the same time many of my conceptions towards the continent has been challenged. It wasn’t as… frightening as I thought it would be. I didn’t see starving children, malnourished, mud cookies, which were part of my Geographical Imagination of the continent. It almost surprised me to see those huge supermarkets with shiny floors and rows of fresh fruits, french fries and meat and cakes and SUSHI behind the glass counters, tall air-conditioned malls, inter-city buses that were just like all the others – air-conditioned, sometimes promising wifi, with music occasionally blasting in the trip. Was I that ignorant, to feel this surprised? I suppose so. Nonetheless I do acknowledge that as a tourist, I saw the shiny bit of things.

Some things poignant to me was how my notion of animals have changed. Wild animals, not the ones I’m accustomed and largely exposed to, locked in the zoo. My notion of fearing wild animals, and the idea that I do not have to worry about HIV in my home country, and the large network of land transport services in my homeland, these were great.

​ Summing up my first evening in Johannesburg – emerged unscathed, had a Joburger, and listened to the various stories about getting and avoiding attacks/carjacks (18 times, he counted). Despite these, the driver and Peter both shared the sentiment that they enjoyed the energy of the city, and loved the city in ways – a ‘un-boring’ place amidst the ‘chaos’, they found a place for themselves.
Free education, free healthcare (even the HIV pills are provided by the government) unemployment benefits, pensions. 11 official languages.
Observing blacks speaking English, or Zulu (the next most common?) language to each other. Medium in schools dependent on which schools you go to.
So many cars, seemed like everyone had a car because of a lack of public transport systems. Didn’t see any bus stops around (although there were those mini-buses), nor motorbikes (too unsafe, Peter suggests).

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6.2 Swaziland – Sibebe Rock

Sibebe rock was quite an easy hike, we didnt really need a guide, to be honest. Nonetheless we did – and we would have been pleased to support the local economy, if not for a grumpy guide that wanted to leave us halfway, while overcharging us from the start which got us off to a rather unpleasant vibe at the beginning.

Nice view at the top, breeze.

3. Victoria Falls (Zambia / Zimbabwe)

Too many of my favourite pictures at one of the world-renowned waterfalls :’) I am incredibly lucky, I know!

Dry season – apparently in wet season you get all soaked!

spare me the melodrama, Mr Gan

We waited for the bus to Kasane, Botswana from here.


Feeling incredibly lucky to be able to hear the rushing waters from one of the most spectacular curtain of water in the world! Can’t decide if the Zambian or Zimbabwean side was better, both were absolutely awe-inspiring ❤️

2. Kruger National Park, South Africa

Safari –
The diversity of wildlife.
The park gets about 15-20 poaching attempts a day. Some of these poachers drive in with their rifles, leave them hidden in an area amidst the bushes, and come back for them again at an opportune timing to poach wildlife such as the rhinos for their valuable horns. While park rangers roam the area daily, it is hard to monitor an area this huge. One pair of rhino horns can be worth 40,000 rands to a poacher, an amount considered significant to them. The ‘peak period’ for poaching takes place on full moon, when the moonshine helps with visibility. During this period, park rangers, often from the military, are stationed at various areas and patrol throughout the night.


​ Poaching is the illegal hunting or capturing of wild animals. Poaching is a problem in the national parks of South Africa; there are 15 to 20 poaching attempts a day, threatening endangered species like the rhino. While park rangers roam the area daily, it is hard to monitor an area this huge. One pair of rhino horns can be worth 40,000 rands (~ $4000sgd) to a poacher, an amount considered significant to them.