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Casablanca to Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA | Thursday, 18 July 2013 | Views [463]

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

We tend to forget how large Africa is.  You could fit the US, all of Europe, China and India into the African continent and still have room.  Our route from Casablanca to Cape Town spanned the length and breadth of Africa: eight hours in the air to Doha, the home of Qatar Airlines and another eleven hours to Cape Town via Jo-burg, broken by an overnight layover on the floor of the Doha airport.  We watched several in-flight movies and TV re-runs, consumed too many airline meals but otherwise survived.

 

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     Bigger than you might imagine

Every country – heck, every airport – has its own immigration and customs procedure but none is as user friendly as Cape Town.  No forms, no fees, swiftly moving lines and the most courteous officials.  Take note US Border Patrol.

Vanessa was there to meet us when our luggage rolled off the carousel.  She was our boss during our volunteer gig at the now mostly defunct De Wildt Cheetah Centre near Pretoria exactly nine years ago. (journals.worldnomads.com/johnandconnie)  Since then she has moved – and moved on – to Cape Town and Open Africa, an NGO that promotes sustainable tourism throughout rural southern Africa.  We will stay with her and beau Alex while we plan our next move.

sun

      Lesser double-collared sunbird

Winter weather on the Cape can be cold and wet so we took advantage of the warm, sunny day.  While Vanessa was at work, Alex dropped us at the Kirstenbach National Biological Gardens, a spectacular mix of exotic and indigenous plants climbing up the mountainside.  Colorful flowers competed with the flash of sunbirds.  We counted eight new species, mostly “Cape thises” and “Cape thats,” a great start to the trip.

 

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