My last Trip Report was titled "Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful" so I only found it fitting to name the new one after another Alan Paton novel (with a word added for me). As with the last report, the title rings true again. There is not a day that passes that I do not yearn for Africa.
As I wrote in the last report, my missionary parents packed up with 12 year old twins in 1979 and moved to Africa. We lived in Swaziland for the first two years and then moved to South Africa.
We returned to the United States 6 years later and quickly became reacquainted with American life. It wasn't until 20 years later when a very special friend convinced me to come back for a 20 year school reunion that my love affair with South Africa was renewed in full.
I have since made 4 trips in the past 9 years, and as I'm sure all will agree, a trip to South Africa would not be complete without a visit to Kruger National Park. If it were up to me, we would return annually, but the cost is prohibitive, so we are only able to return every 2 to 3 years. After 4 weeks in 2011, my next planned trip was not until 2014 (for the 30 year reunion).
About a month ago, my twin brother called and said he was planning a trip to Kruger in November of this year. He asked if I would be interested in taking my son and joining him and my nephew for 10 nights in Kruger. My immediate answer was, "Of course. BUT, I gotta check with the boss." Any sensible human being knows that the boss means the wife, right? My wife is an absolute gem. I mean she allows me to drag her and the kids to Africa every few years, but I didn't want to push my luck with this one. I beat around the bush for a few days before coming out and asking directly if I could go. She gave me a resounding yes on allowing me to go, but a firm NO on taking either of the kids out of school (we normally go in June/July when they are out of school on summer break). By this time 4 of my brother's friends from work decided to jump in and they had all already purchased airline tickets and booked accommodations at Kruger.
So, 7 months from tonight I will board a plane again for my favorite place on earth. My brother made all of the bookings at Kruger, which will include some firsts for us both. We will start our adventure with 3 nights in Shingwedzi. Neither of us has been that far north before. We will then have 2 nights at Olifants (another first), 2 nights at Satara, and then our final 3 nights at Malelane.
I know I have started this report super early, but I'm too excited to wait!!!! Our last trip was absolutely amazing and I can only hope this one will be as well. I can't wait to experience this magical place with my brother and nephew, AND to be able to share it with some who will be newbies as well.
Our dates are as follows:
November 25 - 28 at Shingwedzi
November 28 - 30 at Olifants
November 30 - December 2 at Satara
December 2 - 5 at Malelane
If any forumites will be around during those dates we would love to meet you. Till then.........