My hands are shaking and my heart is racing. I did it. I purchased our tickets to South Africa. There is no going back now.
A trip to South Africa has long been a dream. It all started with G’s curiosity for unusual plants. Many people might say strange plants. He started collecting Stapelias also known as carrion flower. They have the coloration and scent of rotting meat. We had a greenhouse filled with Stapelias and many of their related genuses in the early ‘80s. His passion led him to investigate all the curious succulents that grow in South Africa. Our office was covered with maps of Africa so we could look up where the plants grew. As you learn more and more, you discover how wonderful the botanical richness is of South Africa. Apartheid kept us from considering the country as a destination. Later it was the perception of danger.
Just before we went to Chile, a coworker went to South Africa. She visited CapeTown and drove the Garden Route before going on to Kruger and Botswana. They had a great time. I mentioned it to G and that made him feel a lot better especially since they had their two kids along.
And this year is our 30th anniversary. What better way to celebrate.
But I am such a procrastinator. I started researching back in January but just didn’t get motivated. I’ve put it off and put it off. We talked to a couple who visited Namibia. Suddenly, our ideas expanded to Namibia. They mentioned how great it was and how easy it was to drive in both South Africa and Namibia. We ordered a map of South Africa to get an idea of how long it would be to drive. Unfortunately, the map was out of print and never arrived. We got distracted with trips to Death Valley and Tucson. Before we knew, it was April.
A local travel store held a slide show on safaris in Southern Africa. It spurred us to get planning. I also read something on Fodors that mentioned that you need to book several months in advance to find accommodations in Etosha.
We spent two rainy weekends getting dates decided (September 1 – September 29) and planning an itinerary. I thought it would be best to have someone book the Namibia portion so I contacted Cardboard Box, a travel agency in Windhoek. Yes, September is very busy and Etosha was almost full. Rachael, our agent at Cardboard Box, did some creative changes to our itinerary and we finally got it firmed up. I sent off the deposit last week.
But I never feel like I am going on a trip until I purchase the airline tickets. I did that today. We are going to Africa! Look for more details in upcoming posts.