South Africa, Day 10: Headed home.

Well, this is it, the last post on the last day in South Africa. For those loyal readers, thanks for sticking with me — I’ll miss telling this story, which only means I have to go on another big, fabulous, exotic trip soon! Stay tuned.

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We were awakened again at 5:00 a.m. on our last day at Entabeni. As I sat up in bed, I started to feel the tell-tale scratchy throat that comes with the common cold. Nah, I said, it’s just the dry air. Uh huh.

We caught a vehicle and headed for coffee and biscotti at the lodge before the morning game ride. But on the way we encountered a herd of 3 or 4 giraffes, just grazing on the trees there in the dawning light. It was too dark to get a great photo, but they were still a sight to behold. So beautiful and awkward yet graceful.

Giraffe, in the dark.

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South Africa, Day 8: On Safari.

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Day 8 in South Africa marked the end of our “schoolwork” and the beginning of vacation — we were going on safari! You know, going on a safari was always on my bucket list, but I never really pushed it because I wasn’t sure how I was actually going to get to Africa. That’s why we should always leave ourselves open to new experiences, I guess. I put “safari” on a list, threw it out into the universe, and there I found myself, headed to the Entabeni game reserve in northern South Africa.

From Johannesburg, the ride to Entabeni was about 4 hours, and we were warned that the last 45 minutes would be on unpaved, dirt road. A true adventure! Exhaustion was at its height by this point, so most people welcomed the 4 hours to nap, but I was so excited to see the real landscape of South Africa. Because it was winter, everything was dry and brown, but still breathtakingly beautiful.

Leaving the Westcliff, Johannesburg.

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