Subject: South Africa
Marco, My mother and I flew into Capetown at the beginning of May 1998 and rented a car for a couple of weeks. We headed for the wine region, spending a couple of days enjoying the autumn in the wine growing region and recovering fron the transatlantic flight. We headed on along the Garden Route, visiting Tsitsikama and stopping at outside Knysna for a wonderful dinner and overnight in one of their cabins. There was a phenominal thunder and lightning storm over the Indian Ocean in the evening followed by a beautiful blue sky the following morning. We went on to Shamwari and Addo, spending one night at Shamwari (a big splurge -- well worth it) and several nights at Addo Elephant (economical and well worth it, also). We headed north from Shamwari and Addo, instead of east. We had heard that it was dangerous driving (thieves and highwaymen) on bad roads through the Transkei to Durban (flying was recommended). The advice was to go only during the day and not to stop at all.

After we headed north, we visited the Mountain Zebra Park, too -- if we had had the time, it would have been nice to spend a night there, too. We stayed a couple of days at Augrabies Falls, too.

We visited the Capetown and the Cape of Good Hope at the end of our stay. It was beautiful. Cape Agulhas (Struisbaai), the furthest point south on the African continent, is well worth a visit. We really enjoyed it.

We avoided Kruger and Kalahari Parks because of the danger of malaria. My mother is in her 70's and we didn't want to risk any reactions to the anti-malarial drugs. We avoided Johannesburg because we had heard that it is a violent and crime ridden city. Having grown up around Washington, DC -- I understand that kind of danger and try to avoid it in foreign countries where I am at a distinct disadvantage.

South Africa is one of the most beautiful and interesting places that I have ever visited. I found the Footprint Guide book on South Africa to be really helpful. It is a British publication.

Our travels were all in the western part of South Africa. The other places we enjoyed were Oudtshoorn (ostriches), Swellendam (old colonial culture and Bontebok Antelope Park), Worcester (arts), Clanwilliam (picturesque near the citrus growing region).

I am sure you will enjoy you try. Take care and have fun.

Kristy Rocky Mount, NC USA