We’re in Africa!!
So here we are, in Durban, IN AFRICAAAA!!! Still can’t quite believe we’re actually here, but i’m sure we will be saying that the whole way round! After a very easy flight, we arrived into Jo’burg in -1°C freezing fog conditions ( a little cooler than we expected!) so were glad to be moving quickly onto a connecting flight to sunny Durban. We are currently staying in a fantastic backpackers – Gibela Lodge – in a very salubrious part of town, Morningside. We couldn’t have been made more welcome here and the standards and cleanliness make it hard to believe this is only classed as a backpackers – it is so much nicer than the hole we stayed in, in Freo and a fraction of the price. It really is our little oasis, and although we’re in a good area, all the houses are securely locked in behind high walls & electric fences – which we both found unnerving to start with, but you quickly get used to it!
Durban is renowned for being a dangerous city, but we’ve found that as long as you follow some common sense and avoid the no go areas it’s actually pretty pleasant. The city is a mix of beautiful old colonial buildings, alongside very rundown sections all sitting along a beautiful ‘Golden Mile’ of beach . The area we’re staying in, is very close to Florida Road, which is full of amazing bars and restaurants – after $10 beers in Australia, we’re loving the cheap beer here ($2) and Rich is getting fully stuck into the various types of biltong which seems to be available in any animal! We are just so impressed with the food, the service and the high standards that everything seems to operate on here.
Today we headed down to the shipping agents office to being sorting out our paperwork. Kylie is due next week and we’re keen to get going as soon as she’s arrived. We spent ages gathering our paperwork, expecting our first African admin meeting to be a nightmare, but it was fine. We met Maurita, our agent, who spent the first 20minutes talking about her cheesecake recipe – followed by a tour of her grandchildren who’s faces were proudly stuck up all over her walls. The paperwork part took about 2minutes, but she seemed to want to talk about anything other than shipping. She seems to become quite fond of her clients – particularly those coming from Australia – Oli and Lisa, if you’re reading this, she was asking after you and was thrilled to know you’d ‘got to the top’ already! Send her an email, she’d love to hear from you and see some of your photos.
So with Kylie still a week away, we’ve decided to hire a car and head off on a mini adventure. Tomorrow we’ll head north up to St Lucia (wetlands area) for a couple of days before heading into our first game park Hluhluwe-Imfolzi – which although much smaller than Kruger still has the Big 5. Excited much??? We’ll then venture out into the old Zulu battlefields to find Rorke’s Drift –although i might have to ban Richard from quoting Michael Cane all the time – ‘Stop throwing those bloody spears at me’. So hopefully our next update will have our first shots of some African wildlife, although, i’ve feeling the car we’ve hired is probably no bigger than a Fiesta, i never imagined our first game drive would be in such a little car – hilarious!