South Africa

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Not sure where to begin. Well I guess I can start with my flight. My wonderful cousin splurged and got me a business ticket to South Africa. It was pretty rad. The seats are huge. I went with my cousin’s wife, and we are both on the shorter side. The seats swallowed us. You are served all you can drink. Nicer meals. Snacks. It was excellent. The movie system reminded me of Air New Zealand, except this time my seat reclined as far as I wanted. The only negative was the bathrooms. We only had one working bathroom in business class which I’d say is unacceptable, but we made do. I didn’t get much sleep. I may of watched too many movies. We landed in Johannesburg and made our way through immigration. The process was easy and painless, unlike my last two. We were immediately greeted by my Nana’s sister and her husband, which is my Mom’s aunt and uncle, so my aunt and uncle too. We made straight for a place called The Ranch. Its a resort near the Northern end of South Africa, and there is where we would walk with the lions. Africa was less of a desert then I thought. But definitely a lot of bush. The Ranch was basically a resort on a wildlife refuge. We didn’t see any giraffes on our way in, but did see lots of antelope and deer like animals. We settled in, showered, napped and went out by the pool. After a burning sesh, we went to dinner. My first night in Africa was an early one. I needed to be up early the next day to walk with the lions. I was told to wear long pants and closed shoes. We loaded up in the truck and went out in the bush to the lion sanctuary. We met the 4 lions we would be walking with. 3 boys, Tom Tom, Trumbo, Snowy and 1 girl Sandy. You walk with long sticks. You can hold the lion’s tail and touch them on their hip. You are not to bend down to pick anything up or take selfies. That warning reminded me of the idiots taking selfies with bears. We took turns having a photo session with the lions. We saw them jump, climb trees and play with each other. Snowy was funny, he would walk off, away from the group and the guides would have to call him to come back. And he was stubborn. He didn’t want to come back. Sandy, the female lion, was the best behaved. She was the only one to jump for the meat, and she was the first to climb the tree for the meat. Even though both times the meat was offered to the male first. You go girl!  They are beautiful creatures, and it was such a joy walking with them. After our walk, we went into the cheetah pen. The cheetahs were so cool. They purr like a domestic cat and even play with toys on strings. We watched the cheetahs sprint after a dead chicken on the back of a quad. The way they run is memorizing. You could pet the cheetah and let it lick you. Another amazing experience. I don’t know too many people who can say they’ve walked with lions and pet a cheetah (besides my English family ). Our next destination was Sun City. The was another resort. Massive , impressive, almost like an African Vegas.  And we were staying at the finest hotel named The Palace. It was gorgeous. You felt special staying there. The grounds were beautiful along with the decor. You have to watch out for the monkey because they will come into your room if you leave the balcony open and steal your stuff. I saw so many monkeys at Sun City, and they are mischievous. I recommend watching the movie Blended which takes place at The Palace. Gives you an idea of what my week was like. They was so much food available, and everything you could imagine. I’m pretty sure I put on 10lbs during my 4 days there. The resort offers everything. I went on a segway ride, and then spent the afternoon at a small water park with a wave pool, lazy river and some slides. I went up to a slide, and there was a large group of young kids there that all knew each other. I was waiting in line to go down the slide. The employee wasn’t as strict about when you go down like they would be in the States. Nor about forming a line. Some kids started cutting me in line, one girl asked if she could go in front of me (I could tell her friend had just gone). After another boy cut me, and I could tell another girl was about to do the same I put my foot down and charged forward. Get in line kids. As I was cruising down the tube I saw a clog. The last 4 or 5 kids who had gone down before me were now stopped on the slide. I came flying down the tube when I saw all the kids who had cut in front of me clogged on the slide. I was coming fast. I wasn’t going to be able to stop in time. I could see the kids surprised look as I came flying down. The last boy that had cut in front of me was trying to get situated on his tube and get going, but he wasn’t fast enough. I plowed into him. And we plowed into the rest of the group. I then figured out they clogged the slide on purpose. They thought there friend was coming down, but I was tired of getting passed, and they weren’t expecting me. Punks. It’s dangerous to clog a ride like that. When I went back up, I saw the employee lecturing them. Serves the kids right. I went on a safari in the park next to Sun City called The Pilanesberg. It was fantastic. I’ll do my best to ramble off all the different animals we saw. We saw more antelope and deer like animals. Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffes, Warthog, Rhino, Elephants, Black Mamba, Baboons . Lots of babies. I loved it. I also went on a zip slide, twice. Its a wire that is 2km long and you can reach a speed up to 75mph. I rode a quad bike and lounged by the pool. It was an excellent holiday. You can tell I’m tired of writing and rushing towards the end. I absolutely loved my African Holiday. It was so  much fun spending time with family that I never see. I live in America and they live in Africa or England. I also liked getting to know the African culture. We would see some shanty shacks that were either houses or even businesses. It’s definitely a different way of living and something I had never seen before. After family, the animals were probably my favorite. Life will be boring without lions and elephants in it. After Sun City, we went to Lion Park on our way to JoBerg. Apparently Lion Park is where the lady rolled her window down, and the lion jumped in her car and killed her. They now put tape over your windows to remind you. In Lion Park I got to pet 3 cubs. Yep, baby lions. They were so cute, and soft, and I gave one a slight hug. They were so sleepy, and I loved their big paws. Oh it was so cool being in there with them. To see the big lions though, we have to be in our car and we do a drive through. It was a hot day, so they were mostly lying around. We got a little action, but mostly sleep. We reached our final destination of JoBerg where Karen and I went shopping. I got an entire outfit for under $20. We also went to a market where we had to haggle for prices. It was fun. After two full days of shopping it was time to head back to London. Yes, flying business again. And again it was wonderful. I slept much better on the way home.  Only a few relaxing days in the UK before I head off to Ireland. Which is actually where I am now. Reflecting on my time in Africa is already making me feel warmer.

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