Up close and personal with South African Nature

I cannot believe I only have one week left in this beautiful place! What a trip it has been. Although, this last week is still jam-packed with new and exciting things that we have not been able to do yet.

Although it took us awhile, we all sat down together and finally had an authentic South African meal. South Africans love their meat, and if you think you have been there done that with the different meats, you are wrong! This place had crocodile, warthog, ostrich, and other animals native to Africa that I have never seen before. I was able to try crocodile as an appetizer, and I had a Springbok steak for my meal. The crocodile was a great starter, it was served in Kabab form, and tasted like a leaner chicken. My Springbok steak was absolutely incredible. It was cooked to perfection, and was really tender. Springbok is a type of Antelope that is native to South Africa. The Springbok is also a large national symbol and a source of pride, as it is the mascot for the National Rugby Team. I was really happy to try some food that I could really only try here.

Another memorable event of this week was the Bird and Monkey Sanctuary outside of the city. I do not support the idea of zoos, and I was a really worried about what I would see when we got to this place. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised. The venue was very much outdoors, with plenty of trees and also other wildlife that certainly could make the animals feel like they are in their natural environment. There were also a fair amount of birds that were able to fly around freely and were not in artificial habitats, which made me feel better. This place is also a place where they can keep some animals that are in danger of extinction and hopefully try to keep the species alive. The highlight was definitely in the monkey cage, with these cute little yellow monkeys called Squirrel Monkeys. We first walked in and they were just hanging around the trees and bushes, and then the person who worked there came over and put little nuts and seeds on our heads. Within seconds the monkeys came over and were climbing all over us. From one head to another, to my pockets, to someone else’s purse, to then taking off another’s hat. It was hysterical. We walked around the cage in a circle until we got back to the front. I really did not want it to end, but the exhibit was sadly closing. This was a great day.

While we only have five days left, there is still plenty to do. In the plans this week is still surfing, watching the sunset on top of a mountain, and doing some volunteer work at a local soccer field. I love it so much here, and I cannot believe my trip is already almost over. Thanks for Reading!

Mark