This has been without doubt the best holiday we have ever taken – and it has some strong competition. Stunning scenery, excellent food, luxurious accommodation and friendly people have combined to make this a truly unforgettable trip. There are problems here and the frequently seen townships are a very stark reminder of that. There are some places where we have felt uncomfortable, but very many more where we have felt very welcome and at home. Some of the little cafes we have stopped off at en route are a great example of just how hard so many people are trying here to make the best of what they have. The faultlessly solicitous service everywhere is also a happy memory – everyone, no matter what their job is, has been making a great effort to do it well.

Is SA first or second world? I’m not too sure what the precise definition of second world is, but it probably is a good description.

With the lack of public transport, high unemployment rate and extreme poverty of so many of the population, it is not first world.

One of our guides commented that Africa wasn’t a place for cissies. With big game, sharks and snakes all around you, boiling heat in Summer and unpredictable rain at any time, I think that is right.

The DA has recently won municipal elections in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (PE) and are trying hard to deliver on promises made. There is great hope among many of the people we have chatted with here that they will enable the country to reap the benefits of its huge potential amidst a climate of growing concern about ongoing corruption in the ANC.

The African flag sums up the country very nicely for me – Red for bloodshed, green for fertile land, black for the black people, blue for open skies, white for the European people and yellow for gold.

One last hurdle has now been successfully cleared – the very kind gift of a beautiful photograph of a giraffe from Ryan and Iky just cleared security and is heading to a new home in our hallway.  

Goodbye South Africa for now, but we would very much like to return.

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