Monday, June 18, 2012

Beautiful South Africa

Warning: There are baby lions in this post. Be prepared for cuteness and wonderfulness.

Hey, friends!
So you may be noticing a pattern with these features, now...
Fabulous ex-pats who fell in love with locals and now travel around...
Who also grew up in California...
Yes, loves, I found another one. I can't help it. I love them. So today, you're going to read about my wonderful friend Jenna's awesome South African life and you are going to like it!

That is all.


Hello lovely readers of Roots, Wings, and Other Things!

  My name is Jenna and I blog over at A Home Away from Home about my life as an American ex-pat living in South Africa.  South Africa started out as a semester abroad experience for me in 2008, but when I met and fell in love with a local my life was forever changed and I sort of just never left and still find myself here today.  It's amazing the surprises that life can throw your way isn't it?!

Since Daryl's given me full rights to her blog today, I thought I would share some of the things I love most about living in South Africa with you.  Although I definitely do miss certain things about California {such as the great Mexican food ;)}, for the most part I've really adapted to the South African lifestyle and am having a great time living the ex-pat life.  We aren't sure where we'll end up in the future, but for now I'm perfectly content with where I am and I'm trying to focus on savoring each and every moment of life in South Africa :)

Here are just a few of my South African favorites:

-- The Wildlife --

The opportunities to observe, play, and interact with wildlife are endless here, and so are the number of reserves offering safaris or game drives {with Kruger being the largest and most popular}.  Whether it's lions, cheetahs, elephants, or even less familiar animals such as ostriches, photo-ops and "awww" moments are never in short supply.  The other great thing is that the reserves aren't too touristy or over commercialized {yet} which means that you can drive with your own private vehicle through the parks rather than dishing out the big bucks to go on a multi-day guided safari {although I would definitely recommend doing one if you've got the moolah!}.

-- The Cosmopolitan Cities --

Even before I moved to South Africa I knew that there would be large bustling cities, but what I wasn't expecting was for them to be so European and cosmopolitan.  South Africa has truly learned to embrace the laid back European cafe culture and I've definitely become addicted accustomed to daily cappuccinos, enjoying long lunches on outdoor sidewalk tables, and the idea of slow, relaxed dining.  In parts of Cape Town {pictured above} one could easily forget they were in Africa and rather feel as though that were browsing along a main street in Paris.  It really is amazing!

 -- Opportunities to Give Back --

There are endless opportunities to volunteer in South Africa and it's definitely enriched my time in the country.  The photo above is from the Help Portrait initiative, but I've also been blessed to have been involved in an HIV/Aids assistance program.  It's nice feeling as though you've made a difference {no matter how small!}, and it's amazing to see the children's faces light up when they see you :)

-- The Wine --

Most people wouldn't guess it, but South Africa is internationally renowned for their wine!  They grow almost any and every varietal you can think of and even have one that is uniquely their own called Pintotage.  Wine tasting is extremely affordable {and often times free!} which makes it a popular Friday afternoon activity for university students :)  Pair a tasting with a cheese platter or cellar tour and you've got yourself a perfect spring or summer day!

-- The Travel Opportunities --

Although it's extremely cheap to travel once you're actually in Africa, getting almost anywhere on the continent is extremely expensive in terms of airfare {and we're talking $1,500 + expensive}.  Luckily, living here has made it relatively easy to travel to other African countries that I would otherwise probably never be able to afford to visit.  The above photo was taken in Rwanda last month, but so far I've also been able to visit Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, and Egypt.  High on my list of future must-sees include Angola, Tunisia, the DRC, and Morocco!

Thanks so much for having me Daryl - I can't wait to hear all about your adventures in Spain! 

I hope you'll all stop by and say hello!


Isn't her life awesome? SHE GOT TO HOLD A BABY LION. I MEAN WHAT?!
I'm trying desperately to convince her to go to Morocco with me this summer.
You should tell her to definitely do that.
Okay, now I'm being passive aggressive and that's wrong. So I'm stopping.
But really though. 


Christian said...

★ (・∀・)

love pictures on your blog :) very nice layout. clean and charming. love your blog.
i am following you, would you like to follow me back? -:)

my blog (≧∀≦) σ :

Lauren said...

South Africa looks amazing! Great post Jenna!

Mo (New on U) said...

I love Jenna. And I love South Africa. And can I come to Morocco too?? ;)

Jenna said...

Thanks so much for having me Daryl! I hope you're having an amazing time in Barcelona with the hubs :)

ps I'm still trying to devise a plan for Morocco - you never know ;)

kimberly rae said...

so awesome!! i would love to travel around the continent of africa! i just feel like there's so much not overrun by tourism (obvi i guess!)

Eline S. said...

South-Africa looks amazing to me :)
unfortunately it's so expensive to travel there from my country. I would love love love to go there!

bhrett @ lost in relocation said...

oh yes, i do need a vacation. jenna looks like she has such a dreamy life in south africa!

bhrett @ lost in relocation said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.


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