South Africa - we want to stay - cradle of humankind
Our amazing time in South Africa was coming to an end - at least on this trip. After one last amazing day in the Pilanesberg National Park, in the evening we drove down south again and close to Rustenburg in the Magaliesberg we stayed for one last night at an amazing place. We wanted to spoil us a bit for our last night on the trip and had booked in a amazing countryside guesthouse called Berit's Country Home & Chapel. It is close to the Olifants Nek in a farmers region. In this area of the Magaliesberg there are many, many nice lodges perfect for big events and festivities. This includes weddings. That is why Berit's Country home indeed has an own chapel. And it is beautiful in a stunning location. The owner who welcomed us was lovely. As it was low season we were the only guests. But it was simply wonderful and peaceful. A very special place with the own church - this time, just for us :-). We enjoyed the surroundings and a lazy, cozy last evening.
Oh, how much had we hoped to have a typical african sunset this last evening. But luck was not on our side. So if you want to have theses classical kitschy african sunsets, do not come to this region in South Africa during this time of the year. Again, clouds were coming up - anyway, no rain this time. But no sunset and no star gazing. We were really set, not one evening was clear to see the amazing stars on this side of the planet and no perfect sunset for us on this trip. Well, this is defintely a sign that we have to come back soon :-D!
After a wonderful night, our backpacks needed to be properly packed for the flight the following night. Lucky enough we had some space left. After packing, we said our good-byes to the lovely owner who invited us to come back soon. His wife was travelling at the moment, but she is also vegan (or vegetarian) and therefore, in their restaurant they also have vegan options! What a pfercet place for us! Next time we will come back for sure!
By car we drove over the Olifants Nek and drove along on the southern side of the Magaliesberg. Close to Maanhaarand we found a huge gas station with a car wash that was open (it was sunday in off season - so it was difficult to find a decent car wash). So we had our car cleaned after the 3 weeks to return it properly. Afterwards we drove to the Sterkfontein Caves. A visit at the Cradle of Humankind was a must. Dr. Robert Broom made one of the most famous discoveries in the Sterkfontein Caves, when he uncovered the 2.5-million-year-old fossiled skull of the affectionately named Mrs Ples. New fossils are continually being found till today. So it was time to have a look at our first ancestors - and
learn that basically we are all africans. The caves were interesting and the tour was nice and informative. And also the landscape around is really beautiful to look at with rocky highveld grasslands. So we had a good time. Unfortunately not enough to also visit Maropeng and the visitor centre there. But we were fine with the caves and continued our journey back to Johannesburg airport. For the next stop we were in search of some food - vegan food. We were too happy to see that there was a vegan restaurant a short drive away from the caves. It is called Leafy Greens and is close to Rietfontein. Unfortunately, it was too late for lunch when we finally arrived. So we just had a coffee and some supertasty shortbread. We continued our drive to one last highlight of the trip - a visit to the biggest mall in Africa: the Mall of Africa! This is a high end shopping mall - and it is huge. We just saw a fragment of it. Well, basically we are not huge fans of shopping malls, but this one was really interesting because of its size and the luxury shops. Just to look at, of course. At least we found nice veggie food and could get some nice things in the Checkers Hyper Markets to take back home. Oh, I love these Checkers Hyper Markets. They have everything.
But then, it was finally time to drop the car at the airport. Safe and sound through the traffic in Jozi we arrived there, dropped the car and were ready for our flight back to Switzerland via London. And like 10 years ago, we did not want to leave Africa! We simply feel great here, love the people, the animals, the landscape. We know, life is not easy there - but it is the same in Switzerland, just differently. The friendliness of the people, the easiness and the joy of life - I hope we can take this back home for as long as possible.
But one positive surprise we had - our plane was nearly empty. That meant 3 seats for each of us for sleeping for 11 hours. Sometimes travelling in economy can be also quite pleasant. Wow, what a special 3 weeks did we have in this country. AMAZING!