Saturday, February 20, 2010

Driving Up North to Cap Esterias

We recently took a drive up to Cap Esterias about 30K (1 hour) north of the city. Drive 15 minutes outside of the city and you are literally in the middle of nowhere. The paved roads that you saw in previous blogs turn into an old logging road that that takes you north through the jungle. On the map, it is demarcated like a reality, it is an old dirt road that probably used to be paved 10 years ago. We are traveling with someone who has been here before, so we are not worried that none of the routes have signs or markings.
Navigating Gabon works like this, “did we pass an old radio tower back there, I think we make a left soon; no, not that left, I did that the last time and it’s the wrong way, take the next left.” None of the streets, even in the city, have markings. Directions are given by landmark, as long as the jungle doesn't grow over it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

South Africa - Pilanesberg Park

Went to Pilanesberg Park for a few days before going back to Gabon.  Also stopped in Sun City which is at the entrance to the park.  Don’t bother; it’s like a lame Las Vegas.

Pilanesberg is just 2 hours northwest of Johannesburg.  We stayed at a nice lodge inside the park, The Ivory Tree Lodge.  If you are only in South Africa for a short time, the lodge is highly recommended.  Nice rooms, good food and two drives per day with excellent guides.  We got to see wildlife we hadn’t seen in Kruger, including hippos, which were amazing and giraffe.  Our guide Peter tried to get us to see lions, but it didn’t happen.  We’ll definitely come back.