I think it’s safe to say that Bow Wow is loving life in the UK. It’s certainly a far cry from the existence that he could have had as a township stray, surviving amongst the rainbow warrens of shacks in his birthplace, Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town, South Africa.
After a break in Cape Town and with only 4 days left on Lucie’s South African visa, it was a case of pedal to the metal, past the boerewors curtain and all the way through Afrikaans country until we reached the Zimbabwe border.
From battle fields to diamond fields, Kimberley and its surrounding area is drenched in history. We stayed with a wildlife vet at Magersfontein Farm where the British suffered their greatest losses during the Boer War and explored Kimberley’s preserved ‘New Rush’ streets. With so many fortunes made and lost in this historic area, Back to Africa’s Sable Project at Mokala National Park is proving to be another success for the history books.
From Mozambique, we headed back in to South Africa and with new visas, we picked up Bow Wow and headed for Johannesburg. Here we found out more about South Africa’s history by going to Constitution Hill, the site where thousands of political prisoners including Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela were once detained for opposing the apartheid regime. The former prison is now home to the Constitutional Court which protects human rights and embodies South Africa’s new culture of democracy. We also visited the Cradle of Humankind where some of the oldest hominid fossils have been and still are being discovered.
It’s 4:59am at the Kruger Park, the camp gates are about to open and we just can’t wait. Dawn breaks over the savanna and clasping tin cups of hot coffee and marmalade rusks we head for the Lion highway. What delights await us?
We catch soccer fever and make more furry friends in balmy Durban. I pass my state vet inspection without even a solitary flea. Lachlan is forced to carry me through a throng of amused football supporters but we are rewarded with a view of the staggering Moses Mandhiba stadium. We enter Swaziland to begin the most important phase of our quest.
Lachlan does the World’s highest bungy jump and Bow Wow joins a crew of salty surf mutts at J Bay which leads to a chance encounter with rock star scientist Brian Cox. We spend a few luxurious nights with Lucie’s relatives stocking up on biltong and gaining invaluable advice for the trip ahead. Humbled by the Wild Coast we can feel the bittersweet beauty of Africa’s extremes already getting under our skin and touching our hearts.
We finally left, as ready as we would ever be, on May the 23rd with only two weeks to get to Lesotho and renew our visas! Following the infamous Route 62, we stayed in quirky Montagu, had a drink at the incongruous Ronnie’s Sex Shop, attempted to ride an ostrich and squeezed through a labyrinth of tiny gaps deep underground at the Cango Caves.