Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Backpacking in South Africa

Drakensburg Mountains

In 2003 I went to South Africa and worked with Habitat for Humanity in Khayelitsha, a township of Capetown to celebrate graduating from undergrad (in just 6 years!).

Drakensburg Mountains

While there, I took advantage of the opportunity and went backpacking in the Drakensberg Mountains.

Drakensburg Mountains

They have a system of caves you can hike to and then sleep in with platforms covered in straw and a fire pit.

Drakensburg Mountains

Below is the cave from the outside.

Drakensburg Mountains

It was a mostly beautiful experience.

One night, I must confess, was a bit terrifying. We had just gotten in our sleeping bags, exhausted from the long day of hiking, and the night outside was pitch black. A rustling noise began in the bushes outside the mouth of the cave and came closer and closer.

Suddenly, I wasn't so exhausted, I was wide awake. My friend and I debated what to do and how much to believe the 'it's more afraid of you than you are of it' mantra. I was sure it was baboons coming to carry me away.

Finally, I was so exhausted I felt I could have slept through baboons carrying me away, but instead of waiting for it, we turned our flashlight on the noise. There stood an eland who looked as surprised as we felt, a huge animal, but certainly not one that was interested in me!

And no, I don't have pictures of that! I went right to sleep!

Drakensburg Mountains

1 comment:

Leah said...

What a gorgeous spot. The pictures are breathtaking.