I was talking with a friend this afternoon about an anniversary trip she’s planning with her husband for the Spring. Almost all talk of travel is delightful in my book, but this conversation tugged at my heart in a real and fresh way as I transported myself back to two places I know the celebratory couple will absolutely LOVE…Cape Town and Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Oh how I covet a teleportation device for these two, breathtaking and incredible places in the world. Jason and I spent our first anniversary in Cape Town and its surrounds, soaking up every last bit of the mountains and ocean, cityscapes and rolling winery hills. I’m all for new adventure, dreaming of new places anytime the possibility of travel comes up, but offer me a ticket to Cape Town and I’m headed back to the inspirational city in a heartbeat!
And Kruger National Park. In a word: otherworldly. There are only so many places on this planet where you can drive a few hours out of the city and suddenly lose yourself in the phenomenal reality of the wild as it exists in Kruger National Park. We took several retreat-like weekends to Kruger when we lived in Johannesburg, and it is one of my favorite places in the world. Kruger captured us so much that we had to come home and name our first dog after the place! Waking up early, early in the morning to hopefully catch a glimpse of a lion pride enjoying its hard work from the night before…starting out “on the hunt” for the elusive “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo) and spotting them all in a day’s drive…watching herds of zebra, antelope, wildebeest, elephant making their way across the landscape…taking a night drive to spot all that takes place after hours in the wild…camping within the park and reliving the day’s adventure over a South African braai…
I so miss the ways that we saw God daily in the raw, natural, creative beauty of the African continent. Our life, for now, is here in the U.S., but undoubtedly, we’ve left pieces of ourselves across the pond.
After thinking again today about all of my favorite experiences in SA, I couldn’t help but rifle through a few albums of photographs tonight to bring back even more memories. There are literally thousands upon thousands of photos from our time there–of the people, places and traditions we grew to love. A lot about living in Africa was difficult, sure, but when we look back, it’s hard not to stand in awe of what God allowed us to be a part of for that season of our lives.
A few of my favorite snapshots from Cape Town and Kruger:
relocated. if only for a moment,