Thursday, 26 July 2012


Hello everyone! Lack of posts as usual but I'm sure you guys are used to that by now... Anyway, on Monday at about 1 o'clock, I got back from my school trip to South Africa. I've mentioned it a few times on my blog in the past so I don't think it's that much of a surprise. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and as happy as I am to be home, I wish it could have lasted a little longer.

The whole reason my school decided to do a school trip was because we have a partner school over there (which we visited and spent 2 days at). We travelled all around and visited some of the most amazing sights in the world. I thought I'd give you a brief summary of what we got up to every day and then put a few pictures into the post.

Just a warning, this post is VERY picture heavy!

So Day 1 was just flying really. We had to do 2 flights - one from Manchester to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Johannesburg. I ended up being sick when we landed in South Africa due to lack of sleep and flying which wasn't too nice but I soon perked up afterwards. We set off very early in the morning and arrived quite late in the evening so we didn't actually do much when we arrived in South Africa.

Day 2 - We didn't do anything in Johannesburg so it was quickly onto the Mpumalanga Province. On the way we visited Pilgrim's Rest, had a tour of the gold mines and went to God's Window. Pilgrim's Rest was very sweet but also a little scary with all the people trying to get you to buy stuff from them.God's Window was incredible and the views were breathtaking (most of the views we saw on the trip were to be honest).

Day 3 - More sightseeing on this day. We went to Lisbon Falls, the Three Rondavels and Bourke's Luck Potholes, all of which were just lovely. I'd already had to do some research on Bourke's Luck Potholes so I knew what they looked like but I was still excited to see them. Lisbon Falls and the Three Rondavels were beautiful as well.

Day 4 - On the first Saturday we had the safari game drives! Words can't explain how unbelievably lucky I felt whilst on the jeep and how privileged I now feel that I've seen so many animals in the wild. Our first one was at 6 o'clock in the morning which meant a 4am wake up call (fab!) but we got to watch the sunrise which was beautiful. Then we had a little break before getting back on the jeeps to go and look for hippos and crocodiles which we saw plenty of. After that we had a, about, 3 hour drive to a different side of the park before our night drive. On this drive we saw the sunset (again, gorgeous) and we saw lots of lions which left me speechless!

Day 5 - Nothing very interesting happened on this day as we travelled by coach all day. We did have a few stops and even travelled through Swasiland. In Swasiland we stopped off at a glass factory and unfortunately, because it was Sunday, the factory wasn't actually open but we did manage to go to the shop. We also passed the entrance to the king's palace (which is shown in the picture with the stone lion and elephant).

Day 6 - This was one of the most interesting days as we were treated to a Zulu Cultural Experience where we learnt about true Zulu living. Before we left, the men and women put on a show for us including singing and dancing which was really nice. After that we travelled to St Lucia to have a boat trip on the lake. We saw even more hippos and crocodiles which was lovely but we were all freezing and were very happy to be on the way back.

Day 7 - This was the first day at our partner school and it was so exciting! The school was nothing like I'd seen before and was so simply but all the children were so wonderful and friendly. The amount of new friends I made was unreal, it's just a shame that I'll probably never meet them again and it may be hard to keep in touch with them. We took part in different lessons and even held some ourselves before, in the afternoon, taking part in a netball match between both our schools. Safe to say my school got annihilated but it was fun nonetheless. After we'd left the school we rushed back to the hotel before a quick trip to the beach. We didn't stay very long as the waves were getting rougher, it was getting colder and the water was getting closer.

Day 8 - Another day at the school today and we had a lovely farewell ceremony that caused tears to come to my eyes. There was lots of photo taking as well which meant lots of memories. Because we were there for such a long time and because it was such a busy day, we ended up just going back to the hotel afterwards and having a bit of free time. We were supposed to visit King Shaka's Grave but we didn't in the end.

Day 9 - Another day of travelling (it actually felt like we weren't going anywhere at all and that we were just constantly travelling most of the time) and we had an 'in country' flight from Durban to Port Elizabeth which meant another early morning. However, after we landed, we went straight to this little town for a Tree Top Canopy Tour. Unfortunately couldn't get any pictures as it was a put risky to take my camera up there but afterwards I managed to get some pictures of the most amazing diner that we had a drink in.

Day 10 - Another animal day which means a favourite for me! In the morning we went to the Cango Caves which was relatively interesting. It's more of something my dad would enjoy but some of the natural sculptures were pretty beautiful. After that we went to the Cango Wildlife Ranch which is mainly focused on raising endangered species. Obviously it wasn't the same as the safaris but the animals were still very cute. After finishing the day we drove to Cape Town for our last two nights.

Day 11 - So the weather was pretty rubbish on this day. It rained and it was windy so we drove through Cape Town having a little 'sight seeing' tour from the warmth of the coach. We drove all the way to Hout Bay to get a little drink at a restaurant with the cutest interior (it was like a boat). We were supposed to go to Table Mountain but it was closed because of the clouds. Instead we spent the rest of the day at Victoria Wharf which was a big shopping centre with some like South African high street shops and a place called the Red Shed with traditional South African art, jewellery and furniture. It was nice to just look around. It was also the last night for us which was a little sad but our teachers did a little 'awards ceremony' based on the trip. I got the award for saying 'so cute!' the most which is pretty true and the awards we got were little magnets which were lovely!

Days 12 + 13 - So day 12 was our last full day but we started flying home that night and arrived home at about 1 o'clock on day 13. On the morning of day 12 we went up Table Mountain which was both good and bad. It was amazing because obviously it's a once in a lifetime opportunity but the weather wasn't too fabulous. It was lovely and warm at the bottom but the cable cart actually went up into cloud and disappeared. At the top it was freezing and even started snowing at one point. However, the sun did come out after a while and we did get to see a bit of view which was lucky. Then we went back to Victoria Wharf for lunch and a little bit more shopping before getting a boat trip over to Robben Island for a tour. After that, it was a boat trip back (where we managed to see seals and penguins!) before off the airport!

So that is my picture diary from my trip to South Africa. I hope you enjoyed it! I'm not sure whether I'll do a 'what i bought' post for South Africa as it was mainly just bracelets and presents for other people. In conclusion of this post, I'd really like to recommend to people to go to South Africa if you get the chance. It's one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been on and I wish that everybody could go at least once in their lifetime!

I go away again on Monday to Egypt and I think I'm going to do a what I'm taking with me post before I leave but then I'm not sure whether I'm taking my laptop with me to update or just do it all when I get back. Ah, decisions! See you in my next post (which i'm hoping will be tomorrow...)!

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