Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Johannesburg (South Africa) - The Best Out Of The Rest

From Cape Town to Johannesburg (Cape Town Part 3Cape Town Part 2 & Cape Town Part 1). South Africa’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, also commonly known as Jo'burg or Jozi, our two hours flight obviously landed us at the airport. Subsequently, while journeying for another approximately 45 minutes to North West, Lanseria, I made sure I peeped out from the coach for glimpsing at this economic hub of South Africa and capital of Gauteng. At the same time, I gasped the fact that Johannesburg is not a safe haven for wondering around on our own due to its crime rate primarily, as narrated by our born and bred South African tour guide. Nothing really bad so far I have encountered for the past three days, but I must mention that I had a hard time with the immigration officer at the airport who insisted I greet him and I couldn't help but wonder why he was picking on me by asking a string of unwanted questions. I went like, what's going on. Baffled me. Why, why on earth? Trust me, I was so close to giving him a piece of mind when he rudely throw my passport back. Nonsense! A chip on his shoulder I suppose. The other person I must mention is our bus driver who wouldn’t stop complaining how unfair life is in South Africa. Nonstop he went on, each and every time I bumped into him. As if, we don’t have our worst share of unfavorable policies towards different races in Malaysia? Looks like people all over the world do come in different packages, you meet the good and the ugly as well. In fact, I was already forewarned by my social media South African friends what to expect in South Africa. Crime rate, people sulking and unwelcoming behaviour, which by far played on my mind prior to us stepping foot in Lion Park.

Amazing. Utterly. Located in a huge open area, Lion Park regarded as a must experience and must do sincerely put another travelling pride feather on my travelling cap. What more could I have asked for? Tell me please. Never would I have thought in my slightest moment I will come this far to Lion Park. Of course, I have read and seen what’s in store in Lion Park on tv programs, but honestly guys, not even in my slightest dream would I have imagined Lion Park is achievable. Lion Park, a popular and prominent eco-tourism destination, a sanctuary and a breeding hub for important wildlife species indeed offers African tranquility views for international tourists like us. Cheetahs, rare white Lion, wild dogs, zebras, ostriches, hyenas, various species of antelopes and many more animals, first thing first when we walked in. We queued in front of the “Cub World” before each of us were allowed to enter the fenced up area for our moment to patting and picturing with the adorable and supposedly harmless baby lion cubs. To tell you the truth, I was a bit wary and nervous, but since I didn’t needle neither did I irritate the daylights out of them, instead I showered tender, loving care by gently stroking them, I did fine. Tadaa! Two to three minutes the most, out of cub world to give way to the rest waiting in line, animal interaction seemingly is the other attraction in Lion Park. 

Home to 85 lions and tamed animals like giraffes, ostriches, zebras and impalas, basically, an hour was allocated for us to walk as far or as near for viewing these animals. Thereafter, we embarked on the 8 kilometer, 40 minutes guided safari ride for a real-deal live experience of seeing the rare white adult lions, famous for their part in the internationally acclaimed and award-winning feature film “White Lion". Additionally, we were driven around for passing by the herds of impala, blesbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, springbok (South Africa’s national animal), zebra, and also around the enclosures for seeing the herons, egrets/tall, long-legged wading birds and fenced in cages cheetahs and hyenas. Throughout this safari tour, we were reminded to keep our volume down and staying alert to what the guide is saying.    

Truly and sincerely interesting, after our half a day in Lion Park, we journeyed to Dros, Kempton Park for lunch. A well-known landmark throughout South Africa, Dros is where you can expect an extensive wine selection and where sports lovers can remain glued to live sports fixtures on the large TV screens, whereas kids can be occupied in the “Kidz Play Areas”. None of us were keen in wine sipping, though there were some takers for beer, we tucked into our already prior arranged for lunch by opting between steak, fish and lamb chops. 

The big eaters managed to finish off every bit of their hearty portions, whereas others like me struggled. Indeed, an appreciated meal consisting of soup and ended with the super-rich creamy vanilla chocolate ice cream which went to waste. Too rich a meal on the whole, we idled our time at the nearby and roadside shops, thereafter the next hours at the hotel at our leisure, dinner was next and prior to drawing the curtain for the day.   

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