Best 12 days in South Africa without renting a car

12 day itinerary for South Africa. Travel with girlfriends to Johannesburg, a safari and Capetown for sunshine and wine!

The Uber drivers were plentiful, but not always well marked.  The friendly fellow working in the median near the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg helped us find a black car.  The driver quoted us a fair price to our desired location and we all hopped in.  He took us safely to our location and advised us that we would be safe if we stayed on the main block in Maboneng Precinct.  We paid him and thanked him, and imagined how shocked our husbands would be over our lack of inhibitions!

When the four of us from our book club decided to travel to Africa to go on safari, we wanted to make the most of the trip.  We googled, pinned blogs and borrowed library books about Africa.  After several dinner meetings, and communications with a travel agent, our itinerary was settled.

Two nights in Johannesburg.  Six nights on safari and 3 nights in Capetown.

We flew from New York to Johannesburg on British Airlines with a 2 hour layover in London.  The long flight in coach was bearable with friends, and movies and wine and my butt pillow.  Really, the butt pillow was key on this trip.  We tried to sleep a little on the 11 hour flight from London to Johannesburg.  We had a busy day ahead of us.

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South Africa – 42 amazing travel highlights

Highlights of traveling South Africa on safari, Johannesburg and Capetown. Adventures for women over 50.

You don’t have to be a recent college graduate to have the adventure of a life time.  I just got back from 2 weeks visiting South Africa.  After winning a safari at a fund raiser last summer, I began to plan our African adventure with 3 friends from my book club.  We mapped out a few days in Johannesburg and a few days in Capetown to book end the 6 day safari in Zululand.  The things we saw, the people we met and oh those animals will be with us forever.  Here are just a few highlights of what we saw and why you should go too!

1. Seeing the lion cubs nurse n play


2. Feeding and touching the huge elephant’s tongue


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Surprising Lioness and cubs on Safari in South Africa

SOUTH Africa lions and giraffes on safari – widow travel with friends

“Now I know that we must always build space around real grief. We need to allow the pain to carve within us a deep knowing of what it means to live, to shape us as innocence never can.” This quote is from Boyd Varty in his book Cathedral of the Wild: his autobiography about growing up on the Londolozi game reserve has resonated with me on this trip to Africa.

My blog name Runawaywidow may initially have been an jab at running from the reality of the tragic loss of my husband. By year two I began to understand, that while it was wrong and so unfair, it really did happen and I couldn’t deny it any longer.

Traveling and journal/ blogging has been part of my healing therapy for the past 4 years. Tuesday, August 28th I will once again acknowledge the date that he died. And once again, I will be in a remote part of the world busy traveling. Once again I will make a donation to a worthy cause in his honor and I will probably have a little chat with him as I still often do.

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Should you visit Johannesburg? YES!

3 days in Johannesburg before a week long safari. Much to see: Apartheid museum, cradle of humankind, hot air balloon ride and more

Watching the sunrise over the foothills of the valley in South Africa in a hot air balloon should have always been on my bucket list. Who knew what an amazing and awe inspiring experience that would be. All I could do was look around at the land and the sky and my good friends and count my blessings in life.

It all began last year when my book club went to the dinner portion of an golf outing fund raiser and I ended up “winning” the African Safari auction. One of the women in the club and I thought it sounded like a great adventure and the next week 2 other women in our book club, that has been together for 21 years, joined us. We spent the past year making plans to extend the safari week to include a few days in both Johannesburg and Capetown.

The Flight

As you can imagine the flight is expensive. And we booked 2 additional flights within Africa to insure that we made the most of our stay. To keep costs reasonable we opted to fly coach. Ouch.

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