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Ω2

Bye-bye South Africa…

   Exiting Swaziland and re-entering South Africa, I ran across some of the oldest rock formations found on planet earth. They are three and a half billion years old! It was hard for me to realize what those numbers mean… I was trying to imagine how different our planet was back then. The moon was closer, the earth was rotating faster, a day was consisted of just 18 hours and the sea water was boiling hot! There are very few places around the world where rocks of a similar age have been found. The unique thing about these areas is that they were underneath the sea when our planet was first created but they are completely revealed now.

These are some of our planet's oldest rocks, with a history of three and a half billion years!

These are some of our planet’s oldest rocks, with a history of three and a half billion years!

   I was hosted in a beautiful, quiet farm and my host took me to a safari through the famous Kruger National Park. It’s a park as big as Israel! We were very lucky… We saw lions, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, a leopard, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, rare wild dogs, various kinds of antelopes and monkeys, plus many rare birds! The army patrols the area all the time in order to stop the hunters who enter the park, usually through Mozambique, to kill rhinos. Chinese people think the rhino’s horn has aphrodisiac properties, so they pay lots of money for that!

Rhinos are unfortunately seriously threatened from hunters, since Chinese people think the rhino's horn has aphrodisiac properties, so they pay lots of money for that!

Rhinos are unfortunately seriously threatened from hunters, since Chinese people think the rhino’s horn has aphrodisiac properties, so they pay lots of money for that!

   I headed north riding through thick forests. I was amazed by the area around Sabie… I was hosted in the Gunyatoo trout farm and I explored the mountains around there, which are full of forests and marvelous waterfalls. I then reached the picturesque village of Haenertsburg through the impressive Blyde River Canyon. That is also surrounded by thick forests and beautiful mountains where I enjoyed some hikes with my host and a couple of other travelers that she was hosting.

The picturesque village of Haenertsburg reminds the South Africa of a different era...

The picturesque village of Haenertsburg reminds the South Africa of a different era…

   It was time to get to Johannesburg and Pretoria. At first I was not sure I wanted to visit this huge metropolis that is infamous for its violent criminality. However, I had a great time with some cool friends I met there! I was hosted by Philip, the South African motorcyclist I had met on the road and traveled with for a couple of days, when I had first entered South Africa some months ago! Every night we had a barbecue or braai as South Africans call it, and we had nice conversations with Philip, his friend Pieter and his family.

I'm still in South Africa, in Johannesburg actually!

I’m still in South Africa, in Johannesburg actually!

   It was time to exit this very interesting country and start heading north. I spent more than three months in South Africa and made many good friends who I hope to meet again. So, a part of my soul stayed in this beautiful country… I was always curious to see how such a diverse mix of people coexist in this multicultural country. I sadly realized that this is not a peaceful coexistence though. But anyway, it’s very interesting to study this diverse society.

This is usually the way the diverse society of South Africa is separated...

This is usually the way the diverse society of South Africa is separated…

   I knew that a tourist is not supposed to stay in South Africa for more than three months in a period of a year. I definitely needed more time to explore this huge and interesting country, so I overstayed my entry permit. This way I became an illegal immigrant too! Extending the entry permit is practically impossible but I had carefully researched the new law which is applied since May 2014. I knew that while exiting South Africa, I would be declared undesirable for a year, which is something I don’t mind at all. There is no fine anymore, so it was not a big deal for me…

Hey, Timon! What's up dude?

Hey, Timon! What’s up dude?

   The only issue was that the friendly border officials were worried that I would be trapped in no man’s land if a visa for Botswana would not be granted to me. I explained them that Europeans do not need a visa for Botswana, so I convinced them to go on and declare me undesirable. They took my fingerprints and I just kept as a souvenir the document which makes me too undesirable in a country…

I too became an illegal immigrant and undesirable in South Africa!

I too became an illegal immigrant and undesirable in South Africa!

More photos and reports at: Live Trip Traveller

 

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