2016 was the year of travel for me. After graduation, I made a point to visit as many places as I can before my full time job started, and really fell in love with the experience of exploring new destinations. I have been pretty fortunate in having the opportunity to travel to so many beautiful countries and cities in my life so far. As a kid, most of my summers were spent in China visiting my grandparents. However, as I got older, the family trips to China were less frequent and were instead replaced with tropical vacations (Bahamas, Maldives, Puerto Rico, etc). There have been dinner conversations in the past about a possible visit to Africa, but that trip was quickly shelved when locations such as Dubai and Greece were raised. When it was time to pick our next family trip this year, we all immediately agreed that it was finally time to pay Africa a visit. We had a direct flight from New York City and landed in Johannesburg at around 7:30am, giving us 1 full day to explore the city before heading out to Kruger National Park. As soon as we got through customs, we were whisked away on our private tour of the city and were able to cover the Apartheid Museum, town of Soweto, and downtown Johannesburg all in a span of 6-7 hours. To be honest, the first day in Johannesburg was quite a struggle for me with the jet lag and the exhaustion hitting after having traveled for over 15 hours, so I wasn't able to snap as many photos as I had ideally wanted. Because our stay in Johannesburg was only for 1 day, the private tour was incredibly helpful and convenient since we were able to dictate how much time we wanted to spend in each location and listened to the history of Johannesburg along the way. The next day, we left Johannesburg quite early in the morning (6am) to make the drive from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park which is approximately a 5 hour drive or a 1 hour flight. Since we decided to take the scenic route and visit the 3rd largest canyon in the world (Blyde Canyon), it increased the 5 hour drive to 7 hours (totally worth it). The views of Blyde Canyon is absolutely breathtaking, and for a brief moment, standing at the view point and admiring all the lusciousness/ greenery, I was transported me back to my time spent in Hawaii last May. We ended the day at our new location, Kuname Lodge, a lodge within the Greater Kruger National Park and experienced our first safari ride! Keep an eye out for my next post about the Safari rides :)
Can't wait to share the next chapter of my trip with you!