Perched at what seems like the edge of the world, South Africa promises the traveller a horde of surreal experiences: biting into a juicy boerewors sausage just off the sizzling braai (barbecue), sipping wine against the backdrop of Table Mountain, watching whales leap out of the sea a few metres from you…the list goes on. But, of course, the most compelling, quintessentially South African experience remains that of a game reserve safari. After all, what can beat the thrill of spotting a leopard taking a nap on a branch overhead, or watching a pride of lions walk nonchalantly past you? Or even better, scurrying up a tree to dodge a rhino charging towards you! Your camera might be too slow to capture these never-to-be-had-again moments, but these will most certainly make for indelible memories and great stories.

In the idyllic coastal town of Hermanus, near Cape Town, I stumbled across a bunch of tiny, colourful shops teeming with all manner of bric-a-brac: from ostrich eggs fashioned into candle holders to pretty stone bowls etched with scenes from tribal African life. But, from among all the curios vying for my limited attention and money, I chose a pair of wooden spoons that were hand-carved and painted to resemble giraffes. Bought for a mere ZAR 50 (Rs 300), they “serve” as a mealtime reminder of the priceless memories made in the land where the wild beasts roam.

Leave a Reply