I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Celebrating Christmas in South Africa this year was a fun new way to experience the holidays. The holidays were a mixture of traditions from South Africa and from back home.
On Christmas eve we celebrated with tapas style bites, searched for hippos in town and unpacked all of our presents. All of this was after an early start to go on safari in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park. On Christmas day we visited other (Dutch) friends where we had a braai.
In South Africa the traditional meal is either a family dinner on Christmas eve or it can be celebrated with a lunch on Christmas day.
We like food, so we did both of them 😉
I wish I could have shared pictures of a sun-filled Christmas day braai. Sadly the weather wasn’t cooperating with my evil plans this time. It was only around 25 C° and overcast. Although it wasn’t cold, I still wore jeans. Interestingly enough, I did burn a little (even my forehead, ouch).
Lions for Lunch (or Lunch for Lions)
On boxing day we went on safari to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of going on safari. Instead of the usual departure time of 4 o’clock in the morning, we “slept in” and left a little after 5 am. Two of our friends tagged along for their first safari ever.
Luckily the day did not disappoint, as we saw a pack of wild dogs again. Since there are only around 70 wild dogs left, in a park that is almost a 1000 km², that was an incredible first sighting. I honestly believed that the last time we saw them would be that “once in a lifetime” moment.
During our lunch stop we hear lions roaring close by. Although we didn’t get to see them, the adrenaline was pumping. Sitting at a picnic bench while lions might sneak through the bush at any time made me a little jumpy.
In addition, we had some very chill giraffes that crossed the road close to our vehicle. Completely opposite to the giraffes that were fighting last time.
Last years’ Christmas abroad was a very relaxing beach affair with a massive party in Sri Lanka. Celebrating Christmas in South Africa this year was a little quieter (or: not so hung over). What both had in common is that I shared it with our own travel-family. Both included plenty of food and drinks too. Maybe my own Christmas tradition should be to find a sunny, low-stress place to celebrate the holidays.
I enjoyed celebrating Christmas in South Africa thoroughly this year. I cannot wait to find out where and how I will celebrate the holidays next year…