Welcome to South Africa!
Sawubona - Greetings, or as the locals tell you, "Sunny Banana"
I absolutely loved the vibe and the people of South Africa, even Johannesburg!
To your left is the view from The Carlton Centre, the tallest building in South Africa, making it the tallest building in all of Africa, sure I almost got pickpocketed on my walk there but thats my fault as I was told many times not to walk alone. Either way the view up top was amazing.
MABONENG: Hostel Life
I stayed in Maboneng area in the heart of Johannesburg's artistic scene, in the lovely Curiocity Hostel. I’ve been to many hostels in my life. But this by far has been my favorite one so far. I felt like a family member from the very first moment I arrived, from the guests to the staff. I can’t wait to go back. Many evenings were spent drinking in the halls of this dope hostel, many friends were made, and many experiences were had. But most important, even more memories were made.
SOUTH AFRICA: The Children
In my younger days, I didn’t have as much as I do now, yet I don’t remember this empty feeling I have when I’m back home. Why is that? I got myself a new foreign car, a really big and spacious apartment with a walk-in closet in my room. I have a closet with more clothes than I’ll ever need, and a fridge that’s full of food. The older I get I’m realizing that the more I have, the more I want. The better my life appears in Instagram and social media, the worse it is where it matters, internally. The problem I have is no longer a material one, it’s existential. I can have all the money in the world, but it really doesn’t mean anything. And that’s why I choose to travel, I’m reminded of how truly blessed I am through the hard work of my parents and of myself and that living life is not about making money, it's about making experiences.
As I look at Sally and these kids I feel absolutely ashamed of myself. She has no parents! She has no home (she lives in the school she goes to)! She has no proper sewage! She has no biological family left. Yet look at her smile, look at how happy she is that some new people came to play with her. Sure, they are kids and their innocence is what drives that attitude. But I’m finding out that the less you have the happier you can become, for you are just grateful for the things that you do have, and not the things you want. If you focus on the horizon you’ll never see what’s standing right in front of you.
SOWETO - Stands for Southwestern Township, it is part of Johannesburg with over 98% of residents being black. What is now a somewhat forgotten neighborhood, used to be an old mining town, but in the 1930s this was where the “South African” government sent black people in an effort to separate them from the whites. Unfortunately, due to this treatment, even today, it is still a very poor neighborhood where its citizens live in tiny “matchbox” houses with shared bathrooms (and by bathrooms I mean port-a-potties) that only get cleaned out twice in a week. But hey, ummm..... here’s a dog.
🐶 🐕 🐶 🐕
SOUTH AFRICA: The Wildlife
The most rewarding moment in photographing wildlife is when for a split second, the two of you make eye contact and you capture it. Safari's are a highly recommended experience while visiting any country in Africa, but I am a bit impartial about this sort of experience. These animals are put in a reservation because they need protecting. We pay for the experience to improve their quality of life, but the only reason why they’re in there in the first place is because humans can’t be trusted.
If you ever stay at the Thaba Eco Hotel in the city of Johannesburg you should definitely try it’s Eco Drive. Being that I was only in South Africa for a couple of days for work purposes I didn’t really have enough time to venture out of Johannesburg. Luckily we stayed at this lovely hotel that overlooks the sunset and had its own wildlife tour. And no trip to South Africa is complete without seeing the Blesbok.