On our free day a group of us went to hike Lions Head, one of the mountains that overlooks the city and the waterfront. The hike was very difficult and even more technical than the hike up Table Mountain. We had to use chains to climb up some of the extremely steep sections. The actual Lions Head is basically a giant boulder. The only way up it is a very steep climb up a staircase like trail. It was closer to rock climbing than hiking. It was overcast all day and all the way up to the top of the trail, but once we finally got to the top, the clouds opened up for a few minutes. The view was incredible just like the view from the top of Table Mountain. Making the hike was well worth waking up early on our free day.
Next we went to a famous pub founded by a former rugby player right across the street from the Cape Town Stormers stadium. It was a cool environment, surrounded by true rugby fans getting ready for the game.
The stadium was just like most stadiums in America. We almost felt like we were in America until the game began. Rugby is much different than football and we quickly learned that. I felt almost like I was at Hogwartz watching Quiditch because of the unfamiliar game with unfamiliar teams. I quickly caught on to the rules and started really enjoying the game. It was the Cape Town Stormers vs. the Reds. After a slow start, the Stormers scored first. It was neck and neck until the the last few minutes of the game when the Stormers extended their lead with very little time left on the clock. The Reds couldn’t convert and it was a win for Cape Town. The fans were going wild, chanting, “here we go Stormers, here we go”! repeatedly. They had a lot of team spirit,which reminded me a lot of American sports. I really enjoyed the game and will try to follow the Stormers with the rest of their season.
On our final day we drove up to the Aquila Game Lodge to go on a game drive. It was about two hours northeast of Cape Town in the middle of the bush. When we arrived, we had an amazing buffet-style lunch in a dining room that had birds flying around in it. After lunch, we moved into our huts. There were four people to a hut and there were about ten huts in the village, surrounded by a large fence protecting us from the wild animals out in the bush.
We unpacked our stuff and headed back over to the main building to prepare for the safari. It was a cloudy, cold day but we were still excited to see some of the Big FIve (Cape Buffalo, Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Leopard) and others. We loaded up with blankets on to our large excursion vehicle. As we left our safe, gated village, and crossed over to the wildlife reserve, we immediately saw a large Cape buffalo chewing the cud. Shortly after, we saw some springbok, ostrich, and rhinos feeding. Throughout the day we were lucky enough to see lions, a giraffe, kudu, wildebeest, and a hippo. We took lots of pictures and considered our first game drive to be a huge success.
The following morning we got to go out again and see the Africa elephants, more hippos, more lions, a cheetah, a leopard, and some crocodiles. It was an amazing way to cap off an incredible trip. Saying goodbye to South Africa was tough, but I felt good because I knew I go so much out of the trip. I learned so much about business, entrepreneurship, leadership, culture, geography, tourism, and charitable giving. I also got to see some amazing things and meet some awesome people. It was even better to experience it all with members of my PC family. I grew closer to the friends I already had and developed many new friendships as well. I also enjoyed spending time with Dr. Turner, his lovely wife Nancy, and our new “dad”, as we liked to call him, aka Mike List, our chaperone. I couldn’t have imagined a better trip and will highly recommend it to anyone considering it in the future.
-You stay classy South Africa,