I’m back! After a few weeks away and limited internet while traveling, I remembered that I have a travel blog and literally several people who want to hear about my trip. Before we get back to the business of travel blogging, I offer my enduring thanks to the guest bloggers who contributed to the blog while I was away.

My South African odyssey was an amazing experience and I have many, many things to share about my adventure about this incredible country and all of the wonderful people I met along the way. All I can say is I hope you like pictures of animals and beautiful things, because I have about 4,000 images to sort through.

Let me begin at the beginning, my first day in South Africa. For those of you familiar with group travel, it was a “long drive day,” somewhere in the neighbourhood of 600 kilometres. Adapting to South Africa, trying to take in all of the countryside while getting my head around all of the facets of daily life that were so vastly different from my experience in Canada. It was overwhelming and thrilling, and I found myself falling in love with the country I had waiting a lifetime to visit.

Turning a corner to head to our accommodations at Nsele Safari Lodge, we received a welcome that I couldn’t have expected if I had paid for it myself: a giraffe welcoming committee. Consisting of real, live giraffes. Who look like they’re talking.

Giraffe welcoming committee South Africa

“Giraffes!” we shouted in unison. Our guide pulled over and we piled out of the car to approach them as quietly as possible. We stood on the side of the road, just staring at each other. For me, it was the perfect welcome and, in a way, sums up my South African experience perfectly: expect the unexpected to delight and amaze.

After 10 minutes of staring, they got tired of us looking at them, turned and headed back into the bush. Just the first of many experiences in South Africa where adventure was literally around the corner.

Giraffe welcoming committee South Africa

Where have you received an amazing welcome while traveling? Let us know in the comments!

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