my experience in south africa
I’ve crossed over the border into Namibia and thought it would be good to reflect about my time in South Africa.
Firstly, I need to say that I only saw a very small part of South Africa. In fact, it was the country that I had planned to spend the least amount of time in on my year long bikepacking tour of Africa.
Because of this, I didn’t plan a long route through South Africa and only went of the main path towards Namibia once. And that was to cycle through the Cedeberg Wilderness Area.
It was absolutely lovely getting out of the city and making my way to the Cedeberg where I was able to breathe and reflect after getting robbed only a few days earlier.
I really just needed some time and space to relax and think about the rest of my time in Africa.
I’ll be honest, it still hasn’t fully worn off.
I was nervous every time I rode into a town and I would stop 5km before every town, put all my electronics and valuables in a backpack, take a few deep breathes and continue on.
I mean, what a way to start the trip, getting robbed on the 3rd day, getting locked out of my Google/Youtube account forever and having to buy a new phone.
But I’ve already written about the robbery fully which you can read about here.
Although I had a great week in the Cedeberg, once I returned to the Highway, I had another incident where someone tried to climb the barbwire fence of my campsite and steal my bike in the middle of the night.
Luckily, I woke up to the sound of footsteps at 1.30am and recognised someone was there. By shining my torch on them, I was able to scare them away. But honestly, at the time it was pretty scary and I felt vulnerable.
It’s a shame.
The small part of South Africa that I saw was beautiful and I hope to go back one day when things have hopefully settled down a bit.
I did meet some incredibly kind people who went out of their way to help me and make me see the a different side of South Africa.
Most of the people that I actually got to talk to were very friendly and going out of their way to help me. South African’s definitely know how to have a good time!
Especially my Warmshowers hosts in Springbok, they were incredible. Thanks Nicolene and the family!
With the 10-12 hour a day power cuts (loadshedding), the 40% unemployment rate (so I’m told) and the corrupt government, South Africans are going through a hard time and people are doing whatever they can to get something to eat and make things a little easier.
When people are desperate, they do what they can to make some money for food.
Unfortunately, riding around with my phone out (I don’t do that now) on an expensive bicycle makes me a bit of a target.
At least I’ve been taught to be on my guard a bit more and watch my stuff.
It’s just a level of stress that I’ll have to get used to I guess.
I’m looking forward to the rest of Africa. Namibia has already been amazing so far.