We arrived about 5pm and were processed reasonably quickly receiving a 90 day tourist visa at no charge. I probably didn’t get a great exchange rate but in the wash up about 8 rand per Aus. $. So far Durban is still cheaper than Sydney. We are staying at the Gibela Backpackers Lodge. It is clean, comfortable and reasonably priced with outdoor terraces,pool and daybeds. We are within walking distance to an upmarket restaurant area.
9th October 2013 3.30am can’t sleep jetlagged.
We travelled to the down-town area on a mini bus for 5 rand each where the conductor operates the door and touts for business as the bus moves along, all very funny as the bus driver stops and has a chat with someone he may know or stop and do a hi five with a mate, meanwhile the conductor is leering off every “chick” in sight and of course the bus is full, but there is always room for another passenger or chicken.
Getting into down-town Durban we check the port area and note where the first gas station is, as the troopy has about 30k’s of diesel in it (tanks emptied for shipping) and we will need to fill up before too long after the car is unloaded.
Durban is a busy place and gives the impression of former glory. We roamed the beach and walked back to our lodge via the new Moses Mabhida Stadium. We saw some back streets and got a feel for the place.
10th October Walked to the beach then went to sort a sim card and withdraw some money. Call me a hillbilly but I really thought there would be trouble here. I put my debit card into the ATM dialled in the details and out came my money. Got a really good exchange rate to boot. SMALL WIN.
Tomorrow we go to the Doctor to get our Malaria script and then do some dockside business re; Troopy, and then we plan to hire a car and drive north for a few days. Might go to a National Park.
11th October 2013 Sorted our GPS and Tracks4Africa map. Same whingy voice as our home GPS, it gets annoyed if you take a wrong turn.
17th October 2013 Returned to Durban this afternoon. We drove up to St Lucia on the 12th, monkeys and mongoose down Main Street with some Giraffe and Hippo in the evening in the game park just out of town.
It was raining next morning so we drove up to Cape Vidal, Zebra etc. then to Huhluwe-Umfolozi Game Park. We really were overwhelmed. We saw it all, straight away, rhino, buffalo, different types of antelopes, a tortoise, elephant and giraffe all up close.
From our breakfast window at Hilltop Lodge we saw a passing parade of elephant, white rhino, baboons, antelope and an unidentified white apparition in the distance. We haven’t seen a snake yet. They have a big problem with Rhino poachers and have armed patrols and choppers moving around to try and intercept them. I thought the poachers were up in Central Africa but when a Rhino horn is worth about $300,00.00AUS it’s easy to see the temptation.
We were treated like Kings up at Huhluwe-iMfolozi, great value and the service could not be faulted.
Tomorrow we will take stock and sort out my debit cards and Wi Fi connections, malaria tablets.
The troopy seems to be at Port Elizabeth and should arrive in Durban soon???? Raining and miserable at moment, in foothills it was 13 degrees.