Exploring South Africa With My Teenage Daughter

Posted by on November 3rd, 2023

Sometimes it seems almost impossible to get all five members of my family (me, my wife Carly, and our three kids) on an international trip together because somebody has a conflict with soccer, dance, summer camp, a piano recital, or something else.  So I decided I’m going to take a different strategy and pick off the kids one by one and take them on a trip with just two of us. I started off with my oldest, Cecelia, who is 16, and last summer we went to South Africa.

After a long trip from San Francisco to Cape Town, we emerged bleary eyed from the plane but spent 5 terrific days exploring in and around that magnificent city, including hiking (and climbing) to the top of Table Mountain.  Then we went on safari to two separate game lodges, Thornybush and Simbambili, in the area around Kruger National Park, and finished off at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, along with a couple nights in a final safari lodge called Matetsi, upriver from the falls. 

Cecelia was a great traveler, fun to hang out with, curious, adventurous, and pleasantly punchy and good humored even after the overnight flights and long travel days. We had a great time together in South Africa, with its unsurpassed wildlife viewing and complex history. Meeting and speaking with many wonderful South Africans and Zimbabweans along the way made it a fascinating trip, and it was for sure a traveling highlight of my life. Looking back on it, I kind of can’t believe how much wildlife we saw and all the adventures we had in just two weeks. Here are a few photos from our adventure (and yes, that leopard is about 10 feet away from us): 

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