Expat, Johannesburg, South Africa, Travel

Out of Africa, Farewell to Johannesburg


It’s been woefully quiet on the blog front.  Woefully, pitifully quiet.  That’s because during the long summer break, we’ve been in transit.  It was our turn to pack up, ship out and move on.  After five fabulous years, the sun has set on our South African adventure.  It has been a huge wrench to say goodbye.

Since those first stumbling days where one child got a little too up close and personal with a lion cub and the other innocently asked whether Nelson Mandela was the guy on the red and white KFC boxes our kids have learned, experienced and grown (quite literally, height wise they are both catching up with me at an alarming rate) an enormous amount   They’ve encountered  many of the wild residents of African bush, learned about the unfairness of apartheid, ridden an ostrich and can recite the alphabet in Zulu.

The travel opportunities have been incredible.  There have been so many highlights, from sand-boarding in Namibia to being drenched by the spray of Victoria Falls.  After a slight misfire with a rain-sodden first safari, we went on to enjoy many more with a growing appreciation and affinity for the bush and its many inhabitants.  We were privileged to go whale watching in Hermanus, visit the Garden and Panorama Routes and have more than our fair share of visits to beautiful Cape Town.

Despite Johannesburg’s dubious reputation we’ve found it to be a very child friendly and liveable city with plenty to do and see. Inner city Joburg has her own charms, there are some excellent tours to explore the city’s history, architecture, food and graffiti.  My favourite of those excursions remains a trip to the infamous Ponte City.

There are so many more places and aspects of living in South Africa that I didn’t get around to writing about.  Maybe I still will down the road, or maybe I won’t.  Either way, Southern Africa is a fascinating and unique corner of the world. Every time we ticked something off our must-see list, we added at least three more items.

We were lucky to meet some amazing people along the way, you special people know who you are and thank you.  We’re missing you and the mild and omni-sunny climate in Johannesburg that facilitated our impromptu and laid-back social life.  A social life often centred around the braai accompanied by wonderful local wines.

Things like power outages and the insanely unpredictable lunatic minibus taxi drivers we won’t miss so much.  They will no doubt be replaced in due course by new frustrations.

We leave hearts full and heart-sore, changed and enriched, a little older and hopefully wiser. I’m sure we’ll be back there someday, but for now at least that’s a wrap on our time in South Africa.

In the meantime we are recently landed in another distant land and are once again newbies fumbling around, striving to get from the point where everything is foreign to it all becoming mildly familiar.  Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Joburg anymore.  More soon on our new location.

10 thoughts on “Out of Africa, Farewell to Johannesburg”

  1. I find myself wondering where the next place will be for us…and then I panic because I also kind of never want to leave. Someday I’ll have to do my own “Out of Africa” post and it already feels bittersweet…but for now I take comfort in knowing we have at least another two years.

    Joburg will miss you, I’m sure. And your new place will be an adventure. Good luck and I hope the new adventure is as good or better than the last!


    1. The whole debating where the next place will be is exhausting, so it’s nice to have come out the other side of the decision and have certainty again. Good luck for you when the time comes, two years is a good long stretch, but the next move is always at the back of your mind and will come around quicker than you know. Currently everything is very new and exciting for us at this end, but I won’t lie, we are missing Joburg. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sine. Living in SA was a privilege. All in I’ve probably spent a quarter of my life on African soil and it’s under my skin. 😀 I’m sure it’s not goodbye, rather totsiens.


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