“My mind bursts with the visual memories that two weeks in Central Africa have brought me. Senses heightened, emotions peeked, body weary; I think back on the experiences. Time in a reunited and reconciled Rwanda, the Boda Boda tour of Uganda’s Kampala city, Gorilla Trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a game drive near the DRC border and time spent with wild Chimpanzee in the Kalinzu Forest. It all seems rather surreal, like a dream.
Yet the dirt I can’t seem to scrub off my feet and layer of dust on my backpack bear testament. It’s my Birthday and I’ve been up since 4am to make a flight from Entebbe to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo. I eat and sleep, on arrival I robotically pass through customs, collect my luggage, find the green channel and exit into the fresh air beyond International Arrivals. Hello South Africa!
At Domestic departures the bright orange sign draws me over. There is a warm smile, a South African accent, casual conversation about shoe shopping. After all, girls will be girls. I nonchalantly mention ‘Its my Birthday’ and the announcement is met with a squeal of delight and the determination to give me the best seat on the plane. ‘Window please, so I can see Table Mountain as I approach home’, I say.
Seated on my flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town the inflight staff knows I’m celebrating. They fuss over me, ask me where I’ve been, where I live, what I do. We enjoy animated conversation in an orange bubble of happiness, one with a green and black heart tattooed on its tail.
We speak of gorillas, our shared love for Africa, Birthdays and the insignificance of age in a world of adventure. I take the last hour to connect to the inflight wifi and catch up on mails. I read the refreshingly styled Juice magazine, recognising features by writer friends.
Before I know it the descent begins and Table Mountain is visible through the window. I’m home. Refreshed and all loved up by the attention on the flight, by a closer look at Africa, the power of kindness and personal service I arrive in Cape Town. A Birthday filled will travel ever appropriate. There seems to be a light magic encased in this plane painted the colour of an African sunset. As I disembark, I know I take a piece of it with me.”
Written as a review of my flight for https://www.southafrica.to/. Feature pic is mine.