In 2002, I had booked a full itinery for a month in South Africa. I was to sweep across from Johannesburg down to the Northern Cape (including a visit to the vineyards), down to Cape Town & whale watching on the south coast & up into Lesotho & Swaziland. I was crackling with excitement, it was all paid for, I was counting down the days. Then my girlfriend, who was to be my travel companion, became ill and couldn't go. The greatest of dilemas; did I leave her propped up in bed and explore this magnificent continent, or did I be the loyal partner and stay to mop her damp brow?
"Go on - I'll be alright!" she exclaimed dramatically, hand across her eyes. That did it, really - I chose not to leave her. Well, we all have 1st class degrees in hindsight and, since we split up less than two years later, I should have left her threshing in bed to jog off and create some fabulous memories.
With this firmly in mind, I feel I deserve another crack at South Africa. We have unfinished business. Besides - I love wildlife, always have, and South Africa abounds with it in many glorious forms. Travel also absorbs me, I was one of those kids who used to pore over maps at a fairly young age, when most of my mates were breaking windows or relieving fruit trees of their crop in some irate farmer's field.
2002 was a no-show, I hope 2009 will be all go.