Jay's Adventures Begin - South Africa - Jan 2001 
(click any picture to get enlargement)

I came to Pretoria, South Africa to visit Nicole while she was there on a 6-month foreign service assignment.  I had met her when she was working in San Francisco and we decided to try a 'very long-distance' relationship.

Pretoria (Capitol of South Africa) 3 million people 

Left Part of City View (homes are "normal")

Right Part of City View 
(where I stayed) 

Until in the last decade, the "whites" and "blacks" did not mix much.  The "whites" lived in the cities and nice suburbs and the "blacks" lived on the outskirts of town in shacks (mostly without water or electricity.  The Government is now run by the "blacks" and better housing is being built.  These new houses are still not that great by our standards, but are actually a large improvement.  Unemployment is still very high, so crime is also high and the "whites" are the obvious targets.... you have to be very careful!

Poor Housing 
(Outside Town) 

Even Poorer Housing 
(in Countryside) 

New Government Sponsored Buildings 

Residence Entrance
(Swiss landlady)

Comfortable Patio 
(too hot to stay indoors)

My Bedroom
(pretty wild, huh?) 

Oh yes, here's the swimming pool   :) 

Overall, Pretoria was quite comfortable, even though I didn't spend much time there.  All living areas were gated and buildings had alarms; both somewhat new concepts for me.  The US Dollar was quite strong, so meals and drinks were about 1/3 the price... nice!

Driving was difficult since you had to stay in the left-hand lane.  I had was with the steering wheel being on the right side of the car.... I kept putting on the windshield wiper instead of the blinker! 

I expected a very harsh environment and was surprised to find that South Africa looks much like the United States.  The country is very big; each part has it's own personality and looks.  Since South Africa is at the bottom of the African continent, it is logical that it's environment should look something like other areas in the Northern hemisphere.

Farmland (not what I
would have expected!) 

Green Valley
Near Pretoria

Road View (note 
driving on "wrong side")

Lake Area (like CA,
most are resevoirs)

Hill (there are some big
big Mtns in other parts)

Plains View (mountain
range in background)

Desert Plains 

Sparse Trees

Nice Yellow Flowers





I visited a place called Sun City, which is in the middle of a desert area.  It is much like Las Vegas, but on a much smaller scale.  It has a nice hotel, casino and various family attractions.

Sun City Palace Hotel

Wave Pool 

Elephant Guards 

"Big Cat"

Pesty Monkey (real)

Mining is where South Africa makes most of it's money.  I toured a defunct Gold Mine and viewed an operational Diamond Mine  (no entry was allowed)

Diamond Mine

Mining Remains 

We took a road trip and headed east for about 6 hours, towards the Indian Ocean.  
The roads were initially great, but then had many BIG potholes as we got into poorer sections.  We stayed near the town of St. Lucia, in the Falaza Game Park.

Rhino Introduction 
(closer than I wanted) 

Giraffe family (male has
the darker spots)

Impala (yes, they are in there somewhere) 

Beach on Dolphin Coast (near Ballito & Durban)

Waves were tough to swim in, but lots of fun! 

Interesting pool made from natural tides

 This concludes my first pictorial report from my adventures in South Africa ...
... hopefully there will be many more adventures to report upon.

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