I hope you'll enjoy our December issue featuring South Africa. Your feedback is always welcome.
Dan Parlow and the MyTripJournal team
STORY: ''World Heritage Sites in South Africa''
by Andrew Tanenbaum
Rock Paintings at
The Royal Natal National Park
At first we were confused why the St. Lucia Wetlands had been given the exclusive designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO assigns special status to unique places around the world based on biodiversity, beauty, cultural or historical significance. Yes the area was crawling with thousands of hippos, crocs and a dizzying array of birds but scenic-wise we had seen places of similar beauty without the UNESCO status. Then we learned that St. Lucia has over 400 species of trees (compared to 73 species of trees in all of Europe) and five distinct ecosystems all within an 80km stretch of land, and we understood UNESCO's decision.
Each passing hour in this unique area uncovered new trees and birds we had not noticed before. Besides seeing the hippos and crocs in abundance we saw large white-headed eagles and enormous land-based flamingo-like birds of which the name escapes me (refer to picture). To see an animal behave in its own natural habitat is completely different then viewing it in a zoo. I caught a glimpse of a hippo opening up its mouth to the sky at 180 degrees, a true National Geographic moment.
We spent our last few days in SA exactly how we began our journey, immersed in nature, surrounded by scenic beauty and bathed in warm sun. The Royal Natal National Park is also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is only one of twenty-three sites in the world that has both cultural and natural World Heritage properties. more...
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PHOTO: 'KATIMA THE CHEETAH'
by Cathy Joe
While in South Africa I did an expedition with the Edeni Game Reserve, formerly known as
Karongwe. There is a special Cheetah who lives on the reserve who's name is
Katima. She wears a collar so she can be tracked. But she is as wild as any other Cat.. with the exception that she has been hand reared. She was trained to hunt and kill by humans-- thus she is fond of humans..Whenever she see's a human she starts to purr and approach. Many of my fellow travelers took the opportunity to pet Katima but I felt more comfortable standing back and taking pictures of Katima, like this one.
- Cathy Joe, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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MAUREEN'S CORNER : Celebrating Holidays Away from Home
by Maureen Collins
Customs in different places can vary surrounding holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. As we travel in foreign lands, consider a few ways to help make the holidays more enjoyable.
First of all, do you want to bring your own traditions with you to where you will be located for the holidays? Or, another, really fun way to enjoy the holidays is to immerse yourself in the local customs and celebrations. Here are some tips on how to make your holiday season all that you want it to be!
from all of us at MyTripJournal
The MyTripJournal team would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with peace, love and happiness.
Wherever you find yourself in the world this December, may you find time to reflect on the people and places that have filled your days with joy and may you look forward to a new year filled with the health, wealth and time to enjoy each day in your own way!
Thank you for being our valued customer this past year and we look forward to an exciting 2007. We hope you will enjoy the upcoming trip journal enhancements..
Wiseman4 (South Africa)
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"By the time we both retired, we had been to all fifty states, 82 countries and taken 47 cruises. Now that we really have time to travel, we plan to see the rest of the world."