top of page



I had two very long flights to arrive in Cape Town. My first one turned out to be perfect- i had the whole row to myself. I was able to sleep a few hours and watch two horror movies: a very productive journey, as you can imagine. My second flight was more packed but the lady sitting next to me made it as enjoyable. She was an Aussie farmer with few relatives living in South Africa and she gave me great insight on where to go and what to see while I was in town. About half-way through the flight, I decided to check the interactive map to realize that the plane was actually going to Johannesburg. Wait, what? My ticket was bound for Cape Town, thousands of kilometres away. A bit in panic, I looked back at the ticket and at the flight number. No, yeah.. it is for Cape Town and it is the correct flight number. Then what the fuck. I called a flight attendant. Why is the screen telling me we are going to Johannesburg? She said because we are. What? But it should be going to Cape Town! She said it’s the same flight. I was so confused. After about 10 minutes -and a second flight attendant that speaks better english, I understood that the flight was going to stop in Johannesburg for an hour. I needed to stay inside the plane when it did. It was the first time I was experiencing such a thing and I felt unsure about the whole situation. You learn every day. Once in Jozi, my neighbour wished me the best for my trip and I was left once again with a row all for myself. Two hours later, I landed in Cape Town.

My first impression was very positive. The landscape was incredible and i didn’t felt unsafe at all. I didn’t felt like there was any racism, either (I would later realized how wrong this statement is). I checked in my hotel, ate breakfast and walked 10min to the hop and off bus. It seemed to me like the ideal activity to explore the town safely, as a first timer. I sat on the top of the double-decker, the sun burning my skin but the cool air instantly relieving the discomfort. I could feel how easy it would be to fall in love with this city (I would later realized how wrong this statement is, too). After a few minutes, I stopped at the table mountain cable car and decided to ride it up. The view from above was even more breathtaking. I walked about 45min and took the cable car back down, then the bus back to the city center. It was a very busy day but I fell asleep with a smile on my lips and the feeling that I would definitely love this city (once again: i was wrong).


I wokeup early in the morning to hop in a van in direction of a two days/one night safari trip in the Oudtshoorn. The ride was about 4 hours to the destination. Our group was 10 people (including the guide), mainly all in our thirties. We knew instantly that this was a unique setup as the vibe was so fun and light. The group was composed of two couples. Sam and Sophia (they ended up being my favorites and I would later see them again back in Cape Town) were digital nomads living in Bali and travelling to SA for a few weeks. Sophia was a yoga teacher and Sam was working in investment with clients mainly in the US. They were kind and funny and the fact that Sam looked like one of my best friend (Clement) did help getting closer to them very quickly. The second couple were Math and Stephanie. They were from the US and both worked in the automobile field. I was going to befriend them later that evening, around the dinner table. Then, there was Nicholas (a french guy who was very funny and would later convince one of his friend from a second van to join our group instead), Sonia (a very quiet and a bit older french girl) and Emil and Christian (danish brothers only here for a holiday). Our guide and driver was a local, very funny and outgoing, named Maudi. We drove most of the day to the mountains and beyond, to finally arrive to our first game reserve. This was my very first safari and I was a bit disappointed by the whole experience. The game reserve was quite big but all the animals were separated in different enclosure - which mean that they weren’t very wild in the end. We saw several animals but all of them from pretty far -because our jeep was making so much noise that there was no way we could approach without scaring them away. We stopped to see some rescued elephants afterward, experience that was way more enjoyable already. You could see how the animals were well taken care of and that they were enjoying the whole interaction with people. It was now time to hop back in the van, direction our bed and breakfast. Maudi asked us if we would like him to reserve a table for everyone to have dinner together and we all agreed without hesitation. We laughed because the reservation ended up being made by him stopping the car in front of the restaurant, honking twice and showing the number of people and the time with his fingers. We were then dropped in our lodges (we had three separate for the group) with just enough time to settle in and take a shower before meeting back to walk together to the restaurant. While Maudi was out to drive the other travellers to their lodge, the owners showed Sophia, Sam, Nicholas and I our rooms and explained the way around the house. They then asked us where we were going for dinner and we replied that we were going to the restaurant that Maudi selected. The owners made a disgusted face and they told us that this restaurant wasn’t very good. They gave us several other restaurants to pick from and left us to make a decision. I felt a bit bad because Maudi already had reserved (as weirdly as the reservation was made) and I didn’t want him to end up eating alone. The others felt like maybe the owner were right and maybe Maudi made a commission for bringing people to that bad restaurant, and after googling all the options they decided on an Italian one a bit further. I said I would go only if we told Maudi and convinced him to come with us. We all went to our rooms, took a shower and then met back in the backyard. Maudi finally showed up and we told him we had found an other restaurant that looked more to our liking. We invited him to come with us instead. Maudi’s whole expression changed drastically and he started speaking with a louder voice - visibly upset. We were all a bit confused as why the situation escalated so quickly. He was now telling us that the owners shouldn’t have say that the restaurant was bad, that it’s the second time they do that behind is back, and so on. He was furious. We tried to deescalate the situation by telling Maudi that the owners only made other suggestions- they never said the restaurant was bad (they did, we just didn’t want to start a war). I ended up speaking for the group and saying that we would go to Maudi’s restaurant, that we were sorry and this was fine with us. Now Maudi didn’t want to go anymore, throwing a tantrum and acting hurt like a child. We convinced him to come meet us back to his restaurant, when he cooled down a bit. He left and we walked to the first restaurant (Maudi’s choice) talking about Maudi overreacting and that we felt all very bad right now. When we arrived, Stephanie and Math were already sitting at a table. We joined them and told them everything about the drama- so they could understand why Maudi wasn’t here yet. We had time to eat our main course before Maudi finally joined. He apologized for his earlier reaction but we were about to understand how it wasn’t overacting at all in the end. To put this whole story in perspective, let me first talk a bit about the recent history of South Africa, more specifically about something called the Apartheid.

In 1948, South Africa National Party won the election and Apartheid became a social project based on a series of laws which made it legal in the country. Under an all-white government, it was dictated that non-white south africans (the majority of the population) were now required to live in separated areas from whites, use separate public facilities and contact between the two groups would be extremely limited. First, it became illegal for South African citizens to pursue interracial relations. Citizen were classified into one of four racial groups: black, indians, coloured (non-white) and white. Then, locations were classified according to race- which mean that there were places where people of colour were not allowed to go (beaches, public transport, public toilets, etc.). Millions of black citizen were forcefully removed from their homes, restricted and confined within what we now call townships: regroupment of precarious homes, often made of metal scrap, with no running water and one public toilet shared amongst several families. In 1994 (so not that long ago), the Apartheid finally ended, giving place to a constitutional democracy based on non-racialism- but leaving the country wounded to this day.

With his voice trembling, Maudi explained to us that he lived through those hard times, as a kid. He remembered stories of his family being forcefully evicted from their home on the coast, where they lived a modest but nice life -to found themselves in a slum with no running water or quality of life. They adapted, he said. But something you can’t never adapt to, is the feeling of being nothing to the whole world. He recalled that when he was a child, a few years after the Apartheid was over, he and his friend went at the beach and two fisherman asked them what they were doing there. “Haven’t you see the sign?” The kids were confused because the Apartheid being over, there shouldn’t have been any sign left saying that people of colour couldn’t access the beach. That’s when their eyes met with the sign. It read: “No dogs allowed”. I am writing these words with tears in my eyes and completely disgusted by our ancestors. Slowly, Maudi explained that to make things changed, they had been raised and were raising their children to stand up against inequalities. He said that he was late at the dinner, because he wanted to confront the owners of the bed and breakfast. The owners were an old rich white couple, referring only white-owned restaurants -behind the back of our local (black) guide who was brining us in a local (black-owned) restaurant. Maudi explained that it was the second time that the owners were doing that and that he felt they were basically saying that he couldn’t have valid opinions or that as tourists we shouldn’t listen to him because they obviously knew better.  Suddenly, I felt extremely embarrassed that my privilege blinded me to what happened in front of me, earlier. Racism is a sneaky motherfucker and it is most of the time not as boldly displayed as what we think. With his whole history, Maudi was definitely sensitive to people questioning his choices, but I have a hard time believing that the owners were not racist to a degree (it seems like this would be too much of a coincidence). I felt like hugging Maudi with all my strength, but instead we all simply listened and told him we understood where he was coming from and we absolutely didn’t want him to think that we were undermining him. We all trusted and loved him a lot - he was an amazing guide and a friend, by now. We were all so angry at the owners -and at ourselves for not seeing the whole picture. It definitely taught me a lesson and made me understand a bit more how I will, in fact, never be able to understand fully. I never felt the slap of being privileged so strongly hitting me before that moment. I went to bed with a disgust for where I was sleeping at and a strong sense of sadness for everything that Maudi and the black community were continuing to experience even past-apartheid.

We woke-up early to have breakfast and continued our discussion on what happened the previous night. Maudi shared more of his experiences with us, and we thank him for being so open with everything. We then checked out, hopped on the van and drove an hour in direction of the beach. Maudi wanted to show us the Indian Ocean. We stayed there for about an hour and then drove back to our second game reserve, for the last safari of this tour. This one was actually waaay better. The reserve was massive and most of it was not separated by species. That means that the lions had to feed by themselves -on the antelopes. We stayed around 3 hours, driving through the reserve, seeing about all the animals you can think of (except the hippos). We had such a blast, it got me excited for my upcoming days in the Krueger National Park. We had lunch and they drove back to Cape Town, about 6 hours total. We all exchanged our contacts and promised to keep in touch. I checked in my hostel and met with two amazing girls who were about to go dinner. I ended up going with them and we had a fun night talking about our lives and just vibing in a small pub of green point. We walked back to the hostel not too late -we were all exhausted- and I felt asleep very quickly, hoping that Cape Town would show me how beautiful it was the next day.


I woke-up early and decided to walk back to the hop and off station to do the bigger loop, this time. I sat at the top of the double decker, put a shit ton of sunscreen on and pushed the earbuds in my ears, so I could hear as much as possible about all the neighbourhood and townships we were going to drive through. This city was definitely stunning, but as the bus was driving out to the mountains, I started to see more and more of these townships. From above, we could see how awful the conditions were in most of them. Thousands of small makeshift houses, constructed out of scraps of metals and rotten wood, all cramped on top of each other. A few overflowing public toilets (these blue cabins we barely want to use when we go to festivals) were in a row, at the back, and the narrator in my earbuds stated that in the best townships, there was one toilet per ten families. Three minutes later, we were in the overly luxurious wine county of Constantia -the townships giving in to several mansions poking through the lushly forest. I remember feeling a sense of unease in front of such an extreme social difference. The tour continued and I decided to stop at the botanical garden, trying to soak my mind back with some peace and beauty. I walked around for about two hours, learning that the western cape has been recognised as one of the most special places for plants in the world, in terms of diversity, density and number of endemic species. The walk did make me feel better, but I decided to hop back on the bus to be dropped off at the oldest vineyard in South Africa -wine would definitely help getting back on the happy side.

When I arrived, I was amazed by the incredible beauty of the estate. The customers were a mixte of races and I was befriended by an amazing South African woman very quickly. She was actually working in advertising, taking pictures of the food and wine for the upcoming anniversary of Cape Town. We talked for a while and exchanged social before I had to leave to join the wine tasting. I was sit at a table alone, next to three CEOs from the US that would make my eyes rolled several time during the tasting. My sommelier was a very handsome local who was hitting on me big time. We passed the next hour flirting while I was getting tipsier by the glass. In-between the different wines, I could over hear the table next to me. The conversation was each one of them telling stories basically demonstrating how rich they were -like if they had a secret contest between themselves to determine who was the most successful. They were talking about their extensive wine collection, their wall to ceiling library, god even their laughs sounded like gold coins clinking in a real-leather pouch. It felt so cringe, hearing the whole conversation, but like if they were scenting my will to disappear, one of them addressed me directly. “How do you like the pinotage?” I like it. It’s very fruity and light for a red wine. They liked my answer. They started speaking wine with me and then slowly move the conversation to where I was from, where they were from, etc. They were actually very nice and funny. I questioned myself on why I didn’t want to be associated with them, at first. I mean I also like fancy stuff and I am also making good money for a living. I guess, I just really don’t want to sound like a boujee cunt. I want to experience luxury once in a while- but i also want to stay grounded, remember where I am coming from and live real experiences, trashy festivals, crazy evenings drinking cheap beers with people from all social statuses. We continued talking for a while, now speaking about my trip and they started telling stories about crazy things they did on holidays too. Suddenly, they felt more relatable to me. They were speaking about living with and helping locals in Zimbabwe, getting trashed with a family in Colombia -they did not only lived in their ivory tower, in the end. They had to leave for another vineyard and wished me luck in my travel- they felt envious, as it reminded them of a life once full of adventures. I saw them giving a massive tip to their sommelier (and to mine!): they were definitely using their money to help, too. I finished my last glass of wine wondering why I had such a prejudice for the bourgeoisie. Like with everything else, we shouldn’t generalize all the time. I am, myself, someone that does fancy shit all the time -yet here I was judging people only based on their look and an overheard conversation. They were nice people, regardless of their statuses, and as I swallowed my last sip of wine, I thank life to have put them on my path to teach me a lesson. I thanked my hot sommelier, who handed me his number, before I left to catch the bus back to the city center.

I checked-in an airbnb that was way too huge for one person (the pictures didn’t showed that) and I felt like I was very privileged but if I continued being kind and helping others it was also ok to experience luxuries like that once in a while. My phone buzzed. Do you remember Andre? The cute South African guy that I met on my second day in Japan? Well, you got it, Andre lives in Cape Town. We had been texting here and there through my trip (very minimally) because he knew since Japan that I was coming to South Africa. We planned to catchup while I was in town, but the more the days were passing the less I was keen to. Andre felt like a bit of a dick to me. I am not sure how to express this better than: he felt like a young boy that didn’t knew what he wanted. After a few days of him being hot and cold, I just lost interest and went back on tinder. After all y’all, might I remember you that I wouldn’t deal with that kind of attitude in a relationship, yet alone for a damn one night. Although I did felt a bit sad at first (i was looking forward to just meet back with someone I already had met before -you look for connections anywhere you can when on a long trip), I reasoned that there are so many guys out there- never shall I lose my time on someone unsure. To get close to me during this trip, you either get to be a Josh or an Archie. You either get to be someone with who I will sleep with several times and with who i will do activities and continue texting, because I care for you. Or you get to be a flawless one night that was charming from the beginning to end- a one night boyfriend I will never speak to again. But you do not get to be cold, treat me like a prostitute on call and expect me to sleep with you. If i wanted only a dick, i would use toys, thank you. So, scrolly scroll on tinder- until I remembered the hot sommelier. I was about to text him only to realize that his phone didn’t save properly on WhatsApp… aurevoir my dark prince. I took this as a sign that I could simply go to bed and enjoy this massive flat all by myself. The next morning, I was leaving for Muizenberg- a smaller neighbourhood known for surfing.


I arrived to Muizenberg after a 30min uber drive and a very interesting conversation with my driver. He was from Somalia and explained to me his views on Cape Town and why he had move here. He said that there were way more opportunities to work here than in Somalia, but he felt like locals here were not very happy about people coming to “steal their jobs”. He told me that he lived in one of these townships and from what he saw, he felt like the locals living there were very wounded and didn’t even trusted each-others. He told me of a time where he saw a local “make it out”, driving a fancy car in the city, while his own mother was struggling to get food every day. He told me that as long as this wouldn’t be fixed, as long as they would be selfish instead of focussing on community- this country wouldn’t be able to heal. It was interesting to get his opinion but I cannot assume this is the full truth either. I would collect different stories throughout my time here, that would later allow us to paint a more complete picture of the state of things. I checked in my bed and breakfast but the room wasn’t ready yet, so I walked to the beach to explore the small town. It was very quiet, yet extremely windy. I went for breakfast in small coffee shop, to feel the area, and after I decided it was safe, I started my coastal walk from Muizenberg to St-James. The path was absolutely beautiful, even more now that the wind made the waves more forceful. The walk lasted about two hours and I didn’t felt unsafe at any point during that time. I crossed path with several people, black, whites, indians -and it was just as normal and safe as back home. This town gave me a very good vibe and I almost felt sad to only be here for a night. I stopped at a restaurant on my way back, had a late lunch and then walk back to the b&b to check in. The employee told me that my room was ready and asked me what was my plan for the night. She had to stay late because the previous guest was only speaking french and misunderstood when he was required to checkout- so now he had no where to go until his flight at 10pm. I told her that I felt a bit sick (i was having a beginning of a flu, i thought) and told her that I would be here anyway and I was speaking french so if the guy wanted to just chill with me by the fire then I would be able to open the gate when it was time for him to leave. I didn’t want the employee to stay past her shift for nothing. I just told her that I needed to go to the grocery store before and then she would be able to leave. She was super thankful and showed me where I needed to go. This was more of a dodgy area, but as I passed by some locals living under a bridge I decided to buy a bit more food to give them. They were very kind and warmly thanked me, wishing me a great time in SA. I walked back home with some stuff to make a fire and a bit of food and cider. The employee was able to leave on time and the french guy was also thankful to have someone to finally talk to. So let me just stress this: fucking learn english, guys. Specifically if you are about to travel alone in a foreign country. Most of the locals learn english as a second or third language, just to accommodate tourists - the fucking bare minimum for tourists is to meet them half-way. That guy was very nice but he didn’t understood a single word in english and felt angry at the world for it. I had to explain that this girl’s job was suppose to end at 5, if you are staying passed this she needs to do o.t., when its well written everywhere when your checkout is supposed to be. He never understood and it made me think that it wasn’t just a language barrier, it was also him not knowing how travelling works. Some people feel entitled as soon as they pay money for a service- and god that annoys me to the highest point. Anyway, we continued discussing around the fire until the owners arrived and screamed at the french guy. He didn’t understood anything but I did and I gladly translated. “They are pissed at you because you are still here at 9pm and you were suppose to checkout at 10am. They say if you wanted to do that you should have paid an extra night.” I said, in french. He told me that no, they have space they can afford to put his luggages somewhere for free. I told him I didn’t think that was the problem, the problem was that if I wouldn’t have been here they would have been forced to pay an employee to stay with him to open the gates (we needed a special key to open and close). He rolled his eyes and simply changed the subject. The guy was 38 and I wondered how you can manage to reach this age and still be such an ignorant and entitled person. His uber finally arrived and I was able to enjoy silently the fire for about 45min. I then went bed because I was actually feeling sick (achy throat and runny nose) and had an amazing night of sleep


I arrived in Cape Town early morning and was drop off my new hotel: a very fancy one but with a trailer park on the rooftop. The trailer (lol) wasn’t ready so I decided to go on the hop and off bus again, so I could stop at Camps bay- one of the most beautiful beach in town. I spend a few hours there, but wasn’t really able to enjoy the beach as it was so windy the sand kept sanding my whole being and making me blind. I ate in one of the beach restaurant, where I realized all the clients where white and all the staff black -felt very uncomfortable. I took the bus back to the hotel and at a stop, i saw two white guys going to a black food seller and ask him to take a picture with him. I felt extremely disgusted, he isn’t a fucking animal what the fuck. I had more than enough for the day. I arrived at the hotel to check in, with my heart heavy. The trailer park was actually very cute and the inside of my trailer was as fancy as an hotel room. I had my private terrace and bathroom and there was an outdoor cinema in the common area of the rooftop. Andre was still a weirdo so I decided to meet with one of the tinder guy I matched with, in the evening. I was meeting him about 20min by walk from my hotel, and because it was still sunny outside I decided to walk it instead or taking an uber. It was almost a fine idea until google made me take a very very dodgy street where there were no cars at all and hobos living on both side. I managed to get passed it alive and meet my tinder date at the restaurant for 7pm. He was a very handsome South African with a very quiet voice, a strong africaan accent and he gave me a very good first impression. I had a fun night discussing with him about our lives, our travels and even about yes theory. It was the first time that I met another yes family member in the wild. (Google ‘Yes Theory’, it’s not a cult). I really had a blast but my flu was catching up on me and I decided it would be best to just call it a night. I took a uber back and felt asleep as soon as my body touched the bed.

The next morning, I was supposed to go shark diving but it was cancelled due to the strong wind. I was very sad because I selected south africa mainly for this. I was supposed to do it in Hawaii, a few years back, but it was also cancelled due to a storm. After some research, I learned that there was only two places in the world to see great whites, where shark dive were allowed: Hawaii and South Africa. I kept my high hopes as I told the crew it was okay for me to do the dive Saturday. Everything would depend of the wind. I went for lunch at the waterfront, where I once again noticed we (the clients) were only white people and the staff was only black. It made me feel like shit again -and I missed the diversity of Montreal so much. I know most of this is due to the history of Cape Town, and that there is progress being made - but it still made me feel like the inequalities were everywhere here. I went back to the hotel and took the day to relax and watch a movie on the terrace at night- I wanted to push through the sickness, as quick as possible and honestly also take a break off Cape Town systemic racism. I felt asleep around 9 pm, ready for the next day of adventure.

I woke up early, once again, as a guide was coming to pick me up to go to Cape Point and see some pingouins. The whole drive was amazingly beautiful and we saw a lot of wildlife -including some baboons. We first made a stop at boulder beach, to see the penguins. It was so windy that it was almost impossible to enjoy it, really. I did met some Dassies along the way, and was satisfied enough with the whole experience. Our second stop was Cape Point, an absolutely breathtaking landscape. We finished with Cape of good hope and drove back to town for early pm. I had lunch and took an uber to the waterfront to go meet with Sophia and Sam. I was super excited to see them again- Sophia being a big coup de coeur. We had tea and talked for a few hours, until it was unfortunately time to separate. We hugged each-others and they promised to come to Montreal in the summer, I would be so happy to see them there. My phone buzzed - it was Andre. We finally agreed to meet on Saturday. I had to wakeup very early for the shark dive, so I wasn’t even sure I would be in a mood for it after- but I said yes and that i’d text him once I was on my way back to cape town. I then checked in the most over the top fancy flat I ever stayed at. It was absolutely beautiful -a place I would love to own in Montreal, but I felt a major sense of guilt for being here. I could see the loadshedding turn off the lights of the houses below -while all the rich area remained lit. The rich had enough money for generators. They even had enough money to have stupid perks like a heated towel holder.. luxury never tasted so bad. I passed my evening admiring the view of the mountains but feeling an immense sense of unease. I went to bed very early trying to remind myself that I should excited - the shark dive hadn’t been cancelled in the end.

The van picked me up at 4am: everyone slept the whole way through Gansbaii. We arrived at the great white shark office, had a light breakfast and then we were briefed about the day. 15min later, we were on our way to the boat. I befriended an amazing girl from the US who was on holiday here for a wedding. We talked about travelling (she was on her way to have visited all the continents) and about our feeling of Cape Town (we both agreed this was not our vibe). The boat anchored in the sea after about 15min. We had to wait another hour and a half for the sharks to finally show up. When they did, though, I felt so excited- a dream come true. We haven’t had the chance to see any great whites (we were told that these ships didn’t cross path with any for the last 5 years, because people are hunting them for their fins and okras for their liver). We were lucky enough to see four different sharks, though, with one of them harbouring the scar of an okra’s bite on his side. One by one, we went down in the cage, the cold water making us trembling even more than the thought of being so close to these wild creatures. I felt that in the end, I was seeing the sharks way better from the top of the boat than from below, but this was still an incredible experience. I would gladly do it again, in warmer water, in the hope of seeing a white shark. After about an hour with the sharks, we sailed back to the harbour to have a quick snack before hopping back on the van. I was supposed to be back at my flat by 13h, and Andre would come meet me at 16h- which mean I would have enough time to shower, eat and take a nap. I said it was a good plan and gave him the address. After two hours, we were still stuck half-way to destination because of a tourist that didn’t knew where to get dropped and the police arresting us for a check, later on. When I finally arrived to the flat, it was almost 4pm. I had time to quickly take a shower and Andre was knocking at my door.

When I opened, i got a throw back to my very first day in Japan. He just stood there, smiling, and I smiled back, inviting him for a quick tour. My uber eats arrived ish at the same time, so I went at the door to pick it up while Andre walked back to his car to grab “his stuff”. I laughed internally because it almost felt like if he was waiting to see if he remembered me correctly before making the decision to stay. Whatever. He came back with a bottle of wine (the first nice thing this man did in weeks) and his attitude was overall way better. I ate while we talked about everything that happened since we first met -and how “crazy his life was since a few weeks”. So far, the evening was going ok. We moved outside for a few minutes -to admire the view- and then back inside with some wine to continue talking. I don’t recall what triggered it but Andre grabbed me quite powerfully and started kissing me with even more vigor. I actually got quite surprised because at a first glance, he did felt a bit more of a shy guy that didn’t seem very experienced with girls. We kissed and things got heated pretty fast but I wanted to be as a dick as he was the past week, so i stopped everything requesting that we go buy some wine (lol). To his irritation, we stopped and he played the game by walking with me to the store. I held his hand on the way there, thing I felt he didn’t like at all. I was starting to wonder what the fuck was wrong, like does this guy have a girlfriend and i’m not aware of it. He paid for the wine and I felt a bit disgusted by the whole thing. We walked back to the flat and when we entered I asked him what the fuck was wrong. I said I didn’t want to fuck someone who was rude, like play the fucking game for a night or leave. I cannot treat someone like a toy boy, and I do not want to be treated like just a hole. We ended up discussing why he felt so awkward to be cute, and turns out it had absolutely nothing with me or with him having a girlfriend. Some people just have ptsd from specific situations and they put a whole genre in the same category: aka overly attached girl that should have been only a casual fuck. I reminded him that I was leaving the country and that I had fucked (and would fucked) other people since we met. I wasn’t here to be overly attached to anything- but i didn’t want to have a one night and feel like a prostitute either. I needed some kind of connection. Being sapiosexual, regardless how hot you are, if you aren’t interesting intellectually and personality wise to me- then you will never get me into it. The Andre I met in Japan was turning me on, the Andre he was in SA was a big turn off. I guess this conversation helped the whole situation because he reverted back to Japan’s Andre and we had an amazing evening full of conversations, sex and passing out cuddling in front of You season 4.

The next morning, I kicked him off at 6 because I had to prep for my flight. It was a very nice evening but the whole complication leading to it kinda tarnished a bit the whole thing. I took my flight a few hours later- more than ready to leave that town (and to never come back).


Every person I crossed path with in Cape Town had warned me about Joburg being so different (they meant dangerous) and to be fair, it made me want to go even more. I needed something different. As far as it could be from the vibe in cape town. I was greeted at the airport by Alfred’s friend (Alfred was suppose to be my driver but he got busy doing something else, so sent his friend instead). He was super warm and welcoming and we had amazing conversations from the moment we met to the time he dropped me off. We first talked about Eskom, the electricity company that keeps cutting power and then about the corrupted government, that was still selling electricity to neighbour countries, while saying to it’s own people that there wasn’t enough for everyone here. We talked about a guy I crossed path with him in Cape Town, working in renewable energy, that was on his way out because the government basically told him that they wouldn’t go toward solar energy -even if it meant fixing the major power problem of the country. Switching from diesel to that would mean that, within 5 years, everyone would be sustainable and therefore they (the government) wouldn’t get profit anymore. We were almost arrived to the hotel when I dared to ask my driver why they weren’t in a civil war, already. From what I heard so far -everyone knew it was the government badly handling the situation that was causing all of this shit show. He said that unfortunately, a lot of people were still uneducated on the subject. Another bunch knew, but they still preferred a black government to a white one (they had ptsd from the past). He said that people were starting to get more and more agitated and upset - but that they were all trying to teach eachother that violence wasn’t the answer. They were doing peaceful marches, talking at assemblies and with Eskom directly -but they didn’t want to riot and ransack everything -because in the end, they would still be the one left with nothing. The car stopped in front of a beautiful trendy building, with an open-air coffee shop and some rap music coming out. My driver thank me for the conversation and we exchange whatsapp number to keep in touch. It was a very nice encounter and I was glad Alfred got busy in the end. I checked in my hotel quite early, but there was a room available so they gave it to me right away. All the staff was black, but so all the clients (but me). I already felt more happy than every places I stepped foot in Cape Town. Everyone here was smilling, laughing and you could feel this place was a nice place to be at. I got to my room for a very quick nap, which was at first hard to have because my window was giving on a building fulled with kids -and as it was loadshedding there wasn’t power to run the air con, so the windows had to be open. I still managed to fall asleep for about an hour, before being woken up by a discordant child’s scream. I went down to the coffee shop, it was about 3pm, but i needed to eat asap to not pass out. I was greeted by three local guys who made a few jokes with me and then I sat at a table and ate some pasta. The vibe was amazing: a hundred percent different, culture-wise, as any places I’ve been to in Cape Town. Once I finished, I went back to my room for a quick shower and then decided to go check the roof-top. It was Sunday, 7PM, and I was hopping to find some place to chill and write my blog, while watching the sunset. When the elevator doors opened, I was surprised to find a full-on rager in front of me. Everyone was black, trendy and there was hip-hop music blasting so loud they prob heard it back in the cape. I asked the bouncer if that was a private event or if I could join (not because there were no whites, but because, may I remind you, it was Sunday 7pm so I was confused as why there was a party). The bouncer told me I was welcome to join. I walked in and was greeted by a lot of people, just happy that one more person was joining the festivities. I ordered a glass of wine and just walked around, trying to fight my shyness and talk to people here and there. Every time I did, I was warmly welcome. I ended up learning that Sundays are for party in Jozi. Oh yeah, I endedup learning people from here call it Jozi, not Joburg. I spent about two hours on the rooftop, talking with several people and watching the sunset. Once the sun was down, I went back to my room because the party was starting to crank a notch and I had a flight early in the morning.


I arrived in Hoedspruit, early in the morning. The flight from Jozi was only 45 minutes and I was already smiling when I got out of the plane. The airport was so tiny and exactly what I was expecting for the middle of the Savannah. The plane landed on a muddy runway, in-between the bushes. We got out, there, and had to walk about 10 minutes to reach the airport entrance. Someone brought our luggages by hand - there was no electric threadmill for it. My host was already waiting for me in the small arrival area, with my name on a looseleaf paper. His name was Zander. He had a very quiet voice but I would learn later during the week that he was an hilarious and very outgoing person. We drove for about 25 minutes to the Hoedspruit estate, where my lodge was located. On the way, I had the chance to see how South African people deal with construction -they put rocks and tree branches on the road to close it. When we arrived, I was introduce to all the staff. The vibe at the lodge was very cozy and famillial. There was only 5 rooms, with a total capacity of 12 guests at a time. I was about to take a nap but it was the middle of loadshedding and my room felt like a furnice. Zander showed me a map and told me I could go for a walk in the bush, on the estate. He said there was some cheetahs around but they were not going to go out during the day, so it was safe. I trusted him and started my walk. About 2 minutes in, I crossed path with a warthog (pumba). One thing I can tell you, is that they look more impressive than in the cartoon. I was a bit stressed thinking if he was going to charge me or not, but in the end it just went to a puddle of mud and rolled around in it. I was able to continue my walk without disturbing him. About 10 minutes later, I turned a corner and arrived straight in the middle of a group of giraffe and a group of zebras. They were two arm-length in distance and I was so impressed / kinda scared because man the only animal I ever deal with are cats and dogs -gimme a break. I stayed with them for a while and then decided I would continue my walk and do the full loop of the estate. This was going to take me roughly two hours. It was motherfucking hot and the sun was burning me, but I was just hopeful to see more wildlife around. About a third in my walk, I noticed some large cat print on the ground. That’s when I remembered that there was also cheetahs around. I was alone, in the bush, wondering what to do if I cross path with one of these cats. I continued the walk a bit more in a hurry and managed my way back to the lodge without catching glimpse at any other animals. At night, we had a braai (a BBQ on the firewood) planned with all the guests. I took a quick shower, a nap and then I went to the fire area to have a drink before the braai started. There was already Zander, two guys and one girl sitting by the fire. I forgot all their names (I usually note names in my phone as soon as someone introduce themselves) but they would become my absolute bff for the night. The two guys were working together. They were both locals, here for work, and they weren’t even sleeping at the lodge. They just came here several years ago and loved it so much that they befriended Zander and were now coming to see him every year. The girl was from the Neatherlands, but she just had bought a house nearby and was also in the same situation (not sleeping here but did years ago and befriended Zander, came back every years since). The two boys didn’t knew the girl, which made me think that this place was truely a special place. What were the chance that so many people came here once, felt in love and came back every year since. We were served drinks and we started to talk about who we were, introducing ourselves without any filters. In the first 5 minutes, I already knew I would end up drunk with these peeps. They were clever, sassy and their humour was so snappy -I kept laughing and making them laugh so hard that we could hardly breathe. I don’t know why, but one kind of humour that makes me die is when people are witty enough to bring back topics from the previous conversations -my new friends kept doing that and I legit made 6 abs that night from laughing so much. We had so much fun that Zander decided to invite them for dinner, placing them all at my table. There was a lightening storm in the distance and the loadshedding which was supposed to end at 21H30 would end up ending only during the night. From 7H30 to 11H, we laughed and drank under the candlelight. We kept saying that we all needed this kind of night so bad, between two cramps and laughing tears. The guys wanted to go out in a bar, but my safari was picking me up at 4H30 AM the next day, so I had to decline and go to bed. I thank them for the amazing night, we all hugged and said goodbye about 7 times before we finally part ways. I went to bed a bit tipsy, hoping that the 5 hours of sleep I was about to get would be enough for me to not fall asleep mid safari.

The alarm woke me up in panic, but I quickly realize what it was and my emotion flipped to excitement. I was about to go for my first real wild safari, in the Krueger National Park. I got escorted to a safari vehicle that was waiting for me outside. That is where I met Johnny, my driver and guide, who would become a friend in the following days. Johnny gave me a blanket and told me we were only picking up one couple at another lodge before making our way to the park. After about 10 minutes driving, we arrived at the second lodge. An old couple made their appearance and we all introduced ourselves, briefly. It was still very early in the morning so we opted for a straight to the point conversation, before all slowly zoning out while Johnny was driving us to the Orpen gate (the gate we would use to enter the park). After a bit more than an hour, we finally arrived to the entrance. Johnny stopped the car to show some papers to the ranger, and told us we were about 10 minutes drive to the reception, where we would be able to use toilets. I was glad, because I needed to pee (and so did Lois, the older woman). We entered the park and 5 minutes after, we stopped on the side for our first sight of the day. To our complete surprise (Johnny’s too), we were now in front (and very close) of a Lion just chilling on the side of the road. The view of the sun rising on the king of the jungle was something out of this world. We stayed there for about half an hour, just admiring the creature and all the surroundings. I even forgot I needed to pee. We then had to leave to give space for other cars that were coming in the hope of catching a glimpse at the animal. A few more minutes and we were at the reception. We went for a pee and then sat down at a picnic table to enjoy a light breakfast. That is where we got to know eachother a bit better. Lois and Paul were a couple in SA for about two weeks. They just arrived from Botswana where they had to work for a week. I asked what they were doing for living and was met with a response I didn’t saw coming. They were both working as missionaries (they were sent to teach the bible in all these countries). So, hear me out, I am an atheist and I was always quite judgy toward christian/catholic people. Because I don’t believe in it, but also because I do not like the fact that they go from place to place trying to convert people. That being said, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to meet them with an open mind, ask tons of questions and try to be as open as I could possibly be. After all, I have learned several times during this trip, that there is absolutely no point of having prejudice and putting everyone in the same boat. Every single person does what they do because they think they are doing good, and not a single person has the same story. The very nice thing about this encounter is that I told them straight away that I was an atheist and they haven’t tried once to convert me to anything. They were talking about their work only when asked about it and I was talking about my views only when they asked me, too. After breakfast, we jumped back in the safari car and started our drive in the park. For the next several hours, we drove in the park and got to see impalas, zebras, giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, waterbucks, hippos, one crocodile and a migration of hundreds buffalos. We were on our way back to the gate, to call it a night, when we were stop dead in our tracks by a text Johnny received. Someone had spotted a Leopard. Leopard are the most difficult animal to spot in the wild. Some people live in South Africa and don’t get the chance to see them even once in their life. We arrived to the spot only to realize the leopard was very very far away. We had to look through binoculars to see it. We still felt very blessed. We watched it until it disappeared in the high grass, and then we were on our way back to the lodges. The couple told me they were going on the scenic road the next day -I was also suppose to do that but I wasn’t sure if it would be on the same tour. I asked Johnny to verified. He asked his boss but we didn’t get an answer very fast, so I said goodbye to Lois and Paul, like if this was the last time we saw eachother. Johnny drove me back to my estate, but made a stop at a convenient store because I wanted to get money out from an ATM to give him a good tip. When I put my card in the machine, the whole power went down. Fucking hell, I completely forgot about loadshedding. My card was now in the machine, that was off until 21H30. I was in panic. A member of the staff saw my concern and came to the rescue. They had a trick, which they performed in front of me and got my card back. I thank them a thousand time and then managed to get some cash out with their help. I arrived at my lodge, thanked Johnny who gave me the good news I was with them again the next day -gave him a tip and we part ways with a smile on our faces. I ate dinner and went to bed very early. The next day, Johnny was picking me up around 8AM.

I wokeup still tired, but I knew it was going to be a good day. Johnny picked me up on time, I sat in the front next to him. We chatted and laughed on the way to pick up Lois and Paul. Their lodge was absolutely beautiful -we were able to sit in the restaurant while waiting for them to be ready. It was an open-space with a view on the mountain and the game reserve. They finally arrived and we jumped in the car and started driving in direction of the scenic route. The whole journey would take roughly 7 hours -with several stops- through mountains, canyon and rivers. It was absolutely beautiful and we got to get closer to eachother as there was several stop to hike, walk and just admire the landscape. Johnny was absolutely amazing and he became my friend during this day. We had such a blast, laughing about everything and also just learning about eachothers. His passion for being a guide was transcendent. He was very knowledgeable and had so many anecdotes about different clients he had over his 18 years of experience. When he learned that I was working in films, he shared a few anecdotes about some clients he had in the entertainment industry (several people from all over the world, including very recently: Tom Cruise!). We were back at our lodges, end of afternoon. We all exchanged whatsapp, to keep in touch. I promised to go visit Lois and Paul in the upcoming year, as they were staying in Pennsylvania (not too too far from Montreal). They would also come visit, excited to have a guide to show them around when they do. If you had told me before this trip, that I would end up friends with two missionaries, I would have said no, thank you. But they were  not only their work. They were two positive and bubbly human being, that found their purpose in life through religion. Not once have I felt like they were trying to convince me it had to be my purpose too. They respected me as an atheist, and I respected them back as christians. I thought to myself that if everyone was like this -just respectful of eachothers beliefs- there would be way less hate and wars. There would just be more fun, more love and more peace everywhere. I hugged Johnny good night -thanking him again for his amazing guidance through the last days. I had dinner and then went to bed, exhausted but happy that my life cross path with these three amazing humans.

I wokeup refreshed, later than I had woken up every day of this trip, so far. I needed that, for sure. I planned to do nothing of my morning and was very successful at it. At lunch, Zander told me that there was the possibility to the one last afternoon safari. I agreed immediately. It was going to be in the game reserve where Lois and Paul were staying. I was happy at the chance to maybe see them one last time. Zander drove me and a couple from the Neatherlands to the lodge and we met a few other people that were going to be on the safari too. Lois and Paul were there! We said hi back, with a lot of smile in our faces. There were going to be two cars for this safari, and we tried to get in the same one but were not able to, in the end. I hopped on my safari van, sitting next to the Neatherland people and we started the drive. I did not liked it for the first hour or so. The vegetation was very dense in that game reserve, so it made it very hard to see any animals at all. It was also end of afternoon- so very very hot with the sun blasting directly in our eyes. The animals do not like that, they hide from the heat. We didn’t saw shit for the first two hours. Then, there was a call in the walkie-talkie telling us there was a lion sighting somewhere close to one of the fence. When we arrived, we were ecstatic. There was nine lions, just lying there in the middle of one of the road. They just ate two zebras the day before, so they were still full from the feast. Because of it, we were able to get very close to them without fearing for our lives. After a while watching them, we had to leave to go have a drink while watching the sunset. We crossed path with rhinos on our way there and were all super happy about the surprised. We were allowed to go out of the safari van, to get the drinks. It felt weird to do that only a few meters away from rhinos and lions. We could hear the lions roaring in the distance, while the night was slowly setting in. We then hopped back on the van, and made our way back to the lodge. About 15 minutes into the drive, we crossed path with a leopard who was generous enough to stay several minutes very close to us. We were all able to get great footage of it. It was an amazing experience to see this cat so close. We then learned that to finish their ranger training, the students needed to encounter the big 5 on foot (and survived it). This seemed like quite drastic, but it is so they could be prepared if ever something bad happenned during a game drive. They needed to not be afraid. One of our ranger told us that in the past, rangers couldn’t become one unless they shot an elephant charging them. Fortunately, that barbaric prerequisite had stopped years ago. We watched the leopard until he left and then drove back, under the stars, to the lobby. Zander was waiting for us there. He drove us back to our lodge, where we had another braail and I went bed straight after. The next morning, I was leaving for the airport to my 9th destination.

bottom of page