April was a truly memorable month jam-packed with weddings, travels and quality time catching up with friends and family.  There have been so many exciting experiences and great moments during the course of this month that it’s really difficult to do them all justice in this short blog, but I’ll give it a try…

The month kicked off with my sister Carolyn marrying Jean Marc Gaudin at Suikerbossie Restaurant in Cape Town.  A memorable evening of drinking and dancing provided an excellent catalyst for bringing our extended family back together from their various far-flung corners of the world.  The nerve-wracking job of being MC aside, it proved to be a very happy and fun-filled evening.

The following day I flew up to Johannesburg and travelled on to Mozambique for another wedding.  A good friend from Stellenbosch University, Garth Kingwill, was getting married in Tofu Mozambique.  We managed to squeeze in some superb diving with whale sharks and manta rays, but, in essence, Mozambique turned into a weeklong bachelor party with all our old Hombre Koshuis friends.  The week culminated in a rip-roaring wedding celebration that spilled out onto the beach in the early hours of the morning.  A superb reunion with old uni friends that we’ll all remember forever.

Upon my return from Mozambique, I managed to squeeze in one day of work in Joburg and had two very productive meetings with African Parks Network and &Beyond (formerly CCAfrica) before rushing back to Cape town to meet all of our American family who had just arrived on their first two-week holiday to visit darkest Africa!

The next two weeks were planned as a non-stop South African extravaganza aimed at providing all the visiting family with the quintessential South African experience.  The trip kicked off with five days in a house on Llandudno beach that provided the ideal base from which to explore Cape Town, climb Table Mountain, visit Robben Island and take a tour of the townships.  The next stop was luxurious Burgundy Bourgogne in Franchhoek for fine dining, wine tasting and Katherine and my South African wedding celebration at Cathbert Country Inn (www.cathbert.co.za).  After a short blessing ceremony amongst the vines, we enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon surrounded by all our closest friends and family.  The beautiful location, amazing food, great wine, good music and perfect weather resulted in a ‘garden party’ that lasted twelve hours!

A quiet Sunday allowed some recovery time before we headed for the game reserves and four days of outstanding game viewing in Addo Elephant National Park.  Memorable wildlife viewing included hundreds of elephants, along with a good hyaena sighting and lions feeding on a kudu!  With plenty of boerewors (farmer’s sausage) on the braai (barbeque) every night, this really was proving to be the ultimate South African experience for all the visitors.  After a last few days spent on the canals at Saint Francis it was time for all the family members to dodge the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and take a long flight back to the USA bringing down the curtain on a thoroughly enjoyable and action-packed South African extravaganza!

Katherine and I flew from the Eastern Cape to the Lowveld where we joined two of my oldest friends for another week in the African bush.  We were treated to a very relaxing and indulgent holiday in the northern Sabi Sands Game Reserve.  In between all the beers and good food we saw great wildlife, including more leopards than you could poke a stick at…  Wow, wow, wow!  However, above all else, our time at Cruise Camp provided a great opportunity to catch up with friends, reflect on the last month and process a long list of back-to-back experiences that will, over time, become those special memories that last a lifetime.

In summation April has been an insanely enjoyable and action-packed month of weddings and travels with great friends and family.  I got married for the second time in less than a year (but to the same lovely lady!) and I managed to squeeze in just one day of work this month, which in itself tells the story of just how much fun its been…