Zim-Zam-Nam: Part 1

Alexander Paone
July 31, 2013

After the program ended, myself and two of my best friends on the program decided to extend our stay in Africa and do some traveling.

We had one last gathering with our fellow IES students and then left Cape Town at 4:00am to begin our journey to Johannesburg.

Alex, Maya and I on our 19 hour adventure from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

The eighteen hour drive took us though mountain passes, the extensive Karoo desert, small Afrikaans mining towns, a bar in the middle of nowhere with a baby monkey, and the city of Bloemfontien.


A pet baby monkey we found in a bar somewhere outside of Johannesburg.

We finally arrived at our friend’s house in Johannesburg around midnight and received a warm welcome into his beautiful home from his friends and family.

Greg and Maya at Paris’ house with Bentley

I have heard a lot of negative things about Johannesburg while I have been in South Africa, that it is extremely dangerous and there is nothing to see or do, but I actually really enjoyed my time in Jo’burg. It was great to have friends from the University of Cape Town who could show us the best of the city.

The next morning our friend took us to a great restaurant for lunch in his suburb of Jo’burg. One thing that still surprises me about South Africa is how amazing the food is. I really didn’t know what to expect for food, but I have had some of the best meals of my life since I have been here. We spent some time at our friends’ houses, meeting their families and getting a sense of what life in Johannesburg is like.

That night we met up with some other friends who took us into the city for a night out. We really didn’t know what to expect, especially after hearing the dangers of the city. They took us to the borough of Bramfontein, an up-and-coming area that is popular with students at the university there, and we had a really great night.

Alex, Maya, Paris and I at the Neighborgoods Market in Bramfontein

The next day we were leaving Johannesburg for Zimbabwe, but we had time in the morning to go back to Bramfontein for a weekend market. Neighborgoods market is a market that is exactly similar to the food markets that we would go to in Cape Town like Hout Bay market or Old Biscuit Mill.

Our friend drove us to the bus terminal in the city where we said our goodbyes and boarded our overnight bus from Johannesburg to Zimbabwe.

Alex, Maya and I getting a little restless on the 12 hour bus to Zimbabwe.
To be continued…


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Alexander Paone

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alex Paone is a junior at the University of Vermont, majoring in Anthropology and double-minoring in African Studies and Geography. He enjoys photography, cooking, hiking and has a passion for travel. Alex is looking forward to calling Cape Town home and also exploring more of Africa beyond Cape Town and South Africa.</span></p>

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