Richard Perry

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Memories: South Africa 2006-07

  |     |   Memories, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, Mafikeng, Pilanesburg, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Scouts, Travel

It was on top of a big rock in the Lake District that Rosie was invited to a Scout Camp in South Africa in 2005 shortly before we met. At the beginning of the following year we signed up and we definitely didn’t regret it :smile:.

So, on 27 December 2006 we set off to South Africa for the Mafikeng Centenary Moot1 with a brief stop in Abu Dhabi, where we ventured a small way out of the airport just to get the passport stamp :wink:. The Moot was held in Mafikeng, the birthplace of Scouting, and this was where we saw in the New Year at the beginning of the Centenary Year of Scouting. It was pretty awesome!

Over the next 10 days we helped with community projects at a local school and a local Scout hut, participated in the gruelling BP Trail2, slept out in the Mafikeng Game Reserve, planted trees along the side of a road3 and generally had a great time with Scouts from a large number of South African nations, the UK, Austria, Finland and Sweden.

After the Moot ended, we had a couple of days at Pilanesburg Game Reserve to see the Big 5. We were camped in the park and woke up to see monkeys (of some kind) running around the camping area. It was great and we did two safaris to try to see everything :grinning:.

We then jumped on a train from Johannesburg to Cape Town4 for a couple of days R&R. Whilst there, we climbed up, slept on top of, and abseiled off Table Mountain, played with penguins on Boulders Beach, visited the local Scout Shop and basically chilled out. It was definitely a good way to see Cape Town. We stayed with a local Scout Group and took full advantage of their local knowledge to make sure we saw the best of Cape Town during our short stay.

We ended our South African adventure with another 26 hour train ride back to Jo’burg and a day at a local theme park before flying back to the UK. It was another brilliant adventure where we made some great new friends :smiley:.

  1. A Moot is an International Scouting event for those aged between 18 and 25 (although the upper limit can vary slightly depending on the organising country

  2. The BP Trail was advertised (to us at least ) as a nice little walk with some historic significance to the Boa War and the birth of Scouting. In actual fact it was a full days march around Mafikeng with little opportunity to refuel or fill water bottles. Many of us struggled with it, especially in the heat, but it was definitely a memorable experience for all that took part :wink: 

  3. These trees did not look the healthiest when we started, and we had a limited water supply so no-one involved really expected the trees to survive, but it was the gesture that mattered on this occasion (I think

  4. The journey was 26/27 hours with no air conditioning and plastic seats, so it was uncomfortable to say the least. We did, however, manage to have a great time! It probably helped there being 88 of us on the train :smile: 

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