WOW, that was really something else. I'm a South African, and I've been in working in England for 5 months now.
As for South Africa with our exchange rate and currency it would be an absolute bargain, everything is so cheap at home, and another thing I've learned from being away from home is that people at home are a lot more open, honest and friendly. people will honestly go out of there way to help you and are just so friendly and thats what I miss. The country is still in such a natural state, the game reserves, the beaches are so clean, the buildings are new. I know that theres no place like home, but this much I'll guarantee you. You'll love it.
My boyfriend (we plan to marry) is coming home with me and we plan to return by May 1997 (plenty time left to travel) but if you come to S Africa give me a ring, you and Kathey are welcome to stay with me in SA - please call me, my number in sa is [ deleted ], it's so nice to see people interested in our country, it's not like you see it on the news, so different in fact, but wait and see you'll be pleasantly surprised.
From the South African itching to travel more and missing home madly (it's a different lifestyle in England)
Caroline de Broglio
I have traveled fairly extensively through Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zaire and South Africa) six years ago. You know all the refugee camps at the Rwanda/Zaire border (Goma, Zaire is the town)? That is where I stayed, saw the mountain gorillas (Movie Reference: "Gorillas in the Mist") and went fishing in the Nile River for Nile Perch (they reach 4 1/2 feet long and one good size fish = meal for twelve). So I wouldn't recommend traveling there now for obvious reasons. However, when in Kenya, I think you'll find Mombassa beautiful and the national preserves around Mt. Kilimanjaro on the Tanzanian border also worthwhile. If you can afford it, a stay at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club is 1st class. But remember: Everything in Africa is done on their terms with regard to time, schedules and deadlines. If the hotel has a 10AM bus, and it shows up at Noon, they'll just say, "I'm here aren't I?" And there's nothing you can do but shake your head and laugh. I am sure you know what I am talking about. You also might want to check with the State Department before going as stability in Kenya has been questionable of late. President Daniel Arap Moi has become ever more oppressive with the passage of time and opposition has been growing restless. Be careful. Having your van pulled over and a machine gun put in your face is a little unnerving, and that was years ago when everything was supposedly "stable".
As for South Africa, I agree with everyone's comments about the landscape. It is stunning. Jo-burg (as the locals call it) is a big city like any other - not too exciting and very first world. Cape Town, however, is incredible. The beaches, Table Mountain and its views are all awesome. It is quite cheap, too (or at least it was). I hope you make it too these two places. I know that the Animal preserves in South Africa are great and the beer is good too.
(name withheld by request)