Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


I’VE SAMPLED an odd bit of the African continent that can be justifiably characterized as bizarre posh. Awhile back, I was sorting photos while on a long airline trip and, just for fun, I put together a PowerPoint displaying this. Its high points follow.


Shortly after I arrived, I saw my first lion.


The sighting came during breakfast at camp.


The first camp was outside “Jo-burg,” as we Africa-hep call it.


This camp showed signs of earlier habitation, Italianate, it’s believed.


Other evidence of Italianate presence was near this spring. “Pirelli” is an Italian name.


African watering holes are typically surrounded by lush growth.

up country

Then came a move up country to another camp.


There were signs that village folk were aware of elephants nearby.


No cook fires were seen, but then it was summer.


A simple sustenance meal made use of the village’s abundant foodstuffs: grilled kipper, rashers of streaky bacon, an Indonesian chicken stew and Malaysian chili dish. The Diet Coke contained a slice of local lemon.


Indigenous art was much in evidence; this one, a hut ceiling.


A view from an upper hut shows the watering hole, several shelters and, in the distance, another village.

In fact, that first base camp outside Johannesburg was evidently patterned after a magnificent Italian villa. I’ve tried to search it out on the Internet, but cannot identify it. Maybe one of you might recognize the place.

The rest of the photos are from The Palace of the Lost City, in Sun City, about 110 miles northwest of Johannesburg. It’s one of four hotels there, the others being The Cabanas, Sun City Hotel and Cascades Hotel (the “village” off in the distance).

I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing real Africa, even a little of its wildlife at MalaMala Game Reserve ( I’ve come to enjoy the music of Noise Khanyile and the Jo’Burg City Stars ( and Ladysmith Black Mombaza (

Contrasting though they are with MalaMala Game Reserve, Noise Khanyile and the Jo’Burg City Stars and Ladysmith Black Mombaza, these hotels of South Africa certainly qualify as posh and bizarre. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2013

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