Views #1211 | Low-Intermediate 4

Hiking in Africa

Peter talks about hiking in South Africa and dealing with natural dangers.
Jana: Peter, you're from South Africa, right?

Peter: That's right, yeah.

Jana: I heard there's a lot of beautiful mountains that are famous for hikes. Is that true?

Peter: That's true, yeah. Actually, I've been hiking since I was in elementary school really because there's so much, there are so many hikes to go on. The area that I grew up is actually quite close to the Drakensberg which is a famous mountain range in South Africa and it runs almost the whole length of the country and there are so many hikes, camping spots, places that you could go to and the hikes that you can go on for like a day, or two days, a week, ten days, a month if you want to. Really so much so I used to go most, I guess most holidays, or twice or three times a year even go hiking.

Jana: That sounds great. Is it safe? Are there any dangerous animals like snakes?

Peter: I guess, hmm I guess I'd have to say yes to that but in all my years of hiking, I have, I have seen many snakes but I've never been bitten or even felt in danger. Like once or twice maybe but South Africa is like also famous for its many poisonous snakes and there are quite a few things that you'd rather avoid but I guess, especially in the Drakensberg, the altitude for the mountains it's quite high so not many dangerous animals live at high altitude if I can put it that way. So it's really, it's really kind of, yeah, it's not dangerous I would say. Like obviously you have to take care and, you know, go during times of the year that is less, that you are less likely to get caught in a snowstorm or get snowed in or freeze to death or something but I think if you take adequate preparation there shouldn't be any problem and it's really gorgeously beautiful.

Jana: It sounds really nice. Is it easy to get to? Do you need a car to get around?

Peter: Yes. Mostly you should, you should, you need a car and in some places you'd even need a...

Jana: Helicopter?

Peter: No. I guess you could go with a helicopter but like if you have something like a Land Rover or a Land Cruiser or a four by four vehicle of some kind then you could get even into more beautiful places and more far away distant places that I would recommend even more. There are really so many places you can go to.

Jana: It sounds really great. I'll ask you again. Hopefully one day I will get a chance to visit South Africa.

Peter: Yes, you should, you should go I say. Do you like hiking?

Jana: I do but I hardly ever go, you know, as you get so busy with your daily life and I like the idea of hiking but I hardly ever go, do any sort of outdoor activity but yeah I guess it's a good thing to do during holidays.

Peter: Hmm.

Jana: Yeah, when I was a kid we often went to the mountains with my parents so we would go for walks, short hikes, that kind of thing.

Peter: OK.

Jana: But yeah then one just gets a bit busy with the daily life so I kind of forgot.

Peter: Yeah, life really has a way to get away with one, it really goes fast.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

mountain range


The Drakensberg is a famous mountain range in South Africa.

A 'mountain range' is a series of connected mountains that are formed in sort of a line. Notice the following:

  1. The town is basically built on the side of a mountain range.
  2. It takes a long time to drive from one side of the country to the other, because you have to pass over some mountain ranges.

in all my years


In all my years of hiking, I never been bitten.

'In all my years' means the whole time that you have been doing a particular activity, from the first time that you did it until now. Notice the following:

  1. In all his years of teaching, he has never had a student who is this difficult.
  2. In all my years of baking, this recipe has never failed.

feel in danger


I've never been bitten or even felt in danger.

If you 'feel in danger,' you think or expect that something bad is going to happen to you. Notice the following:

  1. When I go to the markets with him, I never feel in danger.
  2. Did you ever feel in danger when you were traveling?

put it that way


Not many dangerous animals live at high altitude if I can put it that way.

You can use the phrase 'put it that way' to show that you are describing something in a way you think the listener will understand or identify. Notice the following:

  1. I don't like it when you put it that way. That's not at all what the situation is like.
  2. Well, when you put it that way, I can see your point.



If you take adequate preparation there shouldn't be any problem

'Adequate' preparation is what is necessary or sufficient for whatever your intentions are. Notice the following:

  1. Your experience is more than adequate for this position.
  2. What is an adequate amount of money to bring with for the weekend?
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
in danger • moutain range • adequate
put it • all my years
  1. I have never seen such a lazy student in of teaching .
  2. People often feel when walking alone at night .
  3. I can see your point if you like that.
  4. The Andes is the world's longest .
  5. This street does not have light at night.