I finally get around to writing about my trip to South Africa. At the time when I went on my trip I didn’t have a blog so I saved down all the photos on an external drive. When I looked through my old photos and came across the ones from South Africa. So here, we go, my two weeks trip to South Africa :)
Wedding in Pretoria
The trip started in Johannesburg. Well, not really. We essentially only slept one night at the airport in Joburg because we arrived super late at night. The next morning we drove up to Pretoria where we attended the wedding of a friend from university. My friend’s and his wife’s family are from Portugal and so the wedding was held in Portuguese, Afrikaans and English (for all the guests from abroad). There were two more friends from university so it was sort of a mini reunion. The wedding was amazing and so much fun! And I was super happy to see my friends again after a couple of years! :) We stayed around three days in Pretoria and then rented a car with my uni friends and headed to Kruger National Park.
Journey to Kruger National Park
Due to our excellent planning skills we arrived at the entrance of Kruger National Park during the evening and well after the gates had shut. Not that we would have made it into the park anyway if we had arrived earlier. The entrance we chose was actually flooded and therefore closed. Awesome. So there we were. In the middle of nowhere. At night. In South Africa.
And that’s when I remembered all the stories why you shouldn’t be out at night: ‘It’s not safe’. Yeey. The streets that before had looked super lovely and full of anticipating safari adventure suddenly turned into dodgy, deserted ‘bad idea’ & ‘no-go’ streets.
As our phones’ GPS didn’t work that well either we took out the road map and tried to make sense of it. We then decided to drive as close as possible to another entrance of Kruger National Park and find a hotel or guest house close by. That way, at least, we could enter the park first thing in the morning.
That plan actually worked out super smoothly and in the very late evening we arrived at a guest house that was located just a few minutes by car from another Kruger National Park entrance. And yeey, they had space for the four of us (picture below shows the little pool we had). Perfect Indian-Norwegian-German problem solving skills in action here! :)
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
In the morning we finally entered Kruger National Park where we had booked to stay for approximately three days. We stayed in a bungalow park and booked a sunset and sunrise safari. The sunrise safari was a guided walking tour which was super exciting. Overall, the three days were amazing as we saw so many animals and finally got to hang out with each other again – like in university times :) To read more about the trip and the safaris we did, click here.
From Kruger National Park we drove to Cape Town. I instantly fell in love with the vibe of the city. My favourite area was Camps Bay as it is overlooking the beach and as you know, I love beaches! The water was so freezing cold though, despite the hot temperatures outside. It was literally a pain to go swimming. I never had a headache because of freezing water before. And never afterwards. Even beach time & swimming in Tunisia’s winter didn’t give me a headache. But it was still worth it and everything looked super beautiful. Below a short list of 3 must do’s when in Cape Town.
Brunch & Sunset at Camps Bay
Drive up to Camps Bay and have brunch in one of the restaurants on the water front. The promenade is super beautiful with plenty of good restaurants, cafes and cocktail bars. So once you have ticked off brunch, head to Camps Bay for sunset cocktails on another day.
Table Mountain is a must-do in Cape Town. The easy way is to go up by cable car or, if you have a sporty day, hike up Table Mountain! You will be awarded by breathtaking views of Cape Town.
Wine & Dine
South Africa is known for its excellent wine. So make sure you visit at least one vineyard to taste a few different wines. Cape Town is also home to lots of good restaurant serving yummy South African cuisine, so eat out and enjoy! Don’t mix malaria pills (.. Kruger National Park) and oysters though.. at least that didn’t work out well for me haha
Shark Cage Diving
Though a slightly controversial topic (promoting conservation and awareness vs alternating the sharks’ natural behaviour), we decided to join a tour in Ganbaai. I did enjoy the tour as it really showed that the shark is not that aggressive monster as portrayed in some movies. I certainly don’t want to meet one during my next scuba diving trip but the tour showed the animals in a different light and hopefully promotes awareness with the wider public.
After a few days in Cape Town we started our road trip along the garden route up to Plettenberg Bay. The garden route seriously makes a super comfy and beautiful road trip. Amazing nature, lovely towns, super easy to navigate and everything is quite safe. We had a few stops here and there but spent most of the time in Knyzna, a perfect little beach town for exploring the surrounding areas on the garden route.
Knyzna has it all: beautiful nature, a beach and adventure sports :) We joined a canyoning tour which was loads of fun as we got to hike down a canyon, swim in the river, climb over little rocks, and jump from higher rocks. Perfect, nature playground! After seven hours of doing that we then went for sunset surfing on the beach in Knyzna. Perfect day hehe! But even if that doesn’t sound like your ideal holiday, Knyzna also has lovely restaurants on the waterfront and is home to a number of 5 star resort hotels. We stayed in the Tonquani Lodge & Spa which is a lovely and remote lodge with Spa facilities and little chalets. The Tonquani Lodge is great for couples and a beautiful alternative to a bigger hotel complex. If you haven’t joined a township tour before yet, there is a lovely tour in Knyzna that also helps the community. Check out Emzini Tours here for more information. And if you fancy petting some cheetahs in Plettenberg Bay, click here.