We arrived in Cape Town after a scenic drive through the mountains from Franschhoek. Finally, we made it to Cape Town and everything said about it was true. Lizzy was asleep in the car, so I didn't know what to do. The first thing that popped in my head was the beach. I was itching for sand.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I knew this was going to be an exciting destination, but I wasn't prepared for what was ahead of us. We arrived in the Cape of Good Hope National Park hungry and agitated. Nevertheless, the anticipation was so intense that we wanted to explore as much of the park as we can.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
We had 3 days in Cape Town and its surroundings, and part of the plan was to drive to the Cape Peninsula all the way to the Cape of Good Hope. It was an exciting part of our trip, since we've heard that the scenery is jaw dropping amazing. So we set off early in the morning, and drove for less than an hour to our first stop on our route to the Cape of Good Hope: Muizenberg.
It was a long yet amazing drive to Franschhoek, our final destination before we hit Cape Town. The village of Franschhoek (French Corner) is tucked into the Cape Winelands of South Africa. It is known as the country's food and wine capital. The vineyards here are established more than 300 years ago and cascade over the hills outside town.
Our strategy for this trip was variety of experiences. Outdshoorn was the ostrich capital of the world, and we hadn't seen as many ostriches in our lives when we were driving around the countryside. There were ostrich farms left and right, and ostrich pens had as much as a hundred birds contained. Thus, we weren't as fascinated anymore with the ostriches. Part of the reason why we decided to go to Outdshoorn was another attraction: the Cango Caves.
We reached Outdshoorn after almost 2 hours from Wilderness. We were to check in a guesthouse called De Denne, which again was highly recommended over the internet. We had trouble looking for the guesthouse, because it turned out to be outside of town, around 20 minutes from the center of Outdshoorn.
We had to bid farewell to Knysna and continue our joinery towards Cape Town. We were already on Day 3 of our road trip and we had to make it to Cape Town in 5 days. We decided to go on the more adventurous trip on the Garden Route that would lead us to Route 62 and then to the ostrich capital of the world, Outdshoorn. But before that, we had a quick stopover in another seaside town, Wilderness.
A short 10km drive away from Knysna in Brenton on Sea. We were looking for things to do in Knysna, and we were desperate for the beach already, so we decided to spend the rest of day there.
It was the first hotel that we saw when we entered the road leading to the Waterfront Lodge, and it looked exclusive and thus, expensive. But since we had no other choice, we decided to jump in and book a room at almost $400 for a night. We hoped it would be worth it. Good thing it was. Welcome to St. James of Knysna.
We arrived in Knysna at around 8PM and at this time, it was already late for someone to arrive at a lodge. So when we finally found our place for the night, it took a while for someone to answer the door.
As the title suggests, Knysna is pronounced "nice na". At first I was pronouncing it wrongly, so the guys at Hitgeheim politely corrected me. Well, Knysna is a popular seaside town along the Garden Route. We were supposed to stay in Plettenberg Bay, but the accommodations there were hard toy get by.
In Hitgeheim, we spent our time mostly with a family who had two kids. These two kids were Lizzy's companions throughout the entire safari. They came all the way from Cape Town and ending in an Eastern cape safari. We were to do it the other way around. Anyway, they recommended this place near Knysna that is another popular attraction for kids.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Day 3. We bid farewell to Archie and Hitgeheim Country Lodge. It was so far a pleasant start for our South African adventure. The bar has been raised, and we have so much to look forward to, now that the safari is over.
Monday, June 11, 2012
The highlight and most anticipated leg of our trip is finally here - our African Safari. Though it may not be the hard core safari experience, we were still very much excited. In South Africa, most go to the Kruger National Park, an area as big as Israel as they say, to go on a wildlife safari. But we decided to keep it simple and safe, and so, here we are at the Eastern Cape where the reserves are malaria free.
Finally, Lizzy arrived at Johannesburg two days later than expected. It was a good thing that our plane tickets were easily rebooked for free (South African Airways). And our first adventure was down South of the capital, to Port Elizabeth. We rented a car and drove off 2 hours to the town of Addo, where our first real South African hotel, the Hitgeheim Country Lodge is located.