Captured Series, Images of South Africa
Our favourite photographs from a particular place. Featuring the people, experiences and landscapes that made it special for us. Will you discover a new destination?
South Africa, a country of contrasts. Rich and poor, desert and rainforest, sprawling cities and vast planes. It was on our hit list for a long time and we were not disappointed.
Our two-week journey of South Africa started in Cape Town, next we meandered up the garden route and finished up near Port Elizabeth, where we took a 3-day Safari. Although for us, the Safari was the highlight, I was surprised at how much Cape Town had to offer. The city felt unexpectedly safe and I was forced to challenge my preconceptions.
We spent 5 days in Cape Town, including Christmas Day, which felt a bit strange as there were no decorations. However, the much-anticipated ride up to Table Mountain was fantastic. The panoramic views of the city and beyond were phenomenal… We also loved a day trip we took to Cape Point and Boulders Beach. The views around the peninsula were stunning and it was great to cycle part of the route and take in the scenery. Oh and the penguins… adorable African Penguins dancing on the sand – a big hit with everyone! The V & A Waterfront is great too, a relaxing place to enjoy live music and a drink or two.
When it comes to eateries in Cape Town we were spoilt for choice. This city is home to amazing world cuisines and offers a lively night scene too. We particularly enjoyed a delicious Mexican at “El Burro,” the mole was to die for! Oh, and we had a fun night out in “Beefcakes.” Being served by buff waiters, accompanied by drag queens was highly entertaining! I only wish our friends Paul & Anthony had been with us, they would have been far more appreciative of the servers than us, we were more interested in the food… Also, the market on the wharf is great for a lunch stop and a freshly squeezed juice
The Garden Route
Next, we took the Baz Bus up to Port Elizabeth along the Garden Route. As we didn’t want to hire a car, this was a good option. It is a hop on hop off style bus with various stops and routes to choose from. They drop off at specific hostels, so we chose a couple from the list to make things easier. At peak times it may be better to book a few days in advance if you are on a tight schedule.
Knysna was our personal highlight of “The Garden Route.” We took a lovely boat trip on the Knysna lagoon to the famous Knysna heads and enjoyed a delicious Italian meal overlooking the harbour. Jeffrey’s Bay is great, I’m sure in surf season although it didn’t appeal to us maybe we’ll give it another chance when the surfs up!
Add Hermanus to your list if you are visiting South Africa during whale season (June-November) Walker Bay is considered to be the best land-based whale watching area in the world.
Take a look at some of our favourite photos of South Africa
The highlight of our trip to South Africa was definitely our Safari…. We had a fantastic experience and felt we had made a great choice with Lalibela Game Reserve, located in the Eastern Cape. There is much debate surrounding the best Safari to take. Undeniably, Kruger, for many, is the only choice. But for us on a limited time frame Lalibela appealed because as a game reserve, we knew we would be more likely to spot the big 5. We loved it for a number of reasons:
- We got to see the wildlife, up close and personal and even witnessed a lioness tracking and killing an impala on New Year’s Eve. The guide was phenomenal, extremely knowledgeable and a true expert.
- Small open jeeps gave us the best photo opportunities and great views.
- Our stilted lodge was lovely, really comfortable, had a hot tub and was in the thick of the wildlife. (I was pleased they had provided me with an emergency horn… Although Kerry said I wouldn’t be able to use it to alert someone’s attention to a rat…)
- The service was second to none, attentive & friendly, nothing was too much trouble.
- The food was amazing… cooked to perfection and much welcomed after our excursions!
- Most noteworthy was that the whole staff team were really lovely, without exception. I loved joining in with the traditional music upon our arrival. Give me a pair of beaters and a glockenspiel over a glass of champers any day!
What no leopard?
So, we hope you enjoyed hearing about our South African adventures, unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a leopard… Although 4/5 of the big five is impressive, we now have a reason to return! Along with India, as after 3 trips out, there were no tigers and Reykjavik as the Northern Lights failed to put in an appearance! Considering we still have a fair amount of the world to cover, we could do with nature being more cooperative!
We used the Lonely Planet Cape Town & the Garden Route (Travel Guide) to plan our route.
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