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A trip to South Africa is a dream of many characterized by breathtaking landscapes, green expanses that alternate with mountain ranges, enchanting colors, beautiful beaches and safaris. This story of a holiday in South Africa is what Valentina experienced and felt: I wish you a good read.
My name is Valentina and what I am about to tell you is a travel itinerary in Cape town and the Cape Peninsula that Elena organized for me.
We left Milan on a cold, rainy winter day where the only alternative seemed to spend the afternoon on the sofa with a fleece blanket: when we arrived at Cape Town airport and the terminal door opened, we were hit by a enveloping warmth that made us immediately understand that we really were in Africa: our dream was coming true and we still couldn’t believe it. We were finally in another continent away from everything that represents the West: we were about to come into contact with new cultures, customs and religions. The adrenaline was a thousand and the expectations were so high that for months I feared I could disappoint them.
The first thing to do is undoubtedly rent a car: Elena had organized everything in this regard, but it is still possible to do so upon your arrival as there are several rental companies at the airport. However, I recommend organizing everything before leaving so as not to waste time.
Renting a car in South Africa assumes that you know some rules: the road limit is 60 km / h except on motorways which becomes 120 km / h. The guide is on the left so you have to take into account that during the first few kilometers you will feel awkward and at times anxious, but calm, pass before you know it. It is important to always have cash behind because in many distributors credit cards sometimes don’t work. You can easily change your money as soon as you arrive at the airport, before taking your car.
Visiting CapeTown is one of dozens of experiences you can have on a trip to South Africa. CapeTown is a city that could be dangerous at times so you need to be careful especially in the more infamous neighborhoods. However, do not be conditioned by the gratings on the windows as you will find them even in the most affluent areas.
Given the attractions that this city offers, it is essential to plan as much as possible what you want to visit. Luckily we didn’t have to worry about this, but if you don’t have an “Elena” available, you have to take this type of research into account.
The hotel that Elena has chosen for us is the Victoria and Alfred Hotel: the history of this hotel blends with modern luxury that creates ageless beauty in one of the most fascinating areas of Cape Town. This hotel offers some of the most enviable views of Cape Town Harbor and Table Mountain.
Our travelogue in South Africa continues with two very exciting activities: today we dedicated ourselves to Table Mountain and Kirstenbosh.
This Table Mountain National Park boasts more than 50 treks, so it is possible to explore the area on foot even though we opted for the cable car at dawn. Reaching the summit during sunrise or sunset alone is worth the cost of a trip to South Africa. I will never forget the thrill of that incredible view: everything seemed to be perfect, like a painting, with the sharp colors that only tempera colors can give. Luckily Elena had warned us about the cold that we would find: being a mountain 1000 meters high with Antarctica in front, not having the right clothing would have meant ruining one of the best moments of the holiday.
The Cape Town Botanical Garden is a wonderful place, a huge space, which houses all the biodiversity of South Africa: we have decided to spend an entire afternoon here. For those lucky enough to visit this garden on Sundays, there is the opportunity to participate in one of the many summer concerts by artists that take place inside the park.
Our trip to South Africa was characterized by dozens of incredible experiences: this morning for example we spent the first part of the day at the village of Hout bay enjoying the organized visit by boat to Duiker Island. This island rather than being a real island is a large rock that emerges about half an hour by ferry from the port of Hout Bay.
Its peculiarity is that it is literally full of seals: it is in fact a small area colonized by sea lions where, however, it is not possible to go down, but only to be bewitched by such an “invasion”.
Immediately after having eaten a snack we left for Chapman’s Peak: the road on the Atlantic Coast, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek on the Cape Peninsula, is one of the most spectacular sea roads in the world.
The road starts right from Hout Bay and begins to climb up to Chapman’s Point, offering breathtaking views of the sandy bays below.
This rocky coastal road offers numerous points where you can safely get out of vehicles and enjoy a panoramic view of the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Whales and dolphins are usually seen from here, but we weren’t so lucky.
You cannot imagine the hotel that Elena has chosen for us: it is The Last Word Long Beach, a real showcase on the Atlantic seafront. The rooms, the view and the services are of the highest level, like the amazement I felt when I got out of the car.
Anyone planning a trip to Australia cannot fail to see a koala during his tour, for the same reason organizing a trip to South Africa means taking a thousand photos of its famous penguins.
The itinerary of our trip to South Africa could not fail to include the experience that from Cape Town leads to Boulders beach to see the penguins, before reaching the Cape of Good Hope. In addition to the mythical black and white animals, you have to sharpen your eyes well as you can come across other fascinating encounters: for example, I saw an antelope and my husband a whale offshore. It goes without saying, however, that the protagonists were the little penguins of Cape Town: these little animals seem like real stars in the middle of a surreal setting. Their movements, their being so at ease despite the thousands of eyes on them, makes it impossible not to take hundreds of photos of them.
As for the Cape of Good Hope, it is possible to reach it from a parking lot from which some paths lead up to Cape Point. I think it is one of the most beautiful scenic treks I have ever traveled, considering also that the slope is literally covered with a thick forest of Aloe.
Once we reach the top, the only noises we have heard are the blowing of the wind and the roar of the ocean breaking on the walls of the Peninsula.
Thanks to Elena for organizing this incredible experience and for having also thought about the convenience of staying overnight near Cape Point. It would have been too demanding to go back to town to sleep.
The Boland that extends inland from Cape Town, is a renowned wine region considered to be the best in all of South Africa. The magnificent mountain ranges that surround Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, with peaks that often exceed 1500m, creating an ideal microclimate for the vineyards and the contrast between the colors of the mountains and those of the vineyards, create a real feast for the eyes.
In this area it is very easy to find food and wine experiences with wine tasting and tours in the surrounding areas, but it is equally nice to get lost in the vineyards and shop in one of these towns. We literally fell in love with Stellenbosch: a pretty university town, founded in 1679 by Simon Var Der Stel, which offers its visitors architectural wonders in typical Dutch style. Its white houses with thatched roofs are the masters framing the town and giving a postcard atmosphere, similar to the city of Amsterdam. Stellenbosch offers antique shops, bookstores, wine bars, art galleries, restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy the local atmosphere.
Our trip to South Africa could not fail to include a visit to Kruger National Park, as it would have been like going to Japan and not visiting Kyoto.
Our Kruger National Park adventure begins with a domestic flight that took us from Cape Town to Johannesburg which is not the closest airport to the park, in fact to get closer to Kruger we would have had to fly to Nelspruit or Hoedspruit, but we would still have Had to make a technical stopover in Johannesburg so we opted for a shorter flight and longer car transfer.
The British or South African flight to Johannesburg takes about two hours while the transfer to Kruger National Park is about 4 and a half hours: given the amount of kilometers to cover, we opted for an organized transfer rather than renting a car. Obviously we didn’t improvise anything, since it was Elena who found us the transfer to the lodge.
As for the resort where we spent the night, I asked Elena not to reveal her name to me until I arrived as I love the idea of having surprises during the tour. This was by far the best surprise I could imagine: Lion Sands is possibly one of the Top 3 resorts I have ever seen and the Treehouse that was reserved for us is one of those experiences that is worth the cost of the trip – the photo of the lodge became the cover of our travel diaries at Kruger National Park-. This solution provides the opportunity to sleep under one of the most famous starry skies in the world: we had the honor of falling asleep in total silence under millions of bright stars surrounded by lanterns. Sleeping in this place was truly a luxury that we wanted to allow ourselves since we had been dreaming of visiting this park for years by staying in a particular lodge completely immersed in nature.
These were the days we dedicated to safari in South Africa: the amount of animals we were able to see was sensational. Both at sunrise and at sunset we took hundreds of photos of felines, elephants, giraffes and a lioness with her cubs.
It was like experiencing a National Geographic documentary: never have I felt so spectator of a world other than ours.
A tale of a trip to South Africa – safari in South Africa is synonymous with: emotions, vibrations, feelings, gratitude and amazement. A set of wonders capable of generating memories for the next ten years.
For the Safaris Elena had organized some outings directly with the resort (as they were included in the rate), but she had planned others with local guides she knew. Relying on those who know local people and have direct contact with them is certainly what can make the difference on a trip like this.
Elena had also foreseen moments of absolute relaxation made of aperitifs at sunset and book readings on our Treehouse: before our departure she did nothing but repeat to us that such a nature as well as lived must also be contemplated. Impossible to blame her.
This land has literally bewitched me, it is as if every day had given me the opportunity to discover a new richness: the beaches, the scenic roads, the animals, the vineyards and the people so grateful for their country. I will miss many aspects and there will be many emotions that I will keep: the first sunset, the first penguin sighted, the first mountain “conquered”, the first feline photographed and Elena’s surprise at Kruger.
I will never be able to thank you Elena enough for the care with which you organized this trip and realized one of my most recurring dreams. “Traveling with you” was like having an imaginary friend by the hand who can advise me on the best way to get closer, get to know and fall in love with Africa. Joining the world of Souri Trip is a real joy and I can’t wait to embark again.
Three steps to build your perfect itinerary together:
1) Tell me what traveler you are;
2) We find your destination;
3) I will organize your tailor-made trip,
taking care of everything.
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