South African Adventure

In July we made the trip of a lifetime to South Africa. Capitalizing on the fact that one of our best friends is from the region, we set off on an epic tour of the Garden Route – the most jam packed 2 weeks of my life to date! Our itinerary:

Cape Town – Frankschhoek – Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay – Jeffreys Bay – Gaansbaai – Cape Town

Our adventures were worthy of their own, separate blog, but I’ll use some of my favorite photos to summarise my highlights and top tips if you’re planning a trip yourself (and if you’re not, you should be.)

Cape Town - Table Mountain is obviously a must. Seeing it in real life, and then going up it, was a dream come true for me. A big tick on the bucket list and the experience was absolutely magical. My top tips? Ditch the cable car in favour of your own two legs to propel you up the steep path and go early. The views are worth it and nothing beats having the rock to yourself.

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Otherwise there’s not really much to hang around for in the city – and with so much on offer just an hour or two away, hit the road and delve into the wine country! Scenery like this had me asking for more time spent in the car.

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FranshhoekFranschhoek is an adorable little town in Stellenbosch, full of artsy café’s, galleries and shops so leave time for a little wander before you get stuck into the vineyards – because once you pop, it’s very difficult to stop. There are just SO many to choose from and they are all excellent. One of the things I loved about the winery tours was the actual tasting room buildings themselves. The architecture in general in South Africa was really up my street – modern, clean lines, accenting the stunning landscape. We visited:

  • Avondale – totally organic winery with free range ducks to clean the vines!
  • La Motte
  • Rupert & Rothchild
  • JC Le Roux
  • Chocolate Box

The cellars at Avondale

Sunset at the Spice Route

We also ate some of the best pizza I’ve ever had (Bacon and Banana – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it) at the Spice Route. Also home to one of the best sunsets I’ve seen (there were a lot of “best evers” on this trip) and this place has it’s own winery, brewery and chocolate making facility which had just closed when we arrived but I’m told it well worth a visit.

 

You could spend a week in Stellenbosch but we were on a tight schedule and after just 2 days we were back in our mini-bus on route to Oudtshoorn famous for it’s caves, Ostriches and nature reserves. We ticked off all 3.

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1979245_10100173535911486_1614804108407021220_o 10551654_10100173528117106_450967252809900562_oHaving satisfied the tourist trail, it was time to hit the beach as we explored the coast between Mossel Bay and Jeffreys Bay, with a quick stop at the World’s Highest Bungy Bridge on the way!

1519185_10100173544424426_2241527138430730135_oAnd to finish the trip, 2 nights of R&R in Gaansbaai – which was what we needed after coming up close and personal with these bad boys!

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I prefer to keep my distance from large mammals in the sea….unless you look cute and cuddly like these guys:

10689965_10100173527902536_4509289341653016194_nThe scenery and wildlife in South Africa is just overwhelming. Every turn of the head delivers a National Geographic worthy scene. South Africa, you are awesome. I will be back.