There is something incredible about going far out of your own country – away from everything familiar – and venturing to see another part of the world. When one of my cousins came to Australia for our wedding over 6 years ago, he mentioned that Brisbane was ‘flat’. I didn’t understand what he meant until we unfolded our cramped legs after a 27 hour flight and got to see the beauty that surrounds Cape Town, South Africa.
Everywhere you looked there were mountain ranges and rugged coastline. Agapanthus littered the scape, and every now and then a baboon would peak out its head and remind you… this is Africa. So if I’ve peaked your interest and you’re thinking of travelling to this amazing land, here are my top five places to visit in South Africa.
1. Table Mountain
I have to start with the obvious, after all, it has been voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The city and suburbs surround this magnificent mountain, and so, on a clear sunny day, we braved the throngs of tourists and headed up. After queuing for some time and chiding ourselves for not bringing sunscreen, we moved forward with a surge into the revolving cable cart. Five minutes later we stepped out onto a maze of pathways, landscaped gardens, and picture-perfect views. We spent three hours basking in the sunshine and taking in the sights below us. Clouds started to creep across the mountain and fell softly over the edge like a misty waterfall. Being up so high simply felt magical!
2. Wine Country
A day out in the vineyards? Yes please! A group of six of us wound our way an hour east to Solms Delta Wine Estate in Franschhoek. Our first impression = gorgeous! The restaurant has see-through flooring to the original foundations, and there is a tractor willing you to hop onboard with picnic basket in hand and secure a private spot within the vineyard. With a wine rep in our midst, we opted for wine tasting and a cheeseboard underneath a canopy of trees. I may not have ever liked red wine in Australia, but South African reds have converted me. A walk through the grapevines followed by a Chocolate Discovery Tour at Huguenot made this day one of the best I experienced on our holiday.
A week and a half into our trip, hubby and I set off by ourselves for safari (yes, you can’t not go on safari when in Africa!). This deserves its very own post so read all about Botlierskop Private Game Reserve here in Sundowners and Safari. P.S. I want this big kitty!
4. Boulders Beach
I am SO glad that we decided to extend our trip before we left, otherwise we may have missed out on this gem of a place. Boulders Beach was ranked in the Top 10 Beaches in the World in 2012, and it definitely did not disappoint. For a small fee, you could enter Boulders and see African penguins at their finest. These little guys were everywhere and cameras were clicking in overdrive. Sure, they may not be the fastest on land, but they are torpedos once they hit the water. Although these furry creatures were a main attraction, I think I was impressed more by the crystal clear turquoise waters… and the warmth. Finally I had found a place to swim where I could still feel my toes!
5. Cape of Good Hope
This was a tricky fifth choice. I dabbled between the Cango Caves, Biscuit Mill Markets, and an array of other places we visited. However, my judicial decision came down to the fact that this was the first time I felt like this was the Africa I had anticipated. We were surprised by many things during our time, but those trees fulfilled my expectations. They were wild and beautiful and the crisp air was refreshment in itself. We took a rail-cart to the top and saw a dassie nibbling flowers from a shrub (basically a giant guinea pig cross wombat). The views were again amazing – I don’t know if you could get tired of staring out into the elusiveness of the ocean. Even the drive was memorable with colourful pincushion trees dotting the landscape.
Cape Town and its surrounds truly left a mark on my life, and I would encourage you to consider this incredible location for the honeymoon of a lifetime!
Images taken by Ms Chevron