I am pretty sure South Africa’s beauty cannot be compromised into two blog posts – head to Part I here – because the amazement of this country is endless. Seriously. But let’s plan an unforgettable trip to one of the most interesting countries because we cannot leave this earth without having been there! 😍
The Western Cape
I was in South Africa for about 10 days and explored the Western Cape. It is beyond beautiful…
1. Cape Town
Cape Town is a city one of its kind. To me, it is not really a city but a large town (where frankly the atmosphere of a city with skyscrapers was missing). It is more or less scattered among a few small neighborhoods and the city centre resulting in the ‘Victoria & Alfred Waterfront’. And that is where the city becomes alive. There is always some street-musician playing a song, people are constantly in a good mood, you can spot many nationalities there. And it is an ideal place to eat: the ‘Mondial’ serves the best sea-food I have eaten anywhere in the world to date. From there on, spend your afternoon strolling through the nearby neighborhood Bo-Kaap. Every house is painted in a different color, it is absolutely heart-warming. Camp’s Bay is a perfect place to soak in the sun and go swimming in the beach with a magnificent view onto the mountains. A trip onto Tabel Mountain (also one of the 7 world wonders) will leave you speechless as you are able to gaze onto Cape Town beneath you and see the power of nature, forming such a mountain by the sea. And to end your perfect trip to Cape Town, take some snacks with you and drive to Lion’s Head, a small mountain located next to Table Mountain. You can spend a wonderful evening there while watching the golden sun set.
2. Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a must visit. First of all, you can travel to the most south-western point of the African continent. And secondly, the scenic views are…unbeliavble. But to encounter these, do not drive by car or by bus to the sign at the cape. You should leave your car somewhere in a parking lot and then walk through the park, hike the trails. Only by hiking the Cape of Good Hope, I came across ostriches, monkeys and well, even a dead whale. If you only drive to the cape, you will miss the white sand beaches and the many colors of the ocean. How two world seas intertwine and how the cliffs emerge out of nowhere, waves crashing onto them. To see a beautiful part of the world, walk the trail towards the Cape. I promise you will not regret it.
3. Simon’s Town – Boulder’s Beach
One word: Penguins. A place called Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is home to South African penguins. You can enter the park for only a small fee and watch the African penguins for as long as you like. I could not help but laugh as I watched them fall into the ocean, wobble their way around or one penguin hit the other one with its fin 🙂 Such funny little animals.
We came across Hermanus by coincidence. We decided to go on a small road trip along the southern coast and a small town striked our eye, so we stopped by. There we were in Hermanus. It is a fisherman’s town with extremely friendly inhabitants. As you can easily establish contact with locals, you can find out a lot about the city, South Africa in general etc. We had also come to learn that if you are fond of whales and whale watching, Hermanus is one of the most popular places to do so and also has a very informative and inter-active whale museum.
The Garden Route is similar to the Route 66 in the US. It stretches from Mossel Bay, Western Cape to Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. It takes you on a wild journey through South Africa with stops such as Jeffrey’s Bay, the surfer hotspot in the Rainbow Nation, and a small place called Victoria Bay. Not too many people know of it and it is an absolutely beautiful little bay and a bit hidden. Be sure to visit it before you can read it in every guide. 🙂 You sill also come across many different National parks where you can go on safari. The best season for safari is the South African winter – when you enter the wildlife areas and see the flowers bloom, that is a moment you will never forget.
Jo’Burg – as it is often called – is South Africa’s largest city. Many African cultures come together and the atmosphere is modern, yet urban. The Apartheid museum is very well made there. And when you are in Johannesburg, be sure to discover the quarter of ‘Maboneg-Precinct’. It is a ‘hippie’-like place and very unique. The main markets are also very interesting, as you can purchase self-made products and paintings representing the South African life and culture (it is always amazing to wake up and see the painting as it takes you right back to your travel). Yet, definitely be careful in Johannesburg. It counts as the most dangerous place in the world! Do not go out at night, do not wear your jewelery etc. And most important: do not visit Soweto by yourself or without a guide – it is the largest township and only inhabited by colored people. The criminality is exorbitantly high.
South Africa is among the best countries to produce and sell wine. Due to this, you can find an endless amount of wineries throughout the whole country. Wine-tasting is an activity you should definitely have on your list. For relatively little money, you can taste different wines. Many vineyards also offer menus and dinner and even the possibility to stay overnight. That is still a dream of mine, to spend a night at a vineyards because these places are heaven. The houses are designed extremely gorgeous and the atmosphere is overall calm, relaxed and very posh. Furthermore, they are located in the most beautiful places and you are able to experience a yet unknown side of the country of South Africa.