South Africa – It’s worth it…
Cape Town is beautiful but what lies beyond it is absolutely brilliant. We were in Cape Town for 3 days and the highlight would surely be the long and lazy lunches obviously with wine at waterfront, Old Biscuit Mill and Camps Bay. Now, must dos –
Sunset from the Table Mountain, a vantage point that sits above the cloud, grab a drink and watch the sun melt. The cable car ride is also fun but can be painful if you don’t get your tickets booked online.
Old Biscuit Mill, former biscuit factory collectables selling boutique shops and fine restaurants, Test Kitchen (Reservation Must), Burrata, Pot Luck Club among others. Do visit wine at the mill, it has a brilliant collection of wine
Camps Bay – sun, sand and sea food, winding scenic road would take you to Camps Bay from Cape Town. The setting is quite dramatic with white sand beach on one side and unyielding mountain range on the other. You can hire a beach chair, umbrella for R 60 each for the whole day. All tanned and hungry choose from many restaurants overseeing the beach.
On the fourth day we rented a car (VW Polo) for next 5 days. We were driving from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth across the legendary Garden Route but first we headed south for boulders beach to watch Penguins who have chosen sand over ice as their home. Our second stop was Cape point, followed by Cape of Good Hope, oh it’s beautiful …, exhilarated and hungry we stopped at Simonstown (reminence of colonial architecture) for a hearty lunch.
On our way to Stellenbosch, where we were spending a night, there came a point where the beach and the road were at the same level and hundreds of sea eagles flying around us. Stellenbosch is a vineyard city with Dutch influenced architecture. We had shortlisted few vineyards for brunch and wine tasting but it happened to be 1st January and were closed. But we end up at Mooiberge strawberry farm with a charming restaurant – The Farmers Kitchen.
Our next destination was Hermanus – famous for whale watching, but instead of taking the suggested N2 highway we took a detour onto R44 via Pringle Bay. This route is worth exploring with the road cutting through the mountain peak on one side and Infinite Ocean on the other, along the coastline you may spot whales traveling along (June to November).
Our journey continued toward the southernmost point of Africa – Cape Agulhas, where Indian Ocean meets Atlantic. And if you are a Lighthouse enthusiast like me, you will find a functional postcard Lighthouse painted red and white under the blue sky. Overnight we stayed at ocean view guesthouse, it lives up to its name.
Cutting across endless meadow, we headed back onto N2, stopped at Garden Route Game Reserve for lunch. Now passing Mosel Bay as we approached George, we were greeted vast green emptiness merging onto the range of small hills and interrupted by narrow river and random rows of trees. We stayed overnight at Wilderness at an Africa style guesthouse – Moontide next to the Touwsriver. That evening we were back feeding ourselves at the nearby Girls Restaurant.
Next morning we were back on road toward Knysna, stopped at waterfront arcade before heading to The Heads (view point), but the highlight was the lunch at The East Head Restaurant (do insist for the outdoor sitting). Since we were not going to Kruger, we settled for the next best things Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, had to apply emergency break as zebra, deer and ostrich were criss crossing the path to the reception. Best 2 hrs., top 5 minus elephant.
After a nice stroll and getting soaked at Plettenberg bay beach, we went for a short hike to Robberg National Reserve, followed by marine cruise for seal and dolphin sighting. With lots of stopover at souvenir and coffee shops on our way to Port Elizabeth made us miss our visit to Addo Elephant Park.
We winded our South Africa trip at Johannesburg, started the day with a nice breakfast at Mugg and Bean followed by shopping at Stadton city mall and ended the day with kid matching the tune of dancing fountains at Nelson Mandela Square.
Top of mind stuff…
Wine is quite cheap
Don’t let anyone suggest anything with ATM related stuff, not even at the Airport
Garden Route is must
Especially in Johannesburg, only use hotel cabs
You are expected to add tip to the final bill amount at diners
If you are travelling with kid do carry his/her birth certificate
South Africa is beautiful, just enjoy it..