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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape
May 3rd 2011
Published: June 7th 2020
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<pre>TUE 03MAY 2011 </pre><pre>Flight - Dep 5.40 a.m Mum- arrival Addis abbaba – 8.10 a.m- Dep 8.40 a.m - arrival – 13.15 Jo burg </pre>

We had booked the Sun City package for 4 N 3 days at Sun City so, Thompson representative was there to meet us on arrival and assisted us with the check out, showed us around the airport. Saw shopping area and waited for the shuttle to Sun City . Departed at 4.30 p.m Driver guided us around and took us on a scenic route , stopping enroute for tea .Arrived at 20h00. Cabanas at Sun city was very pretty The room over looked a swimming pool and a few steps down was a lake. Good view of the golf course.

04 May – Morning walk to lake & Golf course. Sumptuous breakfast. At 10 a.m- rest till 12 p.m – Walked to Entertainment centre, - about 200 yards from Cabanas. Through the centre walked to Valley of waves. The wall of the entertainment centre has huge carvings of animals .As you walk out of the entertainment centre, the walkway is lined with huge elephants on either side. This is called The Bridge of Time This impressive bridge, guarded by mighty elephants, serves to link the Hall of Treasures in The Entertainment Centre with the Valley of Waves. In order to protect the incalculable riches which lie hidden in the Hall of Treasures, an ingenious mock volcano regularly erupts, causing smoke and lava to bellow forth from deep within the Temple of Creation.

The Kong Gates These massive gates guarded the entrance to the Valley and can still be seen today. Monkey Spring Plazacommemorates the troop of monkeys which saved the ancient tribe from starvation during a terrible drought. Roaring LagoonEnormous waves roll constantly towards the soft whites and beach. Sacred River runs through the park. Going up from the valley of waves, there are :-

Botanical GardensThere are several different forests in the Valley, namely the Rain Forests, the Baobab Forest, the Jacaranda Forest and the Tropical Forest, containing rare and seldom-seen plant varieties.

Sway BridgeThis bridge was devised by the King to entrap those who wished harm to the Royal Family. It creaks and sways as it spans the yawning chasm over the cascading waters below.

Hidden Cave Falls Followed the Hippo Gorge Trail from the foot of the Royal Staircase to the Hidden Cave Falls.

Adventure PathThe Adventure Path links the Rain Forests across the Royal Staircase.Walked on the adventure trail, Hippo trail to the side gate of the palace. Lovely cascades, foresty walk,, Lots of forestation and birds. Walked back by 5 p.m . Went for a boat ride on the lake. TSALA CRUISE BOAT RIDE around the Sun City Lake was R20.00/per person Evening enjoyed Drumming classes at the resort and sat around the swimming pool.

05 May-Long golf course walk. Serene and lush green.. Breakfast and rest then walked to valley of waves. Temple of Courage This death-defying slide plunges down the face of the mountainside into the sparkling pool below. Took this ride. Thrilling swim in the waves,. Went through the sacred river on the tube,, on the way back stopped at the casinos and back by 6.30 p.m

06 May – Went to the cascades forest for a walk. Swing bridge, the aviary where the birds roamed around freely .Went to see the cultural village. Back to rest then took a shuttle to the palace. Saw the palace, beautiful view of suncity from palace. Very opulent and artistic. The antelopes on roof top were beautifully crafted, Palace is a 7 star hotel absolutely stunning. Had high tea with flute being played. The Palace of the Lost City is the fanciest and most expensive hotel in Sun City. High tea is held in the Crystal Court restaurant, Before tea, explored the Palace of the Lost City

Came back by 5 p.m and walked around the cascades forest. It was all lit up and very pretty. Went to see the segway shop- Segway is a Two wheeled cycle. Suncity is a beautiful resort worth spending time in . The landscape is beautiful- the lake, golf course, entertainment centre are ideal places to enjoy. The palace is amazing but about a 5 km walk from cabanas, Shuttles run every 20 min.

07 May – Morning walk in cascade forest and golf course . Left sun city at 10 a.m. Enroute stopped at a crafts village, bought a turquoise neck piece. Arrived at Rivonia B&B at 1.30p.m 3 River Road (Entrance via 10th Ave) Rivonia At 2 p.m took a cab to Nelson Mandela square. Bought a Turquoise necklace and earrings. Roamed around and came back at 5 p.m. Mandela square is disappointment. It is just a mall.

08 May – Full day tour of Jo’Burg . First went to Soweto. It lies about twenty kilometres from Johannesburg – a shanty town- though a slum but not as bad as Indian slums. Orlando Towers which is now the landmark of Soweto. Saw Orlando shanty town (Mkhukhu) and poverty at close quarters Visited a shanty house. Quite neat. Then went to Regine Church. An exhibition of pictures of the struggle during Apartheid. Wrote a message on its wall. People had assembled in the church when they were fired upon and many lost their lives here. Soweto has the upmarket houses also which can cost in the millions Drove past Diepkloof hostel which has been transformed from migrant labour accomodation to informal family accomodation. Made a stop at the site where 13 year old boy Hector Pieterson was shot and killed by the police on 16 June 1976 Saw Hector Pieterson Museum this fascinating museum, is the state of the art multimedia center depicting scenes leading up to the students uprising of 1976 and the eventual transition to democracy in South Africa.
<ul type="disc"><li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; line-height: normal; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list 36.0pt;">Mandela House Museum stopped for a tour at this newly revamped Mandela house which is filled with many interesting memorabilia pertaining to the South African liberation icon. Took a walk down Vilakazi street to see Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house. Vilakazi street is the only street in the world that has produced two Nobel Peace Prize winners (Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu). Saw Winnie Mandela’s house. Then went for The <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Gold reef city tour. Went down a mine which is now abandoned. 225 meteres below the ground. Very informative tour. It is also a theme park. Went on a giant wheel. Houses of 1st settlers and miners. It is a theme park worth spending a day but we had little time, but the mine tour was good. Deep in tunnels and wet dark places give an understanding of a miners life. Drove through down town and saw mineral mining places.- Nice day spent but Jo’ burg can be missed if short of time. Rivonia was a pretty homely lodge nice ambience but a little far from the city. If spending a day it is better to stay at a hotel near the airport and take a day tour. Save on airport transfers. Rivonia is in <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Sandton which is a sophisticated, upmarket suburb in Johannesburg



Mon 09 May Departed Rivonia MN6251 09 May 2011, 09:15 10:10 Johannesburg – Nelspruit Kulula.com On arrival at Nelspurit (KMIA) Thompsons Touring was there to meet us on arrival . The Mapalunga airport was quaint with bamboo and wooden structures. Very small and quiet. It took us to Hazy view and then to Pretoriaskop at the Numbi Gate which took about an hour,. It was a nice camp with very neat hut like accommodation, but with all facilities. Very ambient place with deer running around all over the place. Lots of monkeys and birds. It had a natural swimming pool too.

At 2 p.m we climbed aboard an open safari vehicle. We enjoyed spotting animals during the afternoon open safari vehicle drive with Elvis. He was knowledgeable and interesting. Didn’t spot much except some Zebra , stags, Koalas.on the first day though. Returned to the rest camp, had peach schnapps and dinner and enjoyed the first nights sleep in this famous patch of bushveld.

Tues 10 May Kruger National Park A full day was spent seeking out Kruger’s creatures, starting at 6 a.m , big and small. The best game spotting opportunities came in the early morning when we spotted a lion and lioness. They walked with us on the road and many safari vehicles gathered to see them. Saw elephants, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Rhinos too. Had breakfast at another camp, came back at 11.30. Went for a swim. Went again in the late afternoon.Saw the Big four. Could not spot the leopard.

Wed 11 May Started the drive again at 6 a.m. Saw 2 lionesses, one lion, giraffes, turtles, yellow hornbill, wilderbeast, Had breakfast at Wooden Banana Drove till 3.45 p.m

Thurs 12 May Kruger National Park / Johannesburg Ocean View House 33 Victoria Road Cape Town 8005 021 438 1982
After an early breakfast transferred to Nelspruit for our return flight back to Johannesburg. Dep 8.30 a.m to airport, flight at 10.40 a.m - arr – 11.40 a.m. Dep for cape town at 3.30 p.m arr – 6.15 p.m

We were met by Thompson rep and transferred to Ocean view at Camps Bay. Pool deck room, Beautiful view of the sea. Ocean View was excellent. Very warm staff, Good breakfast, lovely rooms.

Fri 13 May –Hop on Hop off Blue route – Walked to Bay hotel which was about a km. off- nice sea side walk- Took the bus and did the full route. Got off at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Wandered about the gardens, then took the wine tour- The Groot vineyards, very pretty, walked around, and drove around reached Campsbay by 5.30 p.m

Sat- 14 May-Red route- Green market, railway station at Adderley Street, Strand Street, Muslim area of Bo-Kapp, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Table mountain. Took the cable car up the mountain, spent about two hours there.

Sun 15 May – Went by Six seater to Water front. Took the 10 a.m ferry to Roben island. It was a 45 min ride to the island where we got off and a bus took us around explaining the story of the prison. Then a former prisoner took us around the prisons. Saw where Nalson Mandela was imprisoned. Tour cost R220 . We returned by 2.30 p.m walked around the water front and harbor.. Saw the flea market in Green market. – Nothing much there.

Mon – 16 May - Came by Bus to Adderley Street. Took a train to Simon’s town. Took the tourist ticket of 30 R.<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> This allows you unlimited travel between Simon's Town and <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Cape Town<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> for an entire day; you can get off and on at any station <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Simon’s Town is Situated about 40 km outside of the city. Simon’s Town’s historical mile, St George’s Street, has 21 buildings over 150 years’ old and includes a local museum, the navy museum and a toy museum . The route was very scenic right on the beach from Muizenberg and takes about an hour from Cape Town. The train station is at the north end of Simon's Town, about a 10 minute walk to the centre of Simon's Town. Took a shared taxi with an Indian couple to Cape point. Spent about 2 hrs going and coming. Cape point was a lovely view. Came to Boulder’s beach, though could not see the penguins. Walked and took the train back to Fish Hoek. Spent about 20 min there and took the next train back to cape town. Took a cab back to Ocean view at 7 p.m It is about 3km's walk to the Boulder's from the stationin Simon’s town. Had Fish and chips at the station. Train ride from Cape town to Simons town, then drive to Cape point is one of the prettiest train rides. On the way back stopped at Cape of Good hope. Stopped at Fish Hoek enroute.

Tues – 17 May – Took The red bus to Water front. Saw the aquarium . Went up the table mountain again, went to the craft market and scratch pad. Bought Malachite and pearl earrings from Craft market

Wed 18 May Garden Route Wonderland Pick up 07h30

18 May Cape Town / Oudtshoorn
We departed by 08h30 and travel via the town of Montagu on the scenic ‘Route 62’ to the pretty village of Barrydale where we stopped for lunch . Then on to Oudtshoorn, known as the ‘feather capital of the world’ thanks to its huge ostrich industry. Oudtshoorn hotel for check in and overnight.

19May Oudtshoorn & Knysna

This morning went underground to marvel at Cango Caves. We then had a fascinating tour of an ostrich farm, There we had Ostrich meat wraps. Not very tasty – Rode an Ostrich, fed Ostrich, saw an Ostrich race. Spent some time shopping, bought trousers, pearl necklace, etc. from Hospice sale. we then drove via the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to the town of George, then onto Knysna, Knysna Hollow was beautiful. Had a fireplace in the room Spent the rest of the day discovering the joys of the town’s many art galleries, craft shops and coffee bars. Accommodation: Knysna Hollow Hotel

20 MayKnysna (BB,L)
Went on a Cruise on the vast Knysna Lagoon, then visited the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Enjoyed an amazing view of the imposing sandstone ‘Heads’ which guard the sea entrance to Knysna’s huge tidal lagoon, and the forests, marshes and pristine beaches surrounding it.Took a ride on a tractor up the forest and came down walking which was quite a trek buy very pretty. Had a lovely buffet lunch at therestaurant. After lunch spent the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying this lovely and special town. Bougth Rose necklace and earrings . ans the African Lady.Evening went to a fair held for a school. Lots of stalls , music playing and bonfires. Dieter- Our guide was full of stories and tit bits of information.

21 Ma yCape Town (BB)
After breakfast transfer back to the ‘Mother City’, via Swellendam and Hermanus, On the way we stopped at a Farmers market. Bought Rose necklace and earrings. We arrived in Cape Town in the late afternoon, at Ocean view hotel. Went for a walk on the sea side.

Sun 22 May CAPE TOWN -- DURBAN Pick up 04h30 SA 7952 0610 Arr 0810

Could not get a seat on the 2 p.m shuttle bus so had to spend the day in Durban. Took an airport shuttle, came to Grand Marine Hotel, - kept our luggage and walked around . took the 1p.m Rickshaw bus tour of Durban, till 3.15. p.m then took a cab to the coach station and took the 5.45 coach to Margate. Reached Margate at 8 p.m. Took a Tuk Tuk To Costa Samrelda. The resort had a breathtaking view of the sea. Very comfortable and walking distance from te market.

Te rickshaw bus drove through most of Durban and showed us - The Victoria Embankment which is one of the most prominent streets in Durban also called 'Esplanade' and is lined with places of interest. Smith Street is home to the Durban City Hall and its majestic copper dome, while Grey Street in the Indian district is where you will find the Juma Musjid Mosque. The City Hall is also home to the Natural Science Museum and the Durban Art Gallery, the latter of which features an ever-changing collection of art works, numbering some 3,500 in total. Durban 's Golden Mile skirts the main beaches and the Indian Ocean. Attractions include an amusement centre, paddling pools, paved walkways, gardens and fountains. A ride in a cable car offers a birds-eye view of the Durban beach front and the pools, fountains and lawns of the Ampitheatre Gardens. All this is on the beach and could be seen from our hotel window when we came back on the 28th. Da Gama Clock A memorial donated by the Portuguese community to commemorate the first sighting of Durban by the famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama, on Christmas Day, 1497. Seaworld (Dolphinarium)This aquarium is situated in the Golden Mile and linked by an underground tunnel to the Dophinarium where seal and dolphin shows are held daily Jumma Mosque- Situated in the most vibrating region to the west of city centre, it is the largest and the most beautiful mosque in the southern hemisphere. Other important attractions in the city include: Alayam Hindu Temple, Umgeni River Bird Park, Da Gama Clock, Local History Museum, Natal Maritime Museum, and Botanical Gardens . We just drove through all this.

Margate is one of South Africa’s premier tourist destinations Like several towns along KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast, Margate took its name from the original farm named by the English surveyor Henry Richardson after Margate in England. The farm was bought in 1919 by a Mr. Hugh Ballance. Paying the princely sum of £466 he chose it, he said, for “its beautiful beach and congenial scenery” - hardly sound agricultural reasons. However farming was not to be its destiny: in 1921 Ballance decided to subdivide the farm into half-acre plots and form a township which he initially called Inkongweni after the local river – “the place of entreatment” in Zulu. Due to the areas extreme isolation initial sales were sluggish, but then something remarkable happened to turn both Ballance’s and Margate’s fortunes around. During the winter of 1922 a strange occurrence took place off what is now Margate Beach. So strange it received worldwide headlines and put Ballance’s new township firmly on the map. The story goes that people watched two whales fight what appeared to be a monster ‘polar bear’ which was killed and then washed up on the beach. This bear-like thing was reported to be 47 feet (14.3m) long by 10 feet (3m) wide by 5 feet (1.5m) high, with a 5 foot trunk, a 10 foot (3m) tail and covered all over with snow white hair. No wonder it was such big news! Anyway it apparently lay on the beach for all to see for two weeks before being swept away by the next spring tide. Just a pity no one had a camera. Whether true or not, it certainly turned the tide for what has become one of South Africa’s monster holiday resorts. Margate is a seaside resort town in the south of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, just about 20 kilometres southeast of Port Shepstone. The river which flows into the sea at Margate is called "Nkhongweni" (place of entreaty) because the original inhabitants were reputed to be so mean that travellers had to beg for hospitality. In 1908, Henry Richardson, an English surveyor laid out the town and named it Margate after another seaside resort on the northern coast of the county of Kent, in the United Kingdom.
It features attractive beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing. Complemented by a nice shopping street and lots of restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs, Margate is a spot where lots of South Africans and foreign visitors spend their vacation.<br style="mso-special-character: line-break;" />

Drove through Oslo BeachShelly BeachSt MichaelsUvongoManaba BeachMargateRamsgate

23 May – Walk, eat sleep

24 May –Walked to Ramsgate beach

25 May- Was raining so short walks- relax

26 May – Rain walk. Bought Giraffes

27 May – Bought Rings Hibicus Mall walk Beach walk. Bought glass pendent 7 one rose pendent

28 May – Took the 8.30 coach to Durban. Reached the hotel by 10.30. Walked around the CBD, Beach, China Mall.Flanked by luxury hotels and apartment blocks, Durban 's Golden Mile skirts the main beaches and the Indian Ocean. Attractions include an amusement centre, paddling pools, paved walkways, gardens and fountains

Sun 29 May Durban – Mumbai Pick up 08h00 ET 1102 0950 DURBAN Mumbai 0450 30 May

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