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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch July 26th 2019

On my last day in South Africa I decided to go on a wine tour to taste some of the greatest wines in the area. I booked a day trip with South African story wine tours. This 8 hour tour took us to four different wine estates in Paarl, Stellenbosh und Franschkoek. Together with our tour guide Bruce, a french couple and girl from Chicago we were on our way to the first vineyard Farview. Before tasting some wine and cheese Bruce gave us a little lesson in the history wine making and we had the chance to take a look at the wine making process. After we had learned how wine was made we moved on to taste some wine and cheese. 8 different wines and cheeses were presented for us to try from white, ... read more
Backsberg wine estate
Farview vinyard
Wine and cheese tasting

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Franschhoek July 17th 2019

As the morning began, we expected to make a short tour into the Stellenbosch wine country and then visit Robben Island. Upon arrival in Stellenbosch, we took in the sight of goats frollicking at the Fairview Winery. There was a tower with a goat walk that escalated around it. We had never seen a goat playland before. This one even included a bridge over the road that led to a goat condo. The goat commune consisted of several 1-2 year olds and a goat father who was at least 15 years old. It was really something. Before actually entering Fairview we got some very unfortunate news. Due to expected high winds that would effect wave swell, our scheduled trip to Robben Island had been cancelled. This was a huge letdown as following Mandela's experience was the ... read more
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your Goat
from The Long Walk to Freedom
Historic Moment in Time

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town July 16th 2019

Our day began with an 8:15 a.m. departure following another hearty breakfast at The Portswood. We headed south from Cape Town towards Muizenburg, which put us on the Atlantic coast. From here, it would be a series of quick and scenic stops to admire beautiful coastal views and/or wildlife. Our ultimate destination was the Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point--the southwesternmost point on the African Continent. First, the wildlife: Though we did not see any sharks or baboons, signs pointed to trouble with both species. After heading uphill from a beautiful beach, we encountered a "shark spotter" shack, looking over the swimmers and surfers to track any approaching shark dangers. Near the "shark shack," another sign warned us that baboons "are dangerous WILD animals - DO NOT FEED - Keep doors locked and windows closed." We continued ... read more
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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Plettenberg Bay July 16th 2019

I just finished my 5 weeks of volunteering for Orca in Plett. Time went by so fast and can't believe it is time to leave already. I really enjoyed being part of this research program. Most days we went out on the boats in the bay with Ocean Blue Adventures where we had to record marine life and I got to use a proper camera for the first time ( so please don't judge my pictures lol ). We got the chance to watch the local bird life, different species of dolphins and whales and saw seals playing in the water. Once or twice a week our group had to help observing seals and white sharks from the cliffs of Robberg. Also these activities meant a short, but hectic hike and sitting by myself for 3 ... read more
Humback going for a deep dive
Humback breaching
When you get to count seals at one of the largest seal colonies in SA

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town July 15th 2019

Hello, and Greetings from a new Continent. Yesterday, we did well on a 11-1/2 hour flight from Paris to Cape Town. Our guide, Andre, met us at the airport and transported us to our hotel, which was a huge upgrade from the small rooms we had experienced in Paris. This place is very nice. We socialized a bit and called it a night. Today, we got up to enjoy one of the best breakfast buffets in a long time, including cooked-to-order omelettes. We really enjoyed it and it was good enough that lunch was unnecessary. Andre picked us up and gave us a brief orientation to the V & A Waterfront area before we headed up the Lion's Head Mountain. Normally, tours here take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, but at this ... read more
Cape Town
Lion Head Mountain
Bo-Kaap

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape June 10th 2019

Since I got two month off between work I decided to go to South Africa for a couple of weeks to volunteer. But before I head over to Plettenberg Bay to join the programn I decided to go on a little safari from Cape Town. I booked a 2 day road trip to see the big 5. I went with a tour operator called hotspots2c and could not have chosen a better tour. Even though our group was fairly quiet, our tour guide was fantastic. He was very chatty and made sure we were taken care off on our trip. Uriel was very knowledgeable and even provided us with snacks throughout our journey. The first day we stopped for a coffee in Mossel Bay and then we headed on our first game drive at Botlierskop game ... read more
Lions just chilling

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Knysna May 31st 2019

I was just about to think about getting up to finish off the blog from yesterdays travel and the power went out. How could I tell that the power had gone out? Well, our lodge is out in the countryside and there are few other lights outside providing any indication of what time of the day it is. So when my world went completely black there could be only one reason. So this was our first experience of ‘load shedding’ which we had read was common in South Africa due to a shortage of generation in the country. The authorities are trying to overcome this but two new power stations being built are over budget and construction has slowed. Anyway an hour later the lights came back on and life returned to normal. After another bountiful ... read more
The special light evident on the distant mountains
And now a change to sunlight on the mountains
The centre line hand rollered by the road workers

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Oudtshoorn May 30th 2019

The day has started our brilliantly fine and in fact we should have got up to the breakfast lounge at sunrise as the woman running breakfast showed us photos she took of the most magnificent sunrise you could expect to see with sun rising out of the ocean in the east. A check of the expected temperature today at our destination inland from Mossel Bay was to be 29C and a decision had to be made as to whether shorts would become the order of the day. In the end opted for light hiking trousers which are still cool enough to wear even in the high 20’s. Breakfast was again delicious and would provide enough to keep us going through the day We had plenty of time on our side to make the relatively short journey ... read more
A dassie at Mossel Bay
Not too cold for swimming !
The path to the lighthouse which I decided against taking

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Mossel Bay May 29th 2019

Yesterday’s problem with our original accommodation being over booked and our ‘railroading’ to Battenburgs Guest House needed to be resolved this morning but we decided to leave it until we were asked for payment to see what might happen. We met a couple at breakfast from near Port Elizabeth who were going to Cape Town to fly and meet up with their family in Croatia. Their family have lived in Auckland for 20 years and the couple had visited NZ for the Rugby World Cup. They had retired to very small seaside place where they were 2 of 3 permanent residents and the closest town for shopping was 10km away. They said they enjoyed the isolation and freedom after living all their working lives in Johannesburg. A worker at the B&B had washed and cleaned our ... read more
The organ pipes
Seating for everyone
Main Street,Swellendam

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Agulhas May 28th 2019

The rain of yesterday had passed by and there was a good amount of sun warming the breakfast room at our B&B as we got ourselves ready for the day ahead. Being the only guests we thought that breakfast might not take too long and we would be on our way. Not so ! ‘Arvey’(this was how we understood his name to be when we arrived last night)had our places set up and we ordered from the small menu thinking that although the menu said it could take up to 20 minutes for the meal to be prepared that because we were the only guests he would get it prepared quicker. Not so,again ! Keeping starvation at bay with a slice or two of toast while we waited for our cooked breakfasts was just enough to ... read more
Good waves but not for surfing
The Whale Watch pathway,Hermanus
South African swimming pool at the beach




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