Blogs from Western Cape, South Africa, Africa


Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town » KIrstenbosch April 15th 2023

After returning to the ship we have a day in Cape Town and plan to go to the botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch. We visited them several years ago but on one of those tours where you have 45 minutes here, a photo opportunity there and feel there was so much you didn’t see. We promised ourselves if we ever had the chance we would return and today is the day. We stop a taxi and he quotes a price. Ian never thinks of haggling and just agrees. The price (while cheaper than a Cunard excursion by some margin) is still much more than we expected. We are driven to the gardens and it is agreed the driver will pick us up later in the day. Ian offers to pay half the fare but the driver waves ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » False Bay November 29th 2022

After one last breakfast in Cape Town, we checked out of the hotel and waited for Ben to pick us up for a quick drive in the morning before heading to the airport for the long flight home. Ben took us for a drive around False Bay to the town of Stand and Gordon's Bay. Driving high above the bay, we had a beautiful view of False Bay the the surrounding area. We headed back down to town we passed the church where Ben and his wife, Elna were married and the many white sandy beaches. Once in town we stopped for one last coffee with Ben before heading to the airport. As we drove back to the airport we passed South Africa's movie studio with a variety backlot sets. At the airport we said our ... read more
 Looking Down on Gordon Bay
 False Bay
 Sandy Beaches and Aqua Waters

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch November 28th 2022

I discovered too late as I am writing this, I should have been recording our knowledgeable guide, Ben. As I look back on our trip I struggle to remember all the names and places, but here goes. We started the day by stopping at one of several "picture frames" in Cape Town that provide a scenic view inside. This one frames Table Mountain, our first planned stop of the day. From there we traveled with hundreds of others to the cable car station to ride to the top of Table Mountain. The wind that prevailed the past two days, stopped the cable cars and now everyone was making up for lost time. Fortunately for us, Ben was able to secure tickets quickly and gain quick access to the cable car. I am not sure how he ... read more
The Rotating Cable Car
 Lion Head Mountain
 The Lion from Table Mountain

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope November 27th 2022

After breakfast, we set out with Ben to drive the Cape Peninsula. We first drove along the Chapman Peak Road which winds along the mountains edge and was subject to rock slides and wash out, so with much engineering the road is usually in passable conditions. The weather was sunny, but the wind was howling making taking photos a challenge. We drove by coastal towns and bays along the way. Hout Bay gave us sights of the harbor the mountains of the Table Mountain Range. Finally reaching Chapman's Peak the views were nice giving us a look south toward Cape Point and the Kommetjie Lighthouse. With the strong wind we passed many wind surfers along the way taking advantage of the conditions. We stopped at a "shop" along the way where many beautiful works of art ... read more
 The Other Side of Hout Bay
 Looking Back on Hout Bay
 Hout Bay and the Chapman Peak Road

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 26th 2022

After breakfast at the hotel, we made sure our suitcases were securely packed and walked from the hotel to our gate for our flight to Cape Town. Security at Johannesburg was quick with fewer requirements than ours in the U.S. We made the approximately 2 hour flight with no hitches and Ben, our guide, was waiting for us at the airport. Having lost the morning for seeing the city, we started on our adventure straight from the airport. Our first stop was the oldest building in Cape Town, the Castle of Good Hope. This fortress was built in the 17th Century by the Dutch East India Company to replenish supplies of the Dutch ships. It is built in the shape of a 5 pointed star similar to forts in the U.S. When built the castle was ... read more
 By the Entrance to the Castle of Good Hope
 Castle of Good Hope
 Cape Town City Hall

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch May 29th 2022

For our wine tasting experience, we headed towards the cape winelands via the N1 Highway, the first section of the famed Cape to Cairo Road. Our destination was the cities of Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch, and selected vineyards in each of these locations. Paarl is the third oldest city of European settlement, and the largest town in the cape winelands. Paarl gained international attention when, on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster Correctional Centre in Paarl ending his 27 years of imprisonment. Today, a bronze statue of Mandela stands outside the prison. Franschhoek, which translates as “French Corner”, was established in the late 17th century as French Huguenot refugees settled in the area. They are credited with the development of the wine industry in South Africa, and producing wines that were sought ... read more

Our first full day in South Africa, we embarked in a tour of the Cape Peninsula, driving along the coast along mountains, coves, and beaches to Cape point at the southwestern tip of the Cape Peninsula. After a stop in Clifton to see the spectacular bay view, we followed Victoria Road in the direction of Camps Bay which provides a glimpse of the exclusive Llandudno suburb and beach and around the next corner views of Lion's Head and the 12 Apostles. Victoria Road passes the Promenade of Camps Bay, with it's world renowned restaurants and rooftop bars like Chinchilla. We continued our drive towards Cape Point, with another panoramic stop at the fishing village of Hout Bay. Chapman's Peak Drive, Chappies to the locals, is a 9-mile marvel of engineering route with 114 twists and bends, ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town May 1st 2022

Isn't life gorgeous?? Hope you are hanging there in this world that may have just re-opened...but that is facing the worst disease us travelers are fighting, I call hyper-inflation! So let see if we can make 2022 even better than 2021....after all, we all survived a crazy world, so let's try to get the best of it! Inflation is at work here in South Africa too...but due to the lack of international travelers, if you are a good hunter, this place is actually better than anything you'll find in North America, Europe or currently the few places open in Asia. So be smart...and come down under...the Africa way! I'm finally getting myself up to date with blogging! Impressive isn't it...well....maybe our own schedule pushed me...we are back on a long flight this Friday...and it's only the ... read more
Signature dish at Le Coin Francais, Franschoek...
On top of the world...
Love the colors...

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Plettenberg Bay December 15th 2021

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to. It was also here, down in Hermanus where I had my first whale encounter. In summer 2019 I decided to go back. Since I did not just wanted to go as a tourist I joined a volunteer program in Plettenburg to observe whales and dolphins. One of the best decisions as it turned out to be an amazing summer. In total I spent about two month in South Africa. My favorite moments were the ones out on the boat collecting data on humpback dolphins. Also we did have to get up early and we ended up spending hours out at sea, it was a beautiful experience. There were days we got to observe whole groups of dolphins playing and surfing the waves. ... read more
Breaching humpback
Getting ready to sail
Afternoon activities

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Franschhoek December 15th 2021

South Africa has some of the best wines in the world and when I visited Cape Town in summer (better their winter) 2019 I had to go on a wine tour. Since I was on my own I booked a tour through a website called Viator, which I usually used when booking tours on my travels. The tour I chose hit a few wineries in Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosh. It was a full day tour and the driver picked everyone up from their hotel. Only three other people joined the tour which was nice, as we all got to know each other a but better. At the first winery our guide gave us a tour of the wine cellar and a little bit of history on how the wines were made. Most of these wineries are ... read more
Wine and cheese tasting
Wine barrels
Our wine tasting group

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