Blogs from Western Cape, South Africa, Africa

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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Garden Route February 2nd 2020

Since September 2019, we not only have one home in the Seychelles....but South Africa is still our home too! I have to admit, I love the golf, diving, wine, food and especially the people and friends in South Africa. So any time we can, it's on to SA! This time, I'm three weeks in South Africa, but as Tanya is working, she can only join me for a week of fun on our side. I started in Shelly Beach before flying to Cape Town. So it's first to golf, this time two new courses for me, I name Mowbray Golf course as well as Stellenbosch golf course. I can now claim having play all the coastal courses South Africa has to offer on the latest Golf Digest Top 100 South Africa courses! Happy golfer! There is ... read more
Bubbles from Vergelegen, they produce only 1500 bottles per year, and I believe it's the best in SA...plus a top Semillon!
Inverroche Gin School....top experience!
Playing Pezula is always fun, specially when I nearly play my handicap!

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Franschhoek November 20th 2019

The roots of the South African wine industry can be traced back to the exploration of the Dutch East India Company when a supply station was established in Cape Town. Cape Town was then only a stop for ships and crew to pick up fresh produce during their journey along the spice route to India. Jan van Riebeek was given the task to manage the station and plant grapes to produce wine; falsely believing the eating of grapes and the wine created from them would prevent scurvy and other diseases between sailors during their long voyages. In 1659 the first South African wine made from French Muscadel grapes were successfully made. Thank you Wikipedia. So today, after touring downtown Cape Town and the beautiful gardens around the government buildings, Jenny drove us to the Winelands. It’s ... read more
the Winelands.
Vines
More vines.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope November 19th 2019

Today, our guide Jenny picked us up early and drove us all the way around the peninsula. I’ve attached a map of the peninsula. The coastline of this area is like Yosemite but with even more fabulous mountain peaks and they are right at the ocean. There are many sandy beaches and most of the coastline is a national park and therefore has not been developed. We drove to the most southwestern point of the African continent, The Cape of Good Hope. We also rode a tram up to a lighthouse which gave us amazing views of the coastline and the vast Atlantic Ocean where we lunched there at a very nice restaurant. We saw a colony of penguins, an Ostrich farm, a huge eland (a very large antelope) and a mongoose. There are several tribes ... read more
Ostrich, antelope, you name it.
a very sleepy penguin.
lots of penguins.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 18th 2019

We arrived in Cape Town yesterday and had a busy day so I’m just now getting the chance to blog about our adventures here. Our hotel, the Cape Grace Hotel, is absolutely beautiful and is one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in. The decor is stunning, as is our room, the pool, the restaurant and all of the common areas. And I must not forget that this is also the home of a whiskey bar that houses 450 single malt scotch whiskeys, the largest collection in the southern hemisphere. We enjoyed a tasting of South African wines at the hotel bar and dined at a fish restaurant on the Victoria & Albert waterfront, just a quick walk from our hotel. Next I’ll be blogging about our first full day with our tour guide, Jenny.... read more
Our room
Our view of Lions’s Head and Table Mountain
Common area

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town November 18th 2019

We had a lovely breakfast before Jenny picked us up at 8:15am. We walked to the waterfront and caught a catamaran that took us to Robben Island, the island that contains the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life in a very small cell. We toured the island in a bus and then a former prisoner took us on a walking tour of the prison. I learned a lot about Apartheid on this tour and how differently the Indians, “the coloreds” and “the blacks” were treated, with the blacks being the most badly treated. Mandela, a black, spent most of his time shoeless, in shorts, was forced to do hard labor and he slept on a thin mat on the cold concrete floor ..... for 18 years. I encourage you learn about this ... read more
Mandela’s Cell
The Tram to Tabletop Mountain
The view from the top

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Boulders Beach September 20th 2019

A long and interesting day trip today around the Cape Peninsula, and even though we started out in cold, windy weather, we returned to Cape Town in bright sunshine, with a few spots of rain on the way (maybe we are really in Melbourne 😁). We first drove along the Atlantic coastline, through the expensive beach side suburbs (for the 3rd time, but heading south this time, so a different perspective). Couldn't see the Twelve Apostles today, too much cloud. After passing Hout Bay, we then drove along Chapman's Peak Drive, a scenic 9km road with 114 curves! Had a photo stop overlooking Chapman's Bay, then in to the middle of the peninsula, past an ostrich farm, to the Cape Peninsula National Park. There are virtually no trees, just "fynbos" as it is too windy. Between ... read more
Chapman's Peak Drive
Cape Mountain Zebra
Another one!

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch September 19th 2019

Day 2 of our "tour" started with Table Mountain and another drive through the city. (We decided to go up Table Mountain on Tuesday, even though it was included in our tour, because the weather was good, and the cableway closes if it is too windy or the cloud is too low. Happy to do it twice.) This drive took us through some different places in the city so quite interesting. Then up the mountain to the lower cable station. (So much for hiking mountains to see proteas at the gardens, they grow wild over the slopes of Table Mountain and when you are sitting on the other side of the bus, you can see them! The mountain is covered in fynbos - a word they invented to describe the vegetation on the mountains of the ... read more
On top of Table Mountain
Looking towards Robben Island
Yep, we were there!


Woke this morning to bright sunshine, and when we got to breakfast we could see Table Mountain (without any cloud). Yayy! So back to the Hop On Hop Off bus (red route this time) which also travels through the centre of Cape Town, and then part way up Table Mountain to the Lower Cableway Station. Off the bus, along with everyone else, to join the queue! Waited an hour to ride the cable car to the top. I guess (like us) everyone had waited for a clear day. There are two cable cars, one going up and one down at any given time, they each hold up to 65 people, have a revolving floor, and take 4-5 minutes to the top (or bottom). Once at the top there are paths around the mountain and spectacular views ... read more
Lions Head & Signal Hill
One of the cable cars
Both of the cable cars

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town » Constantia September 16th 2019

Our plan for today was to head for the Hop On Hop Off bus (red route) which goes to Table Mountain, and go to the top of the mountain in the gondola - however, there were even more clouds covering it than yesterday! Change of plans - swap the red route for the blue route (and the purple route). So after a lovely breakfast at the hotel, walked back to the Hop On Hop Off bus office (that we had found yesterday) and set off on the blue route. This goes through the centre of Cape Town, including Long St (the main street?) and then heads around behind Table Mountain. We got off at the Kirstenbosch gardens, a botanical garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Wandered around through various parts of the garden (it's ... read more
Gardens
More of the gardens
Still more


Arrived in Johannesburg in the dark - 5am, got our bags and then rechecked them through to Cape Town and were again escorted from the international terminal to the domestic, but this time by a representative from the tour company - a nice touch. And not so rushed - had a 3 1/2 hour wait for our flight to Cape Town. Arrived there mid morning, but could not see Table Mountain on the drive from the airport - it was covered in cloud (the tablecloth apparently). But we were able to get into our room at the Table Bay Hotel. It is a beautiful hotel, on the waterfront where the cheaper rooms have ocean views (ours!) and the expensive ones have views of Table Mountain (hiding behind the clouds). It was nice to be able to ... read more
Table Mountain (under the cloud)
Painted Rhino
Rhino




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