Blogs from Western Cape, South Africa, Africa


Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town April 10th 2019

Welcome back. Cape Town has been an absolute joy and we have loved the freedom and the feel of the city. We have stayed at Greenpoint about a 30 minutes walk to the V&A waterfront, which is one of the vibrant parts of the city. As most of you know we make our money stretch by staying in 2 and 3 star places which are clean and comfortable. This place is in a great location and there is plenty of space, big lounge , kitchen, fridge and free laundry. However like much of South Africa it is all top show, not quite clean enough, there is a culture of just doing enough, and poor attention to detail. In some parts of Joburg there were ridiculous numbers of staff in cafes and restaurants but only a third ... read more
African penguins
Robben island from Table Mountain

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Garden Route February 20th 2019

Like the ears of a horse, a true traveller is always alert to new places to visit. My South African colleague excitedly spoke of Capetown and even suggested the fantastic business class experience of Eithiopian Airways with a welcome drink of Champagne. I was sold on the spot. Nearer to my date of departure, Eskom, the sole electricity provider of Capetown went bust and needed to be rescued through government funding. Capetown was also facing long term water shortage from relatively dry summers. There had been massive fires and biomes had been destroyed. ( The wind direction was funny as some houses got fully burnt while the others next to it stood as good as new). The omens were not entirely good but can anything stop a determined traveler? I booked a 4 star hotel only ... read more
Cape Nature Reserve
Blood red orange juice

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Boulders Beach December 22nd 2018

After another excellent breakfast we headed to Muizenberg Beach. Hugely popular even on this grey Friday. The colourful bathing boxes and white sand with long rolling waves are probably more impressive on a better day (and to someone who hasn't always lived near the world's greatest beaches). Heading back around False Bay we stopped at Kalk Bay where we enjoyed a Devonshire Tea by the train line in an old carriage - Expresso 73. Strolled along the foreshore to the harbour where the fish market encourages a couple of seals to hang about. There is also a mini light house. Lots of little shops to explore if you're into that and Ice Cafe has a huge assortment of flavors and the steamy heat meant a double scoop didn't seem ott. Fishoek and St James are also ... read more
Kalk Bay
Slangkop lighthouse. Kommertjie

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape of Good Hope December 21st 2018

Driving south from Simon's Town the entry to the Good Hope Reserve section of Table Mountain National Park is just over half hour and costs non-residents ZAR303. We spent the entire day exploring the park and could have spent more - walking trails, spectacular views, wildlife spotting, delicious food, historical sites. Platboom Road past Dias Cross gave us sweeping vistas along the coastline with no other soul in sight. The south western most point was obviously a must do stop for all tourists, they jump out take a photo at the Cape of Good Hope sign and head off. We explored the rocky beach, climbed the track to get a view from above and spotted seals, terns, lizards and a snake. We also took a photos at the sign 😊. We then headed up to the ... read more
The Cape
Seals,  cormorants,  gulls.
These guys are everywhere.

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape December 20th 2018

South African airlines was comfortable and efficient. I watched some movies I hadn't seen and Wayne didn't snore too loud. Arrived in Johannesburg around 5am. Transfer to domestic no problem. Wayne had a chat to a guy from Perth while I grabbed a coffee, momentarily taken aback at the 28 on the till until i remembered that the exchange means that was a $2.80 coffee and it was good. Got to Cape Town about 9. So glad I grabbed a sim card at the airport cheap and easy (MTN) and allowed me to get a blog started, make calls and use GPS. Probably won't do that in other countries but we are in SA for over a week and I need to ease in to not being as "connected" as I'm used to. Once we finally ... read more
Boulder Bay

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town December 17th 2018

We have basically changed our residence each month for the last seven-plus years. That has usually involved renting an apartment in some part of a city in a far away country that we have never been to before. We do our research, learn what we can and then hope for the best. We try to make sure we have access to groceries, money and public transit if we aren't traveling in our own vehicle. The internet has made our reliance on third parties minimal. We have our favorite sites and use them to help us make the best decisions we can. Because we change venues so often there are time limitations to our research. Our budget sometimes forces us to make a few compromises that people with more money might be able to avoid but these ... read more
Muizenberg Beach Huts
Bloubergstrand Beach
Abbey Road

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape October 31st 2018

Day 35, continued Friday 26th October The Jazz in the Crypt was quite fun. Not overly busy, around 30 of us in that night. There was a 4 piece, led by a trumpeter, with a bass guitarist, piano/keyboards, drummer. Some classics, some original material but nothing too outlandish - except maybe for the rat that Paul disturbed then cornered as he passed the kitchens on the way to the toilet! Day 36 Some of you will be, like us, of an age whereby you will remember the news about the world's first heart transplant. The hospital where that took place, Groote Schuur, has given over the operating room and some surrounding rooms to a museum celebrating that achievement. On 3rd December, 1967, Denise Darvall was fatally injured in a car accident close by the hospital. Dr ... read more
Heart transplant operating theatre

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape October 26th 2018

When looking at what to expect in Cape Town at this time of year our research told us that on average temperatures should be in the lower 20°Cs, that is around 10+° less than we had had in the Eastern Cape / Johannesburg. But that's a problem with averages isn't it as we sit here sweltering in the mid to upper 30°s under cloudless skies. Including the day we discharged ourselves from our final night at our Explore hotel we have 8 full days to enjoy Cape Town and its surroundings. Some things are obvious - Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, V&A Waterfront - so we can pace ourselves. Day 32 Tuesday 23 October It was only a very short walk around the corner to our private hostel room, our stay for the next 8 nights. First ... read more
Borrowed from Coventry
How do you clean a giraffe?

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Hermanus October 3rd 2018

While the big city offers many wonderful distractions and learnings, the more subtle countryside and smaller towns along the coast have a charm all their own….especially when your interests are being on the lookout out for those magnificent sea creatures, the whale. They are an amazing to behold on the Western Cape, as the Southern Right Whales return each year to the bays south of Cape Town to the delight of many. The females are spotted with their young calves and you easily become captivated by their presence. The town of Hermanus, located some two hours south of Cape Town afforded us the opportunity to see some of the best land-based whale watching possible…..from our balcony no less! Our room overlooked Walker Bay and it was immediately apparent why this area has its reputation. No sooner ... read more
Yummy prawns
Beautiful Cape Fur Seals
Hoping for sharks

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town September 29th 2018

As a bit of background, this is part of a very special trip as we are celebrating MJ’s milestone birthday (albeit a couple of years late). As a result, we’ve gone and made it even more special than some of our others. We enjoy using a travel agent to assist us when traveling as they have a wealth of knowledge we’ve never been able to glean from other sources. Angeline, who was our travel agent for many years and seemed like a good friend, ran off and retired. We are happy for her but will continue to needle her about her retirement. Nadia our new travel agent lives in Seattle but South Africa was her home during her youth. We had brunch with her in Seattle not long ago to discuss this trip and as luck ... read more
Weather moving into Cape Town
African Dancing

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