With my travel approved, my flight booked, and my safari booked. I am starting to get very excited for September. I’ll be spending 3 weeks in South Africa touring the coast. I have been planning this trip since January or maybe even December now. This will most likely be the biggest vacation I ever take. That is unless I decide after my service to take a couple months off and backpack around. In all likelihood, the idea of Christmas at home will probably trump a vacation.
So anyway, I thought I would share my plans with you. Just in case you are planning a trip to South Africa and need some inspiration. Plus, from what I heard Cape Town is a fantastic city and I might never want to leave – so you might be coming to South Africa anyway.
(I’ll mention the hostels I am staying at, hopefully I will actually get to stay at the ones I pick out – but they might change.)
Fly out of Accra for Johannesburg, overnight flight. Get in morning time, go through customs, and hang out before my flight to Cape Town. I get into Cape Town around noon. I’ll take a car or a shuttle to my hostel – the Backpacker.
I’ll hang out in Cape Town for a couple of days. I’m not sure what I’ll do there yet, besides eat lots and lots of glorious food. And cheese. I have the Rough Guide to Cape Town so I will see what is recommended.
Then I move on to Stellenbosch. Just outside of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is in the Wine Region. I’ll go on some wine tours and eat more wonderful food. I’ll stay at the iKhaya backpacker.
Then I head to Hermanus for three full days. One day I will do a full day Great White Shark Cage Diving experience – so excited for that. Another day I will go on some Whale Watching tours and see what else is around. AND I didn’t realize this until now but I planned it right and I will be there for the Whale Watching Festival! Score. I’ll hopefully stay at the Hermanus Backpackers.
Next I head to Jeffrey’s Bay. Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the top three surf spots in the WORLD. I don’t surf, I’m from Oklahoma, but I will probably take a lesson. Maybe go horseback riding on the beach or just relax at the beach watching the surfers. Jeffrey’s Bay backpacker choice is the Island Vibe hostel which is on dune with 270 degree views of the ocean.
Onwards to Port Elizabeth. One day I will do a trip out to Addo National Park, which is famous for its citrus loving elephants and probably swing by the lion reserve to cuddle with some baby lion cubs. You can start the jealousy now. Next day is reserved for relaxing at the beach, maybe doing some shopping, and perhaps some penguins. Lions and elephants and penguins oh my! Port Elizabeth . I’ll stay at the Lungile backpacker.
Next is Durban. Durban is known for its glorious beaches, Indian culture, and giant waterpark. I’m only here for one full day, so I’ll have to decide between far too many options. Indian food is a def must though. Durban will be the Happy Hippo Backpacker
Next stop is Johannesburg. I’m only here for half a day before I depart for my 5 day safari.
I’m going with Viva Safaris and staying at Marc’s Treehouse. Yes, I will be staying in a treehouse while I am on a 5 day safari. Even I can’t believe how cool that is. And they gave me a discount for being a Peace Corps Volunteer!
Prepare for a long description of the safari:
DAY ONE : Pick up from your hotel in Gauteng or Johannesburg Airport and travel via the highveld grasslands to the subtropical Lowveld. At Tremisana Game Lodge in the Balule section of the Kruger National Park, unwind at the bar, enjoy a refreshing dip in our pool and relax in the beautiful tropical gardens. Board an open Landcruiser for a 3h Sunset Drive, your first opportunity to experience the varied fauna and flora of Africa. Watch the magnificent African sunset and, after dark, use spotlights to locate nocturnal animals. Dinner in the boma will be a traditional South African meal.
DAY TWO : At sunrise drive to a remote spot to enjoy a 4h Bush Walk. Your ranger will lead you through the bush at a pace you can handle. The thrill of following big animals will remain with you forever. Adrenalin surges will be acute, even if your ranger is adequately armed. Return to Tremisana for brunch. At around 14h30 we enjoy an afternoon game drive. Transfer to Marc’s Treehouse Lodge where accommodation is in romantic and fascinating treehouses. Dinner in the open Boma.
DAY THREE : Drive to the Orpen Gate of Kruger on a custom-built open-sided Gameviewer. You will have an opportunity to view game without intervening glass windows and also listen to and smell the denizens of the bush. We have regular stops at picnic spots, restcamps and places of interest. The Orpen-Satara-Nwanedzi region’s open plains attract large herds of zebra, giraffe and antelope, that, in turn, attract many predators. In fact this zone has the highest concentration of lions in Africa.
DAY FOUR : After breakfast, we travel to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre for injured and orphaned animals and birds. You will have an opportunity to get close and personal to some of the residents, including lions and leopards. After lunch at the Cheetah Inn, you drive to Tremisana. At around 17h00, we enjoy an open vehicle game drive in the Balule Game Reserve, home to numerous animals including the elusive Black Rhino.
DAY FIVE : Enjoy a Sunrise Walk. After breakfast, drive via the Panorama Route to see the scenic splendours including the Three Rondawels and the Blyde River Canyon. We return to Gauteng in the late afternoon.
Sounds amazing, I can’t wait. That is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. If at anytime during this vacation I get mauled by a lion or chomped on by a shark, it will have been so worth it.
So my last day I will spend in Johannesburg, hopefully avoiding crime. I will probably just eat and maybe go to the mall there. The next day I fly out of Johannesburg for Accra in the late afternoon. That still gives me plenty of time to eat my heart out and enjoy the comforts of a nice airport.
Kinda crazy that I am equally excited about the airport as I am the comforts of civilization. I sure hope there is some kind of fast food available.
There you have it my fabulous vacation to South Africa.