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Travelers in South Africa

  • Querk
    Johannesburg 4h
    Traveled in 17 countries
  • Sophia Harzenmoser
    Wanderung auf den Tafelberg 3 17h
    Traveled in 2 countries
  • Jojo Swarley
    Third Beach - Port St Johns 1d
    Traveled in 3 countries
  • kirasopa
    Über die Grrenze 1d
    Traveled in 7 countries

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  • Seit Donnerstag, 06.10. bin ich mit Nomad Adventure Tours auf einer 3-wöchigen Zelt-Tour von Kapstadt, Südafrika über Namibia, Botswana, Simbabwe bis zu den Viktoriafällen in Simbabwe/Sambia.

    Wir sind eine 21-köpfige, bunt gemischte Gruppe von Mitte 20 bis hin zum Rentenalter; aus 7 Ländern und 5 Kontinenten (Deutschland, Niederlande, Großbritannien, USA, Brasilien, Australien und Japan) und damit 5 verschiedenen Sprachen.
    -->"Man muss mit Leuten reden, die nicht aus der eigenen Altersgruppe, Kultur und Sprachen kommen".
    Dazu kommen natürlich noch unser Guide Preston und LKW-Fahrer Tank aus Südafrika und natürlich die wichtigste überhaupt: unser Truck Sammy, die uns über sämtlichste afrikanischen Straßen und mehr als 5000km transportieren wird und das mit hoffentlich nicht allzu vielen Plannen (eine hatten wir schon am 3. Tag ;))
    -->"Absolute Abenteuertour, heißt auch: tagelang ohne WLAN, Zivilisation und jeglichen Luxus; dafür aber jeder Menge Spaß, toller Geschichten, Lagerfeuer und Zelten inmitten traumhafter Natur, Tieren und unter unglaublichen Sternenhimmeln.

    Oh und übrigens:
    Das ist Afrika - unberechenbar und in erster Linie vor allem auch unfassbar kalt :P

    I have just started a 3 week's trip with Nomad Adventure Tours last Thursday, 06.10. This trip is going all the way from Cape Town, South Africa via Namibia, Botsuana, Zimbabwe up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe/Zambia.

    We are 21 people from all ages (mid twenties to retirement age); 7 countries and 5 continents (Germany, Netherlands, UK, USA, Brazil, Australia and Japan) and thus 5 languages.
    -->"You should talk to people who are not your age, come from a different culture and don't speak your language."
    Additionally there are our tour guide Preston and truck driver Tank from South Africa and of course most important at all: our truck Sammy which will get us through all these really bumpy roller-coaster African roads and that with as less breakdowns as possible (one of which we already had the 3rd day ;))
    --> "Real adventure tour, basically meaning: days without WiFi, civilization and any luxury; but for sure with a lot of fun, awesome stories, bonfires and camping within beautiful nature, wildlife and breathtaking skies full of stars.

    Oh and by the way:
    So this is Africa - challenging and first of all also pretty cold :P
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  • We made it to Cape Town! Check out the view from our airbnb; pretty awesome, hey? Our plans are starting to come together for the week. We will miss Nick's mom and Scott who unfortunately had to cancel their plans to join us here, but we are going to make the most of the week by doing tourist activities and visiting Rachel's friends and former host family.

  • Day #3. When you realize you can't possibly have all the fun you want to have in a place the natural thing is to just get out of town and see if you can find something else to take your mind off of all you are missing. :-) So it was with the last day of our stay in Cape Town. We took a trip to the Cape of Good Hope (in the background of Nancy's picture below) and while down there we stopped and saw a penguin colony, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens we have ever seen and lovely little coastal towns that dot the coast along the entire Atlantic seaboard until the mountains finally just could not allow any more development. We got home just in time to check out of the country and grab a drink (or three) and watch the captain maneuver us out of the little port.
    It was truly a remarkable experience and before the trip if you would have told me that the one city, more then any other, that I would want to come back to for a longer visit would be Cape Town, South Africa I would have laughed at you. But funny things happen when you travel around the world and you realize that many of your preconceived notions are just plain wrong. It is what makes traveling fun and certainly will make our next visit to Cape Town even more fun. Now we are off to Namibia. Not something I would have ever really thought I would have ever said. :-)
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  • Having already spotted the Big 5, the last drive was for bonus points. Unlike the previous 2 drives, this one did not start slow. Right off the bat, a tower of giraffes. Shortly thereafter, a small dazzle of zebras. Then more giraffes! And not far from them, we saw four juvenile giraffes that seemed to be more aware of us than their taller family members. They stood as still as possible, mimicking the nearby trees, in an attempt to not be seen.

    We drove on and found a large herd of wildebeest. The group included baby wildebeest which are a lot cuter than the adults. One female looked uncomfortably pregnant; our guide said she could give birth that day.

    Not far from the wildebeest, a mama and baby rhino were feasting on grass. It was a day of babies! The baby rhino was only beginning to get one of her nose horns. We were lucky enough to hear her whine to her mom that she wanted milk. Her mom ignored her initially but eventually stopped eating and allowed the baby to get what she wanted. As put by the lady Brit, the experience was delightful.

    Next up, we saw a very large dazzle of zebras which were joined by waterbucks. Waterbucks and wildebeest frequently tag along with the zebras due to their kicking prowess versus the apex predators. Then we approached a watering hole with more rhinos and some marabou stork - the ugly birds seen in the Lion King. That meant we also saw all the Ugly 5: hyena, wildebeest, warthog, hippopotamus, and marabou stork!

    Finally, we reconnected with the male leopard from the previous day who was out for his morning stroll. After the customary coffee break, it was time to head back to the lodge for breakfast and packing. We thoroughly enjoyed our first safari experience at Notten's: the staff was absolutely fantastic and we saw more wildlife than we imagined.

    Our safari driver Geoffrey took us to Nelspruit for a quick flight to Durban. The most exciting part was Rainer struggling with driving on the left hand side. We checked in at the Southern Sun Elengani hotel on Durban's Golden Mile directly on the Indian Ocean.
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  • Another day, another early morning wakeup. Sina, Brittany and Nico woke up at 6:30 am to get an early start on hiking up Table Mountain. The bay was surrounded by thick fog in the morning but we weren't deterred as it can quickly change. We parked the car at the level of the lower cable car station and walked along the road for ~1 km to get to the trailhead. Even by the time we started the hike, fog had cleared out and we were greeted with spectacular views right off the bat. The hike itself was no joke. The rock steps went essentialy straight up the mountain. There were lots of plants along the path, part of the Cape's diverse floral kingdoms. We made it to the top in 1h40m, under the quoted 2-3 hour duration but significantly slower than 45 minutes by a local guy training for a marathon who passed us near the end. It was quite grueling but well worth the effort when we reached the platueau. Fog still hung low over the Camps Bay side and made for great pictures while the city, harbor and Lions Head views were clear. We rode the cableway on the way down, but the experience would not have been the same without the hike. In our opinion, Table Mointain was rightly named as part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

    After a well-deserved shower and celebratory drink, we ventured to the Cape wine regions. A roughly 1 hour drive took us to the famous Vergelegen winery for some wine tasting. The second winery, Uva Mira, was located several hundred feet up the mountain side and featured spectacular views of the valley and ocean. The wine was also very good.

    We ate dinner in the town of Stellenbosch. The small downtown area was filled with unique restaurants and shops.
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  • Sina's wish before heading home was to enjoy the sun, beach, and lunch in the neighborhood of her future home, Camps Bay. Camps Bay sits on the backside of Table Mountain and has an incredible view of the Twelve Apostles and Lion's Head. It's a trendy area that attracts locals, tourists and celebrities alike... and would be a very easy place to move to! We had lunch at an Italian spot directly across from the beach and were not disappointed - the food, views, and service were excellent.

    While Sina was about to start her long trip home, we had Nico's dad drop us off in town so we could do a walking tour through Bo-Kaap, the Malay Quarter. Malaysians were brought to Cape Town as slaves 400 years ago. After slavery was abolished, most of the Malays settled in the area giving it its name. Bo-Kaap is located on Signal Hill with a view of the rest of town. With brightly colored houses lining the cobblestone streets, it makes for a very picturesque place. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the area and, as a trained photographer, made it more fun by pointing out photo-ops throughout the tour.

    We enjoyed a sundowner drink and dinner in the Table View Bay area. It had more of a local vibe and incredible views of Table Mountain, Lion's Head and Devil's Peak as the sun went down. It was the perfect way to end our trip in South Africa.
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  • Tsitsikamma National Park is really a nice place to stay at and also for hiking. I stayed in stormsriver village. Roughly 20 houses there but i loved the quietness. I also would recommend tsitrus Café for their lovely vintage or shaby schick (citation of swiss couple i met ☺) interior and for their tasty pizzas! Hiking to the waterfall was tougher than i thought but exciting.
    Highlight of my tour was my bungee jump at bloekrans bridge: 216m height! What can i say! I survived! 😂 besides that it was one of my most intense experiences i ever made in my life! People who always thought about doing bungee should include it in the South african tour! The staff did an outstanding job to give everyone a safe feeling but at the same try everything to make the jump an event with as little fear for anyone as possible!Read more

  • Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great weekend. I'm sure our regular readers will have noticed the delayed updates lately, but that's because we've been keeping busy having an excellent time in Cape Town! The city itself is beautiful, the cityside ocean and cliffs recalling San Francisco or Malibu. Everyone has been extremely friendly, we haven't had any concerns about safety, and in general the experience in the city has been amazing. Nick can see why Rachel loved it here :)

    Now, about today's title.... this afternoon we went to Boulders Beach in Simon's Town, otherwise known as a major breeding colony for African penguins! Nick had never seen such a large number up close (or in the wild), and it was such fun to watch them swim, fish, and generally waddle along cutely. Some pictures below!

    To round out our Sunday, we spent the morning hiking on the Cape of Good Hope, snapping some pictures at the historic lighthouse on Cape Point, and eating a fine lunch of fish and chips. Cheers!
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  • Sadly, our time here has come to an end. Cape Town is an amazing place, and Nick is falling in love with it in much the same way Rachel did eight-plus years earlier. The combination of the ocean, beaches, local scenery, people, amazing variety of things to do, history, and culture all add up to a place I'd imagine is as unique as any on earth.

    Monday was spent apart - Nick went cage diving with great white sharks, a bucket list item that was amazing and exhilarating despite the frigid Antarctic Ocean waters in which we were diving. Sadly, no pictures from this day, but plenty of sharks and plenty of memories. Rachel spent the afternoon and evening catching up with old friends before we leave, luncheoning and then sharing dinner with two different pairs of former UCT friends! It's been really enjoyable having so many wonderful people surrounding us here - it's the first place we've been in several months that felt a little bit like home :)

    Before we dropped our rental car back at the airport, we spent the day hiking, picnicking, and, yes, drinking atop Table Mountain, the giant, almost entirely flat mountain-plateau which rises above Cape Town and gives the city its shape. Not wanting to miss the view from the top (it's largely been cloudy while we've been here), we decided to skip the hike and ride the cable car to the top. With standing room for 65 and a rotating floor ensuring a 360-degree view, it's a pretty cool experience. The view from the top is truly spectacular, combining mountain and city and ocean better than anything I can remember. Check out the pics!
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  • We arrived in South Africa along the coast of the state of KwaZulu-Natal (or home of the Zulu people) in the little shipping port of Richards Bay. Not much going on in the town but just an hour or so out of town was the Hluhluwe-Omfolokie Game Reserve. A huge game reserve that is almost as old as Yosemite. The drive was great in that we saw some things we have not seen much of. Particularly the white rhino. We saw one initially as we came in the park and were all excited seeing it from several hundred feet away but over the course of the day we saw them walk past our jeep at about 10 feet with their little babies and just look at us like they were about to ram us. It was quite incredible how many and how close they came. We didn't get to see the elephants and lions but we had seen them before and the drive was worth it just for the rhinos. South Africa, for all it's history and problems, is much more modern and developed then some of the places we have been to in the past week. There seems to be some hope for a future that can "raise all boats" as the saying goes. We are taking a tour of a South African township that is given by the township itself when we get into the area around the eastern cape in a couple days. That should be interesting since we have all seen and heard about the townships as they related to violence and uprising against apartheid.Read more