Cape Town

The Garden Route by Leanne

It’s hard to know where to start with the highlights of this trip because there was too many to mention!

But here goes…

 

After a stress-free Emirates flight to Port Elizabeth, we were met by our guide who took us to our first accommodation – 4* plus Kariega Ukohzi Game Lodge. Our accommodation was a luxury safari lodge suite (have a peek on Google, the rooms are stunning).

The following day we were up before sunrise (04:45!) and off on our first game drive, we were so lucky to actually see Lions, Wildebeest, Elephant, Rhinos, Giraffes, Buffalos, antelope and many more beautiful animals. We also did a river trip to see the Hippos in their natural habitat. Our accommodation was a luxury safari lodge suite.

After 4 nights in Kariega, we were picked up by our guide who took us to pick up our hire car ready to go on the rest of our journey. We had a lovely scenic drive from Port Elizabeth to Plattenberg Bay which took 3 Hours which included a couple of leisurely stops to admire the views.

Plattenberg Bay is a picturesque beach resort renowned for its many fish restaurants and beautiful scenery. We spent two nights at the Hog Hollow Hotel, we enjoyed walking the Robberg Peninsula and visited the Birds of Eden Sanctuary.

Oudtshoorn was our next stop which was a 2.5-hour drive from Plattenberg here we enjoyed visiting the Cango Caves and an Ostrich Farm which Oudsthoorn is famous for. I found out an Ostrich egg would hold 28 Chicken eggs inside!  Poor mother Ostrich! We enjoyed 1 Night here as this was enough time to experience the area and was also great stop off point on our way to Franschhoek.

The following day was our longest drive we did on our whole trip. The journey took us through small towns such as Ladismith, Robertson, Worcester which were so nice to call at, have a coffee and a wander around. The Scenery was also incredible as we drove through mountain ranges.

On arrival in Franschhoek our first impressions were of a Colonial Town with lovely Georgian buildings. Our guesthouse for the next couple of nights was the Maison Chablis staff here were so helpful and friendly giving many recommendations of places to visit and eat. They could not have done anymore to make our stay any more enjoyable. Franschhoek is well known for being in the wine region of South Africa and off course we had to sample many different tipples to find our preferred one! On our second day here, we had an early breakfast and ventured off on the Wine Tram which I thought was one of the best ways to experience the vineyard’s, breath-taking scenery and world class cuisine. Our First 6 wines were sampled by 10am ooppps! Franschhoek has a very laid-back feel about it, the streets were lined with cafes, shops and wine bars & it’s perfect if you like People watching and taking in the local atmosphere and ambience.

Our final stop was Cape Town, which we planned the whole itinerary around.  Obviously making sure we would be there for New Year Celebrations and equally important to witness Cockermouth’s very own Ben Stokes performing with the rest of the England Cricket Team at Newlands Cricket Ground; which we were there for two of the matches. Not sure if I’m a member of the BARMY ARMY yet but the atmosphere was amazing!

Our accommodation in Cape Town was the Victoria and Alfred Hotel which is directly on the V&A waterfront. The property was originally a warehouse dating back to early 1900’s still with many original features.

New Year’s Eve was an experience we will never forget.  Fireworks lit up the whole Waterfront and the party atmosphere was fantastic.

While we were here we hired a private driver for the full day which we took in Cape Point, Simonstown, Boulder Beach Penguins, Camps Bay.  We also did the trip to Robben Island in which an ex prisoner gave us a tour around and told us all about his experience of being an inmate and how they were treated and the education they received.

For anyone visiting Cape Town I would highly recommend the Red Sightseeing Buses these work out around £30 each for 2 days but you can access the main points of interest and also take you as far as Cape Point and there is an optional Wine Tours Bus too.We had planned to go up Table Mountain just our luck the only day it was full of cloud was that day. You need to keep time free to visit Table Mountain the cloud can come down within minutes and visibility is impossible.

Cape Town has something there for everyone whether you want shopping, beaches or history!

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