South Africa

I love travelling, a little too much! I’m already planning next years summer holidays, even though we said we’d take a year out!! I came across our itinerary for the South Africa trip we did a few years ago (with a 6 month old) and I thought someone might find it useful. The route was great – we went to Joburg first of all and then we did the Garden Route down to Cape Town. South Africa is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.. it’s absolutely amazing! Accommodation and food is so cheap, £7.00 for a three course meal and cocktails are £2.00! However, the closer you get to Cape Town the more expensive it gets! Below I have literally copied and pasted my planning from before we went, we didn’t end up doing all of the activities, so I have just ‘italics’ the ones we did actually do! We also did more activities once we got there, but of course I’ve forgotten some of the places. I, however, like having a basic plan and accommodation booked and then work around that! Just to note, we stayed in decent accommodation but definitely not fancy fancy places – apart from the safari!! I’ve also written a few comments down the side from what I can remember 🙂

Any questions feel free to get in touch!

Love
Kate xxx

Date

Location

Accommodation

Things to do

Comments

11th Dec 2014

08:20 departure from Dublin

Get the lounge pass – as there is unlimited food/drink. Free wifi and a shower to freshen up in between flights.

12th Dec 2014

Arrive Joburg at 08:40

Family

Relax/Swim

There’s no jet lag as there’s only 1/2 hours difference.

13th Dec 2014

Family

Soweto and Apartheid Tour

http://www.sowetoguidedtours.co.za/contact-us.html

This tour is definitely recommended – it took in the shanti towns and the Nelson Mandela Museum.

14th Dec 2014

Family

Mangwanani Spa 

A really good/reasonably priced all day spa.

15th Dec 2014

Pilanesburg

Ivory Tree 

This place is a little more expensive but sooo amazing! Food is all inclusive – there is an outdoor shower (ha!) and the safaris are just out of this world! You also don’t need any vaccinations at this safari either.

16th Dec 2014

Ivory Tree

We also visited Sun City resort when we were here – it has a swimming pool, crocodile farm, rides etc.. 

17th Dec 2014

Fly to Port Elizabeth

Tsitsikamma Village Inn (£104)

Fifth Avenue Tours

Not the most amazing place to stay but central to everything.

18th Dec 2014

Tsitsikamma Village Inn

Tsitsikamma

Storm River Suspension Bridge

Tsitsikamma National Park is so beautiful – and so nice to go and have a picnic at and a swim in the sea.

We also did the tree tops – which is zip lining through the forest.

http://www.untouchedadventures.com

19th Dec 2014

Knysna

Candlewood Lodge

Robberg Nature Reserve for walks and scenery

This accommodation again was okay, clean and inexpensive, breakfast included. 

20th Dec 2014

Knysna

Candlewood Lodge

Meerkat Adventures – de Zeekoe Reserve

Cango Caves

Bella Mia Pottery

Ostrich Farm

Rust & Vrede Waterfall

Cango Wildlife Ranch

Wilgewandel Hol Farm

From Knysa we travelled to Oudtshoorn and did the Cango Caves – worthwhile seeing, and the Cango Wildlife Ranch – we ate ostrich here! You can also ride an Ostrich at the Ostrich farm.. which we didn’t do.

http://www.oudtshoorn.com/oudtshoorn/dokumente/brosjure/

Dinner at Olive Tree – YUM! However, all food is sooo good and sooo cheap! It’s honestly so, so fresh and every meal we had was delicious.

21st Dec 2014

Hermanus

Abalone £225

Mosselbay 

This is a beautiful hotel.. definitely recommend!!

22nd Dec 2014

Hermanus

Abalone

Whale watching

White Shark Diving at Gaansbaii 

Depending on season you can watch the whales .. we didn’t see any!

23rd Dec 2014

Stellenbosch

Spier Hotel (£75)

This is an amazing hotel….. definitely recommend!! Lots of wine tours here and the scenery is fab!

24th Dec 2014

Cape Town

At V&A Waterfront

Cape Town is so beautiful, and I felt very at home! Christmas isn’t commercialised which is actually lovely, we barely saw a Christmas tree up and on Christmas Day everyone was outside eating and drinking and just loving life!

25th Dec 2014

Cape Town

City Lodge Pinelands

Table mountain

Aerial Cableway

Hop on hop off bus 

PorcupineCeramincs

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

26th Dec 2014

Cape Town

Cape Point

Lions Head

Robyn Island

27th Dec 2014

Cape Town

Signal Hill

The castle of good hope

District 6 museum

Abseil Africa/Cape of Good Hope

28th Dec 2014

Fly to Joburg

It was cheaper for us to fly back to Joburg than to fly from Cape Town .. a bit of a pain but was grand, and I was just so excited to have seen SA!

29th Dec 2014

20:30 leave Joburg

30th December 2014

13:40 arrive in Dublin

Filled Under : Blog , General

South Africa Christmas 2014

There are a few things I love in life, apart from the obvious, which are travelling and nice food. I think the travelling came from working every summer from the age of 14, and good food probably because I can barely boil an egg. So this Christmas, as Daisy is under 2 and free to fly, I convinced my husband to go to South Africa. He pretends to put up a good fight, but he loves holidaying just as much as I do.

Chris has family in Joannesburg so we headed there first of all, did a spa day and a tour, taking in the Apartheid museums and Soweto. Someone described Joburg as a third world and first world country rolled into one, as you drive by a huge American style shopping mall and then a mile down the road there’s a huge squatter camp were thousands of people live. It also took me a little while to get used to the multitude of people, that’s probably just because I live in little old Northern Ireland.

We visited a huge African Market in Cameleon Village. This is a funny place, as it’s tens of stalls all selling the same thing and saying the same thing (free to look, what’s your name, sell you at a good price). Then when you ask the price of a pen they’ll say – £100, which is actually 1790 rand (I still can’t get used to the currency). And it’s only for a pen, so you have to barter them down to something realistic! We bought a few pressies – everyone loves a stone hippo and elephant, right? And a picture for our new house, no idea where it’s going.. But it’s going somewhere. We then headed to Pilanesburg for our safari, which was just amazing, the accommodation, the food and of course the animals. We saw lions eating a zebra then walking in front of our jeep, rhinos, hippos, cheetahs, elephants, a jane of giraffes (my new question at a pub quiz.. What do you call a group of giraffes… A jane!) It was unbelievable! We also went to Sun City, which is just like a big amusement park, with water parks, a maze etc. Here, we went to the crocodile park, which Chris had visited 14 years ago. I found it really interesting, they can live over a hundred years, males look after about 30 females, the temperature of the eggs when they’re born determine the sex. However, the best/worst part is, that at the end they asked if we’d like to hold a baby crocodile. There were girls kissing them (their mouths were taped shut), Chris held one and I’m usually not scared of anything like that but for some reason this time I was petrified. So held one quickly, Chris took a quick snap (get it!) and I handed him back but the tour guide obviously saw I was scared so decided to entice the crocodile and poked it. This is when the crocodile started whipping it’s tail, and snapping, so I did what every scared person would do… Threw the crocodile at him. I promise this was just a knee jerk reaction .. Everyone around looked at me in disbelief and all I could do was laugh with embarrassment and get out of there as quickly as possible!

We then flew to Port Elizabeth, stayed at Storms River, and did the largest zip line through the forest and went to Tsitsikamma National Park, which is just amazing!! So beautiful, we went expecting to do a quick 20 min walk and ended up staying for hours.

Next on the list was Kynsna, although if I was to stay again, I’d stay in Plettenburg Bay, which had a great vibe and right by the beach. We did a day trip to Oudshorn to Cango Caves and Cango Wildlife Centre. Here I tried Ostrich, yummy.

Up and off again to Hermanus, this was a quaint little place, with not a lot to do apart from beaches and the worlds best pizza (according to Chris) Debonairs. Most people go to Hermanus for whale watching, and shark cave diving.. we missed the whale watching season and I wasn’t brave enough to do the shark cage diving as only one of us could do it .. And what if they forgot you were down there?!

Penultimately we arrived at Stellenbosch, we had a fab hotel here, Spier Hotel and Stellenbosch itself is lovely – it’s a lovely university town. A few days by the pool and visiting the wine farms.

Finally, Cape Town, my o my, it was busy. As well as all the tourists, all of South Africa apparently come on holiday to Cape Town at Christmas. I can’t really portray how busy it was, 2-3 hour queues to do anything. So we decided not to fight it, just go with the flow, eat good food, shop and soak up the atmosphere! They had an amazing craft and retail market, the Water Shed and a Food Market. It was all so modern and really great! We did the hop on, hop off bus, Table Mountain. If I was to go back, I’d also do Cape of Good Hope and Simons Town.

Daisy was great, although most referred to her as a boy, despite her pink clothes, pink blanket and pink pram. So much so that when we went to the beach one day, Daisy in her pink wetsuit, sitting in her pink pram, one man helped us down the steps and asked his name. When we said Daisy, he said “Aw Dessy, I’m called Desmond and sometimes also get Dessy”. In the restaurants I’ve lost count the number of waitresses who asked to hold little Dessy and even picked her up and walked away with her!! Thankfully she’s still safely in our care!

That’s our hol in a nutshell, if anyone is thinking of holidaying there and would like anymore info just drop me an email! I still haven’t downloaded any pics from my camera, at the moment I definitely need more hours in the day, so here are just a few of us from my phone 🙂

Love Kate
xxx

B04E4451-3655-43C4-A5D8-E21BC23353B3-2

6C12CA53-D692-4DE9-9299-9A6BE1F621D7

A8178577-C9C5-4444-8036-C595232AF1CB

2EE34ED0-D81E-420F-9257-9C394DE6F657
289DE8E5-4F13-4930-BE68-42FD59E03D75
BB4BDB50-901B-4083-A5DA-D1DD1471A48F-2

Filled Under : Blog


1st Floor, The Georgian House, 14 The Square, Comber, Co. Down, BT23 5DT, N. Ireland