South Africa 2019
My two week South Africa adventure was amazing! We began in Johannesburg and visited Lesedi Cultural Village which represents four of the five tribes in S. Africa. The Lion and Cheetah Park is located just five 5 min from Lesedi where we could hold and pet lion cubs in a large fenced area! The Rosebank Mall was great for shopping and food venues of all kinds, African Market (bartering a must!!!). A visit to Soweto & Apartheid Museum ( Nelson Mandela’s home after being imprisoned on Robbin Island) is not to be missed. The Apartheid Museum was humbling in every way - I can only compare it to the Holocaust Museum but that doesn’t begin to express it properly.
Our safari experience was in Pilanesberg – just a couple hours from Johannesburg and quite close to Sun City. The two night stay included lodging in a large tent with electricity – lights and fan. Each tent was equipped with two single beds with clean bedding, a warm Duve, night light, night stand, oscillating fan, towel for showering and extra fleece type blanket, two camp chairs outside tent on a small patio area. We did two safaris per day – early morning (6a – 9a) and late afternoon (3:30-630). We saw most of the Big 5 – with exception to the Hippo (heads only) and the Cheetahs. There was an abundance of Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Warthog, Impala, White Rhino, Kudu other small antelope type deer and Elephants of all sizes. Various birds, Hyenas and Jackal dotted the park from time to time. No Leopards but spotted a large pride of lions and cubs (3 months old) on our last day! That was the highlight.
The final leg of our itinerary was Capetown. This booming city is quite diverse. So many different cultures and races represented. We enjoyed Camps Bay, similar to a coastal beach town, with very expensive Cliffside homes, luxury cars and fabulous restaurants. We toured both Franschoek (famous wine tram) and Stellenbosch area wineries in this region! We hired a private driver who was from Zimbabwe but now a native Capetonian - very knowledgeable. We stayed in a private home on the cliffs of Camps Bay, east of Capetown. Located at the base of Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles (mountain ridges), with Lions Head behind us to our right. We did the cable car tour of Table Mountain (approx. $10 per adult). Robbin Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned) is a short 45 min ferry ride you pick up down in Harbor Town (marina area). Be sure to get the tickets in advance - sells out quickly. We were not able to get tickets until the day we left!