South Africa – Something new and amazing with each visit by Gabriele Scholes
I am so excited! Only a night flight away, and with no jetlag to worry about – I am in Johannesburg where it’s sunny of course, and as I dive into the pool, I forget all about the miserable January weather at home.
Contrary to popular belief, and horror stories about Johannesburg, I think it’s a great base to acclimatise: the lovely hotels, great restaurants and fabulous shopping get me into holiday mode!
Then I am ready for a road trip north to Madikwe at the border with Botswana for some fabulous game viewing. A few days of wonderful morning drives seeing all the big five (and lots of little ones too) our pleasure is only interrupted by a coffee or a snack break. Back at camp there’s time to relax at the pool or watch the water hole from a quiet vantage point. I was lucky to witness a big drama as the resident crocodile sits in the middle with his latest kill and all the other animals circle nervously. The Sundowner game drive is my favourite; apart from spotting animals, the driver always finds a fabulous spot to stop. On a table laid with chilled drinks, nuts, biltong etc we watch the sun set and have dinner under the starry skies.
Returning to the big city, we fly down to George to explore the beautiful Garden Route – another facet of South Africa. The Garden Route is one of the most famous and most beautiful drives in the world – there are wonderful places to stay, restaurants to try, coastlines to explore, woods to walk and small towns to discover. We take our time and drive via Oudsthoorn and through the Klein Karoo to the Winelands. This is paradise for a wine lover!
One beautiful estate after another, offering delicious wine tastings and sumptuous food too.
I especially love the area around Franschhoek, which is so picturesque and quaint.
Last but not least and always a highlight is Cape Town. Cape Town has it all! Stunning viewpoints from Table Mountain, great seafront areas and beaches, history (Nelson Mandela), and the waterfront – a mix of 5 star luxury hotels, shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars – and all at reasonable prices
The hardest thing is to leave; the only consolation is a promise to return soon….