Senior Adventure Travel Consultant Charlotte discovered the beautiful mountain ranges and lush vineyards of South Africa on our Cape Escape trip – we sat down with her to hear all about it.
“We were absolutely winning with wildlife at the Botlierskop Reserve – we saw sleepy and contented lions, all the ‘boks – including springbok, eland and kudu - rhino, zebra, playful wildebeest, ostriches standing on the trails and some very naughty elephants. The dad was using its baby to push over the fence so that they could all escape. Our guide absolutely made the experience – his knowledge was incredible and we were lucky enough to spot rare birds such as a blue crane.
Our 2 days in Cape Town were busy so I’d recommend an extra day or 2 here before the trip starts. For me the penguins at Boulder’s Bay we completely unexpected – I’d only ever thought of penguins living in cold places. So to see them on the beach and in the bushes on the walk down was surreal – even more so when they shed their feathers in one shake and a ‘poof’! We also took a boat out to Seal Island where they were all bundled on top of each other.
This holiday seemed to be filled with unexpected wildlife. At Cape Point Nature Reserve we took the funicular and then we were joined by wild baboons – they looked like they were playing up for the camera, grooming each other and one even stealing a coffee cup. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens were a welcome retreat and relaxing to wander around with a local guide – I’d definitely recommend this if you get the chance.
You can’t go to South Africa without sampling its famous wines, which we did in Stellenbosch. The vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see and are incredibly lush and green – much like the rest of the landscapes we witnessed along the trip. We luckily had a trained sommelier actually on the trip who added extra knowledge to the tasting and the wine went down extremely well.
This trip is really varied which is evident when you get to places like (little France) and Hermanus. The European influence is apparent in the architecture as well as the alfresco ‘coffee shop’ culture. From the colourful jacaranda plants in Franschhoek to dangling our feet in the pool while sipping our drinks after whale watching in the day at Hermanus we really enjoyed the time we had in each.”