In The Western Cape: The Coast

In The Western Cape: The Coast

PhoebeGill141019002Look out point on Chapman’s Peak drive.

If there is one word to describe the coast line from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope it is breathtaking. There is so much life by the coast, people just tend to gravitate towards it. I recommend renting a car and exploring it for yourself! There is so much to see and lots of national parks. There are also lots of sports you can try, diving, kite boarding, surfing, cage and shark diving are big in this part of the world. There is also lots of tours, shark and whale watching included. These images only showcase a few of the points you can stop and take in this beautiful part of the world.

Happy Travels!PhoebeGill141019006 Sunrise Beach, Western Cape

PhoebeGill141019022Simons Town

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In Cape Town: Table Mountain

In Cape Town: Table Mountain

PhoebeGill141017007This has to be the most spectacular tourist attraction in a city I have ever been to. You can see it from all over the city. The peak is 1086 meters above sea level, has more species of flora on its hills than the entirety of the UK. The cableway takes no time at all and is quite fun really. The top of the mountain has a path to follow and gives you amazing views on each side.PhoebeGill141018023

There are lots of outdoor activities you can do on the mountain. I saw hikers and rock climbers on my trip. Bring water and a snack if you want to hike, again, it’s Africa, it gets hot!PhoebeGill141018021

The Dassie are the little creatures that live on the mountain and they are the cutest angriest looking animals are lovely. Don’t feed them or do anything weird as they do perch quite close to the wall.PhoebeGill141018008

Tips:

  1. There is a cloud that descends on the mountain, the table cloth that covers the peak. Which means there is no point on going up the mountain. There is also a really strong breeze that means the cableway will close. All of this said, when it is a clear fine day everyone wants to go up, whatever the time or day. It will be packed!
  2. Book online. Get your tickets so you can go into a separate line, that brings you straight to the cableway.
  3. Go early. Going up first and in the first cable car means you don’t have to wait. It’s much nicer. You also have the rest of the day to do what you please.

I very much recommend this if you can! It’s absolutely stunning.

Happy Travels!PhoebeGill141017020

In Cape Town: V&A Waterfront

In Cape Town: V&A Waterfront

I love this area of Cape Town so much. It has such a nice vibe. There are so many things to do, see and eat. It is just perfect on a hot summers day, eating outside and listening to a group sing and play their music.IMG_9395

What to Do:

  1. Walking around the harbour is a definite, there are so many restaurants and shops around you will never get bored.
  2. Go to the V&A shopping mall. There are so many shops, expensive to cheap, there really is a shop for every budget.
  3. Go to Market on the Wharf. This is the place if you love food, all types of well made, tasty and fresh food. Also great coffee in the Origin stand. So many amazing things are in this market. 100% recommend going for lunch there.
  4. Go to the Watershed shopping area. Next to Two Oceans Aquarium.  It’s got lots of different brands, clothes, trinkets, handmade, interesting objects. It is a really great place to go shopping!
  5. Two Oceans Aquarium. There is lots of different species, great exhibits and really lovely staff that are incredibly knowledgeable.
  6. There is also a Springbok museum, just incase you feel sporty.IMG_9396IMG_9386

The Waterfront is the stepping stone to go to Robbin Island, the prison that held Nelson Mandela. If you intend to do this trip allow a full day. On a good day this tour takes three to three and a half hours. If it is inclement than expect the trip to take five to five and a half. Tours sell out very quickly also so maybe book online when you think the weather will be nice.IMG_9394

This area really is lovely. It’s exactly what a harbour should be.

Happy Travels!

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In Cape Town: Signal Hill

In Cape Town: Signal Hill

PhoebeGill141016003If you want a panoramic view of this beautiful city I urge you to go to Signal Hill. It has free parking but it is limited so if it is a hot nice day or table mountain has queues lasting hours, there will be no spaces at all. From here you can get a view of Robben Island, the whole city and the beautiful mountains. It’s perfect.

Happy Travels!
PhoebeGill141016001

In Graskop: The Mountains

In Graskop: The Mountains

We took a day out of our 3 days in the area of Kruger to go to the mountains. Lots of driving, probably around 7 hours. The landscape just left of the Kruger park (nearest where I was staying) is just stunning! We visited God’s Window, Berlin Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, The Three Rondavels and we went to Pilgrams Rest for lunch.PhoebeGill141013088

God’s Window:

A really pleasant lookout point and walk. There is a walk up to rainforest terrain. The lookout point is 1829m above sea level so the air does get thinner as you go up. Keep that in mind. The view out is beautiful, green and luscious. It can get quite cloudy and you wont know until you are up there.

Berlin Falls:

80m waterfall that drops into a beautiful valley that looks out over the beautiful mountains of the area.PhoebeGill141013100

Bourke’s Luck Potholes:

This stunning point in the Blyde River Canyon has the most amazing erosion. Such a beautiful area, really recommend this site. Note, do not throw coins into the canyon, there are fish in the water and it’s not fair on them so just don’t.PhoebeGill141013081

The Three Rondavels:

Such beautiful mountains, these naturally shaped peaks are named after the three wives of Chief Mapjaneng. The three peaks are called such because they look decidedly like rondavels, the westernised version of the African-style hut.PhoebeGill141013096

Pilgrims Rest:

Pilgrims Rest is a town that has been kept the same since the gold rush days. It is quaint and has all the old stores and buildings that echo the dutch style. I was not a fan of this stop as, as soon as you get out of the car you get people walking up to you with boxes of stuff to sell, asking you to buy something. Also let it be known that when you park your car, it is washed even if you do not ask for it, so I would make it known to the people sitting near by that you do not want it. It’s tough because this is how people make their money but it is quite the bombardment. Lunch was had in one of the buildings, the few that were open were buffet style which looked quite bad. We chose the menu and I had a toasty that took 45 minutes to make but it was edible after a morning of exploring.

This area is stunning! I really recommend you explore, it is so beautiful. The mountains always are.

Happy Travels!

In South Africa: Kruger National Park

In South Africa: Kruger National Park

I have wanted to go to Kruger National Park for so many years. It has been on my bucket list to go on safari and ever since I watched The Wild Thornberrys I have wanted to see wild animals in Africa (also to talk to them but I don’t think I can achieve this). It has been a dream of mine for about 16 years.PhoebeGill141014048

The flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit is thirty five minutes, very quick flight, you even get a carton of juice and a pastry, what more could you want.

Kruger about the size of Wales, so there is a lot of terrain you can cover and lots of gates you can enter and exit. You can go wherever as long as you are out of the park on time.

We stayed right next to the Paul Kruger Gate. A fantastic location, it is amazing as you are driving down the road you see wildebeest or zebra, it’s amazing. There is a bridge right in front of the Paul Kruger gate over the Sabie river. Before you even get into the park you can find wildlife on the river. The first animal we saw was an elephant in the tall grass.PhoebeGill141014029

We had a Jeep so we were able to go on the dirt roads, we generally stayed along the Sabie, I am very glad we did. Naturally animals go to water, so it is very likely you will see everything you want to see.

We went on three drives. First when we arrived at our hotel so around 2pm. One 5:30am – 9:30am and 1pm – 5:45. All amazing.PhoebeGill141014155-2

Tips:

  1. Look at previous sightings, there is a facebook and twitter page dedicated to what people see in the park. https://twitter.com/latestkruger Know where the animals are so you have a better shot at seeing them.
  2. Get a map, know where you are and how you can get back, don’t get stuck in the park.
  3. Bring suncream and sunglasses, you have no idea about the wind whipping you will get sitting in the back of a car and also the wind in your eyes for three hours is painful. Sun is hot, it’s africa.
  4. Get up early. I mean really early. Morning time is incredible in Kruger.
  5. If you see an elephant in the middle of the road. Back up. Elephants can be aggressive, they have killed people before. I am not sure about Rhino or Hippo but again these animals can be aggressive so be careful. Reverse is your friend, do it.
  6. Look in the trees! You never know what you could spot.PhoebeGill141014032-3

Animals I saw:

  1. Elephants (Probably around 90 in the total three drives)
  2. Black Rhino
  3. White Rhino
  4. Hippo
  5. Buffaloes
  6. Vervet Monkeys
  7. Chacma Baboons
  8. Giraffe
  9. Wildebeest
  10. Impala
  11. Greater Kudu
  12. Hyena
  13. Zebra
  14. Lilac Breasted Roller
  15. Sable
  16. Springbok
  17. Yellow Billed Hornbill
  18. Warthog
  19. Water Monitor
  20. Crocodile
  21. African Fish Eagle
  22. Martial Eagle
  23. Egyptian Goose
  24. Mongoose
  25. Bush Baby
  26. BatsPhoebeGill141014171

Some of my favourite moments:

  1. Zebra walking past our room. They were just grazing outside the window…amazing.
  2. Sitting in between a herd of elephants; they were at the river, females and calfs. We just turned off the car, rolled down the windows and watched these beautiful amazing creatures drink, eat and play. Absolutely amazing to watch such an amazing family dynamic.
  3. A whole herd of elephants coming up behind us at sunset. Absolutely amazing they were walking beside the river and we drove along beside them until they decided to walk on the road behind us. Incredible moment.
  4. A whole herd of buffaloes crossing the road causing a traffic jam.
  5. Coming across a huge beautiful black rhino. Just amazing.
  6. Watching a hippo cross the road. She decided she wanted to go to the other side of the river so right on the bridge, where everyone drives in and out, she just pottered across the road. It was just incredible.
  7. Lightening storm at dinner, sitting listening to the thunderous air and flashes of lightening.
  8. Watching bush babies at dinner.PhoebeGill141014069-4

Kruger is my disneyland. It is the happiest place on earth. If you take the 11 hour flight to Johannesburg and you don’t go to Kruger you are a fool. This place is just amazing and I can’t wait to go back.

Happy Travels!