In South Africa: My Experience Overall

This is going to be my masterpost on this stunning country, you will find links to all my posts scattered throughout.

Where do you start with trying to sum up South Africa? Firstly, the amount of wildlife and beautiful landscapes have meant that I have completely fallen in love with this country but there is so much more to South Africa. The people, the oceans, the wildlife, the landscapes, the things to do, it all adds up to make such a fantastic experience.

Johannesburg:

I have to be honest there is nothing about Johannesburg that stands out to me during my two day visit, we stayed in the Intercontinental, Sandton. I have to say after a 11 hour flight and almost 24 hours of travelling, the Intercontinental is fantastic. The staff are nothing but kind and chatty, they give you advice and are so respectful. The rooms are lovely, so comfortable and clean. The Sandton Mall is attached to the hotel and is a great place to shop, lots of different brands and retailers, supermarkets and a big food court.

I then went out of the city to go to the Cradle of Humankind which was great, loved the vistas and the open plains.

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Kruger, Mpumalanga:

This area of South Africa is just amazing from the mountains to the must see Kruger National Park. I loved every second of it, driving for hours and hours seeing the most amazing landscapes and creatures. I cannot recommend this area enough! I stayed in the Protea Hotel, Paul Kruger Gate. It is a great place to stay and a perfect location, really really worth it.

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Cape Town (Central):

Like all cities, it is a little dirty but other than that it is very multicultural with great places to eat and really nice things to do. You can see Table Mountain from all over the city, it is wonderful to get such a panoramic view of one mountain. We stayed in the Holiday Inn at St. Georges Mall, really nice hotel, good area, really good restaurants and shops very close by.

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Cape Town (Surrounding Areas):

There are some amazing things to do on the outskirts of city centre Cape Town, the look out point Signal Hill, the wonderful Waterfront area. There are a number of different spots in the Table Mountain National Park, the park runs the length of the mountains of the western cape. Some sights to see include Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach. There are many more spots but these were a few of the areas I visited.

Hermanus:

Hermanus is the most stunning seaside town. There are mountains and beach that make this area beautiful and with the addition of the most beautiful mammals in the ocean, this location is just perfect. With whale watching and cage diving opportunities available there is so much to do and see while still being a peaceful, relaxing place.

Stellenbosch:

We rented an absolutely fantastic house in Haskell vineyards. This area of the world is stunningly beautiful, you would wake up to so many different species of birds flying around the trees, all different colours and sizes, you would see little deer or mongooses running around outside. This location is in front of the mountains. It is green and peaceful and always so beautiful. The area has lots of different vineyards and that means different restaurants, I didn’t eat in them but I can get a recommendation of 96 Winery Road restaurant that is 10 minutes away. The house is nicely decorated and really comfortable. It is great to buy and cook your own food, fresh fruit and vegetables are great! There are lots of things to do in the area I would recommend Spier Winery, great food and a wonderful experience.

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Eating:

I have only made a small list of places to eat and things to eat but really, the food is normal and always very tasty. There is nothing out of the ordinary or “strange” South Africans like their meat so even the most normal of palate is satisfied.

Before I sign off there is one more thing. There are things in this country that need to change but it will not take a day or a year, it is generations of work, hopefully one day the gap between sections of society will lessen. I am no where near educated enough on the matter but something about how there is almost two groups living on different paths in the same country makes me feel very odd. I do not know how to end this section but I want to make it known that it doesn’t matter what you look like it matters how good of a person you are and everyone I met in this country (Bar two very ignorant women) were nothing more than friendly, helpful and welcoming.

The only thing that went wrong on this holiday was my skydive. It was too windy and the pilot canceled it but out of two and a half week only one thing went array. That is pretty good going!

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So that’s it. They are all my posts on this amazing country. If you ever get the opportunity to go or want to save up the money, I urge you to do it. It is too beautiful and thankfully, in a country so big, there will always be more to explore.

Happy Travels!

In (and around) Johannesburg: The Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind is a world heritage site 50km outside Johannesburg. About an hour from Sandton, Johannesburg.  The area is renowned as the epicentre of discovery of the human origins.PhoebeGill141011004

I visited the two sites in the area the Sterkfontain caves and Maropeng visitors centre. I went to the caves first, you can get a combination ticket that allows you into both sites. An adult combination ticket costs R215 (€15.50)

Sterkfontain:

There is a beautiful vista around the information centre/ticket office. There is so much information in the centre, it it clear, interesting and easy to understand.

The caves themselves are a wonderful experience. It’s a perfect 18 degrees, the tour guide was really knowledgeable and friendly. He pointed out the discoveries, different features you can find in caves and interesting facts.PhoebeGill141011007-2

Note: There are a few narrow passage ways that mean you have to crouch or crawl but there are only a handful and you do not have to crouch for very long (If you have been inside a pyramid, it’s a piece of cake)

I really recommend the caves, it’s really interesting and it’s always so much fun to delve into a space that represents thousands of years of discovery.PhoebeGill141011014-2

Maropeng:

The visitors centre is a really interactive and fun. There is lots of buttons and moving exhibits to engage small kids and there is lots of really interesting information along the walls and in video form.PhoebeGill141011021

There is also a little boat ride that go through the elements of the earth. It is a lot of fun, I still think that there is going to be someone who jumps out at me but don’t worry no one will!PhoebeGill141011024-2

There is also one of my favourite illusions, the vortex tunnel! It is so much fun and it messes with your mind!

I think this is a great day out, the scenery is beautiful, the information is fascinating and it’s such a cool experience. Definitely recommend it.

Happy Travels!

PhoebeGill141011023(I found this amazing bug on the ground outside of the centre, it’s so cool)