Our South African Adventure!

Friday, April 12

South Africa had been at the top of my travel list, but only because both of my sisters had gone in the past few years and RAVED about it. Otherwise, honestly, it's random and far away enough that I don't know if I ever would have considered going.

So when our friends Landon & Heather moved to Cape Town last Summer, it was kismet, I literally said to them "we'll be there as soon as we can!"

Once we started realistically making plans, they let us know that they had a road trip planned over Heather's Spring Break (she's a teacher) and that could be the perfect time to visit and tagalong on their already planned trip. Which worked out SO perfectly, because we did things we may have NEVER have done without the guide of locals, and with really minimal planning on our part. We basically just paid for our accommodations and then showed up. Thank you, Landon & Heather! <3
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GARDEN ROUTE //
The morning after we flew into Cape Town, we headed off on the first leg of our road trip. Our home base for the next four days was in a town called Wilderness, at a B&B that has seriously become #goalz. It is owned by the sweetest retired couple, Kevin & Elsie, that bought it 15 years ago and fixed it up, and now rent out the six rooms and live in their house that is built into the property (they sent us off every morning with breakfast served with an anecdote, on their deck off of their dining room/living space.)

We made several day trips around things that L&H had planned - an incredible hike in Plettenberg Bay with lots of seals (below), exploring the coastal village of Knysna complete with a sunset oyester cruise (outfit post to come), a cave tour and wine tasting and many winedowns on our decks. After the days activities, L&H, who are the king and queen of leisure vacations, built in a couple hours to chill every evening before either going to dinner or ordering in one night on our deck, which was maybe my favorite evening. This was a new way to vacation for me! Which I enjoyed!

Art & I absolutely loved sitting on the deck off of our room (pictured above) with a cup of tea or glass of wine and looking over the lagoon, we tried to do it every day!

Throwing in some recommendations just in case you need them: the best meal/restaurant we visited in this area was Salinas Beach Restaurant, we loved walking around and shopping at Milkwood Village, I don't know what specific oyster sunset cruise we did in Knysna but I would absolutely recommend that, The Turbine Hotel is where I'm drinking my pink G&T below, and I loved the Karusa winery!
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ADDO ELEPHANT PARK //
Next stop - Addo National Park, to see some animals! For next to nothing, we stayed in cottages (Art & I) and Rondavels (L&H) that backed up right against the park. We could see Kudu, all kinds of birds, warthogs, and even elephants (with binoculars) right from our back deck which was so neat!

To get up close to the good stuff, we did a sunset game drive through the park, which was spectacular. We drove through a pack of 20 or more elephants (you can only see a few in my photos, but there were LOTS) this was probably one of my favorite moments of the trip. They really are beautiful creatures. On the game drive we also saw zebras, lots more Kudu, a hyena which was very creepy, warthogs, and even a couple lions dozing before their evening meal (you can see them behind me below!) Special thanks to the team that made my safari photo dreams come true.

We were pretty isolated in Addo, so it was a quiet couple of days. All of our meals were at the one restaurant in the park, so I don't have any other recommendations. But doing the game drive was completely worth it!
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CAPE TOWN //
Ah, Cape Town. The evening we arrived (after an 8 hour drive that turned into 12 hours, still fun) I instantly had panicked feelings of "I want to spend so much more time here!!"

Cape Town is super hip and it's a little crazy how much it reminded me of San Francisco. What with the foodie & bar scene, the climate, the way the city is built, and the intense fog, there were times walking around where I was convinced we were in San Francisco. The biggest difference being that everywhere you go, you are surrounded by these majestic rock formations. The star of the show being "Table Mountain", and the fog that often covers it is called "the tablecloth" which tickled me!

Really we had one full mega Cape Town day that we maxed out, with the help of our guides!

We started the day by getting coffee and a quick breakfast in Camps Bay, the ritzy coastal area, but honestly it was covered by some of the thickest fog I've ever seen, we couldn't even see the ocean! That's where I'm standing in the rainbow below. Then we took the Chapman's Peak drive to Hout Bay, and onto Kalk Bay, and Muizenberg. Unfortunately it was still pretty foggy, but still a beautiful drive. It was so fun exploring all the little coastal towns, each with their own vibe & charm. Our friends are partial to Muizenberg, so we spent some time walking around there (rainbow changing rooms on the beach below), had a parking lot Boerie (South African Bratwurst, basically) and then it was on to wine tasting! I won't go too much into that because I did in this post. But I will say it's a must MUST do in Cape Town! We did have a chill hour or so and then it was on to dinner (we went to this place where we tried a sampling of a bunch of different African foods) and truly we didn't last much longer than that after such a day.

Recommendations: We loved Kloof Street House for a magical dinner, The Moveable Feast & The Gin Bar were two great bars we visited, I could have spent so much more time at the Old Biscuit Mill Market/the most amazing food court, more about all the wineries we visited here. We had a little Airbnb apartment (the photo of the street below) in the neighborhood of Gardens, which was perfect - so walkable, so many tucked away bars, shops, and restaurants we didn't even have time to go into!
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I can't wait to go back to Cape Town! Special thank you again to our friends Landon & Heather, who planned the entire amazing trip. We surprisingly never ran out of things to talk about, and when we were getting ready to leave, I said "I hope you guys aren't like PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE" because we never tired of hanging with them.

Let me know if you have additional questions about anything we saw or did!

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