Time flies when you are having fun! We are in South Africa for two weeks now. The first week started in Johannesburg and ended in the Garden Route. The second week starts (obviously) in the Garden Route and ends in Cape Town. Keep reading for details!
Day 8 Garden Route
We stayed at the Garden Route for three nights. Our hostel is the Wild Spirit Backpackers. I love this place! Their homemade dinner is delicious, the rooms are clean and they have three different walking trails starting just outside your bedroom door. It’s a magical place. On our first day in the Garden Route we booked a combo ticket for Tenikwa Wildlife Sanctuary and Elephant Sanctuary.
Tenikwa is about raising awareness of big cats. The animals in the sanctuary are abandoned pets, injured or for any other reason couldn’t live in the wild anymore. Tenikwa is their new home where they receive the care they need. We did a tour around the park and were able to see wild cats from closeby. They have a leopard, cheetas, lions, caracals, african wild cats, servals and black footed cats. We went in their cages while getting information about the animals. Only the leopard and lions are too dangerous to enter their cage. We saw them from behind a fence. It is a very informative tour and a recommendation for anyone who loves big cats or animals in general.
The second activity of the day was the Elephant Sanctuary. A friend of mine did the trunk-in-hand walk and said it was an unforgettable experience. This activity was the one in our combo ticket so we did it as well. And she was so right! I still can’t believe we touched an elephant! I love these big creatures. They actually walked with us and not the other way around. Perhaps because they have to do it every day. And it may be sad for these animals, I have a mixed feeling about it. Without the sanctuary they wouldn’t even be alive anymore, because they are injured. So mixed feelings for sure. I prefer these animals in the wild too. But the experience though!
In the afternoon we did two out of three walking tours around our hostel. One to the big yellowwood tree, which is South Africa’s national tree, and one to the waterfall. The big tree isn’t very spectacular. Almost the same height as trees in Belgium so. The waterfall walking tour was much more worth the hike. This night at the hostel there’s live music.
Day 9 Garden Route
Today on the schedule is the bungee jump! It is 216 meter high, being the highest bungee jump from a bridge worldwide! 2 years back I gave it as a present for my boyfriend’s birthday. But then he had an accident with his foot and wasn’t able to jump. That’s why it took so long to do it. And it is cheaper and higher in South Africa than in Belgium. Win-win. We both bought a ticket. One a bit more scared than the other (make a guess). To reach the jumping point, we had to walk under the bridge which was a bit scary because you could see the valley beneath your feet. My boyfriend jumped first. He said it was really awesome! While standing there, waiting for my turn, my nerves disappeared. Aaaaand they reappeared when they said it was my turn haha. 3 2 1 aand bungee! I had the courage to really jump like Superman. Wooooohooooooo. For the first few seconds I had to scream but while falling it isn’t that scary anymore. You just enjoy the fall and the view. For those who are in doubt to do it too: it looks more scary than it is!
Right after the bungee jump we did a canopy tour. 10 ziplines 20 meter high above the ground. It was fun to do, but nothing scary for us. We still had some time before dinner and the closest thing to go to was Nature’s Valley. We did a short walk at the beach.
Day 10 Oudtshoorn
We drive further to Oudtshoorn. There is an old cave, the Cango Caves, that you can visit. I definitely recommend to do the adventure tour! Except if you are claustrophobic… Where the normal tour stops in the cave, the adventure tour begins. From there you crawl through narrow tunnels deeper into the cave.
Our last stop for the day is at Cango Ostrich Farm. Oudtshoorn is famous for its ostriches. In the past they sold the feathers of the animals. And that’s how Oudtshoorn became rich and famous. You get a one hour tour at the farm and afterwards you get the opportunity to ride an ostrich. We didn’t do it because it is animal abuse. Altough it was much fun to see the other people fall off the ostrich. Our guide was not good. Overall: not worth the money. Maybe we picked a wrong farm whose focus was on handling as many tourists as possible and not on quality.
We stay at Santos Express Train in Mosselbaai for tonight. It’s a hostel in a train right at the beach. Fancy concept! Worth a visit but I am happy we only stayed for one night because of the small rooms.
Day 11 Hermanus
This morning we booked a sandboarding session in Vleesbay, close to Mosselbay. The brochure says it is the biggest sandboarding dune in South Africa. For the first one and a half hour we learned how to sandboard. It is more surfing than boarding and only at the end of the session we learned how to turn. The second one and a half hour we slided off ‘the dragon dune’ on our bellies. With extra wax on our board we gained high speeds! At noon we drive to Hermanus, the whale watching capital of South Africa and our home for the next two days.
Day 12 Betty’s Bay
So first thing in the morning we go on a whale watching boat trip to see the southern right whales. After 45 minutes of being on the sea we spot one! And then two! And three! And so on. I think we saw 8 in total. We could get really close to the animals. They were mating and not really jumping and flipping around so it was difficult to get a full view of the big creatures. But the boat trip is really worth it!
Our afternoon activity is visiting Betty’s Bay. Not only in Cape Town is a penguin colony, but also here! AND it is cheaper and less crowded than in Cape Town. For only €0,70 pp you can get up the path that runs through the pengiuns on the beach. The animals breed even less than one meter off the path you’re walking on! They are really adorable! One small remark: animals in group stink.
Day 13 Hout Bay
After our second night in Hermanus it is time to go to Cape Town. But first, early morning, we go shark cage diving! Gansbaai is the place to be for great white sharks. Its only a 40 minute drive from Hermanus. At 8 am we change land for water. A short trip and we are at the right location to spot the dangerous sharks. From a cage you see the animals swimming around the boat, trying to catch the bait. They swim right in front of you! Few times the shark even hit the cage! This is so cool! The biggest one is 4 meters. A gigantic beast it is. Lunch is included in the package so after we drive towards Cape Town, our second last stop of our holiday (Johannesburg is the last one). This day we also visit Hout Bay and Duiker Island to see wild seals. Afterwards we go for a run on the beachroad in Cape Town and got dressed for dinner.
Day 14 Cape Town
This is our last day we have our Toyota Etios! For the last time we drive to the most southern point of the peninsula of Cape Town: Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Many think this is the most southern point of South Africa, but that is Cape Aghulas. Here the two oceans, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, meet one another. Nevertheless the nature and views are great at Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point! On our way towards it we stopped at Muizenberg and Boulders Beach. To visit the pengiun colony here, you pay R65. That’s 6 times more than the pengiun colony at Betty’s Bay, which was only R10!
The third and last week of our trip in South Africa will continue in Cape Town!