South Africa. You stole our hearts. From Cape Town to Durban in 13 days. A road trip that involved approximately 30 hours on the road and more than 2,000 kilometers spanning over six cities that we stayed at least a night in. The following post is meant to sum up and provide insight on our experiences of our trip. These are our reflections and thoughts on our trip through South Africa.
Africa is such an incredible continent and we are looking forward to exploring more of it in the future. With so much to offer any travel, especially for adrenaline adventures in Africa, we could spend the rest of our time just hoping from country to country. But for now, we begin with South Africa.
Reflections Of Our Trip Through South Africa
From Cape Town to Durban and beyond, we were fortunate to taste many different aspects of life in South Africa. For a country that was high on both of our bucket lists, we had high expectations. From the beginning it did not disappoint.
Cape Town is the Jam
We just missed out on the Blues Fest (or Jazz Fest) which we heard was quite the party throughout the city. However, we had a lot to squeeze into our three days there. Click here to find out everything we did while in Cape Town.
We really feel like if you are going to visit South Africa, you cannot miss this city. We were terrified climbing Table Mountain (Tip: Prepare your hike in advance and follow a route that is not difficult if you are not ready for it.), enjoyed the night life at Mama Africa, sipped wine at Constantia Glen, played with the penguins at Boulders Beach, and marveled at the views from Cape Point.
For a city, it has everything you really need for every traveler.
Outdshoorn for Ostriches
An excellent stopping point to shorten your trip along the east coast of the country. This small city has a few fun things to do in it including the Cango Wildlife Ranch, the Cango Ostrich Farm, and the Cango Caves. We were only able to fit two of them into our short one night stay in the city, but it was an enjoyable interaction with the animals at the wildlife ranch and the ostrich farm. Maybe next time we visit we will be able to crawl through the caves.
Port Elizabeth for Elephants
The Addo Elephant Park was easily one of the highlights on this adventure. We started the morning with a horse back ride through the park and topped it with a self-drive safari. There is no words to describe seeing a massive wild elephant right beside your rental car that luckily has insurance coverage…but for elephant damage too? Probably should have checked the fine print.
We spent three nights here. The cultural immersion of the Xhosa people was eye opening. From the tour of the village to fishing with a local boy, our experience here was like none other. We capped off our three nights here with a day in the life of a woman in the village. This was difficult in the hot African sun. We did not even make it through the whole day!
Actually for this one we do not really know what to recommend. What did you do when you were in Durban?
We arrived late and left early. It was more of a stopping point after a nine hour drive from Bulungula Lodge to Richard’s Bay, our last destination.
Richard’s Bay for the Bay
Our final destination to stay at was Richard’s Bay. Though there are beaches around, we did not visit them as we went further north and visited St. Lucia for the Hippos!
Thoughts Of Our Trip Through South Africa
I remember sitting down and planning out this trip. I was trying to figure out what we could do while in South Africa. It was originally my idea to do a massive road trip through Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. We had a month. The logistics were just too complicated, and we were unsure about how safe it was especially with a rental car.
My next thought was to do a South Africa road trip for two weeks. But how safe is it to drive through South Africa. I mean Johannesburg is known as one of the most crime heavy cities in the world. Upon researching more about the country it became clear that there are reports of road blocks that lead to theft. In fact, it was recommended not to drive at night both before we left for South Africa and while we were there by our AirBnB host. However, our hosts gave us that recommendation based on not being able to see the wildlife at night. Their thoughts on these road blocks we read about, not worried. We talk more about driving in South Africa in this post.
Ultimately, we picked the best route for our 13 day road trip. We made the most of our time in the country and chose the best method of transportation to cover that distance.
We got to see the wonders and experience the nightlife in Cape Town. We got to experience the culture of the Xhosa people first-hand. We got to drive alongside wildlife that could crush us if they wanted to.
Despite the hiccups that come with any adventure, I do not think this one could have been planned any better and gone as smoothly as it did.
Our thoughts on South Africa are simple. Go there. Now.
Whether it be for safaris or the culture, you will not be disappointed.
It was on the top of our bucket list for countries we wanted to explore. Now that we have crossed it off, the country has now found its way to a new list of ours: countries we need to visit again.
Have you ever visited South Africa? What was your experience like? Leave your answers in the comment section below!
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