Thursday, 28 February 2019

Oudtshoorn | South Africa

     Goodbye Garden Route... I was definitely a bit disappointed to discover that we would be heading inland again, away from that stunning coast, for the next two nights of my South African trip. According to the internet, this is still technically the Garden Route, but it felt less like it, away from the coast. However, it was still worth it in part. Our itinerary actually got switched around here, as we were supposed to have a white water rafting excursion included, but due to the drought conditions, the water in the river was too low. So instead, it was substituted for a meerkat experience - more on that in a minute - which was in Oudtshoorn, the place we were stopping at next anyways. I didn't mind the switch, as I've done rafting a couple of times before, but it meant all our activities were in Oudtshoorn, yet we still had to stop in Swellendam the night after, where the rafting would have been, with nothing to do there! Hence the reason I'm not going to be writing a post about that as a destination! Anyways, time for all the Oudtshoorn activities...

Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Tsitsikamma, Garden Route | South Africa

     We're finally at the beautiful coast again! And not just any stretch of coast, the Garden Route is constantly touted as being the prettiest part of South Africa, and this was the main reason I had booked this particular route through the country. It's rugged coastlines, turquoise waters, soaring mountains, and green forests, the perfect location for lots of outdoor activities. As I've previously mentioned, I would have liked more time on the coast during this trip, and much like the Wild Coast, I would have liked an extra night at a second location somewhere along the Garden Route. However, the two nights we spent there were in Tsitsikamma National Park, where we were camping right by the shore!

Coastal waterfall hike in Tsitsikamma National Park, Garden Route, South Africa

Friday, 22 February 2019

Addo Elephant National Park | South Africa

     So considering this was my first trip to Africa, I had to try to see some animals, right? Now, safari was not the main focus of the trip I had booked, rather it was more about landscapes and natural scenery and hiking etc. But, there were still some animal opportunities to be had. Some of these will come in a later post, but this is the first part. We spent one night in Addo Elephant National Park, squeezing in three game drives while we were there! And yes, there are lots of elephants there, but they're not the only animals living in the park. So, what else did I see?

Zebra in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Chintsa, Wild Coast | South Africa

     For the third destination of my African trip, we left Lesotho again to return to South Africa, headed for the coast. Specifically, the Wild Coast, a stretch of unspoiled, remote land in the Eastern Cape, between Port Edward and East London. Chintsa was our specific destination, a small beachside town. When I book these group tours, I don't do too much research into the exact destinations I'm going to, as I like to be surprised, and it makes it easier to go with the flow of the trip, and not get hung up on wanting to do specific things. However, looking at the Wild Coast now, in retrospect, I would have liked to have spent more time exploring different destinations along it, as we only saw one area of beach, and there's so much more on offer. I think if I go back to South Africa again, it will hopefully be with a friend from there (they both currently live in Hong Kong though), and we'd drive it ourselves - once I relearn how to drive, it's been years! Anyways, Chintsa was still very beautiful...

Chintsa beach, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Monday, 18 February 2019

Lesotho | South Africa

     Alright, first of all, Lesotho is not in South Africa, I know. It's its own country, but which is completely surrounded by South Africa, and I'm only including 'South Africa' in the title because I visited on the same trip! Here's part one if you haven't seen that as well, to explain what my trip all entailed too. Right, details out the way, on with the actual post!

     We started early for our departure from Drakensberg, as it's a long drive into Lesotho. It's known as the 'Kingdom in the Sky', as the whole region is very mountainous, so as you can perhaps imagine, there was some pretty impressive scenery throughout the drive! The land started to get drier though, and we left rolling green hills, in exchange for brown, rocky, dusty mountain ranges. This time of year is actually rainy season, hence the thunderstorms we'd experienced, but there's also an ongoing drought, compared to their usual levels of rainfall. We drove through South Africa for several hours, before reaching the border crossing, conveniently placed on a bridge, so the river serves as the border. It was an easy process, simply getting our passports stamped out and in for each country. The drive continued through Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, which actually started out as a police camp!

Pitseng Gorge, Lesotho, Africa

Friday, 15 February 2019

Drakensberg | South Africa

     Apologies for the long blogging absence readers, it's been a busy few weeks! I just returned from a trip to South Africa, on which I was mostly camping, didn't take my laptop, and had limited internet connection. As with all my previous trips, I fully intend to blog all about it, but due to all those factors, I realised it was going to be really tough to blog it as I went along. So instead, I decided to take a blogging break - which I was quite grateful for actually, to avoid stressing over no internet connection! - and keep a handwritten diary while I was there, which I'm now going to turn into posts! I'm estimating 8 posts in total, spanning a 16 day trip, so, let's get to it!

Sentinel Peak Amphitheatre hike, Drakensberg, South Africa

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