Last month, we had the pleasure of escaping the Colorado cold and spending three weeks in sunny South Africa. I was not expecting to fall under this beautiful countries’ spell as fully as I did. My husband and I were so enchanted we are already planning our next visit.
South Africa is a complex and fascinating country. It’s easy to cry tears of joy and sadness in the same moment. This is a country still struggling to recover from effects of apartheid, the consequence of which can be seen anywhere you drive. South Africa has a reputation for violence, high crime, and soaring HIV rates, which can scare many travelers away.
In addition to these reports, there are misconceptions that keep tourists out as well. We were surprised by the “Don’t catch Ebola!” remarks from people before we left. Africa is huge. London, England is geographically closer to the Ebola outbreak than South Africa is. Don’t let fear prevent you from visiting one of the most and beautiful and enchanting places on earth. This is an experience you will never forget.
The knowledgeable folks at African-Born Safaris created an incredible itinerary for our trip. They made sure we were well taken care of, and experienced the best of South Africa. I highly recommend contacting them before you book your trip. They can answer any questions you have, and help plan a trip that’s perfect for your family.
If you want some extra piece of mind during your visit, hire private security to take care of you. There are many many options to choose from. We had security for parts of our trip, email me if you’d like the contact information for the firm we used. We had a wonderful experience with him, and there were no incidents in which we needed the protection.
Our trip felt like three very different experiences. City, Safari, and Wine Country.
City – We spent a couple days in Johannesburg, and over a week in Cape Town. In my opinion, Cape Town stole the show. Breathtaking views of Table mountain, incredible beaches, penguins, shopping, and culture. Highlight- Our friend planned a surprise sunset picnic for us in a hidden cave near a pull-off lookout. We will never forget it! Ask Callum at African Born Safaris for the exact location.
Safari- A must if you go to South Africa! We had the pleasure of taking two safaris during our time there, the first was at Welgevonden, and the second at Madikwe. Both were phenomenal, malaria-free, and the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Cape buffalo, Leopard, and Rhinoceros) were present. If traveling with family, Madikwe was ultra-accommodating to children. There is a full time childcare liaison on staff, an educational Eco Center, and cooks ready to prepare child-friendly meals.
Wine Country – Wine country was incredible. I highly recommend having a nanny here, as this is about as romantic as it gets. We spent our time in Stellenbosch, and stayed at the famous dutch-inspired farm Rozendal. Spend your days visiting wine farms and your nights counting the stars while snacking on fine local cheeses, chocolates, and farm-to-table dishes.
These were the main three experience of our trip, and we barely scrapped the surface of what this beautiful country has to offer. We look forward to re-visiting soon!