This was my first trip to Africa. South Africa has been a place I've always wanted to explore and experience and as it's a place close to my family's hearts we decided it would be the perfect trip to start the year. We started off our journey in beautiful Cape Town.
There isn't really a word that can best describe how stunningly beautiful Cape Town is. Seeing city buildings and Cape Dutch architecture contrasted with the surrounding Table Mountain and Lions Head was truly mesmerising.
Camps bay was one of my favourite places. Although it is very touristy and busy, the beach views along side the Twelve Apostles is incredible. There are loads of restaurants, bars and hotels which face huge luscious palm trees that stretch all the way down the road along the beach. We had lunch at Paranga over looking the beach. This consisted of eating our weight in prawns and fish washed down with a few bottles of sparkling rosé. We then wandered onto the beach where the wind had really picked up. The waves casting a violent spray. I managed to dip my feet into the freezing Atlantic, and that was as far as I was prepared to go in!
After a morning of local exploration around the centre of the city we took an open top tour bus out to Houte Bay. Where we settled into a nautical themed restaurant with an ice cold cider. A live African band was playing below setting a really fun atmosphere while we ate our fish and chips. The above picture was taken from the view of the restaurant and the below image is Houte Bay from a distance (you can see the beach in both images as a reference).
WILD AFRICAN PENGUINS! We drove all the way to Simons Town to visit the famous wild penguins. They were so cute and funny to watch. It's really nice to be able to see penguins like this naturally without them seeing them in captivity. Although it's summer in Africa, having the penguins there shows how cold the sea is that surrounds Cape Town!
Of course we had to go up table Table Mountain and what better way to arrive than on the back of a Harley Davidson. We took a scenic route around the outskirts of Cape town's Coast on the back of the motorbikes ending our ride at the Table Mountain cable cars. It was an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it. I don't think you can feel any more alive than speeding along a coastline taking in that sea salt air. The views from Table Mountain were breath taking. It was a clear day so there wasn't any 'table cloth' clouds blocking the views.
Next we hit The Wine lands. We went up to Stellenbosch for lunch and had dinner at the Delaire Graff Estate. The scenery was beautiful again and reminded me of a more extreme version of Portugal's countryside.
We stayed at Babylonstoren for two nights which is a vineyard and vegetable farm. Their menu is based off of what is in season at the time in their farm. So everything is freshly picked that day. It was incredible learning about the farm and made every meal so special when the most colourful and healthy plates arrived at the table. There are also really cute tortoises that roam the gardens and have a great life eating what they want from the farm. We watched one eat a peach, actual highlight of the day. The visitors of Babylonstoren are also encouraged to pick fruit and vegetables and eat as you're walking around. Just do as the toroise does.
On the second day we took a tour round the vineyard and wine cellar, tasted some grapes off of the vine and saw where the wine is made and where it is stored. Then of course we did a little wine tasting ourselves.
We then travelled to Sabi Sands where after getting on the smallest plane in the world we stayed for a few days. Leopard Hills in a private game reserve was such a beautiful place to spend the last few days of our holiday. We stayed in little luxury lodges with thatch roofs, and each with a rock plunge pools and outdoor shower. On the first day I saw an elephant a few meters away eating off a tree while I was in my bed as they are glass-fronted. It was such an amazing sight see but it did make me scared to try the outdoor shower.
Going on safari was incredible with a professional ranger. Every day we did a 5am start for the early morning drive and later on an after noon drive that turns into an evening game drive. The private game reserve is a vast space that protects the wildlife against poachers. Seeing animals how they should be seen out in the wild in their natural habitat was truly amazing. They're such incredible animals as well. Although we see videos or images of these types of animals day to day, they never really look that familiar when you actually see them in the flesh. Zebras and Giraffe are so unique and crazy looking that it becomes quite a baffling sight to see them so close up.
Seeing this pride of lions was so incredible. The cubs were making everyones hearts melt. They had recently killed a buffalo so they were hanging around the carcass with full bellies sleeping it off. There were vultures circling the area trying to get as close as they could to the carcass without the lions noticing. It felt like we were in the Lion King/watching a David Attenborough documentary at the same time. We even managed to see two lions mating, so close up that I felt we were invading their privacy and defo shouldn't have been watching... But a rare and amazing sight to see.
Elephants are my favourite animal. They're so unusual looking and have a lovely nature about them. I love how family oriented they are and their connections with one another. These wild elephants haven't had human contact so although they're used to seeing the cars, you aren't aloud to obviously get out and pet one like you can do in places like Thailand and other zoos where they force the animals into it. The baby elephants are the cutest thing ever. They have so much energy and are so cheeky and playful. They literally are like characters out of a Disney film.
We also saw these two lone males having a dominance playful tussle. They locked trunks a few times while playfully pushing one another into a bush.
To end the trip we spent two nights in treehouse tents. Giant moths, noisy monkeys and all! A riverside spa with the most incredible breakfasts. We winded down with a massage and found some insane waterfalls. It was so nice to relax and have a lie in, although we all seemed to wake up at 5am expecting to have the safari for a while after anyway.
Such an amazing holiday with loads of happy memories. Below is a video of the trip with a best of edit of the footage I took. Let me know in the comment section below if you've been to Cape Town before or if it's now on your bucket list!
SHOP THE LOOK