KEEPING YOU IN TOUCH - YOUR FREE MONTHLY NEWSPAPER DELIVERED DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR 33 YEARS • Independent • Local • Knowledgeable Leanne and Nicks travel adventures...

Nick and I have just returned from a fabulous trip to South Africa over Christmas and New Year. So I thought I’d give everyone a break from Paul’s adventures and share mine.

It’s hard to know where to start with the highlights of the trip because there was too many to mention. But here goes…

After a stress-free Emirates flight to Port Elizabeth we were met by our guide who took us to our first accommodation - 4* plus Kariega Ukohzi Game Lodge. Our accommodation was a luxury safari lodge suite (have a peek on google, the rooms are stunning).

The following day we were up before sunrise (04:45!) and off on our first game drive, we were so lucky to actually see lions, wildebeest, elephant, rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, antelope and many more beautiful animals. We also did a river trip seeing hippos in their natural habitat.

After 4 nights in Kariega, we picked up our hire car ready to go on the rest of our journey. We had a lovely scenic drive from Port Elizabeth to Plattenberg Bay. Plattenberg Bay is a picturesque beach resort renowned for its many fish restaurants and beautiful scenery. We spent two nights at the Hog Hollow Hotel, we enjoyed walking the Robberg Peninsula and visited the Birds of Eden Sanctuary.

Oudtshoorn was our next stop which was a 2.5 hour drive from Plattenberg here we enjoyed visiting the Cango Caves and an Ostrich Farm. I found out that an Ostrich egg would hold 28 Chicken eggs! Poor mother Ostrich!

The following day was the longest drive we did on our whole trip. The journey took us through small towns such as Ladismith, Robertson, Worcester which were so nice to call at, have a coffee and a wander around. The scenery was also incredible driving through mountains.

On arrival in Franschhoek our first impressions were of a Colonial Town with lovely Georgian buildings. Our guesthouse for the next couple of nights was the Maison Chablis, staff here were so helpful giving many recommendations of places to visit and eat.

Franschhoek is well known for being in the wine region of South Africa and of course in the interests of research we checked out all the best vineyards. On our second day here, we had an early breakfast and ventured off on the Wine Tram which I thought was one of the best ways to experience the vineyard’s, breath-taking scenery and world class cuisine. Our First 6 wines were sampled by 10am ooppps.

Franschhoek has a very laid-back feel about it, the streets were lined with cafes, shops and wine bars, it’s perfect for people watching and taking in the local atmosphere and ambience.

Our final stop was Cape Town, which we planned the whole itinerary around. Making sure we would be there for the New Year celebrations and equally important to witness Cockermouth’s very own Ben Stokes performing with the rest of the England Cricket Team at Newlands Cricket Ground. Not sure if I’m a member of the Barmy Army yet but the atmosphere was amazing!

Our accommodation in Cape Town was the Victoria and Alfred Hotel which is directly on the V&A waterfront. The property was originally a warehouse dating back to early 1900’s still with many original features.

New Years Eve was an experience we will never forget. Fireworks lit up the whole Waterfront and the party atmosphere was fantastic.

We hired a private driver for a day which we took in Cape Point, Simonstown, Boulder Beach Penguins, Camps Bay. We also did the trip to Robben Island, an ex-prisoner gave us a tour around and told us all about his experience of being an inmate and how they were treated and the education they received.

For anyone visiting Cape Town I would highly recommend the Red Sightseeing Buses these work out around £30 each for 2 days but you can access the main points of interest and take you as far as Cape Point where there is an optional Wine Tours Bus too.

You need to keep time free to visit Table Mountain, we had planned to go but the cloud can come down within minutes and visibility was impossible.

If you have any questions on South Africa and the hotels, I got to visit please don’t hesitate to ask me.

Leanne 20127


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