The park is huge, both in terms of plants, animals, and sheer mileage. Kruger National Park is truly the gem of South Africa. It's a place where you can see massive herds of elephants crossing a red and gold horizon. If you're a photographer, this is paradise. You'll see all kinds of lions, giraffes, buffalo, rhinos, leopards, and countless kinds of birds.
We began to enjoy this trip as soon as we got off the plane. There was color everywhere, such as the South African clothes, and especially their kind smiles. The trip was full of contrasts, life on the Savannah and visits to the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. In the Savannah there was a beautiful reserve named Kwa-Maritane, first-class facilities, Cabañas didn't lack anything, and of course it was a service that just to please. Cape Town were at the Sheraton, a marvel. The trip is unforgettable, breathes tranquility and pasonia (especially for the stress of Madrid), besides enjoying the views. We did a photo safari and here are the results. I hope you have a chance to visit there.
It's lovely to be where the two oceans meet with an amazing view. The truth is that we had excellent, clear weather that day. So I can now say that I've been as far south as possible on the African continent.
Table Mountain is such an imposing feature you could not visit Cape Town without including it in your itinerary. However choosing the right day can be difficult we waited for three days to get a clear summit. There are two ways up by cable car, my Mum choose this option. On a clear day the queues can be quite long, booking your tickets online is recommended. Or by foot.
My hotel arranged for me to join a guided group. I took the Patterklip gorge route via Maclear's Beacon. This route is the most direct and is not strenuous. The trip to the beacon gives an idea ecology of mountain, you can hear frogs singing and the vegetation is very diverse. The Table Mountain range creates rainfall and the rainwater percolates down to the freshwater springs in Cape Town. It was the availability of fresh water that made this area important strategically for ships rounding the cape.
We met up at the cable car station and the views were fabulous.
All visitors most probably end up at the V&A waterfront at some point during their stay in Cape Town. It is the departure point for trips to Robben Island. It offers an extensive range of shops and restaurants. In the evening it is safe but lively with buskers and street artists. Close to the aquarium is a great food market where you can sample a wide range of local specialties.
About 30km from Cape Town, you'll find this little beach that's home to a colony of over 3,000 African Penguins. There are a series of walkways which go around and above their nests that takes you to the part of the beach where you can see them in the wild. There's also a visitor's center. Once you're at the beach, you can get right up close to the penguins.
Bo-Kaap is a seventeenth century Muslim district in the oldest area of Cape Town. It means "above Cape" in Afrikaans, referring to the location, high on the slopes of Signal Hill. The low houses are painted in bright pastel colours, quite different from the colonial architecture that is more prominent in other suburbs. There's a spectacular cultural diversity on display here; the Malays were the first occupants, but not the only ones. A charming, safe neighbourhood that's well worth visiting.
These are two reserves in one. If you want more to do a day of safari you can ask the guide if he will take you around both of the parks, because they will do what you want. They will take you first of all to see the large animals in the park and then the next day, after going back to the areas where you can find the big cats or the lions and leopards, we just did that on 1 day so we did not see lions. It is even more difficult to see leopards, but it is not impossible. It is better to take the jeep safari, as they know where the best places to spot animals are, but be sure to go to where you find the buffalo, elephants, giraffes, rhinos etc. ... the difference between doing it in your car is the price, which costs about $ 10 each, even more for a safari, $ 100 so yes, we visited other parks on our own and saw fewer animals but we did not spend $ 200. This safari, however, is the one that we most enjoyed.
Hout Bay, a small fishing village in the Cape Peninsula, was nothing more to me than a name on a road sign on our way to the city. However, I don't know if it was the time that I was passing through at sunset, but you caught my attention so we stopped the car to take some pictures, trying to quietly capture the atmosphere with our camera. A postcard worthy bay.
I loved this street. During the day it´s busy and there are plenty of local shops and restaurants and at night there are many venues where you can enjoy a drink and listen to music. The nightlife of the city definitely happens here. There are also many hostels and cheap hotels. The houses are beautiful and since they´re colonial houses they´re very colorful. They make the street even more cheerful.
Nelson Mandela Square is on the outskirts of Johannesburg, which is the Sandton City which where most of the international chain hotels, offices and banks are. It's a major commercial center that spans several blocks. Inside this several block radius is Nelson Mandela Square, where there are different kinds of restaurants with a variety of options, such as pizza, seafood, African food ect. And presiding over the main entrance, we found the giant statue of Nelson Mandela, this time wearing the shirt of the national football team of South Africa.
This is frequently cited as one of the best botanical gardens in the world and if you visit you will see why. The setting on the edge of Table Mountain National Park is unbeatable even when the table cloth is rising and falling.
The easiest way to arrive is to take the "hop on hop off" city tour bus. This allows you to enjoy some wine tasting on the way back to Cape Town. Don't miss the coral trees, the protea garden and the recently-installed treetops walkway. Plus if you are peckish the cafe at the bus stop entrance serves English cream tea.
The union government buildings is one of the most lovely buildings in all of South Africa, 50 km from Johannesburg, reminding visitors of the movie Invictus when Mandela goes up to give his speech, and of which all South Africa is very proud because it marks the end of one situation.
I loved spending my birthday between hippos and crocodiles. This is a typical excursion in the Wetland Park of Greater St. Lucia, north of Durban. The lake is the largest estuary in Africa and the park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. We got there by car and as we said theowner of the Bed & Breakfast where we stayed and enjoyed our last hours in Africa was very friendly. According to him, the population was closer to Europeans and we were very welcomed. Once there, you can easily hire a boat. I recommend the sunset and that you enjoy the pure nature.
The Church Square is located in the city center of Pretoria which the administrative capital of the country. The first church in the city was built in this square, hence its name. The statue of Paul Kruger, made by Anton Van Wow,sits in the center of the square as a symbol for the city. Around this square are the main buildings of the city.
The house where Nelson Mandela lived before his arrest in the mid-'60s is now a museum. They say they now prefer to live in another neighborhood so that he doesn't bump into his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who lives in a mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens in the vicinity.
We went as a group of three. When we arrived, they gave us each a card - mine said "Blankes/Whites", and my friends got "Nie Blankes/Non Whites". We didn't understand, but they just told us to continue. The actual entrance to the museum is just around the building, and when we got there we understood: there are two separate entrances, one for whites and the other for non-whites. The randomly selected cards choose where you will go, and it seems at first that you're not going to see the same museum as your friends ... but the truth is that it's only the first part, full of stories of history (thankfully it's only history now), is seen separately. The rest of the museum is open to all. Absolutely recommended to learn about the horrors of the country's recent past. It takes between 2 and 5 hours, depending on whether or not you watch the audiovisuals (there are a few).
The exterior gardens of the Union Buildings are open to the public. Go for a stroll and you will find a statue of James B. Hertzog, an equestrian statue of General Louis Botha (the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa) and a memorial to the fallen in the First World War.