We were met upon arrival at Cape Town airport...
Mar 31 - Apr 12, 2023
We were met upon arrival at Cape Town airport by Jennifer who escorted us thru the the car rental site and out the door. What a lovely assistance, she provided. She also provided us with a couple bottle of wine for the nights relaxation. Lindi, our coordinator, did a wonderful job of putting together some really nice B&B's for your trip to SA. The Cape Riviera Guest House was centrally located to a lot of the attractions available in Cape Town. It was also within walking distance to many restaurants. The Guest House is a little dated but that added to the ambiance of the place. The grounds were nice to stroll in. Owen, the proprietor , was very pleasant and informative. The breakfast was a great way to start the day.
Our first day got off a little late due to our intended guide becoming deathly ill. Lindi scrambled to get us a replacement on short notice. Not having the itinerary, Micheal, our guide, started us with a trip to the top of Table Mtn. We rode the gondola to the top. What a gorgeous view of CapeTown from there. Michael walked us around the paths, introducing us to the plants, animals, and, the water gathering systems up there. After getting back to the vehicle, We got a history lesson from Michale about apartheid and the changes that came with it as we drove to the waterfront for lunch. We strolled around there for a bit and lost track of time. We drove by the Church of Good Hope but had insufficient time to wander thru the inside.
Day 2, Michael drove us along the Camps Bays, Chapman's Peak scenic hwy to Cape Point. What a great drive. We did a little hiking on the head lands before taking the obligatory photo of the Cape of Good Hope sign. From there, we wandered up the east side of the Cape Peninsula making our way to Groot Constancia winery for lunch and to taste a few of their wines. After lunch, a visit to Kirshtenbosch Botanical Gardens was made. Michael introduced us to the miriad of plants , trees, ferns, their medicinal uses, etc and the history of the gardens. Two days is not near enough to spend in CApeTown. THere's just too much to see and experience. We will spend some more time here when we return.
Day 3 and beyond, we were on our own. We drove thru the Winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Specifically, we stopped at KanonKop, Babylonstroen, Boschendal and Lanzerac wineires. We strolled around the grounds and tasted their wines. Very impressive farms, they all were, especially Babykonstroen. we ended our day at Herman's, late. We found our B&B...Whale Rock Lodge right after sunset. THis is a very nice establishment, nice grounds, well kept.
Day 4, Melanie, the proprietor, met us in the AM for Breakfast and gave us info on beach walks from the Lodge, We wandered along the rocky coastline for a morning stretch before getting back in our vehicle and driving onward. We made our way thru the scenic countryside and back roads to Cape Agulhas where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. After stretching and picture taking, it was back in the car and off to the Garden Route and Knysna for a couple of days. Lindi's choice of the Blackwaters River Lodge was a nice stay. Jane and Bonita made our two night stay very pleasant. They do a very nice meal service and breakfast here. The veranda was a nice, quiet place to relax and sip some of the wines we sourced on our trip.
We did some mountain hiking in the morning, then down to Robberg Nature Reserve for some more hiking. The trails in the Reserve can be somewhat daunting for the uninformed, as we found out. the 5.5K trail around the peninsula included a lot of rock hopping and sands. we were bushed when we finished. We dined on oysters and seafood in Knysna at 34 street, on the water front. We ran out of time for the sunset cruise of the Knysna Estuary and headlands, but would recommend it for the future .
From Knysna, we continued our drive along the West Cape and into the East Cape on N2 thru Port Elizabeth, then headed north on N10 before turning westward on R400, inland to Kuzuko Lodge in the Central Karoo and Greater Addo Elephant Reserve. The first 10k of R400 is extremely rough. We found a better alternative on the way out, using R335, a much smoother, unpaved road, 15 K out of the way but quicker over all. The Kuzuko Lodge is a great stay in the middle of nowhere. The Reserve consists of 15000 Hectare of the Karoo. We did four game drives on the reserve, one each morning and each evening. We saw plenty of wildlife to keep us happy: Elephants, giraffes, lions, cheetah, a miriade of antelope from small to large, raptors, cranes, meerkats, mongoose, jackles and more. The staff at Kuzuko were very accommodating and pleasant. Their meals were very nice, too. Got to give a shoutout to our game driver, Quinton, very informative on the the animals and history of the Reserve. The spa staff at the Lodge did an incredible job of working all the kinks and knots out of our muscles after a jostling game drive. Highly recommend their services.
Lindi, of Salty/KimKim Tours did a great job of arranging our rental car, guide and stays for our trip. The BNB'S were 4 star and higher. The included meals were a nice addition. The Kuzuko Game Lodge and staff were really great too. AS I mentioned before, two days in Cape Town is not near enough time to see all that is available. The same can be said of all the stops along our route . We will need to return to South Africa again to capture more of its scenic wonders. Thanks Lindi for giving us a glimpse of this great county.