My Africa trip was beyond amazing. An African vacation is one adventure that should be on everybody’s bucket list.
Once we arrived in Cape Town, we were transferred to Stellenbosch, a small charming university town within the winelands region. It’s a very walk-able town, with lots of small boutiques and restaurants on every corner. We stayed The Oude Werf Hotel, which is the oldest and most historic hotel in Stellenbosch. The hotel retains the graceful ambience of antique furniture aligned with the comforts of modern living. Some rooms were decorated antique style, while others were modern.
The next morning we visited the Waterford Wine Estates for a chocolate & wine tasting experience. Learning about the local wines, taking a cellar tour and learning about the process of wine making was very educational. After wine tasting, we visited a little Franschhoek, a quiet town with shops featuring local arts & crafts, before heading to Franschhoek Country House & Villas. This property is beautiful, surrounded by enchanting vineyards, majestic Huguenot Mountains, lemon trees and roses. It is the perfect setting for any wedding or family reunion.
After seeing the property and enjoying a wonderful lunch we returned to Cape Town and visited Table Mountain. This was an experience everybody should do; however, it will depend on weather. If it’s too cloudy or windy, you won’t be able to enjoy the experience. We lucked out with a beautiful sunny day. Once on top, there are sweeping views of Devil’s Peak to the east & Lion’s Head to the west, with the dramatic backdrop of Cape Town below.
Our hotel was The Taj, a combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architecture. It combines the heritage of the old with the luxury of the new. It’s in a wonderful location, within walking distance of the famous pedestrian St. George’s mall. The historic structure of the Taj Cape Town features Heritage rooms, Tower rooms, Suites & The Presidential Suite.
Next morning we visitedf Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for so many years. It's a very emotional moment visiting this site, and learning about how many people suffered there during the years of apartheid. South Africa has come a long way since, and quickly.
We headed out for afternoon excursions to Cape Peninsula & Boulder National Park. We drove past the pristine beaches of Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno before arriving to Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Boulder National Park is where one can see African Penguins. Driving through the reserve we enjoyed the millions of wild flowers or every color, and saw a few ostriches as well.
After a wonderful four days in Cape Town, we headed to Kruger National Park. Just a short flight through Johannesburg, connecting into Kruger National Airport. Upon arrival, it was approx. a 2-hour drive to Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. This is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in the Sabi Sands game reserve. Up close game viewing with luxurious amenities was the start of our African safari. This exclusive safari camp was surrounded by clusters of shady trees and manicured lawns along the banks of the Sand River. One of my favorite spots at the resort was a large wooden safari deck shaded by Jackalberry trees, looking over the river, watching the steady flow of wildlife passing by.
There's many species of animals to see, including lions, elephants, leopards, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, zebras and great variety of small animals, as well as wonderful birdlife. It was remarkable how up close and personal you get with these animals. Most of these animals were less than a few feet away from us at times. It was the most incredible travel experience I've had... Tracy Brazil