Off The Beaten Track
We road-tripped in South Africa like the locals did and loved every minute of it...
Have you ever traveled somewhere and just wanted to "fit in"... you know, "do it as the locals do it"?
Guess what? We did it and loved it!!
A few of us sat in my lounge one evening and just decided that we needed an adventure and what better place to travel to than South Africa? And this is where it all began. One call to our local travel agent and BOOM... before we knew it we were on an airplane to Cape Town, South Africa's Mother City.
On arrival, we collected our car before heading to the hotel we were staying in for the night. Luckily, the shops opened early and closed quite late, so we managed to purchase our groceries and supplies from the local shops. We giggled as we were determined to try the local foods like Chakalaka (try to pronounce that hahaha!)
The next day, we drove around the beautiful Cape Town Peninsular and headed into the Winelands. We stayed the night in Robertson on the famous Route 62 - a breathtaking drive. Having a traditional braai dinner and sipping on craft beer and some amazing South African wine was the order of the day.
After packing up, we headed on a scenic drive from Roberson to Oudtshoorn with a stop for milkshakes at the Diesel & Creme, Barrydale. The beauty of the Cape is jaw-dropping and Oudtshoorn was an awesome stop! Our visits to the Cango Caves and Highgate Ostrich farm were loads of fun. The hospitality and friendliness of these small places were so special.
The next day we continued our Cape Adventure driving from Oudtshoorn to George and then along the coastline of Port Elizabeth, passing Knysna, Jeffreys Bay, and into Port Elizabeth. We meandered at leisure along this route, stopping in Knysna for a walkabout and their famous oysters for lunch! Jeffreys Bay was equally beautiful as we made a small stop, and wet our feet in the sea for the "been there got the T-shirt" picture before moving on to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) for the night.
After breakfast the next day, we dropped the car at the airport and headed to Durban - the Spice City!
On arrival at King Shaka International Airport, we collected a car and drove to our overnight accommodation. We noticed a complete difference from the Cape as we entered the Zulu Kingdom. We spent our first night in Durban. We visited Inanda and ate shisanyma at a local tavern enjoying some local company. What an interesting evening indeed.
The next day, we were heading north to Zululand for an exciting safari experience. We were eager to see Africa's Big 5. We spent three nights on safari and just couldn't get enough of the bush and our very animated Zulu ranger. He left a huge footprint on our hearts. Soon we were back on the road and continued to head north as we meandered to Thonga Beach Lodge for a warm Indian Ocean 2-night beach experience. We snorkeled above sharks and swam with wild dolphins - experiences that left indelible imprints of Africa on our hearts.
With time escaping, we found ourselves back on the road heading to Johannesburg for our last night in South Africa. We ate at the Chief’s Boma Restaurant enjoying many traditional flavours of South Africa. Needing to maximize our time here, we enjoyed brunch at a local tavern in Soweto, having just enough time to connect with some locals before heading to the airport for our flight home.
This trip was the tip of the iceberg for us. It was a taster of South Africa, enough to make us want to come back for more!
SOME NOTES FROM THE TRAVEL DESK:
- This itinerary is highly recommended for all diving skills.
- You can add additional nights in Cape Town/Durban and explore more!
- Recommended time of year: June-July for visibility & migrations.
- Compassline Africa's terms and conditions apply