A few of us girls had completed a dive course and were hooked… connected to the big blue. The beauty that lies beneath the water is a transformation to a very different world, with a whole set of different challenges. We were the “aliens” as we ventured through reefs, explored wrecks, and encountered species that left us in awe. This place was invitingly magical!
Tara was in charge of plotting our dives and was conservative on the site she chose. That was until she proposed an exciting travel idea - diving in South Africa! She had been chatting to a travel agent who specialised in combining sea and safari packages and once they had compiled an itinerary, she presented it to us. She had us “where two oceans meet” and we were soon off on an adventure of a lifetime.
We had spent three nights in South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town. Here we explored this picturesque city and its surroundings, including a great white shark cage dive. Usually, we would never do this sort of thing, but glad we did as we experienced unchartered waters. It helped that after this cage experience, we ended our day in the Winelands sipping some of the finest Cape wines as we meandered back to Cape Town City.
From Cape Town, we flew commercially to Durban, The Spice City of South Africa, and home to the Zulu nation. Immediately the landscape changed, as did the customs & culture of the people. We spent our first night in the Umhlanga area before heading to the south coast. We spent 2 nights in a local hotel on the beach in Scottburgh. The hotel had a dive center that hired out diving gear and their boat launched right in front of our hotel - so the location was perfect. This is where we dived the world-famous Aliwal Shoal… an experience that was edged into our hearts. KwaZulu-Natal stole our hearts. We drove to an area called Oribi Gorge and completed the longest Zipline in the Southern Hemisphere. It was a great experience having a bird's view from the tree canopies.
We then left the south coast super early heading north to Zululand. We drove to a little town called St Lucia, where we did a boat cruise on the Isimangaliso Estuary viewing hippos and crocodiles that survive in a concentration of salt water. The Estuary also feeds a host of animals from the national park, varieties of bird species and not to mention bull sharks and fish. What an awesome experience! We stayed the night In St Lucia to take in the river and loved the stories from the locals about the hippos that roam at night.
We then headed further north to a place called Sodwana Bay where we stayed for the next 4 nights, diving and just beach combing… this was like being in heaven!! Following Sodwana, we headed to Hluhluwe for an amazing BIG 5 safari in a private game reserve for the following two nights, before heading home.
We fell in love with South Africa the country and the South African people and of course a beans bunny chow…
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