I traveled to South Africa in late February to celebrate my birthday with my mother. We began our visit in Cape Town, and spent several days taking in all the beautiful differences around us at one of the most southern tips of the world.
We loved our stay at the Ambassador Hotel, which is built into the side of a cliff on the ocean, and our visit to Table Mountain – which offers amazing views from both below and above. There’s also the stunning Cape Point and the penguin colony nearby, as well as ostrich farms and markets. Cape Town is a magical place for animals, I saw ostriches on the beach, baboons crossing the road, and dolphins playing in the surf.
Queen Victoria & Prince Albert’s wharf is home to shopping and restaurants – can’t go wrong there! Best place to buy local art and goods, like beaded animals and carved ostrich eggs. I purchased several ostrich eggs only to find out they are sold at Whole Foods, but I still treasure them! We enjoyed dinner at Mama Africa for authentic South African food. Much of South African cuisine is heavily influenced by south Asian spices, so be sure to try out a few Indian restaurants as well—they are amazing!
For our safari adventure, we boardedn a tiny plane to Hoedspruit, where from the window we spotted giraffes amongst the trees. We stayed at the Kapama Game Reserve in our own tiny tree house cottage and where all meals, even tea time, was provided by the kind and loving staff. Kapama is on the edge of Kruger National Park and amongst a series of private nature and game reserves which makes it much easier to see animals in an open jeep.
There are two tours every day, one at 5 AM in the morning and one at 5 PM at night, these are the times when the animals are most active. We napped each afternoon to rest up before the evening run. I saw lions, giraffes, buffalo, one lone leopard, zebras, hippos and rhinos. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Many safaris are closed top jeeps so make sure to book one where you’re in an open vehicle, it makes everything so much easier. Spend every day there animal watching, but take a morning to enjoy the relaxing Kapama spa which is set near a watering hole so you can keep an eye on the animals. I saw a warthog family bathing in the water during my session. It’s also a great idea to go during the northern winter as it is green and beautiful in South Africa at the time. Even though there is more greenery and animals can hide in the lush growth, the view that you get of the reserve is one of a kind.
The Ambassador Hotel
34 Victoria Road, Bantry Bay
Cape Town, South Africa
+27 21 439 6170
Kapama Game Reserve
56 Jerome Road, Lynnwood Glen
+27 12 368 0600
Special Thanks to Honeymoon/Travel Agent Cory Orchin at Frosch Travel