The South Africa Trip was a self guided tour using hire bikes, that custom built for the group by African Combi Tours. It commenced with flying into Cape Town, where we stayed at the Cactusberry Lodge and hiring bikes from Cape Bike Hire.
The we had a day trip to Mt Chapman and the Cape of Good Hope just to get used to the bikes and the roads. Along the way we saw wild Ostrich and Baboons.
We headed North East via the R303 and R46 through Paarl to the coldest place in Africa – Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. Where we went star gazing and visited SALT (South African Large Telescope). Enroute we visited Iverdoon, a Game Reserve in the Karoo Desert where we saw some of the Big 5 – Lion, Elephant, Buffaloo and Rhino (didn’t see the Leopard). We also saw Cheetah, Hippo, Zebra, Wilde Beast, Kudu and Giraffe.
We then headed South East on the R354 to Oudtshoorn. staying just outside at the lovely Swartzberg Manor. We got up very early to go and have a wild Meercat Encounter at sunrise. We conquered the awesome Swartzberg Pass and Karen recovered in Prince Albert with a double scotch!
Whilst in this area also we visited the Canga Caves and the Canga Wildlife Park – where we got to play with some Lemmurs and patted a 3 month old white tiger with paws the size of dinner plates! Whilst there we heard the King of the Jungle (Lion) roar – what an experience, it reverberates the soul! We saw all kinds of animals including Hippo, Crocodile, Porcupine, Otters, Ostrich and lots of snakes. Of the Big 5 we saw the Lion & Leopard.
We travelled South East via the N12 and N9 to the Montague Pass to George, then along the N2 to the coastal town of Knysna. We took a trip out to the Tsitsikamma National Park in Stormsriver in the Eastern Cape and did some Zip Lining – awesome!
We then headed West back along the N2 to the Western Cape staying at Mossel Bay. It was bucketing down and our trip to the Botlierscop Game Reserve was cancelled but the second day, although damp, was okay for us to reschedule. It was totally awesome – Of the Big 5 we saw Lion, Elephant, Buffaloo and Rhino (didn’t see the Leopard). We also so Giraffe, Zebra, Wilde Beast, Kudu and Springbok
Continuing East along the N2 we travelled through Riversdale, Barry Dale onto Swellendam. From here we travelled South West to Cape Agulhas (the Southern Most Point). We travelled onwards North West to Montagu, via Caledon, Franschhook onto Paarl, where we stayed at the Ridgeback Lodge (Winery).
Whilst there we headed South to Stellenbosch and the Stellenbosch Pass. We went past Gansbaai on our way to Hermanus. We would return to Gansbai at the end of the ride, as we spent and extra week in Capetown. From Paarl we returned to Cape Town, having completed the beautiful Garden Route.
During our extra week in Cape Town we explored the city, Abseiling off Table Mountain with Abseil Africa – a totally AWESOME ADVENTURE, and we hiked back up the mountain – on a very dangerous route that we didn’t know was dangerous at the time! We also went cage diving with the Great White Sharks at Gansbaai – but in reality only Vince ended up in the water, Karen just fed the sharks by throwing up from sea sickness! Although Vince was also sea sick he was determined not to miss out on this adventure that he had been dreaming about for ages! For Karen the highlight was a visit to the Cheetah Outreach Centre, where we got to get up close and personal with some big pussy cats – who purr!