Where to Stay
Where to Eat
What to Do
Stellenbosch Wine Country
The Stellenbosch wine country in South Africa is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a trip. Its cradled between gorgeous mountains and boasts some of the best wines in the world. I also know there's a train route that allows you to hop on and off at certain wineries, which sounds like a fun day for wine lovers. We took a private bus tour and here were my favorite stops:
Cape Point Tour
We did a bus tour to Cape Point from Cape Town. Including lunch, it took us over five hours. It's a beautiful drive along the west coast of Cape Town, with stops along viewpoints in the different bays. The tour takes you to Cape Point National Park, where we saw wild monkeys and ostriches. It stops at the Cape of Good Hope Old Lighthouse. The walk up to the lighthouse takes about twenty minutes and it's a pretty view from the top. From there, our tour took us to Cape Point, which is apparently the farthest southern point in Cape Town... not South Africa haha. From there, we visited Boulder Beach to see the African penguins. On our way back to Cape Town, we stopped at Kalk Bay to get lunch at Harbour House on the water. If you're lucky, the fishermen will be throwing away scraps and there will be seals playing.
Robben Island and Nelson Mandela
We took a tour of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held a prisoner for 18 years of his 27-year prison sentence. Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid political leader, was South Africa's first black President and the first to be elected by a fully representative democratic election. The tour, including the ferry to and from the island, took over five hours. On the island, we were given a tour of the prison by a former prisoner and then a bus tour around the island, stopping at a viewpoint of Cape Town. The prison was the most interesting part of the tour, especially since the former prisoner could speak firsthand of the horrible conditions and he also knew Nelson Mandela personally. The former prisoner even lives on Robben Island in addition to some of the former prison guards, showing that they forgive each other for the atrocities that took place just a few years ago. The bus tour of the island was less exciting, but we learned some interesting stories about another famous political activist, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. Sobukwe's ideas were so influential that the government put him into isolation on the island, fenced in a small home where his children were allowed to come visit every so often. Eventually, he was released to return home while on extreme house arrest. Sadly, the isolation took a huge toll on Sobukwe and his spirit was broken by the time he made it home.
The day after we took our tour of Robben Island, it was what was supposed to be Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday. South Africans and people around the globe recognize his birthday as Nelson Mandela day. For the 60 years Nelson spent making the world a better place, it is encouraged to spend 60 minutes on his birthday doing something positive for others.
Watch my video blog from our South African Safari:
When In Rome
Two of my most cherished hobbies go hand-in-hand. Writing is my favorite way to reflect after traveling to a new country. I have kept this blog ever since I studied in Rome to share my travels with families and friends. I hope you enjoy learning about my experiences and getting a sense for my writing skills. If you have any questions, please reach out!