It’s good to be back home in my own bed after spending a week in South Africa. While some people thought I was relaxing on vacation, that wasn’t the case unfortunately because it was a familiarization trip packed with a lot of activities. Activities that have left me craving more of South Africa which I’ll be exploring in a much slower pace in the future.
I travelled with a group and we were twenty five in total from Nigeria and Ghana. The journey took us to three out of the nine provinces in the country: Gauteng Province-the most populated and urbanized province, North West-a very rural and rustic province with Suncity being a major attraction and Western province-home to the mother city a.k.a Cape Town.
We landed at OR Tambo airport on the first day and headed straight to the North west province which was about two hours drive. There was a tour guide who gave us a brief history of the country as we drove through the rustic roads of the province. We checked into the Kingdom Resort (where we spent three nights) and had an hour massage session before dinner.
The next day, we delved into the activities fully and started off at the Chamelion village and lion park where we learnt about some animals and had interacted with Lion cubs. Afterwards was headed to Predators pride where we met the restless Cheetah which kept purring at a warthog in a nearby cage. I must say, I’m getting too used to this particular activity because it wasn’t my first time interacting with wild cats. Maybe it’s time I get adopted :).
After lunch, we headed to Elephant Sanctuary where we learnt more about the gentle giant. We then took turns feeding, touching and walking with them. Our last stop for the day was at Lesedi Cultural Village where we learnt about the indigenous cultures of South Africa. We went on a tour of the villages and there a performance afterwards followed by dinner before we called it a night.
We spent the third day at Suncity after our hot air balloon experience was canceled earlier in the morning due to strong winds. We started with breakfast at Cabanas and headed to the maze where we got lost. A number of us (if not all) ended up using the “Quick In” entrance to get to the bar that was on the other side.
Afterwards, the group split into two and half went on a tour of the palace while the other half went for the safari quad biking experience.
I was with the group that went quad biking and it was a trilling experience seeing animals up close while riding the quad bike. The ride lasted for an hour and we went to the palace where we met with the other half of the group for lunch. We switched places and the other half went for the safari quad biking. After our tour of the palace, it was time for Jet skiing and that was fun because I love water :D. Dinner was at Suncity hotel before retreating to the kingdom for the night.
We got up early the next morning and started the two hour commute to catch our flight to Cape Town. It was also a two hour flight and we got there around two o’clock in the afternoon. Off to our hotel Cape Sun to check in and kick off our activities for Cape Town. Unfortunately, Cape Town weather wasn’t cooperating so we went back to our hotel after having lunch at Protea. Later in the evening, we took to Long Street exploring the clubs and hangout spots . We finally settled at Cappello where we had drinks and enjoyed some live music before calling it a night.
Day two in Cape Town was packed. We headed to Robben Island after breakfast on a thirty minute ferry ride. The weather was good but it was quite windy during the ride. The tour of Robben Island started at the prison section. Our tour guide was an ex-apartheid prisoner and was very knowledgeable about the prisons. He took us through the yards explaining what took place at different parts and showed us Mandela’s prison cell. He also took time to answer our questions after the tour.
Our tour guide at Mandela prison was one of the ex political prisoners that was imprisoned on the island during apartheid. He had so much knowledge about the island for obvious reasons and it was a priviledge learning about the history from a living witness #SaSpecialist2016 #Nigeriameetsouthafrica #GhanaMeetSouthAfrica #WestAfricaMeetSouthAfrica #TravelToSA @traveltosa #flysaa #CapeTown #MeetSouthAfrica #RobbenIsland
We then commenced the second half of the tour. Another tour guide took over from the prison yard and started to give us more history of the island. He didn’t fail to emphasize that most tourist think of Robben island as just being a Maximum security prison but people actually live on the island. We had to cut the trip short in order to get to Table Mountain on time but it wouldn’t be complete without a picture at the selfie post with “Table Mountain”.
The initial plan was to have lunch at a restaurant at the V&A waterfront but they were going to keep us longer than anticipated to we headed straight to take the Cable Car to the top of Table mountain We had lunch when we got to table mountain and most went round afterwards to enjoy the view from the mountain. It was really freezing up there and I had to get my ish together regardless of the weather. After all the photobombing and selfie session, we took the cable car down to catch the sightseeing bus on a city tour.
The tour took us through Camps Bay which is along the coast line of the city. We got off at V&A waterfront and went to the Two Oceans Aquarium.
After the Aquarium visit, we went back to our hotel to relax for an hour before we went for dinner at Southern Sun The Cullinan, managed by the same company as Cape Sun where we lodged. We had a brief tour of their rooms before we had dinner at the restaurant.
According to our itinerary, we were to experience Cape Town’s night life since it was a Friday but more than half of the group were exhausted so we split and those who were interested headed to Cubana. I was with the bunch that headed back to the hotel. The sleep was much needed at that point and superseded any other activity.
The next day was a Saturday and we had breakfast at the hotel before we left at about past ten for the airport. We arrived back in Johannesburg in the afternoon and headed to Rand airport for a helicopter ride, a surprise from our host since our hot-air balloon ride was canceled. We split ourselves into five different group of five and when it was my group’s turn, I launched straight for the front seat. I have been on a helicopter ride before and regretted not staying in front so I didn’t want to take any chances this time around.
Cape Town in 2 days and we are ready to leave. Not enough time to explore this wonderful city if you ask me but one thing I know for sure is that I'LL BE BACK! #SaSpecialist2016 #Nigeriameetsouthafrica #GhanaMeetSouthAfrica #WestAfricaMeetSouthAfrica #TravelToSA @traveltosa #flysaa #CapeTown #MeetSouthAfrica
Afterwards, we went on a cruise on the Hartbeesport Dam. We got there quite late and we were extremely exhausted at this point because it was about an hour and half drive to the dam and the same amount of time back. Before we lodged at Hilton Sandton for the night, we stopped at Homebaze for dinner. It’s a popular restaurant in Sandton that serves food from across the continent including West Africa. That lifted our spirits because we were eating food from home for the first time in days.
The next day was Departure day but we were given the option of extending our stay at our own cost (changing our ticket was at no extra cost) which I gladly accepted with open arms. I wanted to rest and I had to see someone in the city plus I wanted more time to do some shopping. We all headed to Nelson Mandela square for pictures and those departing that day rushed to do some shopping before taking the Gautrain to the airport.
A very big THANK YOU to South African Tourism for showing us a glimpse of this beautiful country and making us thirst more.
The highlight of the trip for me was visiting Robben Island and I can’t wait to be back in South Africa. I’m already planning a group trip there for December with media specialist OloriSupergal. If you are interested, kindly indicate by sending a mail. Thank you.
Have you ever been to South Africa? What do you like about the Country?
*My trip to South Africa was courtesy of the South African Tourism. All opinions however remain my own.