Day 1 - Cape Town
We took a 11D8N guided tour to South Africa in June, which is the beginning of winter. Temperature is generally between 8 to 18 degree celsius with some colder days. We flied to Cape Town from Singapore via Johannesburg. SG to Joburg, 10.5 hrs, Cape Town to Joburg, 1 hr plus.
Castle of Good Hope
During the apartheid days, the houses of the coloured people (non-black nor white) were not supposed to have house number. Houses were differentiated by colours.
Police patrolling on horses
After the city tour, we adjourned to an Ostrich Farm for ostrich lunch
Ostrich meat and egg for lunch. The meat is quite tough. Ostrich meat and egg is supposed to be low in cholestrol
Cable car ride to Table Mountain - One of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The other new wonders include Halong Bay and Jeju Island
One of the world's 3 rotating cable car
The guide told us that 40% of the time the mountain is not accessible due to strong wind. We were fortunate to be able to visit the top though the mountain was quite misty.
Day 2 - Cape Peninsula
Scenic drive through Sea Point, Clifton Beach, Camps Bay, Hout Bay
Boat trip to Duiker Island for seal watching
Scenic drive through Chapman's Peak
Lobster lunch at Fish Hoek
Very sweet and fresh oysters - 130 Rands for 6 (approx S$13)
Simon Town, Boulders Beach - African penguin watch
Unlike penguins in Australia which appear at dusk, African penguins appear during the day
Cape Point Nature Reserve - took a funicular ride to hillcrest of Cape of Good Hope. This place is the most southern tip of South Africa
Day 3 - Wine land of Western Cape
Birds of Prey Centre
Walking tour at the pretty township - Stellenbosch with the backdrop of the Hollentots Holland Mts, oak lined streets and lanes
Wine Tasting and lunch at the scenic and award winning Lanzerac vineyard. Chocolate was paired with the wine. Pinotage is the award winning wine of the vineyard.
Lunch and dessert was very satisfying
The scenery at the vineyard was awesome
South Africa national flower
The restaurant with a fireplace
Squatters along the highway. The box like structures are communal toilets. 20 people shared one toilet and electricity is mostly tapped illegally
The 10 minutes helicopter ride over Cape Town was fun
Helicopter view of Signal Hill, Lion's Head and Table Mt
Helicopter view of Cape Town Stadium which hosted the world cup - can sit 60,000
12 Apostles (SA's version)
Shopping at Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Most of the shops at the mall carry Australia brand. The whole place has an Australian vibes.
A quaint, old school and luxurious barber shop
Day 4 - Cape Town to Johannesburg
We took an early morning flight from Cape Town to Joburg - about 1 hrs plus
The Voortrekker Monument - commemorate the Battle of Blood River in 1838
Pretoria city tour - Kruger House Museum, Church Square, City Hall, State Theatre and Opera House. SA has 3 capitals -legislative, judicial and administrative capital and 2 parliaments, north and south. Pretoria is one of the capitals.
These look like public housing
Statue of Mr Nelson Mandela
Day 5 - Sun City
1st Game drive at Pilanesberg National Park. The drive started at early morning 6 am. Temperature was below 10 degree - around 5 to 8 degree, I guessed.
This was the most fruitful trip amongst the 4 game drives we had in search of the Big 5. We managed to sight 3 of the Big 5s - lions, rhinos, elephants. We didn't manage to catch the other 2 - leopard and buffalo. They are the 5 most ferocious animals in SA, thus the name Big 5. The chance of sighting buffalo is far and rare. The ranger told us at time he could not sight any buffalo for 4 months.
Sun City Main Hotel which we stayed. Nice hotel with comfortable beds though pillows too flat.
High tea at the majestic Palace Hotel. Only patrons and hotel guests are allowed to enter the hotel. The guard at the entrance checked like a hawk.
Food was not fantastic but the ambience, pretty cutlery more than make up for the lacklustre buffet spread plus the price is cheap by Singapore standard - 235 rand (approx S$23)
The restaurant manager, at our request, agreed to take us up to King's Tower, which is supposed to have a panoramic view of the whole resort. Unfortunately the tower was closed for renovation. The manager had kindly brought us to this inner court for photo taking.
Day 6 - Entabeni Game Reserve
We arrived at Entabeni after 3 hours plus drive from Sun City. We drove through a stretch of gravel road, alighted from the coach and transferred to a jeep that took us to our lodge, the Ravineside Lodge. The reception and dinning area is separated from the accommodation. We are not allowed to walk to our accommodation. The ranger will drive us back and forth to our accommodation for safety reason.
The lodge we stayed, in the midst of wilderness. 3 lodges plus one common area are built in one cluster. Some of our tour mates heard trampling of elephants/rhino (?) outside their lodge at night.
2nd Game Drive - late afternoon drive upon arrival at Entabeni Game Reserve. It was drizzling that afternoon. The drive was from 4pm to 6pm plus. Sun set around 5pm. It was freezing cold. I guessed the temperature that night could be close to zero degree celsius. Not a very fruitful drive as the animals are usually not active in cold weather.
We sighted an awesome sight - a herd of wildebeests
The hippos refused to surface from the water
Day 7 - Entabeni
3rd Game drive - morning drive after breakfast
Wildlife Centre for endangered species - white lion
The dining area of the lodge we stayed
4th Game drive - afternoon drive. The 2 days stay at the game reserve was really "hard work"- we kept having meals and more game drive after each meal......:)
Basking in the beauty and wonder of nature
Day 9 - Johannesburg
We took a 4 hours drive back to Joburg and had lunch at Carnivore Restaurant -Africa's Greatest Eating Experience - a selection of grilled game including zebra, crocodile, impala
Lesedi Cultural Village - guided tour of the homesteads of 5 natives -
Zulu, Xhosa, Bosotho, Ndebele, Pedi
We had early dinner after the cultural show at Lesedi Village before returning to the hotel at Joburg. We took an afternoon flight the following day to fly back to Singapore. Overall, it was a good trip. Lots to eat (too much, meat especially, indeed), made some new friends and have a better understanding of the beautiful land of South Africa.