South Africa: A Cape Paradise South Africa is not just a safari destination — it attracts people from all around the world with its hip neighborhoods, eco-friendly tourism and unique history. Cape Town is situated between a mountain range on one side and the Atlantic Ocean with beautiful beaches on the other. In between is a vibrant, diverse city with a rich history. You can catch these amazing views from the hike up to Lion’s Head, the iconic mountain peak.(Lion’s Head Hiking Trail)In order to see Lion’s Head, you need to go up even higher, to the top of Table Mountain. Luckily there’s a cable car that does exactly that! (Table Mountain National Park)Down in the city of Cape Town, you’ll find a lively town with a rich history… Bo-Kaap is a must-see neighborhood, not only for its photogenic colorful buildings but also for its unique Cape Malay heritage. Malays are descendants of people from Southeast Asia who were exiled by the Dutch East India Company to South Africa.(Atlas Trading Co.)Many of the first Malay immigrants were religious leaders rebelling the colonization of the company. As a result, Bo-Kaap became home to the first Muslim community in South Africa, which later continued to develop as more slaves were brought in from Southeast Asia.(Streets of Bo-Kaap)We were lucky to stay at a beautiful AirBnB in Bo-Kaap with amazing views of Table Mountain!(Bloem St)District Six is a neighborhood symbolizing the impact of apartheid on the people of Cape Town. Like many others across the country, residents of this area were forcefully removed from their homes by the regime and forced into resettling in shanty towns outside of the city. This museum contains information and artifacts about this dark history but the effects of it are still very visible.(District Six Museum)The Cape Peninsula is an excellent road trip that can be completed in a day, including picture-perfect beaches, cute towns, an old lighthouse, a botanical garden…. and penguins… what else would one need!?(Hout Bay)There are so many beaches on the way to the Cape of Good Hope that you can stop by. Or you can just take in the views from the road! (Nordhoek Beach)You could spend all day on any beach you pick on the way — and there are many — but we were in a hurry to see the tuxedo-wearing flightless birds…(Nordhoek Beach)Simon’s Town is the place to be if you want to see African Penguins — and I guarantee, you want to see these unique creatures.(Boulders Beach)You can get close to this wild colony (please keep your distance and let them come to you!) and even swim with them. Highly recommended!After penguin viewing, our Cape Peninsula tour was complete with a seafood dinner at Kalk Bay.(Foxy Beach)Next day was the beginning of the second part of our road trip: the Garden Route. First stop was a boat trip from Hermanus, where we saw all of the marine Big 5: whales, dolphins, sea lions, penguins and a shark!Then we did a quick pit-stop at Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. There’s a symbolic marker for a photo opportunity, as well as a cool 3-D map of Africa.(Southern tip of Africa / Cape Agulhas)After spending the night in Mossel Bay, we experienced a unique hiking nearby. A guided tour leads you down the cliffs to a series of caves overlooking the ocean. Evidently, these were home to humans 160 thousand years ago, overlooking vast savannah land (it later became the ocean we see today). The walls of the cave had layers of fossilized remains.(St Blaze Hiking Trail)We drove to nearby Wilderness, a small coastal town famous for its nature. After a scenic yet bumpy road, we arrived at Nima Lodge, a highly recommended eco-friendly boutique resort.(Map of Africa)We stopped by Plettenberg Bay for our longest hike with beautiful views of the ocean with dramatic cliffs and sand dunes.(Robberg Nature Reserve)Moving along the coastline, we arrived at Knysna for a glamping experience. It took us three tries over 2 days to get this wood-fired hot tub running but it was worth it in the end.(AfriCamps at Ingwe)The garden route ended at Tsitsikamma National Park, where we kayaked from the ocean inward through Storms River’s refreshing cold water (with a wetsuit of course!), with pretty views all around.(Untouched Adventures Kayak & Lilo Tour)Our “garden route” road trip ended where it started, Cape Town. This time we stayed close to one of the city’s own beaches, overlooking Lion’s Head. This also marked the end to our stay, with a refreshing coolness from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean combined with warm feelings from yet another amazing experience in Africa. (Camps Bay) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here... Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email (required) (Address never made public) Name (required) Website You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change ) You are commenting using your Google account. ( Log Out / Change ) You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change ) You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change ) Cancel Connecting to %s Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.