South Africa | Classic Journeys Blog
  • South Africa

    South Africa Adventure: Trip Recap

    The wonder of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">South Africa </a>is the dramatic and irresistible diversity of its cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Two of our longtime guests who have taken 13 trips with us, Terry and Dotty, explored the beauties of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/tag/South%20Africa/" target="_blank">Cape Town</a>, enjoyed the famous wines of the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/tag/South%20Africa/" target="_blank"> South African Winelands</a> and searched for <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">The Big Five</a>—the elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard—on a three-day safari experience during their recent trip to South Africa with Classic Journeys. Here is a quick trip recap of their adventure that has us all adding this destination to our bucket lists. <br><br><b>Day 1 - Cape Town </b><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Cape Town</a> is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with sheer cliffs that fall into the cold sapphire-colored waters of the Atlantic to the west of the city mixing with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean to the east. Since its founding in 1652, the city&#39;s culture and architecture have been influenced by the indigenous groups, the Dutch and the British. Dotty and Terry explored the historical city with local Cape Town guide, Clive, and stopped for high tea at the famously painted pink Mount Nelson Hotel, located at the foot of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/tag/South%20Africa/" target="_blank">Table Mountain</a>. Following lunch, they walked along <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Lions Head Trail</a> and took in the sweeping views of the coastal city. After a lengthy walk and day of exploration, they enjoyed a dinner of fresh seafood in a restaurant on the city&#39;s famous Bree Street. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXX0" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Day 2 -  Cape of Good Hope </b><br><br>The day started with a southward guided drive with their local guide, Clive, over<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"> Chapman&#39;s Peak Drive</a>, an engineering marvel that hugs the cliffs and offers jaw-dropping ocean views. The day was dedicated to exploring the historic <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Cape of Good Hope</a> where the Portuguese navigators once sailed in the 15th century. They walked on trails high above the ocean and stopped to enjoy the views over a glass of champagne. Clive recounted that while admiring the coastal views over champagne, a baboon snuck up and stole their cooler of waters providing for some laughs (at least it didn&#39;t steal the bubbly!). They then visited <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Boulder Beach</a>, home to the largest colony of endangered African penguins as well as the famous <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens</a>, home to more than 7,000 plant species. Their day ended with a lovely dinner at Karibu restaurant, located along the city&#39;s Wharf. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXWq" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXWv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Day 3 - Cultural Townships &amp; Robben Island</b> <br><br>In order to learn more about modern South Africa and the path the country has taken since apartheid, it&#39;s essential to visit the townships located in the peripheries of the city. Clive guided Dotty and Terry through the cultural townships and they had the chance to gain insights into South African culture that is hard to find anywhere else. They were then invited into a small school, where they delivered soup ingredients and met a class of South African children who were excited to sing for them and chat about their lives. They also had the chance to speak with a traditional healer in the area and even try a taste of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">home-brewed African beer</a>. In the afternoon, they had the chance to visit <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-family-adventure-tours/" target="_blank">Robben Island,</a> where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for almost 20 years in an attempt to silence his anti-apartheid voice. Today, the island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of the transformative power of forgiveness. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-family-adventure-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXX5" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><br><b>Day 4 &amp; 5 - The Cape Winelands </b><br><br>Over the next two days, Clive guided Dotty and Terry to the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Cape Winelands</a> where they stayed in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Stellenbosch</a>, the capital of the Winelands. The Winelands are a premier location to walk through vineyards and enjoy the lovely olive orchards over chats with locals of the excellent South African cuisine. During their guided cuisine walks, they tasted fresh bread from the ovens of an artisanal baker, snacked at a family-run butchery, tasted wines at a lively wine bar in the area, and finally, sampled Cape deserts with a side of the locally grown teas. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXWg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Day 6, 7, and 8 - Safari </b><br><br>On day six, Dotty and Terry parted with Clive in Cape Town and flew to eastern South Africa where they began their<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"> three-day Safari</a>. They settled into their luxurious and comfortable lodge on the grounds of the <a href="https://www.andbeyond.com/destinations/africa/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/phinda-private-game-reserve/" target="_blank">Phinda Private Game Preserve</a>, looking out on the wild terrain where they searched for opportunities to view <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-family-adventure-tours/" target="_blank">The Big Five</a> - the elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. With chances to go on daily game drives, bush walks, Zulu village tours, black rhino safaris, and more, Dotty and Terry were not disappointed with the South African safari experience you only hear about in storybooks.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXWl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxzj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zXWb" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Day 9 - Final Day</b> <br><br>With time for a final drive in the morning, Terry and Dotty spotted a few more wildebeests and South African birds before departing the gorgeous <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Phinda Private Reserve</a> and heading towards home to tell tales of the many animals they spotted on safari, the wonders of Cape Town, the delicacies of the Winelands, and so much more.<br><br>If you&#39;re interested in a trip like Terry and Dotty&#39;s, take a look at our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-walking-tour/" target="_blank">South Africa Culture + Walking Tour</a> for the chance to experience a trip of a lifetime in South Africa.

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  • View of Cape Point in South Africa

    South Africa Safari... and Far, Far More

    As you may have heard, penguins are nowhere on or even near the list of the Big Five animals that make up the Holy Grail of an <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">African safari</a>. Elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalo would trample them. Any lion or leopard would see a beach full of black-and-white appetizers. But if you’re ready to make your bucket-list safari happen, it’s worth remembering that there’s much more to Africa than the alpha animals of the veldt. Travelers who invest all of their time in the deep wilds only scratch the surface of what the continent has to offer.<br><br>The country of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">South Africa</a> is the perfect place to realize your Big Five safari fantasies and to counter-balance them with sightings that are just as amazing: Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, vineyard trails that lead to world-class wine tastings, the teeming townships that have risen in the wake of apartheid and—yes—penguins. You can have it all on this new <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> trip without committing to the weeks of travel time that many safaris entail.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group of penguins going into the water" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SeP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DKv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Of course, the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">safari days</a> are just what you hoped they would be. You’ll be in the Phinda Private Game Preserve, native habitat for lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffalo and rhinos... as well as other species such as cheetahs. What’s unique about Phinda is how the Indian Ocean has influenced the climate, creating seven distinct ecosystems in closer proximity than almost anywhere else. The animals you came to see live naturally within easy range. From <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">your luxury lodge</a> within the preserve—complete with spectacular chalets, swimming pools and fine cuisine—you go for drives and walks with the highest chance of success that you’ll witness the animal behavior and get the photos you hoped for. (The big regret of many safari veterans is the endless hours they spent in Land Rovers without ever spotting a leopard.)<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Leopard on a termite mound" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SeP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DL5" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">safari </a>is the climax of this carefully curated trip, but it’s hardly the only high point. You start in Cape Town, rightly known as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, as you’ll see for yourself on the cable car ride to the top of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Table Mountain</a>. Some of the most important chapters in the history of apartheid were written here. You’ll visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly 20 years. Your expert local guide will be candid about the social impacts of the policy and take you for a revealing visit to Langa, the oldest of the cultural townships erected after apartheid. In the spirit of ubuntu—humanity towards others—you’ll deliver soup ingredients to the kitchen of a small school and meet the children.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="View from Table Mountain at sunset" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SeP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DL0" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>One of the most momentous geographic spots on earth is the Cape of Good Hope where 15th-century Portuguese navigators first reached the turning point around <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">Africa’s southern tip</a>. You’ll see it from high above from a walking trail at Cape Point. Nearby on Boulder Beach, you’ll come face-to-face with the flock of African penguins that nest there. You’ll also settle into Stellenbosch, the town at the heart of the Cape Winelands. World-class vineyards sweep across scenic hills in an endless patchwork. You’ll take a lovely walk on a wine estate in the Franschhoek Valley and enjoy tastings in boutique wineries. How perfect is it that one of the wine trails just happens to intersect with an artisanal bakery, a wine bar and a sweet shop full of traditional Cape desserts?<br><br>From your first glimpse of Cape Town to the ultimate thrill of spotting a leopard draped across the limb of a tree, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/south-africa-tours/" target="_blank">South Africa</a> will exceed your expectations. By all means, go for the Big Five... but plan on returning home with a thousand other great memories.

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