I wish i could explain how much i hate applying for visas before any trip. But i can’t… I can’t explain it!! How do you explain the most thought provoking procedure that can be easily simplified but is deliberately made to be gruelling and tasking so as to discourage potential migrants? Let me stop here before i make this post about my lack of enthusiasm for embassies and their tourist visa procedures. If you are interested in touring South Africa and you require a visa, check here on their Visa procedures and submission.
Anyway, I visited South Africa in January 2016 for the first time and I was in no way disappointed i made that trip. I have made a list of the top 5 Things i did in SA between the top 2 cities, Johannesburg and Cape Town. If you are ever in South Africa, I hope this helps make your trip as wonderful as it did mine.
A SOUTH AFRICAN WINE TOUR (CAPE TOWN)
Calling all lovers of wine…. this is for you! We booked a scheduled wine tour here and i’m not exaggerating when i say we visited 5 amazing wine farms in different wine areas of Stellenbosch (One of the oldest towns in South Africa) . The tour included wine tasting, cheese tasting, chocolate pairing, cellar tour, a very hearty lunch and pick up from our hotel and back. If you have no problems with tasting about 25 different bottles of wine in 1 day between 9am and 4pm then this is right up your alley. After 2pm, i could almost plead with the tour guide not to offer me anymore wine. Cost was RAND.750.00 per person. Best part is that you get to buy bottles of the wines you’ve tasted directly from the wineries before heading back.
GOLD REEF CITY (JOHANNESBURG)
You already know i’m an adrenaline junkie and a lover of theme parks. And this theme park was no let down. It was pretty decent and cost just about RAND 150. There isn’t only a theme park at Gold reef city, there’s also a hotel and a casino which i noticed was more active in the evening. If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me head straight to The Anaconda ride… it is currently the fastest and tallest inverted rollercoaster in Africa (Not that we have that many rollercoasters here)… you won’t regret it.
DAY SAFARI (JOHANNESBURG)
Just 2 hours away from Johannesburg is a national park called Pilanesberg. The park hosts the BIG FIVE game (Lions, Elephant, Leopard, Rhinoceros and the Buffalo) and is home to every Mammal of Southern Africa. Unlike the Kruger national park, this is a smaller park so the chances of sighting the BIG FIVE is very high. If you are brave enough, you can get a tour guide to drive you around the park in an open vehicle… you know those ones with the open sides… Or you can just be like me and use a closed vehicle making sure the only thing getting into the car is coming in from the Air Conditioner. Trust me, when you realise you are not at the top of the food chain anymore you’ll understand what i’m saying. There are a lot of tour companies in Johannesburg that offer this tour so be sure to choose a company you are comfortable with. Prices are around 1500 Rand per person.
EXPLORE THE COUNTRY’S GASTRONOMY
You will be surprised to learn that some of the worlds finest fish can be found off the South African shores. And the restaurants in Cape town do not fail to provide the freshest line caught fish and prawns. Some are priced by weight and you can just choose the spice combination you want with it and your sides. And if Sushi is your thing, be sure to head to the V&A waterfront… there are so many restaurants to choose from. In Johannesburg, the butcher shop and grill is my favourite steak house… it’s not exactly cheap and cheerful but they have great food, great wine…. and the best part… you can actually buy different cuts of fresh meat, i’m talking leg of lamb, oxtail, ribeye, pork chops, Lamb chops… everything! And they’ll freeze it for you and deliver to your hotel the day of your departure. How cool is that?
TABLE MOUNTAIN; CABLE CAR STYLE (CAPE TOWN)
If you didn’t read my last post on my table mountain adventure, click here to catch up. if there are children travelling in your group or you are just not as adventurous, there are cable cars that can get you to the top of the mountain in about five minutes. Rates are about 240 Rands for a return cable car journey. Be sure to confirm the cableway is opened on the day you intend to visit as it is mostly weather determined as Cape Town can get extremely windy.
For all my adrenaline junkies, i haven’t forgotten you. I saved you the best for last.
SHARK CAGE DIVING
Shark cage diving is big business in South Africa. You won’t believe how many people are willing to take the 100 mile journey to Gansbaii (the white shark capital of the world) everyday to dive into these shark infested waters. Usually, no experience is required to go shark cage diving. You just need to be able to hold your breath and go under water for no more than half a meter. Prices start aroundÂ R1,250. I haven’t tried this yet, but if you do go through with it, please send me pictures and an email detailing your experience.