Trip to South Africa, Part Four
Jul 03, 2020
Nov. 29th - Dec. 4th, 2019
Mountains in the Sunset
Follow where I was on the map by clicking on the links!
After Thanksgiving, we began our journey east. Making our way along the Garden Route, a series of highways that follow, roughly, along the southern coast of the continent, traversing some stunningly beautiful scenery. The first night, before we reached the Garden Route proper, we stayed at a berry farm in the mountains near Swellendam. The mountains were beautiful in the sunset that evening, and the blackberries that we picked the next day were as sweet and juicy as any I have ever had.
Main Street Christmas Cheer
From there it was on to Mossel Bay for a beautiful stay in an Airbnb by the ocean. Part of the benefit for those of us visiting from the U.S. is that because of the conversion rate of the Dollar to Rand, Airbnnb lodging was very cheap. This allowed us to stay in some fabulous places close to the ocean, or other natural beauty, that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive on a long trip like this. The nicest ocean stay we enjoyed was near Mossel Bay in a small community called Dana Bay. We were at a house overlooking the Indian Ocean, and a short distance to a lovely beach. It was one of the places we were grateful that we had two nights instead of one. And that brings me to a lesson learned on this trip, next time we’ll try to pack in less travel and stay at places longer.
Enjoying a sunset stroll on the beach
After Mossel Bay, we continued along the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay, where we stayed at a cottage in the lush forest, inland from the ocean, and near to the Garden Route National Park. We still enjoyed plenty of ocean time with trips to the town of Plettenberg Bay, and the nearby community of Natures’ Valley.
We also enjoyed a trip to the Elephant Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, where we got to experience these magnificent beasts up close and personal. We were even able to give them a hug. What an amazing treat. They had coarse thick skin, inquisitive noses, and the bottoms of their feet felt like the tread of a tire. And yet they were so gentle with us. They were truly magnificent.
Have you hugged an elephant today?
The next day, on our way along the Garden Route towards Port Elizabeth, we stopped at the Storms River mouth at Tsitsikamma National Park to enjoy the magnificent coastal rainforest there. The steep tree-covered mountainsides, dinner plate sized Protea flowers, a deep river canyon, and crashing waves made for a spectacular setting.
Standing on the walkway overlooking the canyon
Walkways spanning the coast, and the river mouth
King Protea Flowers
Then, it was on to our final stop on this leg of the journey, an Airbnb in Blue Horizon Bay, just outside of Port Elizabeth. We would catch a plane the next day to Johannesburg and visit the northern part of the country, and prepare for our upcoming safari. Stay tuned for that chapter, coming up next.
Be sure to check out the prints I have to offer from the Africa trip. They are in the Africa Gallery!