South Africa 02. - 06.11.2008
Posted at 05:01, 10 November 2008 in Southern Africa
02. - 04.11.08 Cape Town
It's a long flight to the Southern tip of Africa, and after landing at midnight, a thunderstorm gave me the first impression of what they call a "slight shower"! A good night sleep and the next day: off to discover Cape Town...
First in the morning I met Simone (German) who will also be on the GAP tour. We decided to together grasp a look over the city from the Table Mountain. A Swiss cablecar took us up into the clouds at 1'086m. So... nothing to see in the fog really :-( But one has to be patient... all of a sudden it cleared and we could enjoy the spectacular view over the city with the Waterfront and the beaches, the suburbs and all the way to the Cape of good hope.
The afternoon then we booked a tour to the Cape, passing some beautiful beaches with good-looking surfing guys ;-) But you know me... more interested in my dear Penguins, so was all excited to see the "Jackass Penguins" at Boulders Beach near Simons Town. The landscape here is really worth seeing: rough ocean spraying over the rocks, picturesque and colourful houses in the little villages and white sandy beaches in between.
We then entered the Cape of Good Hope Natural Reserve and were lucky to already here see Ostriches (Strausse), Baboons (Paviane), Antilopes and Zebras! What a treat :-) Of course we also climbed Cape Point and of course we took the "must-do" picture at the Cape of Good Hope sign.
In the evening for the first time we did not really feel to save - two blond women walking in the streets... did not feel to good. But we found a nice little restaurant, had dinner and then made a quick way back to the hotel.
Next day then was very sunny and warm. With another girl from GAP, Emma (Aussie) we strolled along the city-sights down to the Waterfront. Now, modern Shopping Malls everywhere don't really put me into the African feeling, and you can only guess how hard it was for me not to shop... my backpack is full, and the trip has only just started!
But Cape Town is such a beautiful city, it is really great to walk around and look at the diversity of all the buildings. By the way, there is quite some construction going on because of the 2010 Soccer World Championship. The new stadion has a prime location right on the beach!
In the evening then we had the GAP Welcome Meeting, where a competent guide gave us first information on what the next three weeks will be like. I am really looking forward to it!
We all went for a common dinner to get to know each other - my family for the next three weeks :-)
05.11.08 Cape Town to Lambert's Bay
With a very comfortable little tour bus our group of 13 plus driver and guide took off now for the GAP Tour Delta, Dunes and Falls. The group is a great mix of nationalities (Aussies, USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and South Africa). After a short ride we left Cape Town via the wineyards (with a little wine tasting of course...) into the area called Svartsland. I am amazed by all these Dutch or German names - clearly showes the history here. A long drive on this 1st day all the way up to Lambert's Bay, where we had the chance to go out to a birds refuge to see some Cape Gonnets (almost like the Boobies in Galapagos ;-)
Dinner was then directly on the beach in a funny place called "Muisbooskerm": lots of dishes freshly prepared - unfortunately mostly fishy stuff....
06.11.08 Lambert's Bay to Gariep (Namibia)
Next day again a long travelday - already on some dirtroads shaking us up a little. The Namakwa land now has hills of granite and sandstone, and with the yellow, dry gras it is quite scenic. Once in a while we saw Ostriches and Springboks!
In the afternoon we already left South Africa and crossed the border over the Oranje River to Namibia. Shortly behind the border was our next lodge, a super duper lodge (Felix Unite) right on river, with luxurious huts on top of the hill offering a wonderful view over the river. Soon after, all took off in Kanu's to fight the strong wind and the currents. Really funny! At the open air bar then the thirst had to be killed with some beers (oh yes, I can do beer... believe me!), and a lush outside evening again gave us the chance to get to know each other.
The group is cool, and the standard of this GAP Tour amazing luxurious! I am enjoying it totally. Our South African Guide and Driver not only do their job very well, but they are also good fun to hang around with and learn about Southern Africa.