By Gaby N.
For winter break 2017, my family and I explored South Africa. For the first part of our trip we went to Cape Town, and for the second part of our trip we went on a safari in Kruger Reserve.
Let me first tell you about Cape Town. In Cape Town, I enjoyed going snorkeling with seals. It was so fun because the people working the boat and managing the snorkeling were very nice and interactive, as is everyone in South Africa. It was especially exciting because we were in the water right next to the seals, rather than in a boat watching them. This allowed us to touch or play with the seals, which I found very fun. Also, the seals were BEYOND adorable. Being able to see all different kinds of animals everyday was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
I cannot find anything that I did not enjoy on my trip! The entire trip was amazing!
In terms of sightseeing, we did not walk around in the touristy parts of Cape Town. Instead we did many activities and saw the most famous “must-sees” that the city had to offer. For example, we went to Table Mountain, which is one of the seven wonders of the world. I loved this experience because if you don’t enjoy hiking, like myself, they have a cable car that provides amazing views and brings you all the way to the top. However, if you are like my dad, who loves to hike, the mountain has many different trails ranging in levels of difficulty, making it appealing to all.
If I had to choose a least favorite activity, I would have to chose kayaking with penguins. Although I enjoyed the experience, the kayaking trip was very long with a very short amount of time to see the penguins. Plus, when we did see the penguins, we were just watching them on a rock making it not very exciting.
My favorite restaurant was Osteria Tarantino. This restaurant was a very small Italian restaurant and my entire family loved It. Not only was the food amazing, but the people were as well. We were able to speak to the chef, making the experience even more enjoyable. Also, I loved going to the restaurant chain Nobu, which was located in my hotel. The service was awesome and the food was delicious.
As for the hotel, it was perfect. I stayed at the One and Only hotel. The people were very nice and welcoming, the food was delicious, and the hotel itself was gorgeous. My family of 5 stayed in two connecting rooms, one with a king bed for my parents, and the other with two twin beds and a cot. The accommodations were perfect.
I give Cape Town a thumbs up!
Now for the safari! I went to Kruger Reserve, which is an animal reserve. The reserve allows animals to roam freely without harm from people. My favorite part of the safari was seeing the animals. When on the safari, we drove around for hours looking for animals. Despite the long duration of the trip, it was worth it! I enjoyed seeing and observing the animals. I saw animals like elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, rhinos, and more!
My least favorite part of the trip was the timing. On the morning safari, we woke up at 5:00 am and left at 5:30 am, which personally is way too early for me. Aside from this, the trip was perfect. We did not do any sightseeing, because we left for safari at 5:30 am, returned at 9:00 am, left again at 4:30 pm and returned at 7:00 pm, which left no time for sightseeing. Although the animals stood as a sight for themselves.
In our resort, we had a chef in our villa because the hotel was so small. Therefore, we did not go out to any restaurants. Our hotel was lovely. We stayed at the Ivory Lodge, which is a part of the Sabi Sands Resorts in the reserve. We stayed in the two bedroom villa. This hotel had people who were all beyond nice. The food was amazing and the hotel itself was gorgeous. I give safari a thumbs up!
Overall, I loved my trip to South Africa, and I would 100% recommend it!