We started with an amazing experience in Kruger National Park. I think everyone dreams of seeing big animals in Africa. We all watched Wild Kingdom as kids, and dreamed about riding across the African savannah in an open Land Rover chasing lions and elephants and zebras. While we were in a closed Nissan Xterra and mostly on paved roads, we did get to see dozens of big animals up close. The Sanbonani Resort was also lovely. The kids especially loved the huge pool, and we enjoyed our first few days listening to the raucous birds in the African bush.
Jeffrey's Bay was also a wonderful experience. The luxury house we lucked into was a real treat, and we enjoyed the low key vibe of this surfer's paradise. George and Molly had two days of surf lessons, and both got up of their boards in the first hour. We also found a great Mexican restaurant.
The Teniqua Treetop resort was unique. It was a once-in-a-lifetime sensation to sleep up in the African forest. I also had a great run to remember across the high plateau, surrounded by mountains. We barbecued steaks and drank good wine. Nothing to complain about.
Next up was Mossel Bay, another tourist town on the Indian Ocean coast. Again, we lucked into an incredible two bedroom apartment with a wraparound deck overlooking the ocean. We found an outdoor bbq place on the water, and ate red meat like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. I also found a great trail along the clifftops overlooking the ocean. The South African version of "safety" is a little different than Canada - a couple of times if I'd tripped, I might have ended up in the ocean.
Then, on the outskirts of Cape Town, we spent 2 nights in Gordon's Bay. We walked the beach and got to spend time with some big cats at the Cheetah Encounter. The food was good, and we met some cool people at the guesthouse where we stayed.
Finally, on Friday we rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived in Cape Town. More by good luck than good planning, we had saved the best till last. Yesterday we took the hop on, hop off bus to tour the city. Today we went up the cable car to Table Mountain, then George and I caught the new Star Wars flick (in 4DX), and ended the day by taking the ferry over to Robben's Island to visit the old political prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years.
I suspect that Ursula and the kids will post some more photos in the next day or so. With apologies to friends and family in Holland, Belgium and Switzerland, I have to say South Africa has knocked them all off to become our favourite place on this trip. I cannot say enough nice things about this place. Earlier today, Ursula and I were discussing where we'd like to visit if we come back here next winter. When I booked a 17 day visit to South Africa last winter, I never imagined how inadequate that would be. All four of us will leave here with heavy hearts tomorrow.