As some of you know I recently had an incredible trip to South Africa with Mr H. I fell completely in love with the country. The people were so friendly and helpful everywhere we went, the scenery was breathtaking and the animals beautiful. I also wasn't expecting it to be such a culinary experience, but the food and wine was outstanding and because we were marching around exploring it didn't seem to matter that we were indulging in three course lunch and dinner!
Here's a few highlights from my once in a life time trip, a trip that will stay with me forever and no doubt many of my experiences will appear in future stories.
After a 12 hour flight from London we were very happy to reach Cape Town. This is Table Mountain viewed from our hotel garden.
Cable car to Table Mountain - heights are really not my thing and to top it all the base of this cable car rotates so everyone gets a full 360 view. I hung on to Mr H especially when the wind swung us about.
Mr H is very fond of marching me around, and once at the top of the mountain we broke away from the other tourists and made our way to the highest point - Maclears Beacon.
The path got pretty steep at times.
Once at the top I made friends. This little lizard was doing press-ups, apparently it's a way to keep cool.
Not sure what type of butterfly this is but it had picked a wonderful place to live.
View from the top down over the city, Robben Island in the distance on the left.
Nobel Square at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. All four South African Nobel Peace Prize Winners. Nelson Mandela far right. Table Mountain had its cloud 'tablecloth' on this day so we were glad we'd been up the day before.
A visit to Boulder's Bay to see the penguins - you can swim with them but that wasn't really my idea of fun (far too smelly!)
Don't see this sign every day when you go back to the car park.
Cape Point, and yes, Mr H insisted we walk to the furthest point which is just behind the lighthouse in this picture. I was glad we did as we had the viewing point all to ourselves, well, not counting a few thousand cormorants that is.
Watch out for pedestrians!
Next was a trip to the winelands. Stellenbosch was beautiful as was Franschhoek. Found a couple of bookshops along the way.
Lunch with a view sipping delicious sparkling wine.
Next we headed to the coast and stayed in a lodge surrounded by fynbos (protected scrubland full of animals and flowers).
Milkwood forest - a lovely long walk but we kept an eye out for baboons who have a reputation for mugging in the area!
This little guy came to see me while I was having a cup of tea on our decking - magical.
As we headed west the water warmed and we lost sight of the whales we'd seen off the coast of Cape Point. No swimming here though, a surfer lost his leg in this bay a few months previously because of a great white shark.
Coolest place ever to have dinner!
Big cat sanctuary.
This leopard was beautiful and very calm, but as our guide said, she'd eat any one of us (and she clearly liked the taste of him!). I wasn't even allowed to turn my back for a selfie despite the wire fence as he said she'd pounce.
We were allowed into the enclosure with Tandi the cheetah though - she'd just been fed. She was purring loudly and didn't seem phased by being centre of attention.
Our safari lodge was fabulous, and to be honest more like a tent on one side as it zipped completely open. I adore these netted beds, there's something very romantic about them.
Wire coat hanger art in the bathroom.
I also love these safari jeeps that have a pop out bar for sundowner drinks fitted to the front! Excellent accessory. Note the guide keeping an eye out...
Just as well he was because these elephants literally popped out of the bushes. Check out the baby, aww...
We had to pack up quick and it was a good job we did because we were soon chased out of the area by the bull elephant and his herd - yes, it was seriously scary and this picture doesn't show the speed they were going at or capture the noise!
We were very privileged to see white rhino. They have an anti-poaching man with them 24/7 who sits in his truck with a big gun!
My sunset picture was photobombed!
So as you can tell I was completely enchanted by South Africa. We were very lucky and managed to cram in so much and see so much, each day was an adventure I'll never forget. We didn't do any big shopping there, instead we tried to be very generous with tips and buy from small markets and gift shops to help the local people where we were staying. I adored how everyone was so generous with knowledge and time with us. Most of all I loved two whole weeks with Mr H and no interruptions from business trips and deadlines.
I can safely say that Africa was good for my soul and I think it was for his too, so much so he forgot his password to log into his work emails when we got home! Now that's relaxed.
Thanks for reading, do share any thoughts or your own Africa experiences below.