And into South Africa we go – the final two countries in our epic journey across the length of Africa. We stayed for a couple of nights in the iSimangaliso National Park near St Lucia. After a little confusion as to where exactly we could camp, we settled into our homely spot. The following day we took our new truck for some game driving around the national park. Our animal spotting luck continued once again, and with five minutes of leaving our camp in the morning we spotted a number of rhinos next to the road. We were able to get within a couple of metres of these stunning, and sadly endangered, animals.
|St Lucia coastline|
|Rhino by the side of the road in iSimangaliso|
From here we headed up into the Drakensberg Mountains, our home for the next few nights. From here we were able to take 4x4’s up and over the Sani Pass into Lesotho. The Sani Pass marathon was held on the day we left Underberg. This is where 1,000 crazy runners run 26.1 miles to the top of the Sani Pass and back, over difficult terrain and where the temperature at the start of the race was around 0 degrees Celsius. Of course, I offered to change the itinerary to allow the group to participate in this optional activity. But there were no takers….
|Sani Pass, Lesotho|
|Sani Pass road|
After the typically British weather in the mountains (cold, grey and raining!), we headed back to the coast. We stayed by the beach in Cintsa, where we kept ourselves amused by talking walks, horse riding, learning to surf, chilling on the beach, and sampling the very delicious South African wine.
We continued along the coast, staying in Knysna, famous for its oysters. It would have been rude not to try the local fare whilst visiting this lovely town, so many of us had champagne and oysters. Overlanding can be tough sometimes….
|View from our campsite in Cintsa|
|Southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas, with Jan & Alison|
We then headed to Hermanus, the home of diving with Great White Sharks. So at 6am we headed to Gansbaai to get a safety briefing – and bacon and eggs – before heading out on the boat to look for these interesting creatures. It didn’t take very long before a small shark was spotted. After a little more patience and watching we were lucky enough to have another two sharks come to say hi. Both were between four and five metres long. Being in the water alongside them, albeit protected by the cage, was a fascinating experience. The only downside of the morning was just how cold the water is there. It is COLD!
|Wilma & Jan prepare for their cage dive|
|Ann, Steve & Mikkel preparing to get in the cage|
|Great White Shark|
After enjoying the lovely beach and town of Hermanus we headed to Stellenbosch, our penultimate night before arriving in Cape Town. On the way to Stellenbosch we visited the penguin colony at Betty's Bay. Then a lovely afternoon eating, drinking and being merry in Stellenbosch.
|The penguin colony|
|Penguin with a mohawk|
|Ann getting some great photos|
On our last day we had a short drive into Cape Town. For our final dinner together we headed out to a lovely restaurant where we sampled local delights such as Springbok, Kudu and Crocodile – and of course lots of South African wine! A great night was had by all.
And so we have come to the end of our epic road trip through Africa. It is truly an amazing continent. Every country is different. There have been too many highlights to even begin to mention. We have seen so many wonderful things, met fantastic people. But all good things must come to an end.
1 adventure of a lifetime
Thank you all for making it the trip that it was.