After our safari tour in Kruger Park we were driven back to Johannesburg (Jo’burg), then flew down to Port Elizabeth (PE) on the south east coast of South Africa to begin our drive along part of the famous Garden Route.
As it turned out locals tourists alike had the same idea – every hotel was full to the brim (thankfully we had booked a few days earlier). Beaches were teeming with people and the smoke of portable braai, which is taken far more seriously than an Australian barbecue. We visited the beaches along Jeffery’s Bay (JBay), St Francis Bay and Plettenburg Bay (Plett – are you sensing a trend here?) and ate oysters in Knysna.
We saw the Big Tree and crossed the huge suspension bridge in Tsitsikama National Park, and visited the worlds largest free flight bird aviary, nerdily identifying spotted birds in the guide book. We walked through forests in George, clambered through beautiful formations in the Cango Caves and dined on ostrich, kudu and springbok at the foot of a mountain Swellendam.
The landscapes in this part of South Africa varied greatly from beautiful beaches to native forests to dry shrub areas that reminded me of Australia. But coming from such a flat place myself, I’ll always be fascinated by hills and mountains.
We ended up having to rush this part of our trip in 4 days to make it to Cape Town in time; it’s really a stunning part of the world that deserves a lot more time to do properly. Just try not to do it around the new year to avoid the crowd!