South Africa may not be your number one travel destination, but I am here to tell you that it SHOULD be. I understand the reasons that stops someone from boarding a plane to South Africa. A) it is literally far away from everything. Unless you live in Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe or one of the other many beautiful nearby countries — then it is a trek for you to even get there. Most people don’t have the time (or money) to spend going that distance. From Thunder Bay, Ontario, I flew 2 hours to Toronto, 7 hours to Amsterdam, and another whooping 12 hours down south to Cape Town. Mixed with layovers and delays it equaled out to days of airports, recycled air and dry skin. And B) there seems to be this fear about travelling to South Africa, or Africa in general. A number of people have this misconception and quite frankly, ignorant, idea that going to Africa is going to get your raped, kidnapped and infected with HIV. These stereotypes and fears are not only misguided, but they are offensive and ultimately inaccurate. Out of all the countries I have travelled to, South Africa will remain the richest in culture, beauty, history, and life.
South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been so privileged to travel to. It is the perfect country for absolutely anyone. There are countless adventures to have, wines to drink, beaches to lounge on, cultures to learn from, elephants to ride, waves to surf, people to meet and places to see. Some of the best hostels I have stayed in have been in South Africa. Not to mention, travelling in South Africa is cheap. After you pay for that looming flight, the rest is quite inexpensive. The adventure tours, and extra excursions that you might find yourself doing is where your money will go – but with those incredible experiences included, it’s still affordable.
I spent 5 weeks there all together, and I could have spent 5 more. Almost a week of that time was spent travelling — going there and back took WAY too long. But that’s all part of the journey and for those of us who love to go to new countries, then we also learn to love to travel. It has been a constant love/hate relationship for me. But mostly, no matter how many muscle cramps, long lines, or expensive airport coffees I have to buy, I always go into it telling myself that I love every minute of the journey.
I spent three weeks living in Muizenberg (40 minutes outside of Cape Town) volunteering with IVHQ. I was surfing, teaching, and loving life. On the weekends, myself and the other volunteers would go on short road trips, explore Cape Town, climb mountains, and enjoy the surrounding towns. After my volunteer time quickly evaporated, myself and my good friend Lindsay joined a tour group for a road trip up the infamous garden coast, stopping for everything from riding ostriches to elephants, swimming with crocodiles and exploring caves.
I could explain to you for hours how phenomenal South Africa is, but I still wouldn’t do it justice. Try and picture absolute flawless waters with soft sandy beaches to the right, mountains of luscious greens to the left, and winding roads breaking through the two.
Although I have been back from South Africa for quite some time, I still get nostalgic just thinking about it’s beauty. I’m looking forward to plunging into that nostalgia while I share my many tales of shark diving, spelunking, surfing, eating, drinking, and adventuring with you.