Photo by Rachel.
This blog post is more of a collection of photo’s from a three week road trip we did through South Africa recently with some good friends of ours visiting from Germany. They flew into Johannesburg and out from Cape Town, so we planned the road trip accordingly. They were here at the perfect time of year; in September, just before tourist season, just after the cold, and just before the heat and rain. We literally only had one day of shitty weather in Cape Town, and even that was nice. As you scroll down, I’ll list some things we did in each place that I think are worth doing. There are a million more things to do in each place, and tons more places I wanted to take our friends to, so please don’t take it as a definitive list of cool things to do.
Honestly, South Africa must be one of the most beautiful places in the world, and there really is so much to see and do. I’m reminded of this every time I get to explore more of it. I hope this post encourages you to take every possible opportunity to go to a place you haven’t been before, even in your own country. I can guarantee that every time you do, you will find things that you didn’t even know were there. You can also only grow as a person as your mind expands with each new situation and experience.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve. We saw a Leopard stalking Impala and a Bushbaby! Thanks Gary.
Lower Injisuthi Cave, Central Drakensberg. The Drakensberg might be my favourite place in the world.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site; quite an impressive art installation.
Durban; surfing, bunny chows, The Cube, The Morning Trade market (tons of vegan stuff, especially Divine Simplicity‘s cakes!). Thanks Doom and Meagen for having us and playing tour guide. Photo by Pete.
Jeffrey’s Bay. We camped in the caravan park, which is pretty much on the beach.
Kayaking in Wilderness through Eden Adventures. You hire a canoe (I think it’s R280 for a double), paddle up the river for about 40 minutes, leave the canoe on the bank, then walk through the forest for another 40/45 minutes, which brings you out at a beautiful series of rock pools and waterfalls. Well worth it.
West Coast National Park. Such a beautiful place, and always worth a visit. We were lucky enough to be around during the week that SANParks made all their parks free.
Cape Point. Another one of my favourite places in the world. Don’t feed the baboons! Photo by Pete.
Other stuff we did:
• Sterkfontein Caves, Maropeng
• Apartheid Museum. Personally I think the Hector Pieterson Museum is a lot better, but still worth a visit.
• Conscious108. Their chocolate milkshake is amazing!
• Rosetta (where we currently live)
• Blueberry Hill, Nottingham Road. Nice coffee, just take your own non-dairy milk. Their menu isn’t really suited to vegans.
• Steampunk Café. Again, take your own non-dairy milk. Then get some potato samoosa’s from the little shop next door.
En route to Cape Town:
• Shire Eco Lodge. This is beautiful and affordable accommodation in the Eastern Cape. We were looking for accommodation in Hogsback, and this place popped up on AirBnb. It’s not in Hogsback, it’s close to Stutterheim.
• Paul Sauer Bridge, Storms River. You literally drive over this bridge. Pull over in the garage just after the bridge and take the path back onto the bridge. Breathtaking.
• Herolds Bay. We were lucky enough to spend a night in this beautiful bay town – thanks Brent! Go have an early morning picnic on the beach before you leave.
Cape Town and surrounds:
• Hermanus. Another reason why visiting in September is a good idea is that the Southern Right Whale comes close to land to breed.
• Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary. Blog post on this incredible place coming next! The cover photo of this post is of the road that leads to the sanctuary.
• Madam Taitou, an awesome little Ethiopian restaurant close to the bottom of Long Street. Ethiopian food is always a safe bet for vegans.
• Cape Electric Tattoo. Best tattoo shop in Cape Town. Waldo hooked us all up with matching crew tattoos!
• Roastin’ Records. Small, awesome record store, run by really cool people.
• Plant. One of my all-time favourite vegan restaurants! Always worth a visit. I think we went here three times. One of the only real ethical and not only health focused vegan restaurants in SA (read, no honey).
• Woodstock Cycleworks. My favourite bicycle shop ever! Unpretentious, hard working, and into all types of cycling.
• Royale Eatery. Get the veggie burger with vegan cheese and the vegan chocolate mint milkshake!
• Tyisa Nabanye; a non-profit organisation located (without a lease) on the slopes of Signal Hill between Tamboerskloof and the Bo Kaap, on the old military base. They have a market on Sunday mornings, and are a place worth supporting. Tons of vegan options.
• Sea Point promenade. It’s always nice to take a walk along here.
• Rumsy’s Noose. Vegan doughnuts made to order! Also run by cool people.
• Club Med, Loop Street. One of the weirdest venue layouts, but some of the best shows I’ve been to. We caught Slander from Italy here on their recent SA tour.
• Signal Hill. Amazing views of Cape Town and the mountains.
(Thanks for having us Melissa and Xavier!)
Words by Pete.
Photo’s by Cara unless otherwise stated.
Thank you to the people who helped make this road trip happen: our parents, Courtney, Gary, Xavier and Melissa, Brandon and Meagen, and Brent.