South Africa. A lifetime adventure.
„The earth has music for those who listen.“ William Shakespeare
I have been waiting for this adventure for ages and with every day closer to our departure, I couldn’t believe it is really happening more than ever. But it did. And it was beyond everything I had imagined it to be!
It all started at New Year’s Eve 2014. Three weeks summer in January ahead of us. Lot’s of big & small memories have been treasured forever.
My two most important travel companions have been on board, too: my husband & my film camera. Shooting film while travelling turned out to be a very pleasant experience for me. I felt the need to calm myself down during holidays from the urge and the possibility to just shoot everything what happens in front of my lens instead of enjoying and being aware of moments. By the way: My little romance with film started back at the Baltic Sea and continued in Switzerland and in Venice.
Now I’m back with 400 developed & scanned pictures instead of approximately 4.000 digital pictures. And due to a wiseley used shutter, a lot of perceived memories in my heart, too.
I love to find inspirations of new places apart from typical travel guides prior to my travels via recommodations of friends, travel blogs, Instagram etc. As I discovered in South Africa again: The most impressive places are mostly not the ones you have a specific imagination of or the ones well-known but rather the ones in between or find by accident. And besides that: It’s mostly not about the places theirselfs. It’s about how they make you feel and inspire you thanks to people you meet & natural spectacles you discover.
If you love travelling the way I do, this blogpost is for you! I will share some of the amazing adventures along our trip and I hope you will find some inspiration for yourself.
Here we go!
// CAPETOWN //
We have started our journey and the new year in Capetown. After a 11 hour flight, we were warmly welcomed by our AirBnB host Francois in Woodstock. After a refresh we headed down to Clifton Beach for the long awaited sealty breeze & some sunbeams. Little but important side note: To get to the beach you have to climb around 100 stairs ;)
There are plenty of things to see in and around Capetown. Here are some of our favorites:
(1) The V/A Waterfront with it’s daily little food market, the shopping opportunities & the harbour feeling. We did a sunset cruise with one of the catamarans over there. Early booking recommended! For breakfast check the Vovo Telo Café.
(2) The Neighbour Goods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays. You will find lot’s of small designers & a great food market over there. I personally also got to know two inspiring girls and met them for a beach shoot at Llandudno beach (click here).
(3) We have been on top of the table mountain, too. It’s one of these must-seen things I mentioned before. Of course very touristic and I didn’t liked that part. But the view is stunning and worth going up there! Next time we want to climb it instead of going by cable car. One of my friends just recently did it again and loved it! If you want to read more about that, check his blog 101places.
// NOORDHOEK //
Our next travel destination provided us lot’s of silence and magical nature: Noordhoek. We stayed at Trem-Y-Don B&B which is hosted by lovely Nicolette and David just around the corner from Noordhoek Beach.
Noordhoek is also great to discover everything south of Capetown like the impressive Chapmans Peak Drive, Hout Bay Marina with it’s seals, Simons Town with the famous penguins and Cape of Good Hope.
(1) A very windy but stunning evening at Noordhoek Beach with the sun setting on the horizon & a cold Savanna Cider.
(2) The Foodbarn Restaurant for breakfast.
(3) Chapmans Peak Drive with it’s serveral lookouts.
// MUIZENBERG & STELLENBOSCH //
After a few calm but also eventful days we drove all the way down to Hermanus. Along the way we stopped in Muizenberg and had one night in Stellenbosch. Unfortunatly Muizenberg was very crowed when we have been there and so we didn’t went to see the famous colorful beach houses. But instead we found a miles long white beach just short outside of town and took a nap there. Just one more example for letting go expectations to find hidden beauty.
Stellenbosch inner-city reminded us a little bit of the district Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. We had some drinks and a lovely dinner but I took no single picture :D
// HERMANUS //
Via Franchoek Pass we made it to Hermanus. Nikki and Stefan from the Penguino Guest House welcomed us with open arms.
One of those beach houses made me dream of our own house at the ocean once again. The rough cliffs, their stunning path across it and the unique sunsets are very breathtaking. A short drive away outside Hermanus the Grotto Beach with it’s Dutchies Beach Restaurant invites you to a lazy day with seafood and drinks. By the way: We have eaten sooo sooo good everywhere in South Africa! The quality is amazing!
After a early wake-up call we went kayaking at the ocean and got rewarded with seals and penguins close to us. For breakfast we went to Oskars Restaurant and had a couple of great Flat Whites. The only disadvantage: I have missed Stefan’s pancakes at our B&B. He is a skilled cook and made us uber-delicious breakfast every day!
// WILDERNESS //
Hermanus did not made it easy to leave – quite the reverse! Next stop: A small little town called Wilderness. We have booked a room with ocean view in a small B&B called Whales Way Retreat. My expectations were high and luckily they surpassed! Our little home for the next couple of days was beautifully furnished and the view at the blue, wide ocean made my heart jump for joy! The lovely owner Greta made us feel like home from the first second we have met her. I couldn’t wait to get up in the mornings for having her fresh selfmade breakfast! Some german paraglider stayed at the same place and started just in front of our window every day.
A few months before our holidays I realised that Nancy Ebert and her family will be in South Africa at the same time like us. We managed to meet at Buffels Bay one evening. Alongside a nice dinner we headed to the beach just minutes before the sun set for some shoots (click here).
Before we left Wilderness we went kayaking again. This time at a river with a stop for a hike leading to a waterfall at the forest.
// KNYSNA & ELEPHANT PARK //
At the moment we have visited Knysna it has already been two weeks in South Africa and we had just one week left. It was raining that morning when we woke up at Abalone Lodges and I was sad because I knew we could probably not visit the Knysna Elephant Park due to the weather conditions. We decided for a slow & relaxed morning and went to the East Head Café for breakfast while it was still pouring outside.
Knysna Elephant Park is located on the way towards Jeffreys Bay – our next stop for two nights. When we passed it, it was still raining a lot. But somehow we decided to give it a try and just take a look. I wanted to see the elephants so desperately! Together with our tickets we got some fancy rain capes to defy the rain. After a short video introduction they led us to the elephants. We could not belive our eyes: During the movie session it stopped raining and there she was! The sun! What a magical moment that was!
// JEFFREYS BAY – „J-BAY“ //
The next two days were slooow. Sleeping, eating, beaching. „J-Bay“ – like the locals call Jeffreys Bay – is famous as a surfing hotspot. Surfer boys and girls as far as the eye can reach. The Kitchen Windows was our place to be and slaked our appetite. Our B&B had an amazing ocean view. Nothing beats the sound of the sea during the night!
// HILLSNEK SAFARI CAMP //
And here we go with the icing on the cake of this indescribable journey! We went on a safari for two nights at the Hillsnek Safari Camp. Our guide Byron picked us up and we drove 20 minutes over a dirty, rough road to the camp. Being there felt so unreal! It was far away from everything but still such a pearl.
Every safari tour lasted around four hours. One starting at 5am and one at 4pm. Byron was well-read and provided us an amazing adventure! The highlight was the last morning drive: We saw a lioness hunting a warthog. Sorry, no pictures! I was to overwhelmed and terrified.
All pictures shot on a Canon 500N with Fuji 400H. Scanned and developed by Carmencita Film Lab.
AirBnB accommodation in Woodstock, Capetown.
Sunset, Noordhoek Beach.
Flat White at Oskars, Hermanus.
Hibiskus & me, Jeffreys Bay.
Sunrise, Hillsnek Safari.
Sunset, Buffels Bay.
Goodbye Table Mountain, Capetown.