March 20, 2012 | By Linda Smith
I just returned from a trip to South Africa. I visited Cape Town, a city famous for its harbor and the well-known landmarks Table Mountain and Cape Point. The city has over 20 five-star hotels. We drove along the coastal road of the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and then on to Simonstown to see the penguin colony on Boulders Beach.
This region is also well known for their wineries. We visited the village of Franschhoek, which is nestled amongst the mountains and can easily be mistaken as being in Switzerland.
Then we were off on an adventure to Kruger National Park where we stayed at Thornybush Waterside Lodge. We enjoyed an afternoon and early morning game drive in open Land Rovers. The reserve has 147 mammals including the “Big Five”, 1,134 reptiles, 507 birds and 336 trees.
Next we visited Johannesburg where we had a tour of Soweto and Pretoria, and visited Nelson Mandela’s home and the Regina Mundi Church – the site of many underground meetings of the then-banned political parties. The 15 hour non-stop plane ride on South African Airways from New York City was really quite easy with their award-winning comfort and service.
I would highly recommend a vacation to South Africa. The country has beautiful modern cities to explore, plus great opportunities to view animals roaming freely on their own land.