South Africa! Part 2!

Welcome back!!

Lions Head Lion's head mountain sits in between Table Mountain and Signal Mountain in Cape Town and is something to behold. Lions head sits 2,195 ft above sea level and apart of the Table Mountain National Park. Right after the Food Tour (see the last post) we went straight for the hike. Spoiler alert, we never made it to the very top but we made it 3/4 of the way up to see a beautiful view of Cape Town and we caught the sunset! The hike isn't grueling at all, there are some points where you're on the edge of the cliffs but it isn't had scary as it sounds (you got this!). If you're going to do the hike for sunset, be prepared to scale the mountain in the dark for about an hour and a half. Come prepared with headlamps.

View from Lion's Head you can see Robbens Island in the distance.

Another view from Lion's Head

Robbens IslandThe Robben Island Tour gives you a glimpse of where prisoners were held during the apartheid and is also the place where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years during his 27-year prison sentence. It is said that democracy was started on the island because many of the political prisoners including Nelson Mandela would talk during lunch breaks in the quarry about a new government.

Whale Watching Our first venture away from Cape Town and the start of our 16-hour trek across South Africa started with Hermanus Bay Whale Watching! We ventured about 1.5-2 hours south to view these massive magnificent creatures. The whale watching tour can be anywhere from 1.5 hours-3 hours depending on how much action you see. We were only out for about an hour and a half and saw soooo many whales. Our first encounter was a mama and her baby, the guides were so knowledgeable and since they are out on the water so often they can recognize the different whales by their markings. They knew that this particular whale had been in the waters the year before and must have come back to give birth. We then saw a whale breach the water not once, but four times!! It was breathtaking. Our big hooray was watching four whales (one female and three males) swim feet away from our boat. In addition to whale watching, Hermanus Bay is also where you can for Shark cage diving. Check ahead of time for shark sitings. We had been told that many people had not been able to see sharks because the Orka had been eating them. Additionally, if the water is too rough the shark cage diving will be canceled. Tip: If you do not want to rent a car, you can hire a driver or there are day-tours run out of Cape Town where you can book a tour and hop on the bus.

Wine Tour OOOOOO Yummy and delicious wine! The gorgeous and delicious Franshoek is located only a 1-1.5 hour drive from Cape Town. I would recommend spending two days here on the wine tour. We were on the earliest tour (leaving at 9 am and stayed out until around 4 pm) and were only able to see 3 wineries out of the 8!! However, if renting a car is not something you want to do they offer day tours from Cape Town to Franshoek.

The wine tram is Franshoek is fabulous! First, you pick the line you would like to take. Different lines take you to different wineries. Then, you can look through the stops and pick the wineries you would like to visit. Some require pre-bookings for cellar tours, lunch, ect. If you book early enough you can book the curated experience where they pair meals with your wine at the different wineries. (We did not book in time for this) Our first stop was the beautiful Noble Hill Winery, we did not do a tasting here (it was only 9 am, However, we did enjoy a delicious breakfast in their garden cafe followed by a stroll through their vineyards. After Noble Hill, we stopped at relaxing Babylonstoren Winery known as the modern-day Garden of Eden. We enjoyed tantalizing wine paired with a delicious cheeseboard. We strolled along the grounds then stopped at the farm shop. Babylonstoren is also known for its spa treatments (must book in advance) as well as their garden lunch (must book in advance).

Our final winery was Plaisir de Merle. The main reason we went to this winery was they offered a wine and fudge pairing. (Fudge is one of my favorite desserts!) It did not disappoint. I would say book two-three nights here, enjoy two full days of wine touring and one day at the spa relaxing.

What's next?? Next week hear about Bunjee Jumping and the Safari!!! Which days have been your favorite to hear about??

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