Most package holidays to South Africa are a journey round the main places of interest.
Hermanus is a seaside town world famous as a whale watching destination. From the cliff tops between June and the end of November whale sightings are common. We only saw a few possible movements in the sea. But seeing the worlds only whale crier was some compensation. He parades along the cliff top wearing a sandwich board and sounds his horn at any sighting.
This town is in the famous south African wine area so a wine tasting is compulsory!
The town has a Huguenot memorial which commemorates the arrival French settlers to the Cape colony. Nearby Stellenbosch is trendier with art galleries and boutiques.
The cleanest air in Africa is found at Cape Point on the edge of the Table Mountain National Park. We took the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the viewpoint below the old lighthouse.
At Boulders Beach just South East of Cape Town you get a completely different experience. 60,000 visitors a year arrive to see the African penguins. there are 2,000 – 3,000 of this endangered species crowded on the beach. You pay a conservation fee to enter which helps to preserve the colony. There are wooden walkways so the penguins are not disturbed so you can get very close without disturbing them.
Swaziland is now officially called Eswatini. This tiny country of ethnic Swazis is ruled by an absolute monarch. We spent a few pleasant hours at The House On Fire, the main tourist attraction, it’s based on a traditional African settlement. We had lunch and a walk round the area and a look at the traditional crafts on sale. I think the point was really just to take us to another country but it was a nice afternoon.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
At the foot of Table Mountain this place is amazing. It was founded in 1913 to preserve native flora. It has a huge conservatory showcasing plants from different area of the country. With local plants in the outside gardens. You can even walk to the top of the mountain from one of its trails.