Unbelievable hiking and wine in Cape Town!

When were we there
12 days, October 3-14

Where did we go

✈️ Flight from Nairobi to Cape Town
🏡 Airbnb in Cape Town
🚗 Drove from Cape Town to Stellenbosch
🏨 Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel
Beautiful hotel in the middle of town
🚗 Drove from Stellenbosch to Hermanus
🏨 Hermanus Boutique Guest House
🚗 Drove from Hermanus back to Cape Town

Highlights

  • Table Mountain hike in Cape Town (we hiked all the way to the top!)
  • Wine tasting in Stellenbosch
  • Penguins in Boulder Beach
  • Cape Point
  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Walking along coast in Hermanus and seeing dassies!
  • Wine tasting near Hermanus at Creation Wines

We loved South Africa! We spent a few days in Cape Town, then rented a car and drove 500km down to Cape Point, around wine country, and then to Hermanus.

The landscape is unbelievable. Gorgeous coastlines and huge mountains everywhere. Incredible beaches, beautiful hikes, and wonderful wines!

We spent a few days in wine country around Stellenbosch and we were very impressed by the MCC (sparkling) and the Bordeaux style blends. Then in Hermanus we had a lot of Burgundian style Pinot Noir. South Africa is now one of our favorite wine regions (after France and New Zealand).

The best part is everything is super cheap! Great wines were only $10-15. I seriously don’t know if we can drink California wine again. It’s not just the cost: we find wines from these other regions to have more balance.

Unfortunately there’s a sad side to South Africa as well. With racial separation in the country only having ended about 20 years ago, there’s still a huge divide between people. We were sad to see so much poverty (slums, etc) throughout the country.

South Africa is probably the only place we’ve been to where we haven’t felt 100% safe. Nothing bad happened, but we got enough warnings from friends and locals that we were extra careful.

Animal safari in Kenya!

When were we there
10 days, September 25-October 3

Where did we go

✈️ Flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi
🏨 Tribe Hotel in Nairobi
🚗 Drove to Amboseli National Park
🏨 Oltukai Lodge in Amboseli National Park
Amazing hotel with tons of animals visible from our room!
🚗 Drove from Amboseli to Lake Naivasha
🏨 Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge
🚗 Drove from Lake Naivasha to Lake Nakuru
🏨 Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
Unbelievable lodge on the top of a hill with crazy views
🚗 Drove from Lake Nakuru to Masai Mara
🏨 Mara Serena Lodge
Another great lodge. Amazing.

Highlights

  • Safari!
  • Lion crossed right in front of our van!
  • Lionesses eating at sunset
  • Stalking leopards
  • Tons of elephant families

We had an amazing safari in Kenya! The logistics of doing a safari are incredibly simple. We had a private tour. We were picked up in Nairobi, taken to various parks, ate all our meals in the hotels, and went out looking for animals each day. At the end we were dropped off at the airport. Simple!

The hotels were unbelievable. All 5 star resorts, designed for people like us. Surprisingly, the food was incredible everywhere. Lots of indian inspiration in the dishes.

Amboseli was a great park to see because they have an elephant reserve. But Masai Mara is definitely the highlight. We saw *everything* there is to see: lots of elephants, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, gazelle, wildebeest, warthogs, rhinos, baboons, hippos, crocodiles, prairie dogs, hyenas, and more. Lots of babies of all kinds! They were all cuddly and cute and we wanted to bring them home with us.

It’s hard to capture the overall scene of a park in Africa: driving through a vast savanna with thousands of animals all around living together. Incredible!

We were very lucky to see a lot of lions. We saw about 12 in all, and on two occasions they came right up to our jeep. It was amazing but also scary! We saw a male lion get chased away by a pack of buffalo!

Sadly, driving between the parks was a bit depressing because there’s a lot of poverty throughout the country. The roads are also really bad which made the journeys a bit uncomfortable. It’s too bad Kenya isn’t using the money coming in via tourism to fix this issues.