South Africa – Great Karoo Park and Stellenbosch
South Africa – Great Karoo Park and Stellenbosch
It was the last day of the year and we took it very easy, so we drove on the Garden Route, without hurrying and stopping only when we felt like to take photos.
At noon we stopped at Mossel Bay for having lunch, and as usual we found a very nice place that served very good fish.
After a walk we started again to reach Knysna, the place where we were going to spend the last night of the year.
And we had a nice surprise when we saw our lodge: the guesthouse we had booked for a very cheap price was fabulous: it is a villa in colonial style, with a lovely park, a swimming pool and a very beautiful, wide room! In case you are interested, the name of the place is
Waterfront Lodge, I really advice you to book your room there!
After relaxing a bit and having a shower, we reached the centre of Knysna for the New Year’s dinner: in reality it was nothing different from any other dinner and at eleven we were already in bed and asleep… well, a rather different way to spend New Year’s Eve!
The day after, we went to another rescue, but this time an alephant rescue: so big but so lovely, they touch you with their nose looking for food, even if we had already given them a basket full of fruit!
We greeted our huge friends and started our way again. Unfortunately, on the highway we saw a very serious accident, someone had been run down by a car while trying to cross the way. I must really recommend you to be very careful while driving, because very often local people try to cross on highway, and especially at night this can be dangerous!
It was getting hotter and hotter when we got to Oudshoorn, a town that is famous only for its ostrich farms. First of all they took us in a hall where we were shown very interesting things: how to distinguish a bag of real ostrich leather from a fake, the famous ostrich feathers (at the beginning these animals were bred only for this, while today they are famous for their meat), and a display case where we could see all the things an ostrich can swallow!
Then we got on a tractor and we went to see ostrichs! Remember that the black ones are males, the grey are females! In the meanwhile, the guide told us a lot of interesting and funny details about this animal! The top was when Gianni tried to ride an ostrich… so very funny!
Our lodge for the night was really close, we easily got there, we prepared to go out for dinner but we stopped to talk with the owner of the guesthouse, his mother and his friend. They are very kind and above all they were really very curious about the European life style!
Our dinner was a real disaster, we had reserved a table in a very refined restaurant (recommended by the owner of the guesthouse); but after waiting for more than an hour for the waiter to come and take our order, we decided to go away and we were rather angry… in the end we had a very simple meal at Mc Donald!
The following day started with a stop at a waterfall along the way, the Meisingspoort Waterfall, that is quite beautiful. We stayed there for a while watching at some brave youth jumping from the top. It was a real pity we had no swimsuit, because it was very hot and a bath would have been nice!
Great Karoo Park
Our next destination was Beaufort West, we were staying there for one night only because we wanted to visit Great Karoo Park. While buying the tickets, we were given a map with the itineraries, there are four, but we couldn’t choose, because three of them could be made only with a crossover. At the beginning we were a little disappointed; but after all we were more than satisfied because we saw wonderful views and a lot of animals on the way!
At the end of the tour we were a little tired and a little dirty, so we went to our hotel.
The next morning we found out we had a flat tyre, Gianni changed it and then we went to a garage where they repaired it for a very little expense.
Our last destination is waiting for us: Stellenbosch. It is a long way to go from Beaufort West, but it was not a problem because there were a lot of things to see (including a very big baboon sitting on the highway guardrail)
Stellenbosch is located in an area of South Africa famous for the wine production, and this wine is very good and not so expensive! The landscape that surrounds this small city is completely different from what we had seen so far; it seemed as if we were in a completely different world, it looked like the Italian Alps.
We lodged in a farm called Knorhoek Country Guesthouse, in a wonderful lodge. In these last two days we relaxed as much as we could, visiting Stellenbosch which is pretty nice. We also spent one whole morning visiting Butterfly World, a tropical park where you can walk in a wonderful pavilion among flying butterflies and we could also see many other animals.
Then, unfortunately, our holiday was over… very sadly we had to pack up and face the journey back home!