Southern Africa- Botswana & Cape Town

The last leg our our trip consisted of traveling throughout Botswana and eventually ending in Cape Town! Our journey nevertheless, was one I will never forget. Our Safari left us off in Kasane, Botswana, where were flew on the scariest flight of my life to Maun. The plane was an 18 seater, the smallest I’ve ever been on. When we landed and walked off the plane, the pilot was on the ground greeting us. I said thank you and proceeded to tell him how I thought the flight was scary, and he responded with “Yeah, it was kind of scary”. When the pilot agrees with you, you know you just escaped death. We spent three days in Maun, which is surrounded by the Okavango Delta, and the highlight of our trip was when we were able to spend a full day cruising down the Delta in a Mokoro (a large dug out canoe). Our relaxing ride soon turned exciting when we were greeted with hippos and crocodiles that had been hidden in the grass.

After our time in Maun, we had a 10 hour bus ride to Gabarone, which is the capital of Botswana- quick funny story about our time in Gabarone. Our hostel was about 15 minutes outside of the city, pretty much in the middle of no where and the only restaurant within walking distance closed at 4pm on Sundays. Carolyn and I decided that instead of spending the money to take a cab into the city, we would skip dinner and spend our night drinking wine at the hostel. It just so happened that later that night we got to talking to two South African men that were in the dorm next to us. They were barbequing dinner for themselves and asked what we were doing for dinner and if we wanted to join them. It was pretty embarrassing when we admitted that we were going hungry for a night to save some money, but they laughed and insisted they cook dinner for us. We spent the whole night chatting by the fire drinking wine and eating BBQ, so what started off as a solitary hungry night, turned into a night full of food and fun!

Our time in South Africa was AMAZING. We unfortunately only had three full days, but if I could have changed my flight to stay for a full two weeks I would’ve- I absolutely loved it. Everything from the hostel we stayed in and their staff (the B.I.G Hostel), to the amazing views, and the awesome people we met along the way, Cape Town was perfect. Since we had so little time, we were determined to fit in as much as possible during our stay. The first day we did a tour of the city via the hop on hop off buses, just to get our barrings and see as much as possible. That night we got dinner with 2 English boys and a German girl that we met in our hostel. The next morning it was raining, so we thought that would be the perfect day to do the historic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and many other political activists were held as prisoners. We were led throughout the prison by one of the former inmates, who had served 5 years at the prison for being a protestor.

Our last day in Cape Town was by far my favorite. We woke up early in the morning and took the funicular up to the top of Table Mountain. The views were actually incredible and looked over the entire city and onto the Atlantic Ocean.Table Mountain is INSANELY old, it is 6 times older than the Himalayas, which is pretty incredible. After that, we rushed back to our hostel and met up with the two English brothers that we had gotten dinner with a couple nights back, David and Michael! They had rented a car and planned to drive along the coast of South Africa, all the way to the very southern tip of Africa, and they invited us along for the ride! We happily accepted and I am SO glad we did. We took the route of Chapman’s Peak drive which was stunning. The road runs all along the coast and the entire time you have views of the little picturesque towns placed perfectly on the mountains. Along the way we stopped at Hout Bay and Kalk Bay, which are two cute towns on the coast. We then made our way to Boulder’s beach to see some penguins, and lastly stopping at Cape Point Park, which is the southern most part of Africa. Later that night our Hostel was hosting a dinner for all of the guests, and we walked in the door just as it was starting. We were told to grab a drink and sit down, and we were served “Bunny Chow” which is a typical South African dish- it was amazing!! The whole day was utterly perfect.

My advice if you’re planning a trip to South Africa and you are up for the challenge of driving on the other side of the road, rent a car and do Chapman’s Peak Drive along the coast- it was by far my favorite thing we did while in Cape Town! Also, I would highly recommend the B.I.G hostel in Greenpoint for travelers of any age. It was completely spotless, had amazing free breakfast, and looked like it came out of a pottery barn magazine- just so cute. The staff were extremely nice and SO helpful when it came to planning out our days.  The next day Carolyn and I officially separated- she went on to India and I flew to Vietnam. I wont lie, as soon as I got through security in the airport I instantly started crying. It hit me that I was actually alone and was about to get on a 13 hour plane ride to Hong Kong by myself. I was able to quickly pull myself together and after 30+ hours of traveling, I made it to Vietnam!


Our plane or “death trap” to Maun.

Riding in our Mokoro along the Okavango Delta!

Nelson Mandela’s cell on Robben Island

Camps Bay Beach- Cape Town

Colorful Bo-Kaap houses in Cape Town!

The view from Table Mountain overlooking the Atlantic

Selfies with Penguins on Boulder’s Beach

Quick pit stop during Chapman’s Peak drive

Cape Point- the southern most part of Africa with our Scottish friends!

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