Day 1 - 18 Feb 2022
Content: On your way to the Drakensberg, stop at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site to learn more important South African history of apartheid.
Day 1 - 18 Feb 2022
Content: Estimated Travel Time to the Drakensberg: 4 hours 20 minutes It’s time to traverse the iconic Drakensberg Mountains. These mountains were made for adventure, and if you’re doing this trip, that’s definitely you. The Maloti-Drakensberg National Park spans across South Africa into Lesotho and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our favorite part of visiting this region (and also the most challenging) was hiking Tugela Falls. Tugela Falls, meaning “sudden,” plummets from almost 3000 meters high above in the Drakensberg (Dragons’) Mountains. 🐉 Surpassing Angel Falls’ 979 meters, Tugela Falls at 983 meters was declared the tallest waterfall in the world this November 2021. 🌍🎉 Unless you have a 4x4, take a shuttle from the Witsiehoek Mountain Lodge to the trail lodge, as the road is unpaved and insurmountable by even our daring Honda Brio. If you have the time, plan your trip to stay overnight on the plateau at the top of the falls. This is not an easy hike, and it took Arlton and I, both unfit and recovering from long Covid, 7 hours, 8 miles, and a 760m elevation gain through the mist, over cliffside narrow paths, and over rock gulleys. Make sure you check the weather beforehand! We hiked in rainy conditions over a slippery trail. At the toughest point in our hike, descending before sunset, it started hailing; ice pelted us, and icy water rushed over the trail. If the weather had been nicer, we would have opted to hike via the chain ladders and saved a considerable amount of time on our hike (between 1-2 hours).
Day 2 - 19 Feb 2022
Content: Estimated Travel Time to Johannesburg: 3 hours 45 minutes It’s time to make your way to the biggest city in South Africa, “Egoli,” the City of Gold. Johannesburg is full of entrepreneurial energy, a hustling spirit, and the energy of New York City’s concrete jungle. Whenever we visit Johannesburg, we stay for a few days as there are so many restaurants, entertainment venues, museums, and art galleries to take in. Your must-dos are visiting the Apartheid Museum and the Constitutional Court, walking around the Maboneng Precinct, and stepping back in time at the Cradle of Humankind.
Day 2 - 19 Feb 2022
Content: By far, our favorite place to visit in Johannesburg is Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Before our first visit, we had hesitations, but we quickly learned it’s easy to visit this icon of history and culture yourself. Park at Vilakazi Street. Visit Nelson Mandela’s house. Try traditional South African food at Sakhumzi. See the outside of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s house. Follow the Hector Pieterson Trail, and turn right on Moema St. towards the Hector Pieterson Memorial and spend time visiting the museum. Support local artists right across the street from memorial. Finish your time in Soweto with a visit to the Soweto Towers, which you can reach by car. It only costs R80 to visit the viewing deck at the top, but if you’re brave, try bungee jumping off this incredible site 100m up for R630. You can also SCAD freefall inside the towers, play paintball, and rock climb. 😱
Day 3 - 20 Feb 2022
Content: Estimated Time to Kimberley: 4 hours 45 minutes When we first heard “You have to visit the ‘Big Hole’ in Kimberley,” we were more than a little confused. But now that we’ve been there, you have to visit the Big Hole! This old mining site is where 14.5 million carats of diamonds were discovered! The depth of the hole is 215m, and when you take the R100 guided tour, you can stand in awe at the edge, see real diamonds up close, walk their replica heritage town much like the Wild West was for cowboys, and tour underground inside the start of the mine. Don’t leave without taking a ride on the vintage orange tram for just R20.
Day 4 - 21 Feb 2022
Content: Estimated Travel Time to Upington: 3 hours 55 minutes The Northern Cape isn’t often visited because it is so remote. You can practically sit at the border with Namibia, as the Orange River winds its way through this dry landscape, full with the stir of Quiver Trees and the sight of springbok, eland, and ostriches.
Content: Just a footnote on some guides is the Augrabies Falls. But this incredible waterfall will have you saying “Niagara who?” 🌈 Meet Augrabies Falls. This stunner spans almost 20 falls on a deep gorge beneath a wide blue sky. High in South Africa near the border with Namibia along the Orange River, 19 separate waterfalls plunge from a height of 56m into a steep ravine 18km long. The deep canyon looks a little bit like where Scar betrayed Mufasa in The Lion King. 🦁 The Khoi people called the Augrabies Falls 'Aukoerebis', the place of the Great Noise, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re visiting Augrabies Falls, prepare to get wet. 💦💦💦 Standing on some of the viewing decks isn’t much different than standing in a shower. 🧖♀️🚿 This was Arlton’s favorite stop on our road trip! But before our trip, neither of us had heard of this incredible place that’s truly awe inspiring.
Day 5 - 22 Feb 2022
Content: Estimated Time to Cape Town: 8 hours 10 minutes This was the last stop on our road trip before we stayed the night in Springbok, but with more time, visit the black-maned lions at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park, witness the natural flower display of Namaqualand between August and October, visit the Cederberg Wine Cellars, hike in the remote red rock of the Cederberg beneath wide blue skies and discover some of the oldest San paintings in the country, and take your time as you pass through the long sandy coasts of Langebaan and Paternoster reminiscent of Greece.
Day 6 - 23 Feb 2022
Content: Depending on whether you explored Cape Town already, it’s time to take in all that is the Mother City! There’s more than one reason why they call it the Mother City. Cape Town is the absolute mother of all cities from stunning beaches backed by Table Mountain, a Natural World Wonder, to rowdy night life, some of the best hikes, and icy, alive-making making swims. I chose to move over 12,500km away from my home because it’s just that good. If you’ve never been to the African continent before, Cape Town is a great way to wet your feet! Whether you're hiking Table Mountain, one of the Natural Wonders of the World, following Chapman’s Peak Drive from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope for one of the world’s best ocean drives, taking a walking tour of Bo-Kaap, or learning Gumboot with dancers in Langa Township, there’s something everyone will want to do in Cape Town.