Family Trip to South Africa!

Family visit to South Africa

My family and I went on an unforgettable 6-day adventure exploring the great cities of South Africa – Johannesburg and Cape Town. Our journey began with a 4-hour flight on Airlink from Entebbe to the renowned OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. As we touched down around 8 pm, we were immediately struck by the warm welcome of the airport and a relatively interesting tour guide for that evening.

Touring Johannesburg

 

Our first two nights in Johannesburg were spent at the exquisite Voco Hotel Rosebank – the first voco in Africa, I highly recommend. This was where chose to spend our time in Johannesburg as we toured the city and the iconic township of Soweto. And this same location was where I held my 45-minute interview with Dr. Vivek Goel, the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo.

Prior to that, on the Monday 21st August, we ventured into Sandton City, where we visited and took images at one of the remarkable Mandela statues. Around the same time, we noticed that the area was under heavy guard due to the concurrent BRICS summit, featuring leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. As a result and regrettably, the security restrictions prevented us from enjoying the Golden Reef Park activities! That was a great loss to be very honest with you!

Despite this, our journey continued as we visited the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a place of profound historical significance. We paid our respects at his final home in Houghton, where he peacefully passed away, and then made our way to Soweto. There, we explored Mandela’s childhood home, but before this, I indulged in the Zulu dance with the traditional dancers an iconic moment for me – image on the left. Mandela’s childhood home has been transformed into a museum, as well as the residence of Bishop Desmond Tutu, an incredible coincidence considering they both resided on the same street, a street that can proudly claim two Nobel Peace Prize laureates in the whole world!

Looking at the time, we realised that the scheduled interview was edging closer, we made our way back to the hotel – where I was dropped off and left to conduct the interview. The rest of the family went on with their holiday without the slightest hinderance – haha.

Cape Town – The Mother City

 

Having successfully conducted my interview with President Goel, we set off for Cape Town. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the chilly embrace of transitioning South African seasons, from winter to spring. The raindrops welcomed us as we stepped into the Westin Hotel, nestled in the heart of Cape Town.

The following day brought brighter, warmer weather, ideal for our highly anticipated visit to the Table Mountain, a national park and a natural wonder that defined Cape Town’s skyline. Before “conquering” the mountain, we visited the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, a mesmerizing aquatic world. It is located at the V&A Waterfront, and home to a dazzling array of marine life from both the Atlantic and Indian oceans, giving us a glimpse into the incredible biodiversity of South Africa’s coastal waters. From colourful coral reefs to graceful sea turtles, every exhibit held a piece of the ocean’s beauty.

Table Mountain, standing majestically at 1,085 meters, was a breathtaking spectacle. As we ascended its heights, we were rewarded with panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean, a truly awe-inspiring experience that etched itself into our memories.

As we went up, the cable car rotated 360-degrees during the ride, providing breathtaking panoramic views of Cape Town, the surrounding coastline, and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. We viewed the city’s layout, between the iconic mountain and the ocean.

Upon reaching the summit, we were greeted by a cool breeze and the sight of fellow travelers exploring the plateau’s walking trails and admiring the unique flora that thrived in this harsh, windswept environment. We spent hours taking in the stunning vistas, capturing photographs, and simply absorbing the serenity of this natural wonder.

Last Day in South Africa

 

On our final day, we went on a full-day trip along the peninsula, covering a total of 8 hours, during which we explored two beautiful beaches. Along this scenic route, we strolled past the Table Mountain National Park and had the opportunity to encounter the boulder-dwelling penguins. These unique creatures have adapted to thrive in subtropical climate, a striking contrast to their usual Arctic habitat.

Continuing our journey, we reached Cape Point and ascended the historic lighthouse that once served as a guiding beacon for ships navigating the treacherous waters of Cape Town. Our descent took us to the southernmost tip of the African continent – the Cape of Good Hope (images below), where we captured breathtaking photos and ceremoniously concluded our unforgettable South African vacation. 

Our family trip to South Africa was filled with enchanting moments, historical discoveries, and natural wonders. It was a journey that not only brought us closer as a family but also deepened our appreciation for the rich tapestry of South African culture and heritage. 

 

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