Place: South Africa and Mozambique
In 2010, we got hitched and celebrated our honeymoon in South Africa.
We flew into Capetown via Johannesburg, staying at a grand hotel on the waterfront where seals were frolicking outside the window. Capetown is quite a cosmopolitan city and in some ways very similar to Sydney (at least the tourist areas around the Harbour appeared similar to Darling Harbour and the like – go outside of town and it’s very different though).
We took the cable car up Table Mountain while we were there, taking in the panorama from the top of the hill. We fluked it, with our only available time being the only time during our whole stay that clouds weren’t enveloping the mountain.
From there we took off along the Garden Route, a beautiful drive along the southern coast of South Africa over several days. This included some incredible coastline views and stays in the wilderness such as at Grootbos Nature Reserve.
As you drive through, you see how very different this country is, and just how big the divide is between rich and poor. In some towns it’s similar to an Australian beachside town like Batemans Bay or Byron Bay but just on the outskirts there are thousands of shacks housing hundreds of thousands of people.
Ending up in Port Elizabeth, we flew back to Johannesburg for our next stop which was the Saba Sands National Park. Now this was a glimpse into the ‘rich’ of South Africa. Owned by Richard Branson, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was staying there. It was a truly bizarre experience traveling through the plains of Africa in our open-top Land Rover, spotting another vehicle coming down the road with the Blairs and their entourage on board. Dinner was entertaining, eating alongside his burly bodyguards (while the Blairs apparently ate in their rooms).
Despite having security stationed with them, the Blairs fell prey to the wildlife. During breakfast on their final morning, the baboons got into their room trashing the joint and throwing laptops of the cliff!
Following our stay there, it was off to Johannesburg for a tour of Nelson Mandela’s life before heading home to Sydney.