Welcome to this week’s Postcard From – the feature where I chat to some lucky explorer about their recent travels. If you would like to take part please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org or @em_luxton – I would love to hear from you!
This week, I’ve been chatting to Angie Silver, the Luxury Lifestyle And Travel Blogger behind Silver Spoon London, all about her recent trip to South Africa.
Hi Angie! Tell us about your trip…
I went to South Africa; it was a multi destination trip incorporating Johannesburg, Cape Town, The Winelands, The Garden Route, Hermanus and Safari in Kruger Park and Sabi Sands. The whole trip took about two and a half weeks, I felt like we packed a lot into a short time. It was just myself and my husband on the trip and we stayed in some beautiful hotels, ate great food and really saw the place in style. Perhaps the defining factor of the trip was that it was my dream destination and somewhere I’d wanted to visit for years.
Oh wow, now I’m jealous – especially in the midst of a drizzly British August! How was the weather there?
We travelled to South Africa from the end of March to early April. Summer in South Africa is mid-October to mid-February but I was told to avoid this period as it can be very crowded. The weather in Cape Town was beautiful at this time; hot but not too hot. In fact the weather was pretty much perfect the majority of the time the only spot of bad weather we had was two days of rain in Plettenberg Bay
Where did you stay?
As it was a multi-destination trip we stayed in several different hotels. There were a couple of highlights for me, one was Ellerman House, a gorgeous luxury hotel that had the feeling of guest house. The staff were brilliant and we were really treated like members of the family. For example, you were welcome to go into the kitchen and request any food that you wanted from the chef!
The other highlight was our safari hotels, particularly Singita Boulders. A gorgeous hotel where all the furnishing are made out of natural materials so that there feels like there’s no definition between indoor and outdoor. We had a huge room with a fire place, free-standing bath and our own infinity pool! Best of all animals roamed through the hotel so we saw an antelope eating leaves by the pool and a cheeky monkey stole our breakfast!
So, as if we’re not jealous enough already – what did you get up to?
There is literally so much to see in South Africa. In Cape Town we had a day of visiting some of the beautiful natural wonders such as the Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach to see the Penguins and the absolutely stunning Kirstenbosch Gardens. Cape Town has a really interesting history and I really enjoyed seeing sights of significance such as Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.
Just outside Cape Town are the Cape Winelands and the towns of Franschoek and Stellenbosch, we stayed here for two nights and had a wonderful time visiting vineyards, tasting wine and eating great food.
What was your highlight?
The absolute highlight of the trip was our safari. We went to Kruger Park and nearby Sabi Sands on this occasion. We were lucky enough to see all the big five (lions, buffalos, leopards, rhinos and elephants) and I can’t tell you how incredible it is to see elephants bathing, lions on the prowl and rhinos playing up close. My favourite animal was the elephant and seeing those beautiful animals almost brought me to tears.
How was the food around South Africa?
I don’t think we had a bad meal whilst in South Africa, I loved the food there. There were some incredible high end restaurants that we visited such as The Test Kitchen, Tasting Room and La Colombe but we also loved getting a simple seafood platter at the Waterfront. Food is incredible value for money too because of the exchange rate.
Can you recommend any unusual things to do at all?
It might not be for everyone but when were in Plettenberg Bay we walked cheetahs at an animal rehabilitation centre. They were perfectly tame and treated with the utmost care as they’d been reared in an animal hospital.
Food-wise I’d highly recommend lunch at The Delaire Graff Estate, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a better view at lunch time.
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone planning a trip to South Africa?
Before we went I had a lot of scare mongering about it being a dangerous place and riddled with crime. We didn’t have any bad experiences; just be sensible and stick to the touristy areas. We were also careful to avoid driving at night. You don’t need to worry about malaria in Cape Town but if you’re heading to Kruger Park be safe and get some Malaria tablets and cover yourself with mosquito repellant.
And finally, a question about you! What do you love most about travelling?
As much as you can read books and look at pictures, you can’t truly know a place until you visit. I love finding out as much history as possible through tours and talking to locals. It’s also really important to me to try the local cuisine and hotspots.
NB – all images are owned by Angie Silver