Plettenberg Bay, Oudtshoorn, South Africa
We left Port Elizabeth behind – which I am glad about as the last couple of days doesn’t really compare to the start of our trip. We travelled along the coast to the Tsitsikamma National Park, famed for its indigenous forests and rugged coastline, and known as the ‘garden of the Garden Route’.
The Tsitsikamma National forest area home to the Storms River Suspension bridge, picturesque and full of natural beauty. An amazing view of the Indian Ocean and the forest together. The walk to the Storms River mouth is about 2 kilometers, not an easy hike especially for some of our older members. The boardwalk is well maintained and has lots of benches to rest on along the walk. The lookout points boast the most magnificent views of the coast, sea and river mouth. The walk includes a lot of stairs, some really steep – Dave and I were ok, but we did have to help a lady in our party who struggled. We set a slow pace and made sure she made use of the many benches – allowed us to capture some amazing pictures. The highlight of the walk is the suspension bridge which crosses the Storms River mouth. Absolutely beautiful walk with a coastline to die for.
The suspension bridge is 77 meters long and was pretty spectacular as were the views!! Stunning location!
The walk along the canopy of forest with lush vegetation, fresh air, saltiness of the sea and breathtaking views and special people all combined made this walk very memorable and special.
Our lovely Manju made it to the bridge, very proud of her (this is the doctor who helped me with my bad reaction) absolutely beautiful person, inside and out!
We arrived at our hotel – it wasn’t a hotel, it was a Country House – oh my god!!! Hunters Country House – wow wow wow!!
ne of the first things I noticed about Hunters Country House is the sense of “home”. The individual thatched cottage suites are stunningly beautiful and peaceful. A privately positioned patio and garden makes for tranquil relaxation, reflection and reconnecting. It really is a place that fills your heart with special memories that will remain with me for a lifetime.
Situated in the heart of the Garden Route, between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape. It is internationally acclaimed for its service excellence, superb cuisine and beautiful gardens – all I can vouch for personally!!
The Elephant Sanctuary
The Elephant Sanctuary has three African Elephant Sanctuaries across three provinces in Southern Africa. The Elephant Sanctuary, started in 1999, grew from five elephants to a total of twelve African Elephants. These Elephants have been domesticated through positive reinforcement animal management principles, and as a result, provide the unique opportunity to interact with them. We were taken on a journey into the world of the African elephant and guided through an unforgettable experience with these magnificent creatures. They really are gentle giants, we had to opportunity to walk with them, learn about their movement and what they mean and to feed them! We walked holding their trunks, I was left with a handful of snot!
The Safari Ostrich Farm
We toured the Ostrich camp by a tractor & trailer for about 25 – Ostrich “Game Drive” th rough natural veld with 16 Zimbabwe Blue ostriches as if in the wild. The guides explain the natural breeding cycle of ostriches whilst the birds flock around the tractor trying to eat the trailer!! You see the Ostrich nests and how they birds breed in nature.
We then had to opportunity to feed the Ostriches – one almost took my finger off, they pratically eat anything.
On the way into the farm, the guide asked if anybody would like to ride an Ostrich – I was the only person to put my hand up! Well the time came and I couldn’t bottle it as everyone was saying how brave I was all the way through the tour haha!! I was literally papping myself!! They put some blue trousers on me, I walked up a ladder to get on it, it (still don’t know if it was a boy or a girl) had a bag over it’s head to stop it freaking out, which I didn’t like to be honest it was too late to back out – I was on! They lifted its huge wings and I mean huge and made me hold onto it’s feathers underneath, that was it that was all I had, except my legs wrapped around it’s chest, to hold on with!! Dave did ask for me not to do it, if I fell off I would have probably broke every bone in my body – but I didn’t!! It set off with the guides running after it – I screamed all the way round! An absolutely amazing experience, one I will probably never do again!! Here is the video – has to be said, one of my highlights!!
They finished the tour with an Ostrich Race with Safari Ostrich Farm Jockeys – bloody fast!
Birds of Eden
The largest free-flight aviary in the world and home to more than 3,500 birds! I love this picture of Mary, Mary is a very inspiring lady – I loved her company and could chat to both her and her lovely hubby Ed!! ‘Sexy devil’ hehe!!
We stayed at De Opstal Country Lodge spread through tropical gardens literally in the middle of know where, amazing location!! The lodge has been restored lodge, the original farm buildings, dating from 1830, have been designed in traditional Little Karoo style to create a cosy and intimate hideaway in the heart of South Africa’s ostrich country.
We finished off our stay in Oudshoorn visitng the Cango Caves. The Cango Caves is a cultural and natural landmark in South Africa. The 20 million year-old Cango Caves system consists of a series of hidden chambers cut deep into a thick limestone rock layer. It is situated in the Swartberg Mountains, 30 kilometres north of Oudtshoorn, in South Africa’s Western Cape Province.
- Frequently described as one of the great Natural Wonders of The World.
- The biggest show cave system in Africa.
- Inhabited since the Early Stone Age.
- It is South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction.
- The formations are unique: they would not have normally formed in this area and are a result of faulting.