South Africa, an African gem

Being up close and personal with a pack of lions during an afternoon safari in South Africa was an unforgettable experience. Nine lions approached our safari jeep and swiftly passed by as we tried to avoid gazing into their nocturnal green eyes. Pilanesberg National Park is one of a number of malaria free game viewing parks in South Africa, which is marvelous when you are travelling with a one year old baby as we did. Heading down to the bottom of the continent, where the two oceans adorn the shores, we indulged our senses with superb South African wines from the famous regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, around a 20 minutes drive away from Cape Town. The wine region itself is filled with gorgeous mountain peaks and lush green vines. The contrast fuses in a harmonious landscape which can only be compared to the inhabitants themselves. Though tumultuous in its past, South Africa felt extremely safe and its population rather proud and unified. 
Cape Town is a city not to be missed, and not solely because it is a great base for whale watching in Hermanus, or even as the starting point to the Garden Route, but because the city itself is a gem in a rather forgotten continent. Walking its streets reminded me of the elegance of European cities, though at times it felt like I was watching a beautiful tango in the streets of Buenos Aires. The views from Table Mountain can be compared to those we have seen from atop Rio de Janeiro yet some parts of Cape Town resemble the more rugged parts of the Australian outback. Having travelled to over 80 countries around the world, no other city has ever evoked so many memories of such a multitude of varied places. Africa for us, with its gorgeous unique lodges, decadent fresh food and outstanding scenery, was a beautiful surprise. We would return in a heartbeat, and we will, when our daughter will be old enough to breathe in the magic of Africa, the cradle of civilization.  

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