South Africa: Crushing African Stereotypes

IMG_1808When you think of Africa, you imagine the desert plains and the gorgeous sunsets. And, if you’re truthful, the impoverished babies from the World Vision advertisements sneak into your mind (even though it makes you feel bad as a human).

Now, when I think of Africa, a flurry of vastly different images flash in front of my eyes – oceans, cliffs, the bush, art, animals, people, history, food, wine.

There are so many things that happened on my travels in South Africa. My favourite was the opening of my mind.

Top 5 Wild and Wonderful Things I Did in South Africa

1. I stood at the edge of the continent

IMG_20151003_105338The wind was strong enough to blow you over. The ocean was loud and spit sea spray like venom. I stood at the most southwesterly point of the African continent and looked across the ocean towards Newfoundland, my homeland I was so vividly reminded of that day.

2. I ate the most incredible food

We entered through a shuttered door. We thought it was closed – or we were totally in the wrong place. We walked through a small store guarded by a sleeping labrador retriever and into one of the best restaurants at which I’ve ever eaten. A 10 course tasting menu (changed daily) had the freshest ingredients and the most incredible flavour combinations…paired with fabulous local wine of course.

3. I climbed a mountain

1444228266019Let me repeat, I climbed a mountain. I am deathly afraid of heights and totally out of shape, and I climbed 669 metres to the top of Lion’s Head. I basically defeated the king of the jungle – no big deal you guys!

4. I went on safari

OK so going on safari is a pretty typical African experience. It’s also one of the best adventures I have ever had in my life! I am a traveller who very rarely dreams of ‘redoing’ a destination but I would go back to Kruger National Park in a heartbeat. Words cannot express the rugged beauty of this place, and I am not too proud to admit I had a little cry (of pure happiness) on our first game drive.

5. I went scuba diving

It was so cold. You can’t even believe how cold it was. I was supposed to be hot in Africa! But with chattering teeth and fingers I could not feel, I played with seals and forged through giant and eerily beautiful kelp beds. It was…wonderful.

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