We’re suckers for road trips. There’s almost nothing we love more. Thanks to our friends who lent us their car (MILLIONS of thanks!!), we were able to feel the wind through our fingers yet again—Africa style. We’ve been told the most beautiful drive of the country belongs to an area called the South Africa “Garden Route”, which is about 300 miles east of Cape Town. Not too doable by bus, but since we had our own car to drive, we figured it was worth the effort. As it turns out, we drastically underestimated how true that was.
Since we had such a great time, we decided we’d pass along a few of the things we did and show off what a beautiful part of this world belongs here. Here goes!
Penguins at Betty’s Bay
Though this wasn’t technically part of the South Africa Garden Route, it was certainly along the way—and we weren’t about to miss a chance to see penguins in the wild. At Betty’s Bay, for just 10RAND a person (less than $1 USD) we were able to see hundreds and hundreds of penguins as we walked on a boardwalk along the coast. Watching Carter was my favorite thing about the whole experience. When we first got there he was much more interested in the rocks near the parking lot than coming with us to see the penguins, but once he saw the penguins he didn’t bother with anything else!
He is at such a fun age right now. He would run up and down the boardwalk squealing with excitement and when we’d point out a penguin that was close to us he would stick his hand out as if to pet it and then squeak at it! Unbearably cute if I do say so myself. We would have stayed forever if the smell wasn’t so bad.
Shark Cage Diving
On our 2nd day in the Garden Route area, I got the opportunity to swim with sharks. Yeah, it was a pretty big deal, and one of the coolest things I’ve ever ever done. I won’t rehash too much (you can read more about it here!), but let’s just say I’ll be hard-pressed to find something more awesome to do during this entire trip!
While I was busy dipping in shark-infested water, Scott and Carter took to the streets and explored the beautiful Mossel Bay. They discovered some awesome places, and when we met back together they showed me where they had gone… except everything was different, thanks to the rising tide! Instead of dazzling see-through waters and tide pools we had 20-foot swells, crashing waves, and eventually, very wet clothing.
Before driving back to Cape Town, we stopped to see the Knysna Heads. This was a great stop for us because there was a lot of walking up hill and climbing stairs to wear Carter out. The view points along the path were beautiful! We took our time letting our eyes explore the sharp cliffs, deep waters, and large waves. We were hoping to see a whale or two, but with a 1-year-old we’re not quite patient enough for that.
After returning from our road trip to Knysna, we were telling our Afrikaner friends all about our trip and they were like “Oh did you go here?” “Oh did you see this?” And we felt so silly because we’d never even heard of those places… But hey, our trip was perfect for us this time, and that just means we’re even more eager to return to South Africa and experience those places next time!