Travel: South Africa

Addo Elephant National Park

I just got back from an amazing 2 week trip to South Africa with my parents!  My sister is currently studying abroad there for a semester, and my parents were awesome and took me there as my graduation present.  I’ve mentioned before that my family loves to travel, and instilled that love in my siblings and I.  This trip was another trip of a lifetime, and I am so happy I was able to go before I embark on my new adventure in Moldova.  It was also an opportunity to see my sister one last time before possibly not seeing her again for two plus years.

I’ll share more specific details of what we did on our trip throughout this week (and possibly next week), but for now, I’ll provide an overview of our trip.  My parents planned this trip less than one month in advance, which is probably not advisable for most people, but is the norm and worked fine for our family.  Traveling to South Africa is not cheap, as tickets are very expensive.  I think our tickets were around $1,000 round-trip per person.  We didn’t plan lodging very far in advance, but you definitely want at least the first couple of nights planned before you land.  It is not like in the United States where you can easily drive down the highway until you see a sign with a hotel.  We ended up staying all but one night in places we found on airbnb.  We found this a relatively inexpensive and great way of finding places to stay, and would definitely recommend it.  However, if I were traveling alone or with friends my age, there are plenty of really cheap hostels as well that I probably would have utilized.  We stayed in various separate apartments most night, but stayed in someone’s home one night.  The only night we did not stay in an airbnb place was towards the end of our trip.  We were traveling with my sister, one of her friends, and their friend who was visiting.  We stayed in a backpackers there.  We rented a car for the entire trip, as we covered quite a lot of land and public transportation is very limited in South Africa.

We started our trip in the Cape Town area (stayed in Fish Hoek) for a couple of days, then headed on the Garden Route, ending up in Grahamstown (where my sister’s university is).  From Grahamstown, we took a 2-day trip to Hogsback, which is in the Eastern Cape, at the end of our trip.  We saw lots of coastline, visited several beaches, drove quite a bit, and saw some of the amazing wildlife found in Addo Elephant National Park.

This was our (approximate route):

south africa road-trip route

It was a trip that I won’t forget anytime soon, for sure!  Stay tuned for more details!