Adventure, Africa, Go now, Photo Essays, South Africa
Comments 41

In Photos: Incredible Moments in South Africa.

I’ve long harbored dreams of traveling on the African continent (Mauritius and Seychelles notwithstanding), to rub shoulders with exotic wildlife and discover a culturally intriguing way of life. But to tell you the truth, I was a wee bit nervous about going it alone and never found the right company at the right time. When South Africa Tourism Board’s invitation landed in my inbox, I knew I had to go there and test the waters.

These are all the reasons I want to make 2016 the year of Africa for me, and hopefully for you!

Cuteness overload at Boulder’s Beach

I couldn’t have imagined hanging out with African penguins in their wild habitat just outside of Cape Town! Unfortunately their population on the Atlantic Coast has declined dramatically due to overfishing and garbage in the seas. The authorities are trying to restore the natural balance by banning the hunting of great white sharks, as they prey on seals and seals prey on penguins.

Also read: My First Impressions of South Africa

Boulder's beach, South africa photos, penguins south africa

Cruising along Table Bay

Sunset and champagne on a cruise in the backdrop of the gorgeous Table Mountain; need I say more?

Table bay, table bay cruise, table mountain

Cycling along the countryside of Oudtshoorn

It is in pedaling through the streets, feeling the breeze in my hair and nodding along to fellow cyclists that I find the heartbeat of the places I travel to. And so it was with Oudtshoorn, a little town at the base of the Swatberg mountains in the Western Cape province.

Also read: Bittersweet Feelings in South Africa’s Mamelodi Township

Oudtshoorn south africa, Oudtshoorn, cycling south africa

Endangered one-horn rhinos in the African bush

These majestic fellows are hunted widely for their skin and horns, so when in the bush, we were told not to post photos of their location, for poachers search for clues in the geotag to find them. I felt overwhelmed when we spotted a 4-day old rhino baby trailing its mom!

PS: I took this photo with my point and shoot, and stripped it of location tags.

Dinokeng game reserve, wildlife south africa, rhinos south africa

My neighbor at Dinokeng Game Reserve

I was bummed out to arrive late at Mangwa Valley Game Lodge and miss one of my only two safaris in the African bush. Turns out nature had a different welcome planned for me; just after I checked in, I saw a giraffe hanging out in my backyard! The rest of his family joined him, and it was one of my most memorable evenings watching them munch on leaves and gaze into each other’s eyes.

Mangwa valley game lodge, dinokeng game reserve, giraffes south africa

Mornings are for bush walking

The South African bush is very different from forests in India. No tall trees, no canopies, no defined trails. You can see for miles through the savanna; no animal movement can be missed in these dry grasslands. Even though Dinokeng Game Reserve is not a big 5 reserve, I enjoyed the little moments with wildlife I’ve never seen before – like a blue wildebeest crossing our paths just a few metres away!

dinokeng game reserve, wildebeests south africa

Vineyards of the Western Cape

Let’s just say there was a lot of wine on this trip, both in my glass and along the rugged South African countryside!

Also read: Discover Durban, the Hipster Soul of South Africa

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Wild ostriches in Table Mountain National Park

On our way to the Cape of Good Hope, we spotted this pair of ostriches drinking water off a puddle in the road, as cars whizzed past! I was heartbroken to learn later that many of them will be found on a plate of exotic meat in a typical South African meal. Such is life I guess.

Table mountain national park, ostrich south africa, south africa blogs

Road-trippin’ over the Swartberg Pass

That “I’m just a bird in the sky” kind of feeling! The ragged, barren, majestic Swartberg mountains were love at first sight. Photo thanks to fellow blogger Spencer Spellman; read his offbeat guide to the Western Cape.

Swartberg mountains, swartberg pass, south africa blogs

Got a reason to #MeetSouthAfrica yet?

I travelled to South Africa on invitation from the South Africa Tourism Board. Lucky me!

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41 Comments

  1. Lovely pictures and I wanna be in South Africa soon and blog about it too. Hubby is gonna be there for few months and I am sure gonna catch up with him there. I have more than one reason to #MeetSouthAfrica. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  2. I first found your blog a long time ago and fell in love with it. Your enthusiasm, pictures and destinations (particularly in India) have always drawn me in as a reader. I read a lot of travel blogs but you have this special Je ne sais quoi… that really resonates with me. Congrats on a job and travel well-done and well-said. I love South Africa too and can’t wait to read more as you explore it. I am also moving to Egypt in 2 weeks and can’t wait myself to return to the continent and explore. Happy travels, Cheryl

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  3. Box Canyon Blogger Mark says

    Spectacular… just mouthwatering, breathtaking, and beautiful 🙂
    Thank You!
    Box Canyon Mark

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  4. Shivya, your pic are inspiring. South Africa, has been on my travel list. I can’t think of a place you can observe nature so closely.

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  5. dannii29 says

    Hi Shivya – brilliant post. I live in Namibia but relocated to Addis Ababa Ethiopia and have worked in Ghana, Mali, South Africa, Sierra Leone just to list a few of the 54 African states. Nothing is further from the truth when it comes to traveling either in East Africa (bar the security hotspots) and West Africa (bar the hotspots of north of the Sahel). Sub Saharan Africa and especially southern Africa is a breeze.

    If yiu really want to understand the 54 states and live and breath Africa please the following travel musings by Sihle Khumalo:
    1. Dark Continent My Black Arse ISBN: 978 1 4152 0036 0
    2. Heart of Africa ISBN 978 1 4152 0081 0
    3. Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu ISBN 978 4152 0398 9

    Sihle Khumalo traveled on a shoestring budget by public transport from South Africa to the hinterland and his experiences are spot on as in most cases I have physically lived and worked in most of these countries.
    This will show any would be traveler the real 54 nationed continent of Africa and showcase the bedrock of civilization. Please share the experiences as I believe you will be awestruck by the sheer beauty, vibrance and rhythmic caleidoscope of the contrasting landscapes of what is Africa, the pulsating spirits of our ancestors purring at yiur heartstrings.

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    • You just added a whole new level of inspiration to the Africa trip I dream of undertaking. I’ll try to get my hands on those books at the earliest, and hope to be left awestruck by the beauty of the continent. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing this, Dannii!

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  6. Lucky you, indeed! South Africa is the stuff of my travel dreams, lady. I desperately want to go there some day.. I hope I will, some day.

    Beautiful post, gorgeous photos! 🙂

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  7. Wow… South Africa is a beautiful country for sure, nice place for wildlife, for checking out mountains, penguins… Nice to know some facts about South Africa, yes sad those ostrichs going to be eaten, that giraffe movement must have been incredible.

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    • Me too, and I feel incredibly lucky for being able to observe them in the wild for an entire evening! Glad you like the photos. Shot on the #iPhone6!

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  8. Chintan says

    Indeed you’re very lucky to have an invite to visit such a beautiful place! Pictures looks irresistible as ever! Keep travelling and inspiring! Xx

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  9. South Africa is my next destination of choice. It has been a toss up between there and Tahiti. Both cultures and histories are amazing.

    “PS: I took this photo with my point and shoot, and stripped it of location tags.”
    As a former Conservationist (well, one never actually stops), I thank you for this cautious gesture.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love my country. You make me wanna jump right at it and quit my job right now. It is my dream to travel through South Africa for the rest of my life. I’m at the beginning stages, but planning started. I’ll be quitting my job soon and start my journey, just like you, only in South Africa. Though I understand that the entire earth has so much to offer, I have no desire to go overseas. All these small towns and villages in our county, and the wildlife and bushveld just keep drawing me deeper into exploring the depth South Africa has to offer. I’ve never been any more excited about anything than I am right now. Perhaps we meet one day. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  11. Rocky says

    Great post… I will go back November on my 3rd trip.. It is my happy place… Lol

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  12. Hi Shivya,
    Amazing job with the pictures and the blog too! The Penguins looked quite different. My spouse is kind of obsessed with them. Hopefully, with this coming anniversary I’ll surprise her by visiting Cape Town. Also, I’m taking another trip for my pleasure to the safari that you have shown in here! A big thank you for the post!

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