It all started about 6 months ago when I was chatting with my dad about going on a bike trip with him. I randomly blurted out, “We should do it on South Africa!”. Instead of laughing the idea off, he said, “if you do the research and find something good, I’ll go with you.” So I did! I found Mark and his tour company, Cycle the Cape, and reached out to him. Mark does guided bike tours all over Cape Town, including the neighboring areas such as the winelands. He creates custom trips for your group and even provides the bikes! My sister heard about our trip and voiced her interest as well, so she jumped on it too! Take a look at our AMAZING trip below, and the captions of everything we did and saw while we were there
Above is the view from our hotel room the first morning we arrived in Cape Town. Below are some photos from the Waterfront area. The Waterfront is pretty touristy, but it was walking distance from our hotel and we only had one day of “freedom” before the biking began!
Below was the first day of biking!! We started heading south towards the Cape, all along the Atlantic ocean. (Pictured are Mark our guide, my sister Katie, and my Dad).
A quick stop for lunch, and we had our first baboon sightings! First of many. They are EVERYWHERE. We were literally dodging them in the road.
Below are Chuck and Judy. They joined us on our trip for the week riding a tandem bike!
Mark’s wife, Gaynor, wanted to try Chuck’s tandem!
Penguins!!! These little cuties call Simon’s Town their home, which was where we stopped after our first day of biking.
Yummm. I can sincerely say that we did NOT have one bad meal on the entire trip. I think everyone in South Africa goes to culinary school! We ate lots of fish and seafood, but also pasta (need those carbs to bike!), and some Cape Town specialties like ostrich and springbok!
Our first (and my favorite) guesthouse we stayed at, below.
Below is a remote village down at the end of the cape with no electricity or running water. They truly live off the grid!
Below- we made it all the way down to the Cape of Good Hope! It is the South-Western most point on the African continent. What a beautiful park it is in.
A wild ostrich on the beach….
Our second guesthouse, in Kalk Bay, a little bohemian beach town.
Dad got a whole cottage to himself!
Lots of good South African wine…
About to video chat Mom!
Packing up all of our gear…
We biked to wine country, (Stellenbosch) on the third day. We got to go wine and chocolate pairing!!!! *yum*
Mark showing off the beautiful view of Franschhoek on our 4th day.
An old Dutch estate. So beautiful, and very lovely gardens.
We then biked to the prison that Nelson Mandela was last imprisoned in.
Below you can see the gate where Mandela walked out and took his first steps of freedom.
Below, Dad is showing off our accomplishment; we conquered Franschhoekpas!!! Now time for more wine and an AMAZING dinner as our reward!
A restaurant with a view…..
Tuning up the bike on our last day of riding…
Saying goodbye to Chuck and Judy!
Below is a neighborhood back in Cape Town called Bo Kaap. They painted their houses bright colors as a silent protest against apartheid. (Now the colorful houses are more for a tourist photo spot!)
Can’t go to Africa without going on a safari!!!
This poor ostrich has been sitting on their eggs for too long. Our guide informed us that they were due to hatch 45 days ago, and are therefore rotten and will not hatch. (This isn’t very uncommon I guess, since ostrich mortality rates are fairly high.) Them sitting on the nest is basically a lost cause so they have been trying to encourage them to “give it up”. So he scooted the bird off the nest and we got to hold one of the eggs! They are massive!!
Below, this guy got a little too friendly!!!
Below is a very sad story about the two rhinos that are on the preserve. Rhino horns are very valuable and sought after in China. They are seen not only as a status symbol, but as a “good luck” superstition as well. One horn can go for US$1million….and this preserve had 2 rhinos. Poachers were aware that there was an easy $2mil waiting for them inside the gates. 5 years ago they started a forrest fire on the neighboring hills as distraction. When the rangers went to go tend to the fire, the poachers came in and attacked. They drilled into the skulls and stole the horns, leaving the animals to die. THANKFULLY the rangers found the rhinos in time to save their lives, but barely! They are still very traumatized about their accident to this day. At the time of the attack, the female was pregnant, and lost the baby rhino. They haven’t mated since. Such a sad story for such an endangered animal!!! The scars they have still look painful, and they still have medicine they take for them.
Since the male rhino is still traumatized, it “attacks” the caravan every time it comes near. He did that for us when we visited, and shortly after driving away, our truck broke down because of it! The wheel got messed up where the rhino kept head-butting us, so we had to wait for another truck to come pick us up. It was a good time for a photo-op though