Like mine, most first time visits to South Africa will include a stint in Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula. There are only a handful of other cities in the world with a comparably beautiful coastal setting as Cape Town. The accommodation is fantastic, I particularly enjoy the personal hospitality offered by the regions fabulous owner-run guesthouses, while even the most ardent of gastronomic pilgrims are spoilt for choice by the food and wines on offer. All within an hour or so from the city, the Cape Peninsula offers stunning drives, quaint seaside towns and perfect white sand beaches. Wildlife includes penguins that bask in the hot African sunshine and flora which is unique to this small corner of the world, while for those who want to stay active, the peninsula offers superb cycling, hiking and surfing opportunities. For me, this destination has it all and I could happily spend a two week holiday here, again and again.
Africa has really captured Andrew's imagination since arriving in Cape Town on the first stop of his first round the world trip. Since hiking up the majestic Table Mountain on day one, he has explored many corners of this wild and beautiful continent, which keeps drawing him back.
Whether it's spotting remarkable bird species or the Big Five on a game drive, enjoying a hike in the Cape or the Drakensberg, immersing himself in the history and culture of KwaZulu-Natal, the diversity on offer in South Africa fulfils everything Andrew enjoys about travelling in Africa, and more.
Andrew grasped the opportunity to visit Madagascar through his work at Audley in early 2015, getting to know the remarkable people and landscapes this island has to offer. It's the wildlife that's the real draw here though, and the contrast between Madagascar and the mainland is perhaps the most exciting part of this unique destination.
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Four Rosmead is my favourite place to stay in Cape Town. Guesthouses in Cape Town tend to offer luxury on a par with the city's best hotels and being owner-run, tend to offer a much more personal guest experience. Situated on the lower slopes of Table Mountain in the City Bowl area of town, Four Rosmead epitomizes South African hospitality at its best. If you are planning to hike up the mountain rather than take the cable car, try their fabulous Bircher's Muesli for breakfast; a delicious, energy packed start to the day.
I'll never forget when…
Incredible wildlife experiences and stunning scenery abound throughout South Africa, but a recent trip to the Northern Drakensberg stands out. Combining a couple of the local day hikes available from Montusi Mountain Lodge, an Audley favourite, I climbed down to a cave behind a nearby waterfall for a refreshing shower in the late afternoon heat before making the ascent of the adjacent Montusi peak. Approaching the top, I cast my eyes back across the valley to the dramatic escarpment beyond. Huge Martial Eagles soared on thermals while gathering thunderstorm clouds filled the sky; fanning out the rays of the sinking sun, dappling the lush green expanse below. The views stretched out for miles beneath this ethereal atmosphere, and I was left with a profound sense of freedom and perfect solitude.