Day 1/2: Travel Day(s)
Day 3: Exploring the city by foot
Day 4: Self-Guided Peninsula Drive
Day 5: Table Mountain & Hout Bay
Day 6: Franschhoek Wine Tour
Day 7: Johannesburg Lion Park
Day 8/9: Travel Days
So who DOESN’T want to play with wild animals?
We had multiple plans to choose from on our last day in South Africa, and somehow they all fell through. But that’s alright because it led us to the best day ever:
Originally, we wanted to go on a safari, because… Africa? However we quickly learned you need at least 3 full days for a full fledged safari. Only being there for 5 full days, we decided to save that adventure for next time.
Then, we wanted to go cage diving with great white sharks! Unfortunately the wind was not on our side, and none of the boats were going out because of the 3 meter swells (nothankyou).
The next plan was to fly 2 hours to Johannesburg (where our flight home was leaving from) and bungee jump! There is a famous jump location called the Orlando Towers in Soweto. We were pumped to find another exhilarating activity before we left. Of course the towers were closed on the one and only day we would be in Jo-burg!
I guess the Lord knew we were going to get eaten by a shark or a face plant from 100 meters high…
The five of us rented a pretty ghetto fabulous mini van and headed to Lion Park, Gauteng. It is a wildlife conservation enclosure where you can feel like you are on a safari from your own car. We found this place on Trip Advisor last second and had no idea what to expect, but it was better than nothing!
I knew this place was a winner when we pulled up and ostriches were just hanging out in the parking lot.
The day started with a drive through the reserve where the animals are living almost as if they were in the wild. Right off the bat we saw an animal fight. A group of springboks were definitely showing off to get attention from some females. We could sit in our cars and watch as long as we wanted to because there was no time limit on the loop we were driving!
Along the way we saw zebra, more ostriches, hyena, and…. LIONS! Tons of them. White ones. Who knew there were white lions? They are rare and gorgeous. I spare you from the zillion pictures I took of them all. Rolling your windows down was prohibited
so we did anyways.
Some of the coolest animals we saw were the 2 adult cheetahs! At first they were lying down staring (very scarily), then something spooked them. They got up and began walking the perimeter back and forth for quite awhile. They got really close to our van!
After we finished the driving loop, we had the opportunity to pet some animals! First was the baby cheetah. He was lying against the fence when we entered and never really moved. The 5 of us each got to pet him for a couple minutes and it was definitely the most nervous I’d been all day. He purred like a house cat but much deeper and louder. The staff told us that it was normal and it meant he enjoyed us petting him……
Next, we got to pet LION CUBS! They were sleeping when we got in there, and I started petting first. Unlike the cheetah, they got up and were super playful the whole time.
Everyone got their turn, and then we decided to get a group picture. As soon as I knelt down, they both pretty much attacked me in the cutest way possible!
Next stop was Nate’s absolute favorite – feeding the giraffe. It was so tall we got to stand on a platform to feed him. He was uber slobbery but so sweet. He’d lick the food right out of your hand!
Last but not least, we fed the ostriches. This was not Chandler’s favorite part, as they would very violently bend down to snatch the pellets out of your hand with their beaks.
We were so sad to leave this place but very happy that we got to make our last day memorable! We went straight to the airport to begin our 30+ hour journey back home, and boarded our flight with giraffe hair on my shirt.