Trip to the Transkei

Trip Start Jan 04, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Swell Tours Guest House

Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Saturday, April 28, 2012

Two weeks of driving and 3,000+ kilometers later, Colin and I feel like we have been across the entire country and back...and it was amazing.  We spent the first 3 days of our first break taking our time driving the popular "Garden Route", which is a stretch of a couple hundred miles along the southern coast of South Africa.  The drive is incredibly scenic, ranging from hilly fields of farmland and wineries to mountainous cliffs overlooking the ocean, and passes through several quaint beach towns.  A friend of ours in the class was very generous and allowed us to stay at his family's beautiful beach home in the town of Knysna.  From Knysna we made our way beyond the Garden Route and into the Wild Coast.

The Wild Coast, also known as the Transkei, takes you along the Eastern Cape of SA and is known for its rugged rural roads shared with wild animals.  While the Garden Route was a very scenic drive, the Transkei really blew us away.  It's almost like the perfect vision of "Africa" you would see in a movie.  The coastline stretches for hundreds of miles consisting of rolling green hills and untouched beaches, populated only by local subsistence farmers who live in one-room thatched-roof rondovals.  It was the only time in my life that I saw cows, sheep and goats roaming along the beach instead of people.  It is completely untouched territory and quite breath-taking.

So Colin and I rented a one-room rondoval in one of the only two places you can stay in the small town of Mdubmi.  For 4 days we stayed in our thatched roof, ate and drank only what we arrived with, cooked over the campfire, and spent our days relaxing along the beach all alone.  Our two big activities of the trip were surfing, and an hour of horseback riding along the beach on our last day.  Other than our car taking quite a beating from all of the unpaved roads, it was a perfect holiday of relaxation.

After our time off the grid, we hit the road again to join up with a group of our classmates who were all invited to stay on a family farm of another classmate in the bush.  Six hours later we were in the middle of the Karoo, taking a game drive and hunting for our dinner (literally shooting at wild boar, kudu and bush boks among others) with 8 other friends.  It was a pretty sweet time and a unique African experience - thanks to our local friends and families for all of their hospitality.  A few more braais, toasted marshmallows, and another 8 hour drive back to Cape Town, and we were home sweet home… Tomorrow starts a new term and it's back to hitting the books for a few more months…

Happy first birthday to our favourite little guy Powell and much love to everyone else back home.  We’ll be in touch soon!

Mr. and Mrs. Fitz 
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