I just came back from an amazing roadtrip through South Africa; Cape Town > Wilderness > Cintsa > Knysna > Oudsthoorn and everything in between. Out of everything I have been privileged to see in this gorgeous country, the biggest connection I have made with a particular place is in the Eastern Cape. Once past East London and the more rural I went, my heart swelled with delight and I finally came to fully appreciate South Africa.
Unspoilt, natural, beautiful, the way I had imagined Africa to be. There was no fear of being robbed, I could walk freely, it was slower paced, the people friendly, and there is such a strong connection to indigenous culture unlike the more urban areas of South Africa. I am completely and utterly enamoured and ache to go back and explore more of this special place.
We were able to rent a lovely, private ensuite overlooking a large estuary leading out to the ocean for R230 per night ($30!!!). It was paradise. We went canoeing, mountain biked to the local township, took surf lessons, explored the beach, played in the waves, entered volleyball competitions with the rest of the backpacker community, basked in the warm sun, ate local Xhosa cuisine and just completely chilled.
In the spirit of adventure, I convinced Gareth to take an impromptu trip to Addo Elephant Park and so we drove for 5 hours and drove through the park viewing Kudu, elephants, warthogs, tortoises, zebra, buffalo all within touching distance of our car. Such an amazing experience to have a massive elephant stroll by your car, nearly silent looking at you out of the corner of his eye as he passes. My adventure led to another five hour drive to Knysna; poor Gareth for having to drive the entirety of our trip due to my license being stolen out of my handbag along with my wallet a few months ago.