After discovering that Madagascar was not covered in lemurs as certain movies might suggest, I decided to spend my last week of summer vacation exploring the Garden Route. Rachel and my strategy was to get most of our traveling out of the way now, while we are on break, so we won’t have to ask off of work very often for the rest of the year. Since TSiBA’s academic calendar runs on a semester schedule, I was able to spend five days with Rachel and five other travelers on a tour called Bokbus. The trip went from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and back, exposing us to some of the loveliest parts of the country.
Our fearless leader and bus driver Benjamin was an absolute gem. He diplomatically handled our one disgruntled passenger, while making sure the group had a nice experience. Benjamin led us through Oudtshroon, Wilderness, George, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, The Crags, Tsitsikamma, Addo Elephant Sanctuary, Port Elizabeth, Mussel Bay, Hermanus, and Kogel Bay.
The Garden Route is famous for its gorgeous scenery while also providing a youthful, adventurous spirit. Road trip highlights include feeding ostriches, spelunking in the Cango Caves, bungee jumping from the world’s highest bungee from a bridge, feasting at the game lodge’s African animal buffet, hiking to Tsitsikamma’s suspension bridges, spotting dassies, getting out of the Western Cape, safari game drives, eating delicious seafood at Knysna’s waterfront, one night of air-conditioning, driving through Tolkien-esque mountain passes, and zip-lining over waterfalls.
Furthermore, the trip was even more enjoyable by spending time with Rachel and my co-passengers from the Netherlands, England, Australia, and South Africa. The community we formed by the end of the trip reinforced my hope to participate in group tours through other parts of the world in the future. However, for now I am content living in Cape Town and working at TSiBA.