• Kerri Butler

South Africa

There is a reason they call Africa The Motherland. I have never been to place where I felt that although I hadn't traveled there before, I was home. The entire country feels like a giant hug. Africa shared her magic with us, and we are going to share a bit with you.

We boarded a huge plane to Africa for our 17 hour flight to South Africa on Emirates Airlines. I cannot say enough amazing things about Emirates. They are far and above the most luxurious airline to fly coach, they take amazing care of you (and your kids!). Whenever Emirates is an option, please choose to fly this airline! More on that in our Australia post.

We landed in Capetown, South Africa and began to explore the city at eh waterfront. I can say, I didn't really understand the word "cosmopolitan" until I visited Capetown. It's such an elegant city.

Cole planned a day for us to visit Surfer's Cove in Muizenberg, and the colorful changing rooms on the coast. We played with the oversized kelp that had washed ashore, daydreamed of our dream beach homes, and had lunch in the beautifully styled and ever delicious restaurant, Live Bait.

When Cole found out about the Cape Town Ostrich Farm, he planned a trek for us to visit. We all enjoyed meeting the goofy (and very fast!) animals, learning more about their features, and Benjamin even had a meet and greet with Tiny Tim - the world's smallest fully growth ostrich.

Here is a great clip of Benjamin meeting the feisty guy:

We explored more of Capetown by visiting their downtown market and making new friends. Benjamin learned to negotiate, a skill he would later call on in China. Cole and I had a chance to have a date, so he planned a lovely spa day downtown.

We visited the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and got caught in the rain. Another day, we had a chance to spot the Antarctic penguins, on holiday from their resident home. The ocean was cold and very blue.

It was time for a change of scenery so we boarded a very small plane to head out to Safari. Our plane took us to Kampama Southern Camp. We had no idea what a special treat it was to visit this luxurious spot and the wonderful staff!

Our first night there, we checked into a regular family room, which had all of the beautiful touches that made you feel like you were in Out of Africa. As we headed to dinner, Cole showed off his outdoorsman skills by picking up the very large bugs we spotted! The food was incredible, and the entertainment was even better.

Everything was so elegant at night. We woke up very early for our first safari. Enjoying the animals in their element was so breathtaking and majestic. They even served tea and crumpets and cocktails in the afternoon! The animals seemed very unalarmed by us, and we took so many photos!

The staff at the resort took it upon themselves to upgrade us (lucky us!) to a luxury villa. I don't think I've ever stayed in a nicer room - it was more like a home! Our private pool overlooked the safari, and the bathtub did too! We decided to book a spa treatment while at the resort, why not continue to spoil ourselves with matching bathtubs? When we returned from our treatment, Cole was so upset that we had missed lunch. The man loves his snacks! As it turns out, Benjamin surprised us with our butler, Sam, by preparing a poolside lunch for two!

Our next adventure was much more animal interactive - a safari rising an Elephant! These Elephants had been rescued form poachers, or abandoned by their herd. The reserve saves the animals by having them give tours twice a day, which pays for their care. It was very intimidating the climb on (ours was 14 feet tall!) but we all enjoyed it!

Our sites were set on Australia next, but we made the mistake of not securing the proper visa to travel. The AMAZING people at Emirates assisting us in getting out visas, but we had to stay one more night in Capetown. It was such lucky happenstance, as the hotel we chose was beyond magical, and a lovely was to say goodbye to Africa. The building was from colonial times and the furniture and styling of the hotel reflected that as well. We even snuck in a visit to Table Mountain. Cole and I discovered our new favorite after dinner drink, Amarula, featuring an Elephant we rode earlier that day!

We will never forget Africa and hope to return soon.

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