Well we escaped the BA cabin crew strike but only just! We had undertaken two previous holidays with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays in South Africa – Drakensbergs and Eastern Cape – and had developed a real taste for South Africa.
Cape Province is different! It does not have the feel or the sense of adventure of Africa but it is incredibly beautiful in a more manicured way. This is sanitised Africa where the trappings of wealth sit side by side with extreme poverty and the aftermath of Apartheid.
For the moment, these extremes seem to sit reasonably comfortably, and we feel that we have come away with a real appreciation of the huge impact that Nelson Mandela had in his policy of reconciliation. Contrast the magnificent and wealthy city of Cape Town with the 6×4 cell that Mandela occupied for 18 years on Robben Island…
From this island only 6km offshore, he could see these trappings of wealth and the incredible backdrop of Table Mountain as he worked in the limestone quarry under blistering heat day after day. The Mandela legacy is perhaps the most lasting impression we carry from the tour.
You cannot fail to be impressed by the great sense of space and beauty that Cape Province offers but it is the coastline itself that presents the most magnificent scenery. The coast is rugged, the sea is azure blue and the pure white surf rolls in under magnificent skies. The four days walking from Knysna are as good as it gets! You leave here with mixed emotions.