We arrived at Port Elizabeth airport and met the rest of our group and leader, before spending our first night in a hostel on PE beach front. The next day, we made our way to the first adventure of the trip, game reserve. Our two weeks at the game reserve were an unforgettable experience, witnessing a pride of lions as well as two cheetah brothers make kills, as well as participating in a range of conservation activities. There was even time for a few nights out, and the rest of the volunteers we met made the experience all the more enjoyable.
From the game reserve, we began our jam packed trip down the Garden Route, stopping initially for a township tour in PE before three days in Jeffreys Bay. J Bay was the perfect place to relax after a busy two weeks working in the bush, as well as do activities such as surfing in one of the world’s best surf spots and horse riding along the beach. Our next stop was Storms River and the highlight of the expedition; the biggest bridge bungee jump in the world! Wild Spirit provided us with a few days recuperation in the middle of Titsikarma National Park, with beautiful walks and picturesque scenery! A final stop at Knysna saw us complete the Garden route, with a day trip to Pletternburg Bay in between. These two weeks provided us with the opportunity to experience some real travel and see some of the most beautiful spots in South Africa.
The volunteer part of the trip provides an insight into the poverty and hardship which exists in SA and had the greatest impact on all of us. Despite their background, the kids at the Centre are great fun to work with and the people who run it are inspirational. What’s more, your work makes a real difference and this experience will stick with you forever. Annie and the twins, who looked after us during our stay, gave us a great social life outside of the volunteering and there was even time to visit the Cango Caves and an Ostrich farm, as well as countless bries!
We finished the trip with 5 amazing days in Cape Town, one of the greatest cities I’ve experienced. We spent the days exploring the city, going on a tour of Cape Peninsular and hiking to the top of Table Mountain (and abseiling back down!!). We finished the trip in style, watching the sunset and then viewing Cape Town all light up from the top of Raleigh Hill, a breathtaking sight! Long Street provided us with an awesome collection of bars and clubs to party at night and celebrate an incredible trip! South Africa really was the experience of a lifetime!