Our Flightie Olivia headed out on the 12 day Garden Route tour from On The Go Tours and managed to cross three things off her bucket list. She shares her highlights from the trip with us:
I will tell you, I didn’t know what to expect of this trip. I knew it would be amazing as I always dreamed of going to Africa, but I didn’t expect such an unbelievable trip to make South Africa my new favourite destination. There were so many things to see and do, it’s impossible to describe them all. There were three activities we took part in, though, that stood out in my mind as things everyone should experience.
1. Petting a Cheetah
The first day of the tour, we drove to Stellenbosch for a wine tasting. On the Vineyard, they also had a cheetah sanctuary so we had the chance of petting one of the big cats. They take you in the enclosure and you always have to be behind the animals to be prepared if they react. It is pretty scary as, they are still wild animals even though they are living in a sanctuary and taken care of by humans. Petting a cheetah was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I have always loved cats and I am fascinated by the big ones.
2. Cage Diving with Great White Sharks
Shark diving was absolutely incredible. We got to Gansbaii at about noon, had lunch and then hopped on the boat that was taking us to one of the greatest, but scariest experiences I have ever had in my life. They provide you with a wet suit and you get in the cage with six other people and wait for the sharks. It doesn’t take long until they were up close and personal. Sharks are really curious animals and they like to come very close to us. The crew attracts the sharks with bait so you really see them feed from under water, it is amazing. But the best part is when the sharks swim by the cage, at some point, it really feels like they are looking into your own eyes. That was the craziest experience I have ever had.
3. The Night Game Drive
We did a day time game drive and one at night as well. We had a great time during the day; we saw lots of elephants, buffaloes, blue balls monkeys, dung beetles, but it doesn’t compare to what you see at night. The animals are not expecting you at night time so you can get really close to them. The guide was holding a big spotlight and looking for animals when he turned around and seemingly out of nowhere all you can see is a huge elephant’s head right next to us. It was so close we could have reached out to touch it. I had never seen an elephant outside of a zoo before; it was extraordinary.
These are just the highlights of my trip, but there were so many more things that we experienced in that one week, including crossing three things off my bucket list! I can’t wait to go back to South Africa, and I will definitely stay longer next time.