|Once a declining dock area, Cape Town's |
Victory and Alfred Waterfront
is now a tourist mecca.
|Iconic Table Mountain shelters |
Cape Town's Company's Garden.
Cape Town Caper
Stunning Chapman's Peak Drive
links Hout Bay with Noordoek.
|Jackass (African) Penguins|
at Boulders Beach
|Robben Island Prison, where |
Nelson Mandela spent 18 year
Constantia Valley Winelands is the
Southern Hemisphere's oldest wine-making
region, with vines planted in 1685.
Best bargain: Long Street Backpackers in Cape Town, a great place to meet fellow travelers
Watch out for: Street beggers, pickpockets, credit card scammers
Riding with the Rhinos
|Thatched rondawals at the Savannah|
Wildlife Preserve feature electricity
and full baths.
Clutching his hand, half-blind in the moonlit night, I followed Bobby to my thatched rondawal, a space roughly the size of a three-star American hotel room, with a queen-size bed and full bath, to begin my "glamping" (luxury camping) adventure. At dawn, I brewed tea and watched rhinos, zebras and kudus gather for a morning pow-wow at a watering hole ringed by Acacia trees.
Glamping, aka Luxury Camping
|Rhinos "think" with olfactory |
passages larger than their brain
If you're a nature-lover indifferent about self-sufficiency in the wild, glamping is for you. With no Boy Scout skills, I connected with Earth's creatures without sacrificing creature comforts, e.g., electricity, hot showers, cable TV (viewable in the main lodge) and WiFi.
Waking to the sun rising over the Vaal River and the birdsong of 300+ species, I roamed the preserve with other "pioneers" via bike, foot and jeep, encountering buffaloes, jackals, elands, nyalas, duikers and
Earth's fastest endangered cat, the cheetah.
25 mammal species roam
the Savannah Wildlife Preserve
In addition to the guest retreat, Hartslief, a charismatic South African whose career as a game conservationist follows one as a NASCAR driver, operates Savannah Cheetah Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Africa's indigenous wildlife and increasing the population of cheetahs in the wild. Every Bike Beyond Boundaries tour includes a donation.
|Will her future extend|
Wearing ANC T-shirts, we rode through Tumahole Township, outpost of blacks still living in mud shacks on unpaved streets. Having never welcomed American white folk to their community, school kids greet us with joy and curiosity. One grabs my sunnies and strikes a pose, Madonna-like; another strokes my fine Caucasion hair—so different from his own dark fuzz. With no recollection of Apartheid, they have hope beyond the township.
2012 Cycling Safaris
Space still remains for February/March departures of Bike Beautiful Cape Town/Cape Winelands and South African Biking Safari/Savannah Game Preserve. To reserve your spot, call 719.471.0222 or 800.487.1136. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.