south africa

The Road to South Africa

Africa & Middle East

By Kayla Bernardino

The Road to South Africa

December really needs to hurry up already, as I can hardly contain all of the excitement for my trip to South Africa any longer. This wanderlust is going to get the best of me, considering the fact that we’re still 4 months out. I anticipate a lot of daydreaming until then…

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some planning. Aside from the actual trip, the next best part is the planning that goes into it! With two weeks (tentatively) there, here are the top four things I’m hoping to see and do.

south africa

1. Cradle of Humankind

Named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) in 1999, ‘the Cradle’ has produced some of the oldest hominin fossils ever found. It was home to a whopping 40% of our human ancestors’ fossils, making it the richest hominin site in the world. What initially put this at the top of my list was its fairly close proximity to Johannesburg, my boyfriend Steve’s hometown and where I’ll be flying in. I also love caving, so the Sterkfontein Caves caught my eye.

south africa

2. Muizenberg Beach

Situated within the well-known city of Cape Town, Muizenberg is a surfing community that features beautifully colored beach houses. I first saw a photo of the picturesque landscape while perusing Instagram a few months back. The mountains that one can see in the distance are a part of Table Mountain National Park, previously known as Cape Peninsula National Park, which brings me to the next place of interest…

south africa

3. Table Mountain

I feel like this is one of the most heavily photographed areas in South Africa, with its notoriety among tourists. Apparently, it is a pretty treacherous climb, or so Steve tells me. He suggests the lesser hike at Lion’s Head or even taking the cable car up to the top (NO WAY, JOSE! I consider that cheating), but being the adventure seeker that I am, I intend on convincing him otherwise. From the photos I’ve seen, the view looks absolutely spectacular. I really hope to see it for myself!

south africa

4. The Garden Route

This route refers to the southeastern stretch of coast in South Africa from Mossel Bay to the Storms River. We will be staying in Plettenberg Bay for a few days, so exploring the region should be fairly easy. I’d love to walk the suspension bridges in Tsitsikamma National Park and bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge (the highest bungee jump in the world). I’m afraid of heights but I refuse to chicken out!

The Garden Route has quite a large amount of places to see and activities/hikes to do. I’ll only be there for two weeks– so I’ll just have to fit in the rest of the country some other time!

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Kayla Bernardino

Article by Kayla Bernardino

Kayla is a recent grad at UC Berkeley who loves traveling to new places and meeting new people. Her favorite country so far is South Africa, and her next goal is to make it to Easter Island!