Let’s set the scene…your dream safari trip is booked and around the corner, but its forecasted to rain every day. What happens?? Well, I am here to tell you that this exact scenario happened to to me last year thanks to some crazy, unseasonable rainstorms that came out of nowhere the day before we left. We still went forward with the safari and had an absolutely amazing time. So nope, rain will not ruin or cancel your safari, and you should certainly still go! That being said, here are some things you can do to prepare if rain is in your safari forecast based on my personal experience!
1. First up, if it rains on your safari, you will mostly likely still go forward with the safari drives, with or without a top on the safari vehicle. So, don’t worry, the safari will not be cancelled! Cancellation is the absolute last thing safari lodges want to do.
Our safari vehicle. It rained later on this safari drive.
On Dan and my trip to South Africa last year, we ended our grand vacation with a day of activities on the Cape Peninsula. This was the second time that Dan and I have done a tour of this area and, in my opinion, its one of the very best things to do in greater Cape Town. The natural beauty is outstanding, and I feel like one would miss out if this area was not visited. A lot of people do this type of tour on their own with a car, which is certainly doable, but we liked having a guide and the biking portion. In any case, this is a review of what we did on our most recent trip.
PICK UP FROM HOTEL
Our morning started with a pick up at our hotel around 8:00 AM. Our guide showed up on time in a white van with several heavy duty road bikes pulled behind. Very intense. Luckily, we had eaten breakfast at the hotel, as we would not have lunch for a looooong while (although this was the tour, not lack of food or restaurants en route).
Our trusty van for the day, along with our bicycles.
DRIVE DOWN THE CAPE PENINSULA
After pick up, we began the gorgeous drive down the Cape Peninsula, which runs along the coast and is absolutely stunning. We did not stop for photographs due to time constraints, but I took some shots from the van. If you are doing this drive, Muizenberg is a good place to stop, very popular with surfers. Its also home to those adorable multi colored beach huts that you see in pictures! You can see surfers in the back ground of the second picture below if you look closely.
A gorgeous drive down to Cape Point.
Muizenberg Beach in the background. If you look closely, you can see SO MANY SURFERS (the little black dots).
BOULDERS BEACH AND SIMON’S TOWN TO SEE PENGUINS!
After about 40 minutes on the road, we reached Simon’s Town, South Africa. Simon’s Town is small town south of Cape Town proper on False Bay. Simon’s town is practically known as a prominent South African Naval base, but for tourists, its home to Boulders Beach! Boulders Beach is part of Table Mountain National Park, and its home to so many adorable African penguins. We parked our car in Simons Town and walked about 5 minutes (straight walk) to Boulders Beach. We paid the fee to enter (around $8.50 USD) and walked out to the beach to see the African Penguins! And we saw so many, including baby penguins that had not yet lost their brown fur! We also saw a few Dassies, or little brown mammals (similar size to a rabbit) that are close related to the elephant. Who knew?! We spent about 30 minutes at Boulders Beach watching the penguins. I would note that guests must stay on raised platforms and cannot touch, interact with or feed the penguins (they bite, and there is a fine involved if caught).
Simon’s Town – its very pretty. I would love to spend a weekend here.
Dan and I paid a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque last November on a weekend layover in Abu Dhabi en route to the Seychelles. We had a lot of questions, including what to wear(!), before our visit, so here is what we learned to help you on your visit!
Mosque views. The entire Mosque campus is gorgeous.
THE SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
First off, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is absolutely gorgeous. Honestly, one of the most beautiful and interesting things we have seen in a good while. Any visit to Abu Dhabi should not miss this important site.
En route to the Seychelles last November, Dan and I spent the weekend in Abu Dhabi! This was mostly due to the fact that we needed to connect in the Middle East and had already visited Dubai(en route to the Maldives). In any case, I had been wanting to visit Abu Dhabi and the flights worked out. There is plenty to do in Abu Dhabi to fill a weekend and even longer, but we only had the weekend. Here’s what we managed to do during that weekend, which we highly suggest to other visitors, whether in transit or on vacation in Abu Dhabi.
FIRST DAY IN DUBAI – 12.5 HOUR FLIGHT & ARRIVAL IN ABU DHABI!
We flew direct from JFK (New York) to Abu Dhabi on Etihad’s 10:00 PM flight, which arrived the following evening in Abu Dhabi (losing almost a whole day). We arrived a few minutes early and made it to our hotel, the Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, without much fuss. Abu Dhabi lifted all Covid restrictions just before our trip, so we didn’t have to deal with anything relating thereto. Due to our Marriott Platinum status, we received access to the Marriott’s Executive Club Lounge, which was open for complimentary drinks for almost an hour after we arrived (a fun surprise in Abu Dhabi where alcohol is $$$). As such, we quickly checked into our room and immediately proceeded to the Executive Club Lounge.
F1 chocolates waiting in our room. This was particularly fun, as we didn’t even know it was F1!
While visiting the Seychelles last November (2022), Dan & I took a day trip to Moyenne Island from Mahé to “snorkel.” We didn’t really know what to expect besides a boat ride and snorkeling, so here is a review of our day if you are considering something similar. First up, Moyenne Island is a small island in the Seychelles’ Sainte Anne Marine National Park. Hundreds of years ago Moyenne Island was a pirate island, but in the recent past, it was abandoned from 1915 until the 1960s when a sole English newspaper editor purchased the island and lived on Moyenne Island alone until he died 2012. Wild, and kind of scary… Moyenne Island is now a national park and a flora and fauna reserve, and its very popular with tourists.
Our boat waiting for departure for Moyenne Island!
The easiest way to reach Moyenne Island for many tourists is by way of a group day tour, which is exactly what we did. Due to the relationship our hotel, the Mango House, had with Creole Travel Services, we took our trip to Moyenne with Creole Travel Services. We were happy with the company, but a number of other companies seem to do a very similar tour and I wouldn’t necessarily pick Creole over another company. In any case, our morning started with a pick up at the Mango House and a 25 minute drive to an old, seemingly abandoned, port near the airport. We were a little iffy on entering the abandoned port…
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