One of the things we love most about travelling are those rare moments when the world seems to shrink in on itself around you. The times when you end up in a place that literally sucks the reality out of your being and leaves you feeling teeny tiny but at the same time hugely significant. Those places where time ceases to exist, where your spirit takes charge and where the meaning of life is within your grasp.
Travelstart asked us to share what we love about travelling. For us, travel is about more than just seeing new places and doing new things together as a family. It is magic in its simplest and most humanly accessible form.
There are certain places where the fabric between magic and reality is torn. Places where people gather and become still and contemplative. These places recharge your spirit and make you content, they strengthen you emotionally and remind you what an amazing gift it is to be alive.
Here are 9 of our most magical places in our beautiful rainbow nation, South Africa:
What is it with kids and car keys? I have memories of keys being locked inside my parent’s car (with my parents being outside the said car) on quite a few occasions. Every time it stemmed from something to do with my brothers – they had taken the keys to fetch an item, or to sit in the car, or heaven knows what. When Jacob was a baby, we managed to lock him and the keys in the car – there is just way too much stuff to do when you are transporting a tot and the keys can easily get overlooked in all the ruckus.
This weekend it was our turn as parents to experience the dreaded keys-locked-in-the-car scenario. We had been suffering elephant withdrawal, and needed to be near some gentle giants, so a braai lunch in our favourite spot was in order. Plans were to mosey through Addo Elephant National Park’s Matyholweni gate to Jack’s Picnic Site in the middle of the park, have a braai lunch and then wind our way back out the Colchester side and go fishing at the Sundays River estuary. Sounds like a sublime way to spend a Sunday, right?
National Braai Month is over, but that doesn’t mean that South Africans will give up on our favourite meal. With seven blissful months of summer sunshine ahead of us, there is plenty of time to fire up the coals and slap some meat on the grill. Us friendly-city people are lucky enough to have the most incredible spots to enjoy our braais – whether it be at the beach, in the forest or in a local game reserve.
If you’ve had a squizz around our blog, you will know that we are massive fans of all things nature. Give us a few hours off, and before you can say boo, we’ll be heading to where the wild things are. It’s no surprise then that we end up so often at Addo Elephant National Park, given that we live an insanely short drive away from this SANParks gem.
Usually when we visit national parks we do the self-drive thing, and when we go to private reserves we take a guided game drive. This week, we mixed things up and went on a guided game drive in Addo National Park, courtesy of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism.
So, which is the best option?