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FabList: Cape Town & Go-To Safari Clothes

I (Jo) was lucky enough to spend this past Christmas holiday in South Africa.  I LOVE Africa.  I’ve been on a few safaris with girlfriends (Chrissie!) and extended family but never with my immediate family and I really, really wanted to share this experience with them.   Apparently, my siblings felt the same way and 10 of us met in South Africa for a 10-day adventure – a few days in Cape Town and a few days on safari in Timbavati, a private reserve that is within Kruger National Park.

 

The 10 of us came from 6 different U.S. cities and all arrived in Cape Town and then back safely to our homes with ZERO delays and no lost luggage.  That was a true Christmas miracle!!  A good time was had by all (except the few that arrived home with Covid).  Read on for my FabLists of Cape Town favorites and go-to safari clothes.

 

Fab5 Cape Town:

 

The Cape Peninsula:  

We spent a day with a driver and guide exploring the Cape Peninsula.  Highlights included:

– Driving along the Atlantic seabird via Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, and Hout Bay. The road was threaded between the mountains and the sea and was gorgeous!

– Getting almost to the Cape of Good Hope but sadly there were terrible fires and we were stopped 900 meters from the end.

– Visiting Boulders Beach – home to a growing colony of the protected African penguin.

– Visiting The Norval Foundation, a beautiful space dedicated to the research, understanding and care of twentieth and twenty-first-century visual art from Africa.  We went to the museum, the sculpture garden, and had a great outdoor lunch at Grub & Vine.

– Finishing the day back in Cape Town at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a must-see for the garden lover!

 

Art Tour:

My sister-in-law arranged for us to have a half-day tour of the top Cape Town art galleries, as well as an artist studio. This was arranged through Art Route and our guide was Talita – request her!  The galleries included the Christopher Moller Gallery, Goodman Gallery, Stevenson Gallery, and the SMAC Gallery. We saw many emerging and established South African artists and got a peek into what is happening in the art scene in Cape Town.

 

Township Tour:

Part of our group visited Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, established before the apartheid era, and designated for Black Africans.  We did a walking tour with a local and saw shops and restaurants, the different socio-economic areas within the Langa township, civic and community buildings, and so on.  I booked this tour through Siviwe Tours.

 

Table Mountain: 

Table Mountain stands proud over Cape Town.  There is a cable car option to the top, but part of our group hiked up one morning and then took the cable car down.  Take an Uber to the trailhead, Platteklip Gorge, and hike 2 miles straight up the mountain on a well-marked trail.  It’s 2300’ up so beware, but it’s well worth the climb (or the ride!).

 

Wine Country:

– Part of the group spent an afternoon in the wine country east of Cape Town (Stellenbosch).  We Ubered to our first stop, Rust en Vrede, famous for its red wine.  Nelson Mandela chose this wine to be served when he won the Nobel Peace Prize!  Go for lunch – we sat outside on a terrace beneath ancient oaks and had an amazing meal.  We also bought some amazing wine – they have a distribution center in the US so it arrived home before we did.

– We then Ubered to Babylonstoren.  Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, set at the foot of Simonsberg in the Franschhoek wine valley. It has a fruit and vegetable garden unlike any I’ve ever seen! They sell what they grow and have an array of shops, restaurants, and even a hotel if you’d like to stay in this beautiful area.

– We Ubered back to Cape Town – all in all we were only gone about 5 hours and it was worth the trip!

 

Safari

After Cape Town, we flew to Hoedspruit airport and spent 5 nights at Rock Fig Safari Lodge in Timbavati.  We spent about 7 hours a day in a safari vehicle looking for animals and enjoying the area and we never got bored!  We saw the Big 5 (Leopard, Lion, Rhino, Elephant, and Cape Buffalo), the Ugly 5 (Warthog, Hyena, Vulture, Wildebeest, and Marabou Stork), and the Little 5 (Leopard turtle, Rhino Beetle, Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, and the Ant Lion).

 

Safari Wardrobe

The nice thing about a safari is the wardrobe!  I rotated through the same two safari outfits during the day and threw on jeans and a sweater at night.  Here were my choices:

 

Fab5 Safari Clothes:

 

Pants:

Lightweight, hiking-type pants work well for game drives.  They protect your legs from sun and bugs and keep you dry (we had a lot of rain).  I wore this pair from Outdoor Research (in dark sand) and this one from Title 9 (in aspen green).

 

Tops:

I wore a short-sleeved shirt like this (in white and green) under a long-sleeved shirt like this (in white and green!) Both are lightweight and quick drying.

 

Hat:

Chrissie turned me on to Tilly (she wears her Dad’s hand-me-down hat) and I’ve worn this one for years and love it!

 

Jacket:

Layers are key because you never know when a storm may blow in or out!  I love this North Face thin fleece (yes, if you are a FabLister you’ve seen this before!) and I have it in white (and lots of other colors too).  I also took this lightweight puffer from Uniqlo in olive.

 

Shoes:

One spends a lot of time sitting in a Jeep on safari (unless you are doing a walking safari) so I wear Crocs in army green.  My daughter wore these Birkenstocks and they worked great, and I know Chrissie likes her All-Birds!

 

The trip was planned with the assistance of Joanna at Timbuktu Travel – Chrissie and I have used Joanna for many trips and love her!

 

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Joanne & Chrissie

Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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Joanne & Chrissie

Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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