The interning life at International House Cape Town is of course great. Being part of the IH Family is truly a joy. But sometimes it is also important to spend a weekend away from the busy city and unwind. The Belgian interns decided to spend the weekend in Gansbaai for William’s birthday.
How we got to Gansbaai
We rented a Volkswagen Golf from 1999 via RentMyRide (basically the AirBnB for cars). A cheap alternative to the well-known companies such as Avis and Sixt. However, the school is also happy to help you rent a car with AroundAboutCars which is a reliable hire company based in town. It was an automatic car which is probably the best bet for Europeans who are used to driving on the right-hand side.
The road trip began via Stellenbosch through the dramatic mountain tops of Cape Town. The route is absolutely beautiful. It is going through vineyards and rough mountain terrain, passing apple tree fields and one of the big water damns for Cape Town. After a three hour drive (traffic is really bad when you leave at Friday night) we arrived in the Kelders in Gansbaai. A small sea-side town, perfect for unwinding.
Our first time in Gansbaai
We were staying in The Bay Lodge, a B&B with stunning sea views and a really friendly and kind owner. Villiera was a perfect host and always ready to help us out when we wanted to do activities or book restaurants.
For dinner we tried number one restaurant of Gansbaai according to TripAdvisor. Thyme at Rosmary’s offers some delicious and real South African cuisine such as a game reserve carpaccio of springbok, but also Wildsvleis Bobotie, a proper South African stew with lamb. Delicious and a must-do when you are visiting Gansbaai
My lifelong childhood dream – Shark cage diving
On Saturday morning our alarm rang really early as we had booked a Great White Sharks Tour with Brian McFarlane. You honestly feel that they care about the welfare of the great white sharks and try to run their business in the most ethical way possible. You first enjoy a delicious continental breakfast with some coffee to kick off the day. Next you sail off to where the great whites are (hopefully) hunting…
Unfortunately, no great whites were spotted on that day. But we did see copperheads when we were in the cage. Shark cage diving was a lifelong childhood dream of Kenneth and the experience was really immersive. It left both the Belgian interns stunned to come so close to one of the most powerful predators of the oceans.
Wine tasting at Lomond
Afterwards we were recommended to visit the Lomond Wine Estate which is beautifully situated next to a dam of 4,5 km long. This stunning wine estate in the Overberg offers amazing views of Walker Bay. We tasted 13 different wines and especially liked the Pinotage and the white Sauvignon Blanc. World-class wines and a true hidden gem, the Lomond Wine Estate.
Hiking to the Klipgat caves
On our last day of the weekend we decided to go for some hiking to the Klipgat caves where ancient humans lived and thrived for ages as it is perfectly situated next to the Ocean and close to the Walker Bay Nature Reserve (suited for hunting). It was a nice and feasible hike and the caves were absolutely fabulous.
Next we drove along the Clarence Drive (a scenic coastal route), voted in the top five most beautiful drives of the globe, so definitely a must-do. The drive was sensational, and the views of False Bay were spectacular. We made a pitstop at Betty’s Bay, also a hidden gem to visit the African penguin colony. The entrance fee was only R 25. As the number of visitors is a lot lower then at Boulders Beach, you get the chance to photograph the small fellas easily and from very nearby.
It was truly a fantastic weekend which we would recommend for everyone looking for a weekend away.