In and around Cape Town: the best-of

No visit to South Africa would be complete without exploring Cape Town and its surroundings. It’s an amazing region with something for everyone: big city, lush nature, endless beaches, great food, plenty of wineries, baboons…and even penguins!

The Waterfront

Most of visitors usually start their visit with either the Waterfront, or the Table Mountain. I liked the Waterfront for only 2 reasons: the view of downtown with Table Mountain on the background and the statue of South Africa’s tremendous four Peace Nobelists!

Downtown from the Waterfront, Cape Town
Downtown Cape Town from the Waterfront

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Kruger national park: a world-class safari destination

Exploring great Kruger is an experience you won’t soon forget. Imagine driving at your own pace while seeing monkeys playing in the trees, elephant herds peacefully crossing the road and lazy hippos or crocodiles sun-bathing on the riverbanks… That’s everyday life at Kruger. And what’s best? Besides the entrance fee and gasoline for your car, it’s free!

Entering Kruger national park
Entering Kruger national park

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My favorite places in Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Vancouver

Vancouver left me dubious… Despite a clearly strong quality of life, the high number of homeless people in the streets is troubling. When you know how overpriced real estate is in this city, you get the feeling Vancouver’s quality of life comes with a hefty price tag. Aside from this fact, here is what I liked most about it.

 

Stanley Park

Attached to the city center, Stanley Park surely has something to do with the fact Vancouver is so often listed as one of the world’s most livable cities. If you have plenty of time, walk along the seashore to circle the entire park. In any case, don’t miss the famous Vancouver seawall (best and most iconic view of the city) and the totems. Both are close to the park’s urban side.

Vancouver seawall
Vancouver seawall from Stanley Park

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The Canadian Rockies in 2 days

The Canadian Rockies are famous for their breathtaking beauty. You won’t be disappointed! From snow-covered mountain peaks to endless forests and turquoise lakes, the Rockies really are amongst the most spectacular nature wonders on this planet. Start from Banff to end in Jasper, with plenty to see along the way. You will drive through 2 national parks, so be sure to buy the pass for the entire duration of your visit (the national parks can be driven through without a permit but in this case you are not allowed to stop at tourist spots and take smaller roads).

One of the world's most iconic views Rockies
One of the world’s most iconic views at Moraine Lake

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Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 2 days

Let’s face it right away, 2 days to experience both these national parks is short. But if you don’t have more time and still want to see the main highlights, it’s feasible! You just need to be well prepared. This suggested itinerary starts in Gardiner (Montana), close to Yellowstone’s North Entrance. You will go all the way down through both national parks until Jackson (Wyoming) on day 1 and then all the way up back to Gardiner via a different way on day 2 (first night in Gardiner, second night in Jackson and third night in Gardiner). Roads are in good condition and (most of) the main sights are very close to a parking, which make these great national parks easy to visit. All the attractions are clearly marked and the visitor centers provide very good maps of each site. Note that this trip can only be done in summertime, when all the roads are open.

Entering Grand Teton national park
Entering Grand Teton national park

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