Our Honeymoon in South Africa, one of many South African vacations that are truly memorable for me as well as for my lovely wife now married to me for more than 25 years. I mean, what could be more romantic than your honeymoon in a wonderful destination such as South Africa?
Guess what, 20 years later we did it again, our second Honeymoon in South Africa but that is a story for another occasion!
In those heady days we were living in Port Shepstone, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. I asked my then future wife for her hand one balmy, moonlit night on the beach at Mtunzini on the North Coast of Natal.
Being prim and proper and not having anything to do with a bit of a rough fisherman, she refused!
To put the record straight I was fishing all day and the stink of sardines does not wash that easily from the pores of your skin!
It was probably the smell of bait that put her off rather than the incredibly romantic surroundings on a tropical beach in Zululand with the full moon and Milky Way lighting up the sky and reflecting on the sea. Ah...those were the days!
Anyway, a week later I proposed again and this time she accepted! I will never know if she just felt sorry for me because I did not give up or if she could not resist my charms. She claims the first but I wonder...
...I must admit that I did drag her up to the highest peaks of the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho earlier in the year on a hiking trip and she loved it! Secretly I knew then that this was the woman with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
We got engaged in the Oribi Gorge on the South Coast of Kwazulu Natal. My wife's birthday is on the 11th of June which in that year fell on a Monday. So, we decided to hike to the Hoopoe Falls in Oribi Gorge on the Sunday the 10th for the occasion. To this day I still confuse her birthday with our engagement.
Six months later we got married in Port Shepstone and late the night we hit the road to the Albert Falls Nature Reserve near Pietermaritzburg...
...and this where our Honeymoon in South Africa got underway!
Before this it was just a trial run...yah, yah, just kidding!
Anyway, we originally wanted to take a cruise to Mauritius but then real time economy caught up with our dreams and we had to downscale. Instead we changed our tickets to a cruise from Durban to Cape Town.
As luck would have it we ran into some of the worst weather you could imagine while cruising down the Wild Coast but that did not dampen our spirits. It was an amazing cruise and some of the best memories are of standing high above the bridge and watching a school of close to one hundred dolphins cutting through the waves along the bow of the cruise ship.
My sister and her husband were then leaving Cape Town on a ship to St Helena Island as we arrived in Cape Town at the end of our cruise and we agreed that we would take their car back to Pietermaritzburg in Natal.
I will never forget that last morning at sea when we approached Cape Town on a flat calm sea with Table Mountain protecting Cape Town with Lions Head on the one side and Devils Peak on the other.
After disembarking and overcoming the first embarrassing steps on dry land...if you have ever spent some time on the open sea you will know what I mean!
We met up with my sister and her family at the Oude Skip Camping Grounds in Melkboschstrand. We spent the next couple of days exploring Cape Town and then doing the scenic drive around the Cape Peninsula. Simply put, if you haven't done this route, you haven't done Cape Town. Obviously there are many touring companies that will take you on this route and quite frankly they become a pain in the butt if you are looking for a quiet little drive along the coast...
...but let's not split hairs. We love the tourists and Cape Town is an immensely popular destination for a honeymoon in South Africa and any other holiday that you can dream of.
It is difficult to describe that first journey along the False Bay Coast through Strand, Gordons bay and then on to Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond, our next base camp. The absolute adventure of the moment while enjoying the splendour of the mountains, sea and sky is something that you just have to see and experience yourself to really be able to appreciate it.
We arrived in George in the pouring rain. It was really coming down in buckets and there was no sign of it relenting. We sat in the car hoping to wait out the rain but with no luck. As it became gloomier with the minute we decided to bite the bullet and get the tent pitched. After a bit of brainstorming we decided on this brilliant strategy - we got the pole framework in place and pulled the flysheet over it.
Then we proceeded to hang the tent on the poles in the relative comfort and dry conditions under the flysheet. We were really chuffed with this idea... to the extent that after the flysheet was in place we hauled out the camping chairs, the champagne, the snacks and then proceeded to have a picnic under the flysheet ...who said you that you need a gazebo?
On the road again! This song by Willie Nelson became the theme of our honeymoon in South Africa and many subsequent safaris through this wonderful land.
Family time! At this point of time we were seriously running out of money so plan B had to make do! We were lucky enough to have family who had a permanent camp at Christmas Rock. As they were keen to meet the new addition to the family (me) they were only to happy to put up with us for a day or two. We had a memorable braai and a great couple of days fishing with uncle Piet who sadly have passed away since then. Aunty Rita still stays at Christmas Rock and it is still a great holiday destination.
From East London we were on the road again!! Our next destination was Umtata to visit with some other family members before the last stretch back to Kwazulu Natal. Uncle Paul was quick to take advantage of our visit to take us to the Umtata river mouth for the day. As always the Wild Coast is an incredibly beautiful, wild and romantic destination, a perfect choice for an idyllic honeymoon in South Africa.
And that as they say was that...the first of many Unforgettable South Africa Vacations...our romantic cruise ending with a camping safari Honeymoon in South Africa!