Knysna Accomodations

In Knysna, we stayed at “B My Guest,” where each room has a bird’s name.  Amber and I stayed in the “Sugarbird” room.

293 294 296 298 152 151 153 299



We had breakfast at the East Head Cafe’ and I must say this restaurant had excellent customer service for the American mentality!  We were seated in chairs that had blankets and the waitress immediately asked if anyone wanted a heated water bottle!  Remember, water bottles are a form of heat in South Africa!

022 021 024 025 027 057 059 066 065 067 068 070



The food was just as awesome as the service!!


Freshly squeezed apple juice

Hot Chocolate

American-style French Toast


Knysna, South Africa

My favorite thing at the Elephant Park; HEAT!!


008 017 019 150On our way to Port Elizabeth, we stopped for an overnight stay in Knysna, South Africa, which is a town in the Western Cape Providence and part of the Golden Route.  The town is a popular destination for both tourist and senior citizens entering retirement due to the year-round warm climate.  Recently the town has also become a preferred destination among golfers, as the town boasts several world class golf courses including Pezula Golf Course, Simola Golf Course and the well-established Knysna Golf Course situated on the lagoon.  Knysna’s other claim to fame is its proximity to the fabled relict elephant population that survives in the region.  And boy did we see the elephants, when we visited the Knysna Elephant Park!  First we had lunch and then we went to feed the elephants!


Watching the video before we go out to feed the elephants

Accommodations for those that want to spend the night with the elephants

Oh YES, he did!

020 016 032 035 043 095 146 108

August 16

We spent the entire day at the Western Cape Wineland.  Our first stop was to Butterfly World, which is a luxuriant paradise that consists of a tropical garden in a green house.  It is home of the free flying exotic butterflies along with many other interesting animals; reptiles, tarantulas, birds, marmoset, monkeys, and meerkats).

Our next stop was to Babylonstoren; one of the best preserved farm yards in the Cape Dutch tradition.

Third stop was to Fairview Wine and Cheese, a South African producer of wine and cheeses; own and ran by Charles Louis Back, a Lithuanian immigrant to the Cape.  He also runs the Spice Route Winery.  Fairview is the most visited attraction and we ran into some people from America there!  We visited the Beryl Back Tasting Room and engaged in a seated tutored tasting of the pairing of 8 different wines, Fairview’s Jersey milk and goat’s milk cheeses.

Next, we moved to the Spice Route Winery and engaged in the wine and chocolate journey; a selection of four wines with four Artisan chocolates.

Next, we moved to Red Hot Glass; Hand Blown Glass Studio and Gallery.  Located on the Spice Wine Estate, we watched the process of molten glass being blown and formed into works of art.

Our final stop was to Solma-Delta Wine Estate, where we engaged in a tasting in the Museum that explores the slave heritage of the area.  We also enjoyed singers from the work of the Rural Cape Music Project.

August 3 – Third Day in Cape Town

OMG, it has been a challenge trying to keep up with this blog!  There is just so much to write about and not enough time to experience it, write about it, update my Facebbok page with pictures for my family, do my assigned school work and maintain this blog with accurate information!  WHEW!  But I’m going to keep trying…  I will prevail!

Our third day was an activity-filled day; there is just so much to write about this day!  The pictures we were able to capture were just truly amazing!

We were picked up in a van by Alexei of DayTrippers Tours, which is an adventure touring company in Western Cape and boy did we have an adventure!  Our first stop was a special request from Dr. Murphy, to Maidens Cove to take the traditional Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Study Abroad picture.  Our group is the third group that Dr. Murphy has brought to South Africa for Study Abroad and each time, the group has taken a picture in the same spot at Maidens Cove.  It is situated between Clifton’s Beaches and Glen Beach and is known for its views of Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range.  Next, we made a stop to view Noordhoek Beach from Chapmans Peak drive.  The beach is isolated due to its huge in size, has soft white sand and views of the bay are spectacular!

Our next stop was to Hout Bay, which is a costal suburb of Cape Town with a mix of neighborhoods from the very rich to the very poor.  It lies in the valley on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Pennisula.  While at Hout Bay we took a 40-minute scenic excursion to Duiker Island (also known as Seal Island); which is home to a squad of blubbery, bewhiskered cap fur seals.

Next, we stopped to view the statue of “Just Nuisance,” who was the only dog ever to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy.  He was a Great Dane, who between 1939 and  1944 served at HMS Afrikander, a royal Navy shore establishment in Simon’s Town, South Africa.  He died in 1944 at the age of seven years and was buried with full military honors.

Just around the corner from Simon’s Town, we ventured to Boulders Beach, a sheltered cove of soft white sand, massive granite boulders and water that’s a little warmer than the icy temperatures of Cape Town’s Atlantic Ocean beaches.  Boulders Beach is the home to a colony of thousands of African penguins and it was fun watching them go about their daily business.  It seemed as if they were posing for the pictures.

Our next stop was a 5km bike ride to the Cape of Good Hope National Park.  When Alexei stopped the van and said, “This is where we are going to ride the bikes.”  I looked around and saw nothing, but land and roads; I thought he was kidding!  I wondered, “How are we going to ride bikes on a two-way road; no bike trail?!”  But he wasn’t kidding and we did; except Amber, she didn’t know how to ride a bike!  The bike ride was mainly downhill with a short incline, where I got off and walked my bike up.  We stopped mid-way at the Buffelsfontein Visitor Center, which showcases all the plants and animals to look out for in a particular season, for an open air lunch of curried pasta, salad, rolls, chips and fruit.

We were supposed to continue our bike ride to the Cape of Good Hope, but everyone except Dr. Bredesen, Rachel and Anna opted not to.  They were the SOLDIERS!  I’m glad I didn’t, because on the second half, they came in close proximity of a great number of baboons!  I was in the van and still scared, because we had been told horror stories about their behavior.  They were so bold one of them just sat in the middle of the road like, “Now, what are you guys going to do?!”  All the cars on the road, which was a two-way road, waited until they could maneuver around each other to pass the baboon!

As we traveled on to Cape of Good Hope, Alexei spotted a whale in the ocean!  He was excited, because he said it was very rare to see them.  It took me a long time to see the whale, because it would go down and wait a while to come back up.  It was so far, it was hard to see.  That GOD for the lens on my camera, I was able to zoom in and take a picture of the whale!

We got out the van at Cape Point and where told we were going to climb to the top of the mountain.  When I saw all of those steps and how high we had to climb, I was like, “Oh NO, not Big Mama!”  Remember, this was the first day of me being out from my body breaking down the day before.  I wasn’t fully recovered, but I was trying to hang.  You expect me to climb all the way up to the top after a bike ride?!  No, no, can’t do!  I think everyone was saying the same thing until Dr. Bredesen advised them if they were planning on going to Lion’s Head the next day, this walk up would be good practice; because Lion’s Head was ten times worse.  Everyone went except me and Dr. Murphy.  The group didn’t walk all the way up; they just went to the first level.  Dr. Murphy and I stayed down and walked the lower cliffs to take pictures.

When the group returned, we loaded the van to our next stop, which was the decommissioned (for being built in the wrong place) Cape Point Lighthouse.  Dr. Murphy asked the group if we wanted to walk up to the Lighthouse or take the Flying Dutchman, which is a cable-drawn railway funicular that takes you up and down again.  We all opt to take the cable car!  When we got to the top, we realized that we still had to climb stairs to get to the Lighthouse!  I felt like, “OMG, I shouldn’t have come up at all, because I refuse to walk up all of those stairs!”  After a bit of persuasion and encouragement from Dr. Bredesen, I walked up, taking rest stops at every level!

Now, you see how long it took you to read this blog for this day?!  Imagine how we felt experiencing it?!  I must say, it was challenging, but really, really, worth it; as you can see from my pictures.

It was TRULY an AMAZING day!

My roommates wanted to go shopping for groceries upon our return, but I just couldn’t do it.  They went without me.  When they came back, Amber cooked tacos for us for dinner!

Adventure Filled Day

Alexei Harris, our Day Trippers Tour Guide

Our traditional Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Study Abroad picture

Our Study Abroad Instructors – Dr. Murphy & Dr. Bredesen
We could not have selected two better people for this experience; very knowledgeable and thorough!!

Statue of Just Nuisance

Boulders Beach – Home of the Africa Penguins

Baboon sitting in the middle of the road

The Group getting ready for a 5K bike ride to the Cape of Good Hope

The Group on Chapmans Peak Drive

The ostrich we passed during our bike ride

During our open air lunch at Buffelsfontein Visitor Center

Dr. Bredesen teaching about the plants

Alexei giving Amber a “Learn how to ride a bike” lesson

The whale we saw!

We saw another ostrich; they are a big thing in South Africa


On their way up to the Lighthouse

I made it to the top of the Lighthouse! Thanks for your support, Dr. Bredesen!

205 256 264 277 272 296 297 320 319 325 344 345 357