Day one of the tour kicked off at 7:45am after we loaded up the Lando, it is apparently not a bus!, and headed out of Cape Town. There was a buzz of chatter on the bus as everyone started to get to know each other and try to remember all 22 names.
Our group had been chosen to visit a new project that G Adventures are looking to set up as one of their next community projects so we took a slight detour off the itinerary and headed to !kwha-ttu. This is an education project set up by the local San people to educate both visitors and the younger generations about the traditions of the bush people. We were treated to a less in speaking clicks, which is so hard and I am completely hopeless at. I just can’t seem to get my mouth to move in the right way to make the different clicks, let alone do them and talk at the same time. After the clicks lesson we climbed aboard and old army truck and headed out into the farm for a mini game drive. As we bumped along we saw Elland, Springbok, Zebra and Ostrich and were taught about them by the guide. The final element of the visit was a visit to a replica village and a lesson in their culture and hunting techniques. I really enjoyed the trip and think we were lucky to be the first people to try it out.
Back on the Lando we had a long drive ahead of us to the cederberg region where we would camp for our first night. The drive went quite quickly and soon enough we were stopping for our first roadside lunch by the side of a service station. We all chipped in getting the chairs out and the lunch prepared and were soon tucking into sandwiches. Possibly the weirdest place I’ve had a picnic but I think as the trip continues there will be some stranger locations. Later that afternoon we arrived at our first campsite where we had a tour of the lando and all its storage. It is like Mary Poppin’s bag, amazing how much stuff can fit into it! Next was a lesson in putting up and taking down the tents which, seeing as though we will be doing it in the dark fairly often over the next weeks, are fairly simple. We all grabbed a tent buddy, a tent and set up our first home. After camp was set up we had a wine tasting session of the wines made by the owners of the campsite. They were all nice, apart from the rosè, and we were lucky enough to be treated to a red wine based vermouth infused with roiboos which was so nice. Wine and tea is a match made in heaven for me! Dinner that night was a traditional South African stew called a potjie and I was glad I finally got to try one.
The next day we were up early and packing up in the dark which was fun! Today we were heading towards the Orange River and the Namibian border. We arrived at the next campsite around lunchtime meaning we had the whole afternoon to explore which was great. Some of the group opted to go canoeing but after my previous excursion I was all kayaked out so instead I headed down to the river for a swim with some of the others. Looked a little off putting to start with lots of reeds and whilst cold was really refreshing.
After we’d eaten the whole group headed to the bar for a group round of shots, the shot was called a springbok and Darlington quickly had us make a pair of antlers with our hands and jumping around like idiots pretending to be springboks.
The shot clearly went straight to my head as I foolishly mentioned the ‘bus’ word in front of Bombastic and was made to do 10 sit ups in the middle of the bar as a forfeit. Amazingly I’ve been much more careful about using the word Lando since!
This was my last night in South Africa and after 3 weeks I was a little sad to leave such an amazing country however next stop was Namibia and I could not be more excited.