Safari to South Africa with Adventures by Disney
by, 04-28-2012 at 10:52 PM
Imagine getting a call from a mouse to go on a Safari. That is just what happened to Teresa Cory of Fairy Godmother Travel. After selling many ABD trips since they first began in 2005, Adventures By Disney wanted her to have a personal idea of what the tours were like. So, what better way to know than to go on one? Over the next few week we will be presenting her Disney Safari to South Africa.
Day 0: Houston to NY
My favorite Auntie and I are very excited about taking an Adventures by Disney together. My Auntie drove from Arkansas to Houston, then we took a flight from Houston to Newark.
Day 1: NY to Johannesburg (aka JoBerg), South Africa to Capetown
South African Airlines which we left New York at 10am and landed in Johannesburg the next morning (it was a 17 hour flight). We had to change planes in Johannesburg (Which had lots of shops like a mall!) and we got to Capetown an hour later.
We were met at luggage claim by the ABD guides Chris and Craig.
Table Bay Hotel
We gathered our luggage and went to the bus. Craig has been an ABD guide for about 7 years, and Craig is a Capetown native. The ride to the hotel was a short one and we pulled up to the Table Bay hotel, which is in the harbor district, where it was extremely quiet and very peaceful. We went through the lobby to the back where a private check in and welcome desk awaited us, which is an ABD privilege. We quickly got our keys and were anxious to find our room. WOW. The room was really nice and the view was spectacular!
Our room at the hotel
Our view from the room
Day 2 (Capetown)
We had our good morning breakfast (most of the meals are included in your Adventures by Disney, this was the first of many) where we received an overview of the whole trip and met everyone.
The breakfast was a mini buffet, which was about ¼ of the regular buffet we would have the other days at Table Bay, but this one was private to ABD.
I was surprised to see people on the trip I knew from past Disney cruises!
This particular adventure had 40 people on it, which is the max of any ABD.
On this day we were supposed to visit Table Mountain, but the fog at the top of the mountain was too heavy. Our guides knew this was not optimal viewing so they quickly arranged for our group to have a private tour at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
Our tour was lead by the very funny and knowledgeable Kirstenbosch guide, Andrew. ABD always goes out of their way to secure quality, knowledgeable guides for their guests… even due to unexpected fog!
Teresa and Chris the ABD guide.
We then went to the District 6 Museum, where we learned a lot about apartheid and how it affected Capetown. This was a really moving and educational tour, as I had never heard about District 6 before today. We spent about 2 hours here listening to first hand reports from people who were displaced. It was very sad and made me feel naïve and uninformed to not have heard of it before.
Craig grew up in Capetown so he could speak about apartheid from his experiences as well as what you read about in history books. Since he lived it the stories were much more personal and you could feel the emotions that his countrymen went through.
After the District 6 museum we were bussed over to lunch at the Sinn restaurant then went on a city walking tour through the city gardens to green market square, which is named for the area in the center of town that local farmers brought produce to sell.
We ate dinner at the Castle of Good Hope, (which was a fort that protected the city at one time and is the oldest surviving building in South Africa, started in 1653.)
Day 3 (Capetown)
No fog today so we made a quick trip to Table Mountain, which is roughly 260 million years old and is thought to be one of the oldest mountains in the world.
We rode the gondola to the top of Table Mountain—the floor rotates and everyone is standing so we all had a good view.
After spending a few hours at Table Mountain we got on our motorcoach for the hour long drive to the Cape of Good Hope.
Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point-what a beautiful place! It is the tip of Africa and where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean currents meet, but not the southern most tip of Africa, that is Cape Agulhas about 90 miles south of Cape Point. It is however the most famous of the two. We took a funicular up to the top and ours was aptly named the Flying Dutchman!
Meet the African Penguins --Boulders Beach, Simonton –
We hopped aboard our trusty coach and after a few minutes we were at Boulders Beach, home to the endangered African penguins.
We went down the beach to the Seaforth restaurant where every meal came with a fabulous view of the ocean.
Ocean & Resturant
Celebration of Africa Dinner at the Gold of Africa Museum-learned to play the Afrikaan drums! The dinner consisted of a family style meal featuring food from the servers' area of South Africa. It was a lot like tapas since we had small portions of a variety of South African dishes.
And that is it for the first part of Vacationeering's coverage of Adventures by Disney's Safari to South Africa. Next up will be parts 2 and 3 where we'll take you on Safari and visit South African wineries.
If you would like to follow the story in even greater detail, please follow the trip report being posted to MiceChat's Boards here.
Teresa Cory is founder of Fairy Godmother Travel (Dusty calls me the head pixie). I have been a Disney-only travel agent for 10 years. I've been planning MiceChat group trips for several years and am proud to have been selected as the "Official Travel Agency of MiceChat.com". I'm a native Texan and live in Houston with my husband and our rescued Dachshunds. Both of my boys are in college at Texas A&M. Contact Teresa at FairyGodmotherTravel.com for MiceChat group trip information or for any of your Disney travel needs (or email [email protected]).