I was invited to South Africa to celebrate my friend Amy’s wedding! We’ve known each other since University and I was honored when she asked me to be a bridesmaid. So of course I wanted to go! I’ve never been to South Africa and this was going to be my first time to Africa in general. I was also going to be reunited with my friends from University and I got to see Amy get married to the lovely Ryan! It was an amazing trip so let’s start from the beginning!
I had an absolute nightmare with my flights! I was supposed to get them in early 2016 but had a slight financial crisis which I won’t get into now. I did a lot of looking around myself as I do work in travel so I know where to look but it was the lovely people at STA Travel who came to my rescue. They found me some great flights for me with Qatar Airways with a short connection via Doha. They pretty much saved me from not attending this wedding/holiday so I cannot thanks them enough. I spent Christmas at my mum’s house and flew from Manchester the day after Boxing Day. Little did I know that some of the wedding party were also getting the same flights and bumped into them while I was waiting for my full English breakfast to arrive? Great start! Wouldn’t be alone on this flight. It was a late flight out and we got to see a lovely sunset while taking off.
Two flights later, we arrived in Cape Town. I had planned to wait for two of the other bridesmaids to arrive and rent a car together. Yet another lovely surprise, Amy (the bride) was there waiting for us all at arrivals! She also had with her, my other university friends Jenn and Hayley who had arrived before Christmas. I hadn’t seen Hayley in years as she lives in Australia so I was super happy to see her too. They had already rented out some cars so we headed straight to the hotel, with a great view of Table Mountain on the way there. We had booked apartment rooms at the Best Western in Cape Town. I settled into the room, re-organised my case and had a shower after the long 27 hour journey while the girls went back to the airport to get the other two bridesmaids. When they arrived and we were all reunited once more after months/years apart. We all got ready to go into Cape Town to have a nice meal and catch up together. We headed to VA Waterfront. It was beautiful and buzzing with excitement! Honestly, I just wanted to take photos of everything. There was obviously lots of tourists but you had excellent views of Table Mountain with the glimmer of the dock water. There was musicians performing music on every corner and the hot weather wasn’t bad either. Even with slight breeze off the docks.
We had our meal at Belthazar Restaurant & Wine Bar at the VA Waterfront in Cape town. We got a lovely table outside so we could enjoy the view as well as each others company. The staff were really nice and food was incredible. Rachel and I both got the Crocodile. It had to be done! When would I next get the chance to pick Crocodile off the menu? We all had a lot of drinks and we had a lovely catch up. I hope Amy had a chance to de-stress a bit as planning a wedding in a different country and picking up the entire wedding party from the airport was hugely stressful for her. We all had a lovely first night in Cape Town and finished at another bar before we all decided to call it a night.
The next day we had a bit of a shaky start. Alcohol and time difference to blame. The boys slept in as there alarms to UK time. However, Jenn, Hayley, Stacey and Paul somehow managed to wake up at 6am and climb Table Mountain that morning. I opted out as I wanted to do it on my last day before flying home. We also needed to go to the mall to pick up a few things before hitting the road to Wilderness which was the next stop before heading to the wedding venue. I had forgotten my cardigan or a light jacket so I bought one from Mango in the mall. Once we had everything and everyone we needed, we were off to Wilderness. It took about 4-5 hours to drive there. Poor Jack did all the driving in our car and the boys rotated drivers in their car. The scenery made it an easy drive so I was pretty happy looking out the window most of the journey taking photos. Once we arrived in Wilderness we headed straight for the beach. It was a private beach where the brides parents where staying and it was breathtaking.
We stayed at the Wilderness Beach House Backpackers Lodge which was a really chilled hostel on the Beach. We had epic views of the beach and the sunset. We all stayed in a 14 bed dorm but it was so spread out I didn’t really notice and I got a pretty good sleep that night. The hostel also has tents and hammocks but I’ll stick to the bed option. The hostel were cooking pizzas in their own outdoor pizza stone oven. Ryan (the groom) and his family arrived later on. We all played games and had a few…a lot of drinks! It was nice to get to know all Ryan’s family as they all live in South Africa and we’ve never met them before. They were all lovely and we had another great night in South Africa. It was great to ensure Amy & Ryan had a good few fun nights before the stress of the wedding as the next day…Team Bride were heading out to the wedding venue! Exciting!
If you want to see more on my adventures in South Africa, please check out my Cape Town vlog below: