Local Sydney resident, Sophie Penhallow recently returned from South Africa after winning the ultimate ten day trip worth $25,000 with her best friend Anna Faigen, thanks to South African Tourism and Time Out Sydney Magazine.
Travelling through Kruger National Park, Johannesburg and Cape Town, Sophie and Anna ticked many items off their Bucket Lists including seeing lions, elephants, giraffes and rhino’s in the wild, climbing to the top of Table Mountain, visiting a rural African village and dining at the world famous La Colombe restaurant in the winery region of Cape Town. They were blown away by the friendly locals, incredible wildlife and world-class properties including Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve and 54 on Bath.
“Anna and I had such an incredible time in South Africa. Our favourite part of the trip was no doubt the three days on safari at Sabi Sabi. Nothing can quite prepare you for seeing a herd of 13 elephants walk by you so close that you could reach out and touch them, or watching a leopard cub bound out of the bushes to greet its mother who then sits it down for a licking bath,” explained Sophie.
“It really was a very profound and emotional experience which I certainly wasn’t expecting. We had an incredibly knowledgeable ranger who made our trip even more memorable. He taught us so much about the eco-system and environment; it wasn’t just all about the ‘Big Five’. The Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge was incredible as well.”
The two friends also visited a local pre-school and community and met a witchdoctor, sang and danced with local tribeswomen and met the 91 year old village chief.
“The local people are some of the friendliest and kindest people I have ever encountered in my travels. They bend over backwards for you but at the same time, they do it in such a laid back, genuine way. The landscapes were utterly gorgeous and the food on offer was so fresh and varied. I can honestly say it was the best time I have ever had on holiday anywhere. Forget New York and Paris, South Africa tops them all,” added Sophie.
Keen to return to her new favorite destination, Sophie plans to continue to tick items off her Bucket List including exploring Sun City, Soweto, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, Cape of Good Hope and even Great White Shark cage diving.
Lalie Ngozi, South African Tourism General Manager Australasia, is very proud of her homeland and was delighted to hear Sophie and Anna experiencing some of the amazing activities on offer in South Africa.
“It is great to see the profound effect that South Africa had on Sophie and Anna. I am so pleased that they too have become ambassadors for our wonderful country. I hope they take many of their friends and family back with them on future trips,” said Ms Ngozi.
“A trip to South Africa is always a life changing experience and one that I believe everyone should tick off their Bucket Lists; whether it be for adventure, safari, food and wine, right through to meeting the warm and friendly people.”
“With an excellent exchange rate, warm weather and Table Mountain recently announced as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, there has never been a better time to visit South Africa,” added Ms Ngozi.
To find out more about the places Sophie and Anna visited:
For the chance to win a trip to South Africa, simply create your own Bucket List on South African Tourism’s Facebook page before the 31 December.
Source = South African Tourism