- Explore tours are always packed with highlights - this was my 10th tour. The Western Cape has stunning scenery and the cycling was very well-planned so that we were in a different landscape each day. That said, it wasn't all about the cycling. Fuelling up for the road ahead was very enjoyable with abundant snacking, nice restaurants and good wine. We had a good balance of other activities,sightseeing and shopping opportunities without feeling rushed. Our day at Stellenbosch stands out as a highlight : great ride followed by wine tasting and then Jakes' surprise ( spoilers). Also the cape flowers,the wildlife and occasions to question, discuss and piece together South African history : the Boer war, life during apartheid and Nelson Mandela and his legacy. I now have quite a long reading list . . . We were fortunate to have a lovely mix of people in the group who all got on well together. My overall memory is of an inspiring country with genuine, friendly people. Bursts of activity, sometimes long but always followed by fun and relaxation and special moments of discovery that we all shared. We were spoilt, we had 2 great guides, Jakes and Rasodien who were both very professional and excellent ambassadors for their country. They worked well together and exuded South African warmth and positivity with big welcoming smiles. Everything seemed so relaxed and easy although behind the scenes they worked hard for long hours and were highly organised. They were flexible with the itinerary too and introduced options which they knew would appeal to the group. I genuinely felt that our time and experiences in South Africa mattered to them for the entire duration of the tour which is a rare quality and difficult to sustain. I also appreciated their patience and readiness to share their personal stories growing up in South Africa during very changing times.
Published on: 12 March 2016