#WhyILove South Africa
This week we want to share two personal stories about why many of us at Kensington love South Africa. It’s a destination that offers so much to do, such a wide range of landscapes, and such wonderful people – we couldn’t contain it all in one person’s story.
President, Alison Hickey’s perfect family trip celebrating a milestone for her teenage daughter.
As someone who works in the travel industry, South Africa has always been on my radar as a destination that offers a lot of variety. With so much to do, it’s perfect for those of us who plan to travel with kids or teenagers.
Because I was in that exact situation a couple of years ago – planning a family trip to celebrate our daughter’s high school graduation. I knew from personal experience how hard it can be to make sure that everyone in the family – including yourself – is able to have wonderful, memorable moments and so I worked with one of our Africa Destination Experts to plan something exceptional.
I knew that South Africa was the perfect destination for us. For instance, my daughter is a bit of a biology nerd and loved being on safari, getting to be up close with some of the mightiest animals in the world in their own native habitat. I’m sure that experience played a little bit of a role in the fact that, at college, she went on to study Integrative Biology.
On the other hand, while my teenage son and husband enjoyed the safari, they absolutely loved the Franschoek Motor Museum which showcases over 100 years of automotive history.
After the museum, we all went to Glenwood Vineyard, a family-owned boutique winery located close to Franschoek. While my husband and I loved the tour of the winemaking operation and of course the wine tasting, our kids enjoyed the farm and seeing the amount of care they put into respecting the environment there.
Later on, a hike up Table Mountain was the perfect thing for us all to accomplish and share together – especially when we were rewarded with such incredible views.
Giving back is important to me and my family when we travel. So instead of visiting Victoria Falls, we chose to go to the village of Siankaba in Zambia to spend time meeting and talking with the locals and brought supplies to the local school. Another moment that helped bring us all closer together.
So for me, why I love South Africa is about the sense of connection we all felt on that trip – to each other, to the people who live there, to the wildlife, and to the incredible landscapes. We all took away a shared feeling of awe and amazement.
Africa Director Marc Sison’s honeymoon which catered to two different travel styles.
As newlyweds, my wife, Sally, and I were thrilled to celebrate our next chapter together. But we both know that we’re different from each other. And that was never more obvious than when we were planning our honeymoon. We had different travel backgrounds – for instance, I had traveled all over Africa for work, while she had only been there once, on a safari in Kenya.
And we had different styles. We both really like food, but I like to be a little more relaxed and casual about it, while she really enjoys more elevated dining.
So the challenge was, how could we create the perfect honeymoon when we had such differences?
South Africa was the ideal choice.
It gave us the ability to explore together while allowing for each other’s differences. For instance, we did a foodie tour with a famous food critic and learned all about Cape Town’s history through a unique culinary lens.
And while Cape Point Peninsula is on the radar for a lot of visitors, we got to experience it a little differently. Our guide was an otter researcher and knew all the hidden nooks and special places around the Cape. He took us to a remote part of the peninsula and surprised us with a picnic lunch in this beautiful hidden area. It was this romantic food adventure, just for us.
One of the best parts of our honeymoon was always being able to work with our Destination Expert to do the things we really wanted. It was the perfect balance of sometimes choosing to indulge and pamper ourselves, then also being able to skip the fancy places for a night at a local brewery to enjoy comfort food and not feel like we had to dress up. We could both relax and just be ourselves.
For both of us, South Africa was a place where we could really come together while totally being ourselves. There isn’t a better reason to love South Africa.
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