Saturday, March 6, 2010

I fell in love with South Africa

I am very lucky to have gotten a chance to go Cape Town for my commercial shoot for Pond's and it is one of the best experience I had since my last trip to America.
We managed to squeeze in a couple of holidays before my work started and I must say that it was just simply divine, divine and did I just say divine?

Our holiday started off being picked up at Jo'berg airport after a 13hrs flight and then headed straight for a four hours drive before we arrived at the Buffalo Ridge in Madikwe. This 5-stars safari lodge was particularly unique because it was the only lodge of its kind wholly owned by a local rural community, which means the profits goes back to the community that runs the lodge and not to some rich businessman who only just gets richer.
The lodge is amazing! It has a beautiful view of the bush land and I was instantly relaxed and felt at one with nature. We had no TV, no internet and mobile phone signals were pretty bad which is absolutely purrrfect for me as I needed this break to just relax and chill. The lodge took care of all our meals as well as the safari game rides. There was really never a moment that you need to think much.

All we did was to wake up, have a cuppa and head out for the game rides. Our main discussion over breakfast with fellow guests would be "We must see Lions today!". The other table will say "Yeah, have seen loads of zebras and wildebeest yesterday, would love to see some cats and wild dogs this evening".
It almost felt like i've gone back to good old school camping days, where we woke up at dawn in the wild to make some breakfast, only this is of course 5-star camping. It's pretty surreal to have a cub walking 3 meters ahead of you or 5 zebras just blocking the road and babboons and springboks running outside your lodge late in the evening.  And don't forget the stars you get here is just completely breath taking. The night sky was just sparkly and completely mesmerizing and accompanied by fine food and wine, what more can I say?

Next stop, Cape Town. 2 hrs flight from Jo'berg and Cape Town was just breath taking. The table mountain that sticks out in the middle of the city made every single angle that you would capture of CT so picturesque. I instantly fell in love with CT. The weather was awesome! Warm in the day and very cool at night which just makes everything seems so perfect. We hired a car and drove along the coastal line and stopped by many places such as hout bay (which btw serve the BEST FISH AND CHIPS EVER!), Camps Bay which reminded me of Miami where you have a row of cafes and restaurants just facing a beautiful beach and the drive was just so scenic which made me stop so very often not to miss a photo moment. Those beach houses perched on the cliffs and facing the roaring waves sent me dreaming of getting a holiday home here. It is a truly chilled and relaxing city even though at times you feel a little unsafe (especially I almost got myself mugged on a sunday afternoon while walking on the street alone trying to catch a cab!). Other than that, loads of fresh seafood and extremely great South African wine at ridiculously affordable prices! One day it was a costal drive and the next day was just a wine tasting affair. Driving to the wineries in Stellenborsch and Franschoek was just 40mins away from the city and all those excellent wine and cheese just made me fell harder for Cape Town.
The shoot went really well and the director Vadim was just amazingly sweet. All of us had a fantastic time in CT and it was time to say good bye after a good 14 days stay.

I will think of CT with fond memories and will love to go back soon, someday!!

Our next stop where my work takes place - Cape Town.

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