A Wedding Destination with So Much adventure! #BAAD2017 – The South African Tour of Cape Town & Johannesburg #MYSAEXPERIENCE
CHECK-IN AT THE AFRICAN PRIDE HOTEL
The African Pride hotel located at 15 on Orange Cape Town has an unparalleled location in Gardens. It Is a short distance from the city center; the hotel allowed us to conveniently access Cape Town’s world-famous landmarks. From the moment we stepped into the stunning lobby, we were thrilled with its distinctive five-star style. This grandeur extends to the hotel’s immaculate guest rooms and suites; each room overflows with luxury, perfect for a wedding getaway/ vacation. We soaked up Cape Town sun at African Pride’s magnificent rooftop pool and ate from a selection of first-class restaurant options, the daily breakfast service was full of variety. Yum Yum!!
SUNDOWN AT SIGNAL HILL
Sun down at Signal Hill was our favourite item on the BAAD2017 wedding itinerary. There are sunsets, and then there are sunsets. The sunset views from the top of Signal Hill definitely rivalled the best I’ve seen. Signal Hill is one of Cape Town’s favourite Hills; it connects to Lions Head mountain in a distinctive hump, making it look as though it’s the tail end of the lion. The top of Signal Hill is 350 metres above sea level, meaning the views of both city and ocean is nothing short of spectacular. It is a popular and ideal spot where locals take their lovers or friends to watch the sun go down. We went without knowing what to expect as most of us haven’t been there before. When we arrived, we were immediately captivated by the beautiful view of the Table Mountains, Atlantic Ocean and good aerial view of Cape Town. The sunset-watching itself was a breath-taking experience and I guarantee you, this is as romantic as you can imagine it to be. The atmosphere atop the hill at sunset is usually vibrant, with many friendly faces taking pictures of the view.
SHOPPING AT THE V & A WATERFRONT
Shopping at the V & A was an exciting experience for the entire BAAD gang. The Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town is located on the Atlantic shore, Table Bay Harbor, the City of Cape Town and Table Mountain. With over 450 retail outlets selling everything from fashion, home ware and ornaments, to jewelry, leather goods and audio-visual equipment; the V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s most popular shopping destination. It offers diverse products of local and international brands that guaranteed something for every one of us shopping during our trip. We also go to have a ride on the V & A waterfront Wheel. All the cabins are air conditioned and it gives you the most sweeping and magnificent views of Cape Town.
The crew took the five-minute cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain, over a thousand meters above Cape Town. It was a great spot to sit and soak up the commanding 360-degree views of Cape Town, Table Bay, nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains and the rest of the Table Mountain National Park, in which the Cableway is situated. Table Mountain is an iconic and significant tourist attraction, every visit up there is always poignant and memorable. Cape Town locals are pretty fond of the mountain that looms over their city… and with good reason! Table Mountain, which is home to the richest, yet smallest floral kingdom on earth, was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011. It is entirely too beautiful after some hot chocolate everyone was all smiles, and felt on top of the world! Literally!
WINE TASTING AT GROOT CONSTANTIA
You’re with your bridesmaids and groomsmen, how about a joint bachelorette party in the form of Wine tasting!!! Sounds good to me!! Part of the BAAD2017 South African experience was going wine tasting at Groot Constantia, founded in 1685. We all were able to see the wine and cultural history museum; we were inspired by South African Art, enjoyed world-class cuisine, experienced chocolate & wine pairing and a whole lot of bonding while our taste buds were enticed by exquisite wine. Groot Constantia is nestled in the fertile Constantia Valley. We learned that the word “Constantia” is Latin for constancy or steadfastness and the winery takes after its meaning. The farm is situated behind Table Mountain for its wine growing potential and magnificent scenery and offers a circular self-guided route of the heritage-rich core of the wine estate. The wines produced on the estate have caught the attention of influential people across the globe, clearly due to its impressive quality.
CHECK-IN TO WESTIN HOTEL, CAPE TOWN
Moving to the Westin Hotel Cape Town for the big day!! It’s our wedding o!! We enjoyed exclusive rooms with unique views over the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain. The hotel’s fantastic glass façade allows clear views of the spectacular beauty of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the whole of Table Bay. The whole BAAD crew were in high spirits preparing for the grand white wedding finale of Banky and Adesua Wellington.
WEDDING DAY; CAMPS BAY, WESTERN CAPE
The D-Day is finally upon us! From morning all the way till midnight, it was a gorgeous and perfect day to get married. The Sun came out to play for #BAAD2017. It was a really private wedding as mostly friends and family were in attendance. Guests attending the wedding traveled into Cape Town from several countries to grace and honor Mr and Mrs Banky and Adesua Wellington. Everyone looked their very best; the men were dressed in black tuxedos and the ladies in evening gowns in color combinations of black, white and silver. The ambiance of Camps Bay strong waves and the sight of the Twelve Apostles Mountains, set dramatically at the far end of the bay gave the wedding a feel of romance. The weather was perfect, the destination just as perfect, guests were thrilled and the bride and groom were ecstatic! A wedding destination that they would choose over and over again!
HARLEY DAVIDSON RIDES
It’s the day after, the most amazing night before!! But we’re up, and out to seize the day!! Those who have always dreamed of an outlaw experience were privileged to see the Mother City from the back of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. We all took Harley Davidson rides from the Westin through camps bay beach, to camps bay, tearing up the tarmac that winds its way around the breath-taking Chapman’s Peak Drive. The excursion included an expert driver who was completely at our disposal. The open-road motorbike experience was second to none. There’s something exhilarating about being able to smell the sea and feel the wind in your hair, and as the saying goes, “Only a biker knows why a dog sticks its head out of a car window.”
After the Harleys, it was time for a hot meal Sea food anyone? Perks of being right by the water, everything is fresh!
SUNSET BOAT CRUISE AT CAMPS BAY
The Sunset Cruise took us straight across with Table Bay. What’s better than a sunset cruise? One with friends, family, and champagne of course!! Scenic views, and of course, music, while sipping on a glass of Cape Town’s Classic sparkling wine. A slow cruise back to dock, and catching a wonderful sun set, to the city lighting – a first class experience with Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles as an exquisite backdrop. This is definitely the cruise of choice for the romantic and after wedding setting of our entire South African trip; we had a relaxing evening on the water.
ZEBULA GOLF ESTATE AND SPA
Zebula is a holiday home in Mubala with a private pool, swimming pool, outdoor pool, massage Spa and wellness centre. There’s an access to a golf course within 3km of the estate, an exquisite mountain and pool view with outdoor BBQ facilities. The accommodation is 100 metres from the Reception & Clubhouse parking, and there are activities of Squash, Horse riding, Hiking, Fishing and a large Tennis court; such an awesome place! There was lots of pamper time as well, this is the place to relax and indulge – the Spa experience was first class.
ANIMAL INTERACTIONS AND ENCOUNTERS
Cape Town’s Zebula Golf Estate and gave us the opportunity to get up close with some interesting wild animals. In addition to learning about the magnificent giant cats, we all got to engage with them in many exciting ways. We could feed them and the ones who were feeling brave enough, got to sit on their backs and take a great picture. Those who preferred to admire from a distance, got to test their strength by standing next to the elephants and Cheetah’s. Whether we all engaged or not, a trip to Zebula Golf Estate and Spa is worth it for one little detail: you could see and touch the world’s most magnificent Cheetah’s, Tarzan and Jane, and appreciate all of God’s creation.
Ever had a bush dinner before? It’s magical, and there was a special birthday to celebrate too! We all had a beautiful dinner under the Zebula Golf Estate skies to complement an eventful and adventurous day
MANDELA HOUSE IN SOWETO
The Mandela House is a world-class tourist attraction in Soweto, South Africa, and a leading centre for the preservation, presentation and research of the history, heritage and legacy of Nelson Mandela and the entire Mandela Family. It was indeed a meaningful experience for us all during our trip to South Africa. We were informed of President Nelson Mandela’s story, both in the context of his home, and in the context of his life as a whole, in a manner that promotes human rights, democracy, reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance amongst the peoples of South Africa. Guaranteed, it was a learning experience for the entire BAAD crew; as we stood in awe of a national hero – “A Winner is a dreamer who never gives up” – Nelson Mandela. Despite it all, the streets of Soweto are ALIVE.
HECTOR PIETERSON MEMORIAL
The Hector Pierterson Memorial, just down the road from the Mandela House in Soweto was another iconic place we visited. The Memorial and Museum is situated in Orlando West, Soweto, two blocks away from where Hector Pieterson was shot and killed. The museum is named in his honor. It became one of the first museums in Soweto when it opened on 16 June 2002. It remembers the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid and in particular the role played by the school children who took part in the Soweto protests of 1976, many of whom were shot by the apartheid police while protesting against the sub-standard of education in black schools in South Africa.
CHECK-IN AT THE AFRICAN PRIDE HOTEL, MELROSE ARCH
Checking in to The African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg, we were minutes from Melrose Arch Shopping Centre and close to Sandton City Mall. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Wanderers Stadium and The Wanderers Golf Club in Jo’Burg. We enjoyed recreational amenities including a nightclub and an outdoor pool. The additional features of the hotel include a complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services and a whole lot more. Planning a vacay to Johannesburg? The African Pride Hotel on Melrose Arch would treat you right.
EARLY MORNING HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
If at all we were going to be caught in a balloon all the way up in the air, we had to do it the right way. Bill Harrops Original Balloon Safari definitely felt like a boujie experience. You have to get up fairly early for a hot air balloon ride, you’re up at 4am!! But it is absolutely worth it! Promise! We sailed in an indisputable style. It was sunrise, the silence of the flight was only punctuated by the occasional blast of the powerful burners and the faint call of a bird or animal far beneath. The thrill was indescribable. It’s so hard to describe a hot air balloon ride, its like gliding, floating, flying all at the same time. We were hovering gently above the tree tops of the beautiful Magalies River Valley, high above the Magaliesberg range in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site, north of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. The exceptional peace of this unique and almost supernatural view of the world will forever remain a truly cherished memory, also a perfect way to end the trip of a life time!
BUSH CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST
After landing back on earth from the hot air balloon, we had breakfast at their well established, traditionally exquisite and beautifully appointed Clubhouse, Pavilion and Restaurant, where we ate and were filled with the warmest of memories. We had the privilege of enjoying the most pleasurable balloon flight and would definitely recommend it to our friends and partners in the industry.