My Travel Blog

Our Last Day In Africa

For our final full day on the African Continent we headed to the famous Cape Town wine region.  Everyone told us we had to visit this area, and to be honest I wasn’t that excited to go.  After all we’ve spent the last four summers in France.  Because we love wine so much we’ve tended to concentrate on the French wine regions.  If you are looking for beautiful scenery then the French countryside, especially where there are vineyards is tough to beat.  Well guess what.  The South African wine region may have the French beat. My recommendation would be to visit both countries, and decide for your self.

A little cheese tasting with our friends to go along with the wine.

What amazed me most about the South African wineries was the architecture and construction.  Clearly, for some of the wineries money was not an object. Lisa and I have been to wineries all over the world.  We’ve visited them in New Zealand, Australia, obviously California and France, the East Coast of the U.S., Italy, Spain and Canada. I even visited a winery on the desolate island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The winery wasn’t much to look at, and the wine was even worse.  The wineries in South Africa have them all topped, and not by just a little.  Some of the South African wineries are truly spectacular.  Unfortunately we were so overwhelmed by the scenery we didn’t bother to take any pictures of the incredible wineries that we visited. Oh well, you’ll just have to go there and see for yourself.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

After a short visit to the wine region we headed off to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. This amazing gardenwas the first indigenous botanical garden in the world, and it is huge at almost 100 acres that melds seamlessly into the Table Mountain National Park.  There are over 4,500 species of plants, and the gardens are listed as a World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the Centenary Tree Canopy Tree Walk. It winds its way through the treetops for 130 meters with fantastic views and up close inspections of the forest canopy. The size and diversity of KirstenboschProtea collection is impressive. Then again the ProteaCynaroides or King Protea is the South African National Flower.

A King Protea.

The Centenary Tree Canopy Tree Walk.

Lisa and I stayed at the Mount Nelson.  It’s one of those timeless hotels that knows how to do everything right.  It was actually very reasonable considering the surroundings and service. If you are fortunate enough to visit Cape Town do not miss high tea at the Mount Nelson.  It’s a sugar infusion you will never forget.  While we were there Sean Penn and Charlize Theron were also staying at the hotel while filming the movie The Last face.  What I didn’t know was that a friend, from the gym where I workout, was also in the film staying at our hotel.  Oh well we didn’t get to see Sean, Charlize or my friend Oscar.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.