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This post marks this beginning of my South Africa Series. Follow along to read my reviews on several different aspects of my trip. Other posts in this series include: Flight Review: South African Airways Business Class JFK-JNB; Hotel Review: Westin Cape Town; Trip Report: Watching African Penguins at Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope; Cape Town Dining; Hotel Review: Hilton Cape Town; 10 Things I Love About South Africa; Hotel Review: 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa Luxury Room; Trekking Up Table Mountain In Cape Town; Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Johannesburg; Trip Report: South Africa Safari at Savanna Lodge in Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve; Safari Highlights at Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa.
As I mentioned last week, I’m going to South Africa and today is the big day! The country has been on my bucket list for a while and is part of my plan to make 2013 my year to focus on exploring many of the incredible destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.
I’ve never been before, so I picked up a few guidebooks, and readers had a lot of fantastic suggestions (I’m planning to visit a winery where you can hang out with cheetahs while you have your tasting!).
I depart today, so come along with me as I review my experience on South African Airways and tell you about the process of using US Airways miles to book award tickets on the same exact flights for TPG Managing Editor Eric and myself just two weeks before we were to depart.
I’m planning on spending a lot of time in and around Cape Town exploring both the natural beauty of the region in places like Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, visiting rare African penguins at Boulders Bay, exploring the South African wine scene in Franschoek and Stellenbosch, and maybe even cage dive with a great white shark, or two (don’t worry Mom!).
Most of my stays will be in points properties like the Westin Cape Town (now that I’m an SPG Platinum 100-nighter!), the Hilton Cape Town where I’m hoping to test out my new Hilton Diamond status perks, and the Hyatt Regency in Johannesburg, which cost me just 8,000 points per night instead of $305.
I’m also planning to explore the country’s troubled past during visits to Robben Island and possibly a township near Cape Town. Then it’s up to Kruger National Park for a few days of safari with Savannah Lodge in the Sabi Sands where they’ve already been sending me pictures of all the baby animals who have been born recently and are starting to roam on their own now.
I’m very excited about this trip, and it’s just the first of many amazing experiences I hope to have this year, so keep up with me here on The Points Guy to see what I’m up to, and for up-to-date information and photos, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Tweet you on the other side of the world!