Cape Town – the oldest city in South Africa perched between the mountains and the coast with a national park at its heart.

The Third Test Tour group arrived on Monday for their weeks holiday and upon arrival into Cape Town International Airport they were transferred to the Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel in the CBD and met their Tour Manager Emma in the bar that evening for welcome drinks to get to know each other.

Tuesday began with a boat ride from the beautiful Haut Bay to see the seals. Afterwards we took a trip up to a cloudy Table Mountain by cable car followed by a drive around Bo-Kaap with the colourful housing.

Wednesday was an early start for a full day touring around the winelands region with our guide Terence and driver Igshaan. First on the agenda was the Anura winery for a 9.30am tasting (!) and tour of the wine cellar. Following this we headed to the Western Cape Province for a lunch stop in the beautiful town of Franschoek and a ‘kodak moment’ (as Terence would say) at the Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in 1990. The sun was shining all day and for a South African winter it was extremely balmy, which only added to the serenity and calm of our next destination – the Neethlingshof Estate. Five tasting courses and five wines later, we all got the coach back to the hotel for more drinks in the hotel bar!

For our final day of sightseeing, we set off early to leave the hustle and bustle of Cape Town and explore the natural beauty of Chapmans Peak and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. The funicular ride up to the Lighthouse offered beautiful views across the Atlantic Ocean and again, we had blue skies all around for more ‘kodak moments’. From here we visited Boulders Beach to see the African Penguins and ended the day with a late lunch at a superb seafood restaurant five minutes up the road. 

That concluded our sightseeing of this wonderful region where we bid farewell to Terence who was a great guide. Igshann stayed with us for the match day and departure transfers.

Friday was a day at rest, where a lot of the group wandered up to the Slavery Museum and Castle Gardens, Green Market Square (for authentic African souvenirs) and the Waterfront for a spot of lunch at one of the many restaurants adorning the port and V&A.

This takes us to the big day. The Third Test on Saturday 23rd June at the Newlands Stadium said to be the last ever game of rugby to be played before Cape Town Stadium becomes the new home of Test rugby in the Cape. The group watched the Australia v Ireland Third Test at the hotel before we jumped on the coach to the stadium. Not even the heavy (heavy) rain could dampen our spirits – straight into the shelter of the stadium we went and with a beer in hand, we were eagerly awaiting the KO at 5pm! The rain stopped, the skies cleared and we beat the Springboks 25-10! John won the sweepstake by guessing it would be a 25-15 win to England! 

The surprises didn’t end there, as when we arrived back to our hotel, so did the England team, the Springbok team and all of the Officials for their End of Tour Dinner. They were greeted by 90 Gullivers clients, all sporting their white England jerseys and what a moment it was. Photos, autographs and applauding galore – it was one of the many tour highlights!

Now onto the groups End of Tour dinner on Sunday evening, at a lovely restaurant close to the hotel serving platters of tapas foods and crisp South African wine. The tour group chatted and reminisced on the weeks activities, shared stories and experiences and discussed their plans for their next Gullivers tours.

That brings us to the very end of the tour and the journey home. Newfound friendships and everlasting memories. Cape Town, it was a pleasure!



- Emma Waterman




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