BN Travel: 5 Days of Fun, Laughter & Adventure! Photos & Scoop from BN Adeola Adeyemo’s Exotic South African Experience

Late last month and slipping into the beginning of September, I spent the most amazing time in South Africa. Within a space of five days, I was taken on an adventure of fun and discovery which left me with a deep fondness for the country and its people. While in South Africa, I gave you a sneak peek of my time there in my earlier post. As promised, here is a report of my trip and exciting pictures of my time spent at the Rainbow Nation.

***

By the pool side of One & Only Hotel, Cape Town

When I first heard I would be going on a trip to Africa’s choicest tourist destination, I was naturally expectant. A bit excited, but curious to see what pleasures the country had in store for me. It was my first time in the lush country and to say that my experience totally surpassed my expectations would be an understatement!

South Africa stands proud as the continent’s most favoured tourist destination, and for good reasons too. From the point of entry to the country, the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg is a pride of Africa and it gave us an impressive glimpse of the kind of infrastructural development the country held.

As our tour guide, John, reminded us, it was rebuilt ahead of the world cup which was hosted in South Africa in 2010. Africa’s busiest airport is an expansive building with an impressive number of luggage carousels, multi-storey parkades, a host of check-in booths and over a hundred stores. We were totally blown away by the sophistication of the airport and had to frequently remind ourselves that we were still in Africa.

Oh, I forgot my manners. Let me introduce you to the “we”. South Africa Tourism sponsored a group of journalists from Nigeria for a five-day trip to witness the Tourism Month Launch and have an interesting tour of the country. We were there in two capacities – as journalists and as tourists. I was privileged to represent yours truly, Bellanaija and I met some of the finest journalists and editors from various media houses. Charles from BusinessDay, Jewell from Guardian, Nse from ThisDay, Kunle from Vanguard, Chico an OAP from Classic FM, Gabriel and Wale from NTA.

Did I mention I was the only female in the group. Oh yes. I was worried at first, thinking I wouldn’t have anyone to share any “girl talk” with. But it wasn’t a problem at all. They were all gentlemen and being the only lady in the group, I was constantly dotted upon.

The delegation of journalists from Nigeria at the Union Buildings in Pretoria

From the airport, we were taken to a sophisticated 5 Star Luxury hotel called ‘54 On Bath’ at Rosemond, not too far from the Airport.

My first impression of the hotel as I stepped into its reception was ‘homely’. There was nothing stiff about the place. The couches were cosy, the colours were brilliant and the staff was welcoming. An enclosed sky bridge links the 54 on Bath to the Mall of Rosebank, perfect for the avid curio shopper.

It was a newly renovated hotel that had been operating for just two months and the staff were only to eager to make us feel welcome. And we definitely did.

With Jewell Dafinone of Guardian Newspaper

Feeling “at home” at 54 on Bath Hotel, Johannesburg

Our trip was split in two cities – Johannesburg and CapeTown. We were in Johannesburg to witness the Tourism Month Launch, a yearly program organized by South Africa Tourism to highlight the tourism potentials of the country.

A warm South African welcome to the Tourism Month Launch at the CocaCola Dome, Johannesburg

Chico from Classic FM & two South African beauties

Getting down with the Xhosa dancers

South African Tourism Minister, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk & Nigerian Tourism Minister, Edem Duke at the Tourism Month Launch in Johannesburg

Won’t it be lovely to have this ride *wink*

After a few hours rest, we were whisked off to Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa where we met with the Nigerian Minister of Tourism, Edem Duke for an interesting interview.

With Charles from BusinessDay & Chico from Classic FM at Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria

All smiles with Charles

Interview with the Nigerian Minister of Culture & Tourism, Edem Duke

Our tour guide, John, was a very funny and down-to-earth man somewhere in his 50s. I was curious about his tribe, (he wasn’t really dark or light skinned, somewhere in between) and he told me he was “coloured”, not because he was trying to be sarcastic, but that was the accepted name for calling his people.

He had a vast knowledge of the history of Johannesburg and filled our ears with stories of the gold-rich city as we drove on.

We passed through the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Center and were awed with the view of the Magaliesberg mountain range.

Johannesburg is the economic powerhouse of Africa with its ever-growing suburban sprawl creeping outwards from the central city skyscrapers and ring-road motorways. We drove through several tree-lined cosmopolitan suburbs rich in eclectic restaurants, shopping centres and cinemas. But it didn’t subdue the rich culture of the city remembered through its many memorials and monuments.

The Union buildings in Pretoria was a good stop for an elevated view of the city and a photograph session. With large beautifully maintained terraced gardens and buildings in English monumental style, we were temporarily transfixed by the beauty and serenity of the place.

An elevated view of Pretoria from the Union Buildings

Hey guys, say cheese!

It’s beautiful up here!

Back at Joburg (as it is popularly called) after our meeting with the Minister, we had more time to interact with the fundamental ingredient which made the city a great cultural hub – Its people. Warm, friendly people who infected you with their bubbly personality and were too ready to share a few jokes.

Lunch was spent at pool-side restaurants. It was a mix of their rich local flavours and continental dishes with up tempo South African music playing in the background. We bobbed our heads and shook our upper bodies as the food settled nicely in our bellies.

Lunch by the pool side at Johannesburg with Kunle, Charles & Chico

With Gabriel & Wale from NTA after a yummy lunch!

Left: With Nse from ThisDay | Right: With John our Tour Guide after lunch by the pool side

I found myself coming around to Joburg’s humble charms and was sad to leave when the time came.

At the OR Tambo International Airport, leaving for Cape Town. Bye Joburg!

Compared to the warm weather in Johannesburg, Cape Town was a bit cold. The sun shone hard but so did the 12oc chill and it almost made me uncomfortable.

But once we got into the groove of our fun filled activities, I totally forgot about the cold.

Majority of the tourists come to Cape Town. It is an all-encompassing city of hotels, eateries, malls, electrifying harbour side, exciting night life and entertainment.

The streets of Cape Town

We were lodged in the city’s only 6-star hotel, aptly named One & Only, and my experience of the luxury treatment is better experienced than described. The view from the balcony of my room was simply breath-taking. The hotel was surrounded with waters deep enough to accommodate super yachts. I was entertained with teams practicing their canoe rides and white doves flying around the pool side. The magnificent Table Mountains loomed in the background like the city’s guardian angel.

My hotel room at the One & Only, Cape Town

The lovely view from my hotel room

A beautiful morning at the hotel | Watching the doves

In Cape Town, I was enthralled by the mix of glamour and scenery. The city is surrounded by glorious landscapes, stunning beaches and a bounty of unique vegetation.

The land is Green!

The Table Mountains, Cape Town

Watching the sun set

If you are not the type that hangs around the hotel lobby on a weekend evening, then you can head up to the ‘Long Street’ for a taste of a very high life and encounter beautiful Europeans who’d flown in for the weekend. Long Street is mix of soft hangout, big name Djs and the hard clubbing.

I must confess, I don’t have a very vibrant clubbing habit. Once in a couple of months usually does it for me. But the guys were eager to see what the city’s night life had in store and we found ourselves trotting to some of its clubs and bars. It was refreshing enjoying a good night out and of course having free drinks.

Charles getting down in a club on Long Street, Cape Town

With David, a South African Artiste I met at the club on Long Street. Isn’t he hot?

David entertaining guests at the club on Long Street, Cape Town

Table Dancing!

On our second day in Cape Town, we had a blast shopping at the Canal Walk. It was the first time I truly spent my own money in South Africa and probably because I hadn’t spent most of it on drinks I returned back to the bus with the largest number of shopping bags.

Shopping time at the Canal Walk, Cape Town Woohoo!

Kids having a show at the Canal Walk… Now that’s interesting!

We were told that Nigerian’s in the city hang out in and around the Olimp sports bar on 120 Loop Street. And of course, we did visit there. Eating lumps of semovita with egusi soup and listening to sounds from P-Square and Timaya, we brought a bit of home to Cape Town.

Night out at the Olimp sports bar on Loop Street

Chatting after a delicious meal

Our boat cruise on the luxury yatch, Sherilyn was unarguably the highlight of our trip. Due to the cold and foggy weather, we couldn’t do some of the fun things planned on our itinerary like the helicopter ride and trip to the top of Table Mountain. But we had a blast on the boat.

We got close to the sea lions that had come out of the water to rest on the harbor and saw some whales from afar, sprouting water up into the air. The view of the table mountains was even more beautiful from the sea and the sun setting in the distance was a sight to behold. I had the most splendid time.

Getting ready to board The Sherilyn

 

Aye Captain!

 

Inside the luxury yatch

Cruise Chilling!

The Sea Lions chilling

Cruising

Gorgeous view

Dinner at the Japanese restaurant in the hotel was a delight. The chefs brought dish after dish of prawns, grilled fish, rice, meat, chicken soups, salad and more which I can’t really put a name to. I can’t remember the last time I ate a whole range of dishes at the same time and at the end, I had only good feelings in my stomach.

Dinner Time at the One & Only Hotel, Cape Town

Goodbye CapeTown!

South Africa has a very proud tradition of wine making, a fact that you get reminded of almost everywhere you go. The waiters constantly refilled our glasses with the best wine I had ever tasted. My glass was never empty, not even while I was done with my meal.

Our last night again ended with some dancing at Long Street.

Each part of the trip was unique. Our hosts made us feel very welcome and we had a splendid time. It was totally fun and if you haven’t been to South Africa, I urge you to make it your next holiday destination. You will be glad you did!
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Special thanks to South Africa Tourism

28 Comments on BN Travel: 5 Days of Fun, Laughter & Adventure! Photos & Scoop from BN Adeola Adeyemo’s Exotic South African Experience
  • DocDeola September 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    My name sake is pretty…with brains, note to mothers, Deola is an aspirational name! Lol… side note, how did you cope with all those oldies, cough men, being the only gal in the group. Latterly does BN not get lots of fashion houses rushing over to give sample clothes to advertise their clothes. Next time you go on a trip like dis namesake, contact Deola Sagoe, JBL etc even Mango sef, let them no u dey go jand/africa jand, and that you’ll be using their clothes in your editorial/writeup = dual benefit.

  • Saymyname-Saymyname September 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Capetown is simply amazing, lots and lots of great sights if the weather permits though. stayed at the 15onorange hotel and i must say, that’s the most beautiful hotel i ve ever stayed in.

  • lala September 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    This is the 3rd South Africa trip shared on BN. Other countries?
    Bella get your readers to send pictures.

    ps. Whatever happened to BN Style?

    • Madam the Madam September 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Why don’t you start by visiting another country and then sending a picture?

      • lala September 20, 2012 at 12:51 am

        Why so angry sounding?

        Sure, if Bella asks, I will send. Just saying we get the point, SA is awesome but there are other countries we wanna see pics from (Gambia, Cape Verde, Mauritius etc)

      • Madam the Madam September 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        Angry ke? Na you sabi.

    • Pendo September 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      I second that especially the readers submitting their vacation photos of other African countries part

  • Madam the Madam September 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Anyway jare, Adeola it’s definitely nice to put a face to the name. Love the interviews and features that you do for BellaNaija so keep up the good work.

    PS:- I gotta visit South Africa in the near future. It looks beautiful. Nice pictures!

  • Miss Pepeye September 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    My eyes were just on Chico abeg :)

  • Ada Owerri September 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Picking my jaw from the floor! Adeola Adeyemo is a girl??? Wow!

    • Miss K September 20, 2012 at 12:42 am

      I know right? This whole time i thought she was a guy, guess i stand corrected. Keep up the good work Adeola!

    • http://fulanihair.blogspot.com/ September 20, 2012 at 12:48 am

      I was surprised too. Always though twas a dude *gender profiling*

    • wisefool September 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Same surprise as well!!!!!! May because there is Gbenga, and Damilare, so it is assumed that Adeola is a ‘He” as well. Her writting style is also gender neutral

  • Ready September 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I know some people may jump on me and start lamenting about perceived hating, but whatever. I understand that tourism is the highlight here, but it kinda grinds my gears when I hear people wax lyrical about SA’s rich culture and diversity and happy people, but then they don’t get exposed to the segregated townships and HIV-afflicted areas like Soweto. It’s like, wait, they don’t fit into the picture of a beautiful united South Africa? I just figure when people come to Naij as tourists, they still get to see the bad side. Why not the same for South Africa?

    • Tunmi September 20, 2012 at 12:41 am

      exactly, and that word ‘exotic’ irritates me

  • Amber September 19, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    U just oppressed us o ,anywayz u look ‘konkolo’…tot u r one kinda big person.

  • TATA September 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Aww Adeola!!! So exciting to read!! Undoubtedly you had a great time. I think its amazing you went. Hope to see and read about more fascinating adventures! You go Girl!! xoxo
    Y’ll should stop hating jor!

  • Max September 20, 2012 at 4:00 am

    I didn’t found the hotel at http://www.six-star-hotels.com .
    Any reason?

    • B.D September 20, 2012 at 6:46 am

      @Max Google is your friend

  • nino September 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

    hahahahaha at google is your friend….oh gosh u guys are hilarious…
    South Africa, Cape town…one of my fav vacations was there…just didnt want to leave, gorgeous place and ever greater people….

  • kem September 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

    heard so much abot gambia…..cant’t wait oh

  • kem September 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    her dressing so dull tho was expecting different styles with pose since being the only lady…..nice story line sha but better styles next trip…thanks

  • Kgomotso September 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

    @Ready, what segregated townships are you talking about, please enlighten me, and FYI it is pretty ignorant to classify Soweto as an HIV-afflicted area, I live there, I should know. KwaZulu-Natal has the highest infection rate. We do know that we are facing a battle with the HIV-Aids pandemic, just like many countries, but we do not choose to be identified by it.

  • bisoye September 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    kudos to you adeola my name sake,you have done a great job and bout ur dress sense, u kept it simple and nice , u dont have to wear expensive clothes to look glamorous and sure u had a swell time.

  • nike adeyemo September 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Adeola Adeyemo is my sister and am soooooooo proud of her!!! plenty kisses Didi, from me n Max

  • Chiko September 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

    The best place I went to in SA was Soweto hands down! Cant believe they sent you down there and never took you there, such a big shame! Such an amazing township, full of so much history! Food there is amazing too!!

  • mands September 21, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Soweto HIV afflicted? be serious! that is the best township and i must say Adeola; u missed out

  • Openmind September 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Deola, great stuff…the work trumps the dressing some guys quipped so much about..I wish I was going back again with you. Guys give it up for the maestro

  • Post a comment