the fun photographer

Dani Leigh 

Dani leigh

the fun photographer



Welcome to your fun place on the interwebs; a place to waste time at work looking at your friend's pretty wedding and family pictures and getting to know the gal behind the lens. Go ahead and grab that second cup of coffee! You'll be here awhile!

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Cape Town, South Africa

Oct 29, 2013

Catch up on Part 1 of the African Adventure!

I always feel bad for part two of vacations. I feel like I never give them enough credit and I blog them second and don’t spend as much time on them because I have forgotten half of the things I have wanted to say. But I don’t really feel bad for Cape Town, because, I remember everything and it was awesome. After a leisurely morning on the safari, joking with our guide and asking him everything we needed to know about shark diving, we took a 3 hour car ride back to the airport and flew to Cape Town. I will be honest and say that I cried on the airplane because I really never wanted to leave the safari. Seriously. I have major problems. Like used my free wifi at the hotel to look for safari vacation homes. Which might totally happen one day. We got there in the early evening, checked in and was told that the shark diving excursion for the very next day was going to be picking us up at 4am. What???? 4am?????? Good lord. We decided it we would be a hang around the hotel type night despite the fact that I had a ton of great restaurant recommendations from one of my awesome brides. So we watched the sunset from the sunset bar restaurant and then grabbed a drink at the bar before I called it a night.

So no lie, the very next morning, at 4am, the guy was chilling in the lobby of our hotel waiting for us. It took about two hours to get to Hermanus where we signed every waiver known to man at the Great Shark Projects and were briefed on what we were going to experience. I was terrified to say the least. And my stomach already was in knots, the waves on this tiny boat with way too many people on it, did not help matters. I got sea sick as well as multiple other people on the boat. I didn’t listen to our safari guides first instruction on make sure you are in the first group because I was too busy vomiting on the very sharks I was about to hop in a cage to see. The funny thing is, as I was throwing up, I was talking to one of the guides about how I felt bad I was throwing up when there were people in the water. He told me not to worry, what we are pumping into the water is way worse, chum is way more disgusting than your vomit. Comforting. They say that sometimes they wait hours for the sharks to come to the boat. We were lucky and they came within about 10 minutes.

Brett and Frank getting into the cage. Brett was in there for a good hour.

Selfie in the cage. Ha…

So, was it scary? Big fat no. In fact, I would do it again in a second. Especially on a clearer day. There was absolutely nothing to be scared of. I knew I was in the hands of competent people who have done this thousands of times. They give you all the instructions you need, even make you practice. The crap you see on shark week is when things go 100% wrong and they aren’t diving with the appropriate gear for what sharks they are going to see. Speaking of which – what kind of sharks were these? We saw 9 different great white sharks. One of them even was tagged with its own camera so I might be on video! Woot woot! They are thousands of lbs sometimes so the guides will make sure you are not holding your hands on the wrong bar because if they smash up against the cage, which one did, you would break every single one of your fingers. They also spoke a bunch about how we are not on the sharks must eat list. They said if there were, there would be far less humans in the world. So, if you go to South Africa, definitely go shark diving. And definitely check out the White Shark Projects. They were great.

We had to drop another couple off in downtown Hermanus. Hermanus is a huge whale watching town.

In fact, in this photo below, there are two whales. I could spot them while I was there, but they are not visible in this photo. It was a pretty cool town and I was glad we had a few minutes to walk around before going back to our hotel.ย 

The next day we had planned to go to Boulder Beach to see the penguins!! They make a donkey like sound so people call them Jackass Penguins. It is their mating call and these lovebirds only have one mate for their whole lives. I heart them. It was cute to watch this one penguin chase all the other penguins all around. Like he was legit trying to find someone to love him. It was so out of place to see penguins on a beach. But it was awesome. I wish we had gone when it was warmer because just a couple of blocks down is the public beach and penguins have no problem just swimming with you in the water. Next time!

The second stop for the day was the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. We did a lot of walking and it was insanely windy but it was totally worth it for the views.

So far from home!

I am so glad I got to travel with these crazy boys.

Seriously, I cannot talk about how my hair was crazy every single day I was in Africa. It never looked right. It was always windy and my hair was forever knotty. Blah. Bring hats if you go in August.

Ostriches, baboons, driving on the opposite side. No biggie. I got this.

It rained the next day and the next day which was a real bummer. We had heard that the aquarium was pretty good so we decided to check it out. I think we are spoiled because we live by the greatest aquarium ever, so while this was a nice aquarium with some cool things, ours is way better.

That evening we had signed up to go to a brew tour. It was absolutely awesome. Beer was in Africa before wine and we are all beer lovers so we decided this was the tour for us. We started at Newlands Brewery which was so cool – with great beers. We were the only ones on the tour with another couple and the other couple had happened to work for that company and were required for view the factory. It was cool chatting with them afterwards so much so that I had sorta wished we had more time to talk with them.

The second place we went was Banana Jam Cafe. Sounded totally crazy but when we went in and realized this guy was a crazy craft beer addict we knew we were in good hands. He talked a lot about the craft beer movement in Cape Town and how hard it is to get some of these really good American beers over seas. Also, their residents are only just starting to get into likely craft beers. Everyone drinks the generic stuff. I promised him I would work on Flying Dog for him because he went on about how awesome they were, rightfully so, even saying that he likes their beer better than Dogfish! He was great. And I really hope Flying Dog continues to send him some good brews, because it would be awesome to see that over there when I go back!!

This was our awesome tour guide, Massimo. He was Italian. I’m sad I don’t have photos of the last place we went. It was someone’s home and we got to drink their traditional beer that they make at home. It was basically our gluten free beer. He spoke with the clicks in his dialect and everything. And I bought his trumpet cd. He played for us. It was really, really cool. I also really liked seeing a traditional home in one of the shanty towns. Definitely incredible to see.

The last day we went to table mountain. Because of the poor visibility on the top of the mountain, they recommended taking the cable car up. So we did. It was clear for about 2 minutes when we got to the top and then the mountain was covered with clouds also known as the table cloth. How awesome is that? It was still really cool to walk around up there. We were following a trail at one point, got really turned around because we were in a cloud and it was essentially a giant maze. But we knew we would figure it out. It was one of the only points of the trip where I had wished I brought more under armor with me. It was so cold!

Afterwards we decided to head into the Camps Bay area for lunch. We ate at this restaurant that had decent food but the real problem was that the same song kept playing in a loop! THE ENTIRE TIME WE WERE THERE. I am 100% positive one of my brothers will remember the song for me but I cannot. Thankfully. But it was legit stuck in my head the rest of the day. Zero fun.

Afterwards we walked down to the water and took some photos of the scenery. So beautiful.

Since that was our last outing, we went back to the hotel to start prepping for our flight the next day. We stayed at the Peninsula All Suites Hotel in Sea Point Cape Town and had rented a car to get to our points of interests we wanted to see. I would highly recommend Sea Point if for nothing else other than all of the amazing restaurants we went to. Everything was crazy delicious. Some of the best food I have ever had in my entire life. When you stay in City Centre, you definitely get more of a touristy feel, with the waterfront and such, which is fine if that is what you like, but I like hanging where the locals go and that is what I felt like Sea Point was like.

After packing up, we decided to check out this one restaurant that Brett had found before coming. I think it was the meat lovers highlight to Cape Town. Definitely worth checking out. We were the only people there but on a weekend night, that place is apparently jam packed and is party central. It was really neat.

And then we went home. So sad. Can’t wait to go back!!!


comments +

  1. Emilia Jane

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    OMG PENGUINS!!!!!! They are so cute

  2. Kelly Ewell

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    AHHHH I am soooo jealous! South Africa is a the TOP of my list of places to go. Plus those penguins are just so flippin’ cute!

  3. Urลกka Majer

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:33 am

    This looks like such an amazing trip! Love the penguin photos! Sooooo cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Jaime

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Could your life be any more amazing?!

  5. Natalie

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    What an absolutely incredible place! Wow!

  6. Lauren C

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Dude….that pic of the shark guy feeding the gull off the side of the boat is boss. And the penguins!! Don’t get me started on the penguins. You got so many good shots of Frank…I love them all! Especially the horizontal one at table mountain ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. ashley barnett

    October 29th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    GAH this makes me SO JEALOUS! Cape Town is definitely on my top 5 list of places to visit in the world!

  8. Jenn Cafferty-Davis

    October 29th, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Did you manage to bring a penguin home?!!!! Looks like so much fun, despite the wind. Is August technically their “winter” time? I guess I’m one of those people who thinks Africa would be so hot in August.

  9. Becca

    October 29th, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Ugh! So jealous!!! I want to go there and bring a couple of those penguins home to be play buddies with my corgis!

  10. Sarah

    October 29th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    all I have to say is “YAY”!! and I bookmarked this page ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Brea

    October 29th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Okay, so I wasn’t really expecting to be into this post because how could this possibly top the Safari?? Well, obviously it didn’t, but it still looks seriously amazing! The shark diving thing seems so cool and I love that it wasn’t at all scary. I had no idea that sharks weighed that much though, yikes!

    You have seriously inspired me to take an amazing trip next year!

  12. katie

    October 29th, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    This is the BEST “part II” I have ever seen. I’ve never been interesting in South Africa but your trip looks INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!

  13. Laura

    October 29th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Wow this trip looks amazing! Love all the penquin shots, beautiful scenic views, and the shark trip was so cool!

  14. Michael & Carina Photography

    October 29th, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    One word: EPIC.

  15. Victoria

    October 29th, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I can’t get over how happy you look in every single picture! And those handsome boys! And I feel like I was on the edge on my seat during the shark diving part … like, is she going to make it?! Uh, duh! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. tPoz

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I was legit holding my breath reading about the shark diving – I was anxious for you!! Now screw swimming with the dolphins – I want to swim with penguins!!! they are so stinking cute!! the guys look WAY excited about that plate of meat!! love it!! amazing recap = super jealous!!!

  17. Sharon Winer

    October 30th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    WOW! Part II was actually my favorite! The best seascape and people pics ever…and I loved the penguins! The shots of you and your guys on the rocks are just beautiful! And your narration makes it all the better!

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|  Photos by Dani Leigh photography