When I first saw Aušra's travel pictures, I thought is this even real? South Africa has been my dream destination for a few years now, because of its own extraordinary beauty and wild nature. Aušra, together with her husband Ignas and their children Vincentas (3.5yrs) & Jurgis (11months) lived there for 1.5 months. Let's dive into their amazing, perfect in all ways travel story.
"We heard that South Africa leaves everyone mesmerized. We were looking for a country, which would be different, interesting and big enough to travel around", - said Aušra. Besides, its a country full of animals, their son Vincent is a big fan of them. "We wanted to give him a closer look to his toys in real life", - says Aušra.
In general, South Africa is a very developed country. Prices of food, petrol or housing are very similar to those in Lithuania. Prices of flights were 700-800€ per person. The family started off in Vilnius, took connections in Helsinki, then Qatar and finally landed Cape Town.
When I asked Aušra whether it was hard to travel with two kids, she responded that it all depends on how you think about it. "We knew from the beginning that it is going to be a family holiday, with slower pace, overlooking each piece of grass on your way", - smiled Aušra.
"This trip was utopian", - said Aušra. One of the advantages - local people are really interesting, some of them became really close friends, whom they keep in touch until now. In addition, the beauty of nature is extraordinary. Weather was perfect in all ways (it was autumn during their stay). They lived in really interesting places with amazing views and wild animals. Often, their family were the only ones in the area they stayed with noone around. "It felt, that Africa belongs to us", - said Aušra.
To travel around the country, family rented a car - very old but beautiful Mercedes. After traveling longer distance, they settled for 4-5 nights. "That is how we were able to make ourselves comfortable at that place", - said Aušra. The best advantage of slow traveling was that the whole trip consisted of many smaller trips.
Every new living place was distinctive. "I was looking for apartments or locations, which would have their own interesting story", - said Aušra. Once they stayed at an apartment, which was made out of an old train station. Other times, they had breakfast with dolphins, which were jumping from the ocean nearly in their garden, lived on amazing farms with antique manors, which Vincent would call "castles"...
For their own comfort, family rented apartments in order to have a garden and a kitchen for breakfast. Airbnb is their favourite choice, since they like to have contact with local people, prepare dinner with them, listen to their stories and in that way get to know the country. "Through Airbnb you can find places, where no hotels are being built - unique, beautiful and very authentic", - says Aušra.
There are a lot of memories from this trip. Every stop that they made have its own story. Unique, unrepeatable. For that reason, Aušra started writing a travel diary on Instagram. Not only because she wanted to tell the story to everyone, but because she wants to remember everything herself. All those evening walks with giraffes, hiking on really dangerous rocks with children in hands, conversations and their stay at one of the most famous PAR chef Nicky Gibbs' house and many other things.
Aušra would definitely recommend South Africa to others traveling with kids. 100%. It is a safe, interesting, very well developed country. "I can boldly say that it was the best trip of my life so far", - said Aušra.
Pictures speak louder than words, but I can also say that this story has been the most beautiful travel story on our blog so far! Thank you Aušra!