Grace on Pace

Tag - South Africa

Our 10 Favorite Beaches In The World

Our 10 Favorite Beaches in the World

Our 10 Favorite Beaches

Our 10 Favorite Beaches in the World

Chances are, like us, you love the feel of sand between your toes, sunlight on your face, and the sound of waves crashing.  So, without further ado, here are our favorite beaches in the world…

Favorite Beaches #10. Boulders Beach – Cape Town, South Africa

This beach, with its wind sheltered bays and safe sandy shores, is home to a breeding colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins.

Boulders Beach, South Africa

Favorite Beaches #9. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach – Hawaii Island, USA

Coconut palms fringe the upper edge of sand and you will undoubtedly encounter a large honu, or Hawaiian Green Sea turtles, basking on the beach.

Punalu'u Beach, Hawaii

Favorite Beaches #8. Afantou Beach – Rhodes, Greece

In Greek, ‘afanto’ means ‘invisible’, and in the past the city was strategically placed so that marauding pirates could not see it from the sea.  On the Eastern edge of Afantou, the beach gets its nickname “Grotta a Le Cave,” for its pebble floored hidden caves.

Grotta A le Cave Beach, Rhodes

Favorite Beaches #7. The Calamian Islands, Philippines

The Calamian group of islands is an undiscovered paradise between El Nido and Coron in the Palawan.  The isolated area hides hundreds of white sand beaches with crystal clear water water, thick wild jungle, and coral reefs teeming with life.

The Calamian Islands, Philippines

Favorite Beaches #6. Playa del Amor (Lovers Beach) – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Located right near the famous arched rock formation, Lover’s Beach is one of Cabo’s most famous beaches. Bring a pair of sneaks and hike West through the jagged rocks and you will be rewarded with endless coastline all to yourself.

Lovers Beach, Cabo San Lucas
Favorite Beaches #5.  Mosquito Beach – Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

With its flashy, blonde beaches framed in limestone cliffs and thick jungles, Phi-Phi is the best of the Andaman coast.  In the evening, Beach cabanas turn night clubs, where you can dance between them in the shallow waters til’ sunrise.

Mosquito Beach, Thailand

Favorite Beaches #4. West Bay Beach – Roatan, Honduras

Combining nice powdery white sand, crystal clear warm water, and a very accessible reef, West Bay offers the chance to relax in between spectacular snorkeling among schools of fish, sea turtles, etc.

West Bay Beach, Roatan

Favorite Beaches #3. Fragos (Simos) BeachElafonisos, Greece

A very popular beach with Greeks, its “party”-like atmosphere is perfect for those who like to go to the beach to socialize, but if you prefer more peace and quiet, don’t despair, the more secluded Sarakiniko beach is around the corner.

Simos Beach - Elafonisos, Greece

Favorite Beaches #2. Papakolea (Green Sand) Beach – Hawaii Island, USA

Green sand beaches are very rare, with only four  in the world.  It is a beautiful sight.

Green Sand Beach

Favorite Beaches #1. Red Frog Beach – Bocas Del Toro, Panama

Red Frog Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches readily accessible from mainland Central America and truly a jewel of the Caribbean.  Take a boat to Red Frog, but hike North along the coastline through the jungle to find deserted beaches.  Consider hiking west through the jungle and stay a night on Bastimentos Island away from the hustle of Bocas Town.

Red Frog Beach

Self Drive Southern Africa

Self Drive Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Itinerary – Self Drive Southern Africa

Natural Wonder, Safari, Wine, & Penguins

Four Weeks (February 1st – 26th, 2013)

This self drive Southern Africa trip is for extreme road-trip lovers, but even if you can’t squeeze in all of this 8000 km-plus journey, you’ll come away with an incredible appreciation for this special region.  A rental car (4WD useful but not necessary) is your best bet for this mega road trip.

Capture 1

Using Johannesburg as our gateway, we grabbed our car at the airport and headed north to Francistown, Botswana for the first night of our self drive Southern Africa adventure.  The next day, after a lunch break in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, we rolled into Hwange National Park. After an exciting day on safari, we continued north to one of the great natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls. A visit from both the town of Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) gave a great perspective. From the Zambian side, we crossed the nearby border at Kazungula and headed for Kasane in Botswana, the gateway town to the wildlife-rich Chobe National Park. Here we organized a river cruise along the Chobe River front, and camped along its banks. From Kasane, it was an easy and fun journey along elephant filled highways southwest to Maun and the vast Okavango Delta. Here, we decided on a leisurely makoro (dug-out canoe) trip, past incalculable numbers of birds in this impressive ecosystem. In the morning, we headed west through the central Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and pulled into Windhoek, Namibia, a small but vibrant capital city, early that evening. After a modern morning, we again headed out into the desolation and pulled into Sossusvlei that evening, in time to hike the dunes for a magnificent sunset.

Capture 2

After a second dune summit in the morning, we continued south, headed for Hobas to see Fish River Canyon National Park, one of the continent’s great natural wonders. Ai-Ais Hot Springs soothed our aching bones in the morning, before our long trek south to Cape Town, for two days of Table Mountain, penguins, and the picturesque Cape Floral Kingdom. As we entered the fertile wine lands and the hip town of Stellenbosch, tearing ourselves away from this wonderful city felt a bit better. With a little buzz, we journeyed along the Garden Route and scenic Route 2 before landing in Knysna for the evening. After a travel day and layover in Bloemfontein, we entered the Kingdom of Lesotho and made our may to Semonkong to give the world’s highest abseil a try. After two days in the valley, we made our way over the Drakensberg Range before a stop for the night in Ladysmith.

Capture 3

We made our way to brilliant Mkhaya Game Reserve, noted for its black rhinos, for evening and morning safaris. After lunch in Mbabane and a quick drive through Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, we entered the world-renowned Kruger National Park (Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park) at Malelane Gate, for three days of mesmerizing encounters with the big five. We ducked out of Orpen Gate and made our way to Blyde River Canyon and the awe-inspiring natural sights of Three Rondavels and Gods Window, before landing in Graskop for our last overnight on our self drive Southern Africa journey.  In the morning, we made the short trip back to Johannesburg completely exhausted and changed forever.

Budget = $3,400 / Person (Traveling with Four People)
Flight - New York to Johannesburg$3400
Car - Rental, Fuel, Border Crossing Paperwork$3400
Lodging - Camp Sites, Hostels, Hotels$3400
Activities - Entrance Fees, Bungee, Abseil, Bars, etc.$3400
Don’t Forget
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination
  • Small Tent (Will save $$$ in National Parks)
  • DSLR Camera w/ Zoom Lens
  • Binoculars
  • Something for long car rides