Man Expeditions did it again. It brought together eighteen guys from all across the globe to a new adventure. This time, the stunning Cape Town was the perfect scenario for the incredible journey we were about to enroll. The excitement of not only discovering the enchantment aura dominating the very last city at the south tip of the African continent, but also to challenge our bodies and limitations, and discover each other as human beings. Eighteen fellas who have never seen each other before had just set themselves on an unforgettable journey. Welcome to South Africa!
Cape Town is the second-most populous urban area in the country after Johannesburg, located at its south coast, known for its mountain chains and breath-taking landscapes which will wow you every step of the way. The “Mother City” was named in 2014 the best place in the world to visit by both the American New York Times and the British Daily Telegraph and all the buzz is 100% justified and fair.
Our check-in started on March 12th, on a sunny and beautiful Monday morning. The first guys to arrive started the day at the swimming pool enjoying a few cocktails while welcoming every newcomer walking into the building. We all stayed in Man Expedition's Villas-Apartment, a perfectly located and very exclusive complex that features stunning views of the sea, high ending architecture, and design with spacious rooms, amenities and a long dining table big enough to serve daily feasts to all of us.
As the excitement of first hellos starts to settle, we all started getting ready to engage in our first adventure of the Southern Africa Expedition, hiking/climbing to the top of Lion's Head Mountain. If you haven't heard about it before, prepare to be in complete awe. And if you have read and seen pictures from it before, ditch everything you know. The Lion's Head Mountain is way more stunning than you can imagine. But, I have to warn you, hiking in Africa is no picnic.
The sun was bright and shinning somewhere around 26 degrees. The weather was just perfect, middle afternoon, with the lighting quite Instagram friendly. We were all heading to the bottom of the mountain where we found the start of the path. Although, Cape Town receives thousands of tourists every month, the path was very well conserved and still quite wild in some stages. The hike upwards demands a good fitness level, body strength and courage to endure the rocky path with narrow gaps and steep climbs. The hike wouldn't have taken more than 40 min if we weren't so distracted by the views. Camera flashes worked non-stop. It was just our first day and social media already had footage for a lifetime.
The physical challenge is real. Ten minutes in our hike and you can feel your body breathless. But it is just impossible to stop. You are surrounded by other eighteen like-minded guys, all with the same objective of discovering something new, braving into a new adventure and opened to do it collectively. The camaraderie we developed in just a few hours together allowed us to push each other to conquer the tortuous Lion's Head hike while getting to know more about each other's personalities and exchanging experiences while sharing countless pictures with each other.
By the time we reached the top, gasping for breath and speechless, the reward came as an overwhelming feeling of conquering the world. Now, it all makes sense. All of sudden, we all realized the amazing journey we have signed up to. Mother Nature was incredibly generous with the “Tavern of The Seas”, providing for its people and lucky tourists the most outstanding views and landscapes. It's impossible not to feel blessed to be experiencing a moment like this. The photos do speak for themselves.
As the hike downwards starts and the exhilarating feeling of accomplishment takes over our bodies, we thought that was the perfect end of our first day. But we were quite wrong, since it wasn't the end just yet. Back to the Villa, right before the traditional South African feast we had planned for our evening, we were invited by our leader Tony Knight to witness the famous African sunset at the beach. And what a treat that was.
Walking towards the beach is like walking towards the sun. At the horizon, right where the sun meets the ocean, the bright star was posing with distinct poise. The sun never looked bigger and more majestic. The mist coming from the ocean brings a mysterious feeling to the sunset and the landscape reminds the first scene in The Lion King’s movie. At the beach, we prepared to take Man Expedition's traditional sunset group and group jumping photos. We all looked silly jumping and laughing between shots, but none of us cared, we were having too much fun. It felt like being a kid at the first day of school again. Most of us have never been to Africa before, so it was quite an accomplishment.
We all left our busy lives to discover new experiences and brave new adventures. Cape Town couldn't have welcomed us in a better way, but the icing on the cake was sharing this experience with new friends, all brought together by Man Expeditions, eager for more exclusive and exciting experiences yet to come. Stay tuned!
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