Safari and Triathlon: Competing with the best Triathletes of the World.
If you are planning a trip to South Africa Ironman triathlon, this is the right place. South Africa was a destination that I believe very distant to visit but suddenly I was embarked towards this wonderful and “wild” place. The reason for this trip was my participation in the Ironman 70.3 World Cup. I was invited to this race because of my sport performance and where we traveled with a large group of Peruvians.
On this trip I visit Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth; a city that I recommend to visit. A city that has a coast with beautiful beaches. It also has several Safaris, such as the Addo Elephant National Park, with an huge variety of wild animals from lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras to wild boars, meerkats, ostriches and tigrillos. This park currently ranks third in size after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. I definitely recommend renting a car so you can visit the Safaris without pressure and in a freer way.
For those who like to run, Port Elizabeth has an incredible coastline with a long boardwalk that motivates any runner. Also for those who like to walk and walk, there is Sun Boardwalk, where there is a good atmosphere, places for shopping and variety of restaurants and bars you can visit.
While it is true the Ironman world championship is changing destination every year, anyway there is the South Africa Ironman every year so I recommend to go on those dates because of the good weather and the atmosphere.
I hope you help them plan your triathlon trip!
The prices that appear per day are referential and correspond to the sum of activities that were made that day
We arrived to Johannesburg in the morning and had several hours until our flight leaves to Port Elizabeth. We took a taxi to Nelson Mandela Square where we were able to walk around the area and see the sculpture of Nelson Mandela and have lunch. Then we took another taxi to the Zoo where we saw many animal species. Then, we returned to the airport to take the plane to Port Elizabeth. We arrived and rented a car and went to the apartment we rented.
We left early to jog on St. Georges Park that was in front of the rented apartment. Then we went to Sun Boardwalk, where the Expo was taking place. In that place, everything revolved around the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and also was the central area where they do the Ironman of South Africa every year. There were several delicious places to eat sushi. We ate at one of them and went to rest. I recommend walking along the beaches and buy handicrafts from the peddlers along the boardwalk.
We left early and drove to SeaView Predator Park, a park basically of lions. You enter through a car ride where we saw some loose animals and then several lions in large cages. There is also a small farm for children. In the afternoon we went driving along the coast of Port Elizabeth and we left the bike in the transition zone. There were the best athletes in the world! Then we went to the apartment to rest; fundamental before a race!
Race day! We arrived at Nelson Mandela Bay before the sun rises. We had a spectacular sunrise (I recommend going to the beach one day to see the sunrise). The swimming start took place in Hobie Beach and then the participants went by bike to the mountains of South Africa. The running is along the main avenue of the coast ending in the Sun Boardwalk area. The atmosphere for the spectators is great!
This day we went to a Safari! We drove to Addo Elephant National Park (40 minutes by car). We toured the park driving quietly and taking photos, it took us about 4 hours, really amazing! The animals are loose and walk next to the car. If you like, you can also take a tour or even sleep because there is a hotel inside the park. At night we went to Richardmond Hill to eat something, there is nice night atmosphere.
We drove to Sun Boardwalk and ran along the boardwalk. We visit more beaches. Then we had lunch at one of the restaurants with a nice beach view and then went to visit the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum which is free. The museum is small, has art from the area and is interesting. The next day in the morning we went to the airport early to end our incredible adventure.
The lodging that is shown in the list of each night is recommended by the traveler, you can find more similar options. The cost is per person in a double bed room.
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The prices that appear by transport are referential and correspond to what the traveler paid at that moment
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It is very recommended to make this trip by car to be able to visit all the places around and be able to do the Safaris without the pressure of times. On this trip it is important because you have to be moving it towards the competition.
I recommend FlySafair as an airline, good planes and departures on time. You have to buy travel insurance and pay for bicycles separately.
Dates: The World Championship changes its destination every year, but anyway there is the South Africa Ironman every year and I recommend going on those dates because of the good weather and the people.
Visa: See if you need a visa because of your nationality here.
Vaccine: You need a yellow fever vaccine (the vaccine lasts 10 years, if you have been vaccinated during this period your certificate could work).
Bicycle: The airline charges a fee for the bicycle depending on the section of the flight and the country where you come from. Normally this rate goes from $ 60 to $ 140 and passes as a sports package. The bicycle has to be packed in a special bicycle suitcase or in a box. I have a Thule brand soft suitcase and my bike is disassembled, once I arrive at the destination I assemble it myself.
Currency: The currency in South Africa is Rand, you can exchange money at the same airport.
Car Rental: When traveling with bicycles it is important to rent a car where you can carry your bicycle. I rented a BMW, the total for 6 days was $ 410 (between 2 people $ 210 per person). In addition to the rental you have to consider for this type of trip $ 90 of gasoline ($ 45 per person), there were no tolls. The car have the steering wheel on the right side of the car and the tracks are the opposite of America and Europe.
Roaming: Check your operator before traveling, my operator is Entel and I have unlimited Whatsapp and Waze when I travel and that is enough for me to communicate and locate me when I drive. If your operator does not have Roaming it is important to buy a SIM Card at the airport.