Victoria Falls as a Wheelchair User

Victoria Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world and is one of the 7 natural wonders. It borders the African countries of  Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We saw the waterfall from the Zimbabwe side and the good news is, that from this vantage point, it is pretty much accessible. A driver picked us up from our accomodation and took us to the entrance of Victoria Falls National Park.  From the main entrance there is a pathway that takes you along the Zimbabwe side of the gorge, where you can see the falls from a variety of different vantage points.

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Accessible Cape Town Part II

Below please find Part II of accessible Cape Town. You can find Part I here.

Cape Point:  Where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Cape Point is located in a beautiful national park and a drive around is recommended. Once in the park, you follow signs to Cape Point and at the bottom there is carpark and from there you can get up to the point.  There are two options to get up to the top. The first is a very steep hill which even though there are no steps I would not recommend it. Alternatively there is a wheelchair accessible funicular.

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Accessible Capetown Part I

Capetown is one of my favourite cities in the world. I was born here and so come back often. The best way to get around Cape Town is by car, as there are so many amazing places to visit outside the city centre. However the city Sightseeing bus is wheelchair accessible and does offer tours around the peninsula and out to Cape Point – but nothing beat the flexibility of your own car. Below I have listed my favourite wheelchair accessible activities and tourist attractions

Table Mountain – I’m going to start with Table Mountain because, that is  the number one tourist attraction. Its an unforgettable part of Cape Town’s skyline and as you drive around, it can be seen from every angle.

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South African Road Trip – Ostrich farms and shark cage diving

Place:  Oudtshoorn – Barrydale  Accomodation: Karoo Art Hotel  Time Spent:  1 night

From Wilderness we headed inland into the desert of little Karoo. The drive up over into the dessert was absolutely breathtaking. Our first stop was Oudtshoorn which became very wealthy in the late 1800’s to early 1900s due to the sale of Ostrich feathers. Today the demand for Ostrich feathers isn’t that high, however Ostrich farms and farm tours bring in a lot of tourists.

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South African Road trip – Storms River and Wilderness

Place:  Storms River  Accomodation: Tube n Axe Lodge Backpackers  Time Spent:  1 night

Storms River is a small little town allows access to the famous Tsitsikama National Park and is from where you can sign up for many activities such as canyoning, blackwater tubing, tree top ziplining,  hiking and the infamous Bloukrans bungy (the highest bungy jump in the world).

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South African road trip- Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay

Place: Port Elizabeth     Accomodation: Island Vibe Beach House   Time spent: 1 night

I flew into Port Elizabeth early in the morning and spent the whole day and the night. There is not much to do at Port Elizabeth. It an industrial town and the town centre has a lot of industry and factories. The hostel is nice and near the beach and you can also walk to the casino/waterfront/pier area which has some shops and restaurants. The pier and casino/ waterfront area is all accessible.

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A South African Road Trip – The Logistics

My plan after landing in South Africa was to spend the next 8 days travelling down South Africa’s Eastern Coast from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.

How I got around: I landed into Johannesburg, after loosing a day due to delayed flights. The good thing about Johannesburg airport is, as a person with a disability you get an assigned ‘helper’, so while I was running around trying to sort out my flights, my helper was following me around with my bags. After sorting everything out I then caught a plane to Port Elizabeth to commence my road trip.

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Bath

I was meant to spend 2 whole days in Bath. One catching up with an old friend and another day exploring the old town. However instead of spending my Sunday in Bath it was spent in Dublin airport waiting for my flight, due to an earlier weather cancellation. By the time I got to bath the Sunday was pretty much over.

I flew into Bristol and from Bristol you can get a bus that takes you to Bath. The bus company I used was Air Decker . It is supposed to have an accessible ramp, however because I was having such a great day (sarcasm intended), the ramp didn’t work. The bus driver was also incredibly unhelpful and so some lovely passengers carried me on.

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Dublin

After traipsing around the European continent I started wrapping up my journey by going to Dublin. I spent 5 nights in Dublin staying with family friends and had a great time

Accomodation: I ended up staying with some good family friends in Malahide, which is a cute coastal town about 40min outside of Dublin. There is a Generator hostel in the centre of Dublin  near Temple Bar. I had a good strike rate with Generator Hostels on my travels and found most of them accessible. I am sure they would be more than happy to answer any questions about accessibility. You can find them here

Transport: As I was staying with friends I mainly got around in their car. However I did catch a train from Malahide into Dublin and while in Dublin I caught a bus. Both were reasonably accessible. On the train I organised a ramp off and on the train which was easy enough to do with the station staff. The bus had a fold down ramp. However because I caught the bus on a weekend it was full and hard to find a spot. This website has information on accessible transport and links to the individual bus and train websites https://www.transportforireland.ie/accessible-travel/

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Wheelchair Friendly Milan

I went to Milan as I was going to Dublin next and Milan is where my plane ticket was booked from. Milan is interesting and has a lot more to offer if you look a little deeper. However It is a big city lacking a bit of Italian charm that you find in the smaller Italian towns.

Accomodation: I stayed at Ostello Bello Milan . It was probably the best hostel I stayed at, the only reason being is that I got heaps of free food. Breakfast AND dinner was included. Plus the kitchen had a range of snacks on offer. In terms of accessibility Ostello Bello had one large hostel room with a really good accessible bathroom. The lift access to the room and the rest of the hostel was also great. The only problem was there was a massive step to get into the hostel.  I had to stand  (sit) outside and a ring a buzzer for quite a while until someone came and helped me. After I explained this massive foresight in their design they were very apologetic but also didn’t do anything about it

Transport: Because the was hostel pretty much in the centre of Milan I didn’t really need to catch much transport. However on the second day I did go to Verona and to get there I had to catch a train from my hostel to the central station then a train from the central station to Milan. The train stations were all very well sign posted and the people friendly. Finding lift access down to the station was the only difficult part . On the platform the step into the train was low so you could get into the train without a ramp.

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