• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

10 attractions that will have you packing your bags for the Upper Karoo

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For many the Karoo is a great expanse of (dry) land somewhere in the middle of South Africa. Just where this place of great heat and frosts, with an annual rainfall of next to nothing, starts and ends is a mystery, expounded by the impression that its extent is unknown (although we estimate it as nearly 400 000 square kilometres).

We have rather a romantic notion about its limitless skies, Marino sheep, succulents, windmills and little hillocks. Rightly so, as it is unusually beautiful. Some of us speak with longing of retiring to a town in said expanse of land, to fritter away our days running fish ‘n chips shops, or little coffee cum bookshops. Others actually do this… Continued

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Exceptional Bakery and Deli is popular with the local crowd

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I’ve discovered somewhere that is fast becoming my favourite coffee spot. Located in the village of Umhlali, The Exceptional Bakery and Deli has only been open for six short weeks but is quickly gaining popularity with the local crowd.

What makes this venue so attractive is its premises … slap bang in the middle of the Karibu Nursery! There are a number of tables on a raised and covered deck area which overlooks the majority of the nursery area and there is certainly something tranquil about sipping a cup of Illy coffee while gazing out over rows of bobbing Agapanthus or bright daisies… Continued

Friday, 21 November 2014

7 tips to cut the cost of your next holiday

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It is a challenge not to spend a lot of money when on holiday. If you typically spend more on holidays than you budget for, then you’re not alone.

We’ve put our heads together to come up with a list of ways to spend less on your next holiday, without having to sleep on your friend’s couch or stay in a relative’s guest bedroom.

Here are 7 tips to cut the cost of your next holiday: Continued

Thursday, 20 November 2014

8 favourite South African writers, for your Christmas stocking

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I first connected with South African fiction when I read Etienne van Heerden’s The Long Silence of Mario Salviati, and was hooked. If you consider it was 2002, it took me rather a long time to get there.

Since then I’ve read much and often.

Here is a list of my 8 favourite South African writers, in no particular order. Any of their books make great holiday reads, or gifts… Continued

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The ultimate checklist: Remote places to stay to survive Christmas

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A friend of mine recently emailed with a request. She needed a remote hideaway for her family, who want to escape the Christmas festivities; get away from it all to reconnect with what really matters – nature, their children and stillness.

And it is only fair to share. Here are 12 remote places to stay in South Africa where you can survive Christmas. Enjoy! Continued

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

To market, to market – the top 10 Christmas markets in Cape Town

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I’ve obviously left my Christmas market shopping a little late as I’ve missed both the Constantia Gift Fair (this weekend past), and Kamers vol Geskenke.

The good news: there are still plenty of Christmas markets to choose from (despite the fact that Kamers must be one of the best markets ever, and I missed out on a bumper edition of creativity and variety!). Continued

Monday, 10 November 2014

Durban Botanic Gardens Music at the Lake

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When I used to live in Cape Town, one of my favorite things to do during the summer months was to pack a picnic and, with tickets in hand, head to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a Sunday concert.

The Durban Botanic Gardens have not disappointed, with the Old Mutual Music at the Lake series currently taking place. The concerts take place throughout the year and are centered around the beautiful lake in the gardens. There are approximately 5000 tickets per performance with different pricing options depending on how close to the stage one would like to sit… Continued

Thursday, 6 November 2014

8 most underrated Destinations in South Africa

posted to: Attractions
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Every visitor to South Africa does Table Mountain, the Kruger National Park, Cape Point, the V&A Waterfront, the Drakensberg, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve, the Garden Route, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the Cradle of Humankind, and Sun City.

But cast your eye down this list and you’ll find 8 equally stunning and hugely underrated destinations in South Africa, all worthy of a visit… Continued

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Words of wisdom: 20 of the greatest quotes by South Africans (including a selection by Mandela)

posted to: Miscellaneous
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“I am an African.

I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land”

 

And whilst I would love to claim the above lines as mine they are, instead, those of a supreme orator, taken from one of the world’s most famous speeches ~ Thabo Mbeki’s I am an African.

Inspired by the incredible country in which they live, and the miraculous history from which they come, South Africans produce words of wisdom to inspire.

For those wanting motivation to visit our shores, cast your eye downwards… Continued

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cape Dutch architecture – 8 best spots to Gawp at Gables

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Think Cape Dutch architecture and one immediately calls to mind the style’s most distinctive feature: the central gable. But gables are not anything new, you might argue, what’s the big deal? – European architecture is full of examples. But at the Cape, gables are different.

Rather than lying at the end of a house, as they do in Amsterdam and elsewhere in Europe, they are set right in the middle of the façade over the front door. They’re even given an appealing name for this reason – the central dormer gable. Over time this gable, the work of skilled Malay craftsment, was to become something of a status symbol – the larger and more ornate, the wealthier the settler. Continued

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spring Into The Stihl Open Gardens

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Every spring marks the return of the Stihl Open Gardens which take place in the town of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. Gardeners are kind enough to open their beautiful gardens to the public and are delighted to share their gardening tips and secrets!

Although some of the gardens were only open for a few weekends in October and have already closed, there are still a number that are open during weekends in November and December. Continued

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Karoo Farmstays – we share 8 of the best with you

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The impression we hold of the Karoo has romance at its heart: dirt roads, windmills, sunsets that look as though someone has thrown claret on a canvas, big sky and mountain passes.

The semi-desert region known as the Karoo is inspiring. Despite its droughts and extreme climate, it is a space in which to unwind, slow and retreat from the world.

We share 8 of the best Karoo farmstays with you… Continued

Friday, 24 October 2014

South Africa’s elusive aardvark – 7 places to see it

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The aardvark. The only surviving member of the prehistoric species Tubulidentata.  It looks like a rabbit crossed with a piglet and a kangaroo, and is sometimes called an African antbear, or a Cape anteater.  Actually, its name comes from the Afrikaans meaning ‘earth pig’ or ‘ground pig’, due in no small part to its habit of burrowing under the ground to avoid the heat of the day (they only come out at night).

Despite its name, the aardvark is not even vaguely related to the pig, nor the South American anteater, despite looking fairly similar (only smaller). In fact, its closest living relatives are elephant shrews, dassies, elephants and tenrecs (a Madagascan animal that resembles a hedgehog, shrew or mouse).

So, if you’ve managed to spot an aardvark in your life time, I’m impressed… Continued

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Dining at Hamiltons Restaurant in Malelane

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of dining not once, but twice in the same day at the superb Hamiltons Restaurant in Malelane. Located just outside the well known Leopard Creek Golf Estate and named after Stevenson Hamilton, the first Kruger National Park ranger, Hamiltons offers good quality food prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

Originally a trading store and now a family run restaurant Hamiltons is a firm favourite with both locals and visitors alike… Continued

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

10 favourite MTB trails in South Africa (the thrills and spills of our top outdoor trails)

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I recently heard South Africa described as the ‘deep south’ of the MTB (mountain bike) community.

If you consider the MTB scene in South Africa is hotting up, this description fits.  The country is full of exceptional mountain bike trails in areas that manage to combine gobsmacking scenery with a healthy ride and a good dose of tourist attractions.  So when things freeze over in the northern hemisphere, a trip down south sounds all the more appealing with bike trails added to the mix.

You don’t have to be hard core either. Many trails lend themselves to families and holiday riders.

It wasn’t difficult to come up with a list of favourites. Whilst I’m not a biker, I do have friends for whom time in the saddle is tantamount to meditation… Continued