As a youngster, my parents would often treat my brother and I to a toasted sandwich and a milkshake at The Press Club on our monthly jaunts into Durban from our home in Zululand. Located in the centre of town, I thought it was the coolest place ever; with its newsprint wallpaper I entertained romantic notions of becoming a journalist and memories of this little coffee shop have remained with me since the mid ‘80’s. Continued
Anyone watching Miss Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson at the window overlooking Florence, in the film based on the novel by EM Forster, will agree that the phrase ‘room with a view’ changed forever.
The sumptuousness of the film, and the quintessentially British account of romance, intrigue and beauty, resulted in the phrase’s association with far more than the view alone.
In keeping with this idea that a room with a view is about all things romantic, we have handpicked a selection of rooms with views throughout South Africa.
It might not be Florence, but you won’t be disappointed… Continued
Where to go when you do not want to leave your pooch behind? There are plenty of venues across the country that welcome pets.
Here are some of our favourites. Unless otherwise stated, all dogs are welcome by prior arrangement…
Aloe Cottage, Darling
A romantic getaway in Darling, this little cottage looks out over rolling hills and farmlands to distant mountains. It is set on an indigenous renosterveld estate, designed for privacy, although restaurants, shops and galleries are but three minutes’ drive away. Unwind in the peaceful country atmosphere, or walk on nearby trails. Continued
Visual art in public spaces can be big or small. It can loom overhead, forcing you to squint into the sun to see it, or it can scream for attention from beneath your feet on the pavement. There are no rules about how it must look, what medium it should use, or what shape it should take.
What it must do is play with expectation, heighten awareness, spark debate, shift the way you think, celebrate imagination, and make art accessible to everyone. In Johannesburg much of the city’s public art is concentrated in the Newtown Cultural Precinct. Continued
The Cheetah: fastest land animal on earth over short distances; can reach a speed of 120 kilometres an hour; measures two metres from the snout to the end of its tail; weighs between 40 – 60kgs; is the only cat with semi-retractable claws, and has a spotted coat.
Cheetah are listed as Vulnerable, and Critically Endangered in North Africa and Asia.
Cheetahs prefer open plains where they run down their prey, but they can function as well in savanna woodland. They no longer occur in almost 80 percent of their historic range in Africa, although they have been reintroduced in about 38 reserves in South Africa. However, their populations are small and isolated… Continued
Craft beer – the kind brewed using artisan methods, no chemicals or artificial additives, usually in microbreweries with savvy names like Three Skulls, Triggerfish, or Porcupine Quill – is now firmly favoured by foodies around the country. Craft beer is beer that is not brewed by any of the mega-brewery guys – the SABs of this world. Usually the brewers are small, independent and traditional. The result is: good beer.
The craft beer industry in South Africa is at once small, yet growing. Small, because everyone in the industry knows everyone else – in some cases brewers are even friends. Growing because in 2013 alone around 20 breweries opened, according to the Craft Beer Project. Continued
Autumn – the secret season. A time of year that, in South Africa, stretches across March, April and into May, marked by cooler mornings and evenings.
Dried, crisp, brown leaves litter kerbsides, roads and gardens – blown by the wind or the insistent whine of garden leaf blowers. The presence of vivid colour that marks autumn elsewhere in the world – the reds and ochre of deciduous trees – is not as prevalent here; the season’s passing not as marked. Continued
Cape Town, back then, was known as ‘The Tavern of the Seas’ and the first European settlement of what was then called the Cape of Good Hope began with this garden. Continued
Chasing the sun is something we think of doing only when it begins going through the motions of packing up and leaving. Around this time of year. Whilst the last few months have had even swimming pool devotees shade hopping and water slugging, the slight shift in weather manages to catch us off balance and a last bid for the sun-kissed break we missed over Christmas is crucial for the easter break.
Chasing the sun in South Africa is never difficult – most parts of the country it never leaves. We’ve come up with a combination of beach-side, river-side and inland sunshine destinations where the sun is almost guaranteed to put in a daily appearance… Continued
As part of my adventure holiday prize from a competition I won at the Cape Getaway Show, was a day at Acrobranch which lies between Sedgefield and Wilderness. I had no idea what to expect, I only knew there was a zip line and tarzan swing involved. We arrived at the Timberlake Organic Village and made our way through the very gorgeous outdoor village which consisted of log cabins with unique and interesting shops, restaurants, children’s play area and at the very end, Acrobranch. Continued
The African elephant, the world’s largest terrestrial animal, is under threat…
Scientists revealed in 2013 that we have overestimated the number of elephants that remain in the wild; that we lost 62 percent of African forest elephants between 2002 and 2011, and that the forest elephant population is now less than 10 percent of its potential size. Admittedly the elephants of South Africa are not forest elephants. These are found mainly in equatorial forests in central and western Africa. Continued
Included in an adventure holiday that my boyfriend and I were fortunate enough to win, was dinner at Oysters R Us. We were staying in Sedgefield and after taking a drive to the Wilderness to explore we stopped in at Oysters R Us. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive at first; the thought of sinking my teeth into live oysters didn’t have much appeal. My thought process when we walked in was that I would try at least one and my boyfriend could have the rest. Continued
The famous Baviaanskloof Hartland Hike is nestled between the Baviaanskloof and Kouga mountain ranges, and showcases some of the best vistas and landscapes of both. This part of the Eastern Cape Province is unique for its natural beauty, fauna, flora and people. The Hartland Hike allows visitors to experience the pristine splendour of the region over the course of six days, as they ascend rock faces, and descend into lush valleys.
You will cover an average of 12 kilometres per day. Some of this is on the main road, while other parts take hikers through rugged countryside that is either privately owned or part of the Parks Board. Many of the places that you will see are completely secluded, even isolated, showcasing only the untouched natural landscapes of a country that is famed for its splendour and abundance. Continued
A recent trip to Sedgefield allowed me the opportunity to go tandem paragliding in one of the top 10 paragliding sites in the world. Fly Time paragliding are by far the most professional and friendly paragliding company I have ever come across and I will be sure to use them on my next paragliding experience. There is nothing quite like the feeling of standing on top of a high hill, getting geared up and ready for take off with the most spectacular views before you. Continued
For couples that want to combine spectacular beauty, classic elegance and an undeniable vibe to celebrate their special wedding day, South Africa is the destination of choice. It is (and has been) an increasingly popular holiday and honeymoon destination. More than this, though, South Africa is ideal for the wedding ceremony and reception too.