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The Cobbit of McGregor
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The Cobbit of McGregor

We find the house via a combination of directions from McGregor's locals and the ability to follow our noses once we have the rather obvious house in sight – there are not many homes in McGregor that look quite like it. Outside is a sign – cobbits cottage. It's an apt description of what stands before us, built completely out of earth and serving as MAT's headquarters. Jill is larger than life. She would have to be. After building her own house out of cob she is the walking epitome of what it is to live sustainably, off grid - no link-up with Eskom at all - perched on the edge of McGregor w...
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Family Getaways – Great ideas for a family holiday in South Africa
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Family Getaways – Great ideas for a family holiday in South Africa

Waiting for holidays to simply 'happen' when you have children is tantamount to expecting your fairy godmother to make an appearance, wings and wand intact. The chances are that the holiday, unless other children and a ream of activities are 'on tap', could go horribly pear-shaped and find you in the starring role of circus ringmaster responsible for a list of children's entertainment.  If you want 'down time' then a little planning doesn't go amiss. There are several child-friendly venues in South Africa that cater for exactly this. Whilst not everyone's idea of a holiday is getting cozy w...
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Hebron – an oasis at the pinnacle of the Piekenierskloof Pass
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Hebron – an oasis at the pinnacle of the Piekenierskloof Pass

There is something about travelling that brings with it an element of the mundane. I'm talking about that glazed eyes feeling one begins to emit after an hour or two in the car so that even when faced with the incredible beauty of a pass like the Piekenierskloof, which marks the entrance to the Cederberg and Olifants River Valley (isn't it slightly freaky the way the river flows the wrong way?), and which wends its way down to the town of Citrusdal, you remain slightly impervious. To call the Piekenierskloof Pass, which links Piketberg with Citrusdal on the N7, stunning is to do it a disser...
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Luxurious L’ermitage in Franschhoek
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Luxurious L’ermitage in Franschhoek

I don’t often get the opportunity to enjoy five star treatment, but a night at “The Hermitage” in Franschhoek was a stay to be remembered. L’ermitage is exactly that, a retreat in the heart of the Franschhoek valley. The Franschhoek  mountains form the backdrop to this beautifully located chateau and villas. Our unit overlooked a quaint little dam, overshadowed by the majestic mountain range, and a chorus of bird song and duck harmony greeted our sunset and sunrise respectively. Increasingly popular in the hotel context seems to be the self catering unit, with the option to indulge in t...
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Aasvoëlkrans – more than a touch of whimsy in Montagu
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Aasvoëlkrans – more than a touch of whimsy in Montagu

Let me let you into a secret. Pretty Aasvoëlkrans is really worth your rand. To say that you are  spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in Montagu is an understatement. There is so much to choose from that it can get a little confusing. But if you're after a little bit of luxury, with a huge dollop of contrariness, individuality and personality, then this country setting B&B is for you. I have not been exposed to something quite as original as Aasvoëlkrans before. Set on an Arabian stud farm just outside town - Church Street is a mere 10 minutes walk from here - the accommoda...
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The Drakensberg Lifestyle Resort – a review
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The Drakensberg Lifestyle Resort – a review

Going on holiday as a family of four is a rare and often expensive treat these days. And with two children under seven, a holiday is rarely a holiday! I grew up in KwaZulu Natal Natal and the majestic mountains of the Drakensberg were always a welcome refuge for us.  But living in Cape Town, the ‘Berg’ as it is fondly known, is hardly considered a local holiday destination! However, when one has family in Natal, as we do, a visit to Granny can often be combined with a few days respite in the Berg. And so it was for us during the school holidays of April 2010 ... Now we are not genera...
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De Pakhuys in Clanwilliam – a weekend away in the Cederberg
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De Pakhuys in Clanwilliam – a weekend away in the Cederberg

With all the long weekends in April, we decided to take advantage and head up the west coast, a route often less busy than the N1 or N2 as a getaway from Cape Town. Our destination was de Pakhuys, a rustic guest farm just north of Clanwilliam in the Cederberg. Having completed our 3,5 hour journey, we were housed in Blokhuys, which is one of four houses on the property. Blokhuys contains two small bedrooms, with two single beds in each, and a smallish lounge/kitchen area with another single bed. For a family of  two adults and two children, it worked well, but I would not have liked ...
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10 Sexiest Hotels in South Africa – Pictures to Inspire
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10 Sexiest Hotels in South Africa – Pictures to Inspire

10 Sexiest South African Hotels (in no particular order)... Singa Town Todge (Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape) The Lofts Boutique Hotel (Thesen Islands, Knysna, Garden Route) Hartford House (Mooi River, KwaZulu Natal Midlands) The Oyster Box Hotel (Umhlanga Rocks, Durban) The Peech Hotel (Melrose, Sandton, Johannesburg) Airstream Penthouse Trailer Park at Grand Daddy Hotel (Cape Town City) The Last Word Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town) Nova Constantia Boutique Residence (Constantia, Cape Town) Vineyard Hotel & Spa (Newlands, Cape Town) To say this is a subjec...
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Kuruma Farm Cottages, a welcome respite in Worcester
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Kuruma Farm Cottages, a welcome respite in Worcester

We arrived in the late afternoon on Kuruma Farm, just outside Worcester via the Hex River Valley and Du Toitskloof tunnel. The wind, Celeste our hostess explained whilst our hair whipped around our heads and I had to mentally beg my skirt to remain around my legs, was a typical Worcester wind, although to be honest, the South Easter is like this everywhere in the Cape at this time of year, when at its hottest. Not, in fairness, the best time of year to head out here; to give the area a chance to display itself in all its glory. But sometimes that is exactly the right time to form an ...
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2010 Host City Durban
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2010 Host City Durban

Durban is more than just the city of Durban with its natural harbour, busy port and Golden Mile of impressive international hotels and glorious beaches - regarded as the definitive coastal ‘playground in the sun’. Rather, the Durban Metro is a region that extends up to Umhlanga to the north, to Inchanga and Botha’s Hill in the west, and just beyond Yellowwood Park in the south. Some of the areas and suburbs it includes are the likes of Glenashley, Hillcrest, Queensburgh, Westville, Glenwood, Greyville, Kloof, La Lucia, Morningside, Sherwood, Sydenham and the city of Durban itself. 20...
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2010 Host City, Pretoria
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2010 Host City, Pretoria

Known as the Jacaranda City for all the purple blossom-bedecked trees, which line its thoroughfares, 2010 Host City Pretoria is a lovely, quiet city. It has a long, involved and fascinating history. Here you will find significant old buildings and fascinating museums. The Transvaal Museum has natural history displays and is the home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at Sterkfontein in the Cradle of Humankind. Also worth visiting are the Cultural History Museum and Smuts Museum in Irene, outside Pretoria. Sedate, leafy Pretoria tends to endure a Cinderella complex when compared...
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2010 Host City, Port Elizabeth
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2010 Host City, Port Elizabeth

2010 Host City Port Elizabeth, is the gateway to the Eastern Cape Region, its well-equipped airport and harbour linking South Africa with other national and international destinations. Known as the "Friendly City", Port Elizabeth is located on the south-eastern coast, 763 km east of Cape Town. A superb value-for-money holiday base, Port Elizabeth offers a diverse selection of attractions as a family-fun holiday destination including scenic nature trails, historic heritage, magnificent wildlife, cultural experiences and countless water sport activities. Port Elizabeth has a brand new wor...
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2010 Host City Bloemfontein
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2010 Host City Bloemfontein

2010 Host City Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, serves as something of an oasis, lying as it does plum in the middle of the Free State and indeed the country. The only major city for miles around, it is also the sixth largest city in the country, the Judicial Capital of South Africa, and it lies on the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town, often functioning as a stop off to break the major journey between the two cities. Despite being situated in an area of dry grassland, Bloemfontein more than lives up to its name - spring of flowers. Thousands of rose bushes line the city; more t...
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Teniqua Treetops – a slumber in amongst the trees
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Teniqua Treetops – a slumber in amongst the trees

Think of a childhood dream of living in a treehouse, something like the magic faraway tree, then add the further dimension of handcrafted wood interiors, furniture, a tented bedroom, a wooden open-to-the-elements bathroom, complete with de luxe bath, and you have an idea of Teniqua Treetops. Teniqua Treetops, in a nutshell, is a collection of eight simply beautiful, hand-crafted and eco-friendly treehouses hidden in amongst an indigenous forest in the Garden Route that boasts thousand-year-old trees, fairies, an array of birds, and breathtaking views. The nature lovers' resort market...
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