• 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 ...
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  • 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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Activities and Things To Do

This category includes posts about activities and Things to Do ranging from extreme adventure (skydiving, shark-cage diving and other activities that will thrill excite adrenaline junkies), to more sedate past times such as shopping and eating out. Visit SA-Venues.com for thousands of Things to See and Do in South Africa or see accommodation in South Africa to find a place to stay for your African Adventure!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Discovering the Spitskop Viewpoint outside Knysna

The Garden Route is full of gems – some are well known and frequented by tourists (such as the Bloukrans Bridge, Knysna Heads, and the Tsitsikamma), while others are secreted away for only the avid explorer to enjoy. Spitskop is one of the latter. It is part of the Ysternek Nature Reserve, which is a forest reserve that covers almost 12 square kilometres and showcases some of the most stunning scenery in the country… Continued

Monday, 22 June 2015

Snow porn: South Africa’s top 7 places for snow this winter

It is true that South Africa is not a snow destination. If it’s snow you’re after then you usually head to Alaska, Canada, Switzerland, the Northern Rockies, the mountains of France, Austria and Italy, America’s Colorado, Japan, and even New Zealand. Not South Africa.

Yet South Africa is not without snow. And when it does fall in the high-lying inland regions of the country we behave as if we’ve won the jackpot; we’re so excited by the prospect of snow that we have a Facebook page devoted to the subject snowreportsa, and we circulate pictures of snow as if we cannot quite believe our luck – ‘Snow!!! Brrrr, it is SO cold’.

Our only ski slope, Tiffendell is hardly Aspen or Montana. In South Africa you count yourself incredibly fortunate to see snow fall at all or to walk and play in it for the couple of hours it remains on the ground. So when it does fall, we travel miles to see it.

So you would travel to South Africa to see the snow because the beauty of our landscapes give the snow a backdrop that is hard to beat. And these are 7 of the best places in the country to see snow this winter… Continued

Friday, 12 June 2015

A Guide To Entertaining Any Visitor To Cape Town

Ever noticed how popular Cape Town is? You just have to look at how many Gautengers have moved here, or the many Europeans, for that matter, to realise that Cape Town really is the happening capital of South Africa.

But because it is popular, it’s also a place many people come to visit. And usually they stay with you. Not everyone is going to understand your partiality, after a week of hard week, for a good book and a DVD (Table Mountain, pah, who needs it!).

Here is our handy list of activities, aimed at a variety of guests, to get you through even the toughest weekend entertaining visitors in Cape Town… Continued

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

7 Jaw-Dropping False Bay Tidal Pools For Swims With A View

For those who ask if it’s safe to swim in Cape Town’s waters, here is a list of, not only the safest spaces in which to swim, but also some of the most beautiful.

Cape Town has various ‘artificial’ tidal pools, as opposed to natural tidal pools (natural sea shore depressions that fill with tidal sea water). These pools exist because of white cement walls that retain the sea water after every high-tide.

When the tide goes out, the sun is able to heat the water, making them wonderful, protected areas in which to swim, for children and adults. Other than St James’ tidal pool many of the pools lie hidden from the coastal road in False Bay, and are not that easy to find. However the views, from each of the pools on our list, are worth seeking out.

Here is the list of 7 jaw-dropping False Bay tidal pools… Continued

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

6 Favourite Second Hand Fashion Shops In The Southern Suburbs of Cape Town

There is no accounting for taste, and what one person thinks of as worn and worthless is easily someone else’s treasure. Never more so than in the mother city where second-hand stores flourish. If you are a bargain hunter, or love vintage, Cape Town is full of ‘gently used’, ‘nearly new’ second hand goods’ stores.

The more obvious of these lie in the city bowl (Second Time Around, Glitterati) frequented by those after a more reasonably priced, vintage and retro look. But there are other, less well-known, stores in the southern suburbs.

This list of favourite second hand fashion shops is worth sharing: one or two are charity stores, whilst others are more upmarket ‘barely worn’ stores. Each of them offers something unique. At the very least, you’ll walk out with a scarf or cardigan that you could never have found anywhere else… Continued

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

8 Things you’ll find in De Rust that you won’t easily find elsewhere

The Klein Karoo town of De Rust lies on Route 62 wedged between the Swartberg and the Kammanassie Mountains.

Most people know about the Victorian village because it won Small Town of the Year in 2011. It lies just outside Oudtshoorn and serves as a ‘spillover’ space for those who attend the annual KKNK (Klein Karoo Nationale Kunsfees) and the KKK (Klein Karoo Klassique), but still value peace and quiet.

Others know about De Rust because it lies at the southern end of Meiringspoort. For a friend of mine it’s become home for a year. And she’s loving it. I visit her to find out why.

Continued

Thursday, 7 May 2015

10 Things To Do On The Prince Alfred Pass – Make A Day (Or A Holiday) Of It

Route 339 stretches from the Karoo town of Uniondale to the Fourways intersection with the N2 just outside Knysna.

It is 80 km of gravel road connecting the Klein Karoo with the Garden Route; Knysna with the Langkloof. It serves as an appealing alternative to the Outeniqua Pass between George and Oudtshoorn.

Which does nothing to describe its beauty – the glorious views of early morning mist, proteas, heather and ericas on either side of the road, forests in which elephants are easily lost, and kloofs, valleys and mountains that appear to go on forever.

However, for all its beauty Prince Alfred Pass is not a short cut, neither is it for the faint hearted… Continued

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Puntjie – A Hideaway Lost In Time; Visit This Unintentional Open-Air Museum

Where the Duiwenhoks River meets the sea is a cliffside hideaway known as Puntjie. It stands to the east of the river mouth atop eroded sandstone cliffs, known only to those who stay here.

During sultry summer days it is a piece of heaven, the long stretch of deserted beach a haven for walking, the cliffs a gentle, idyllic space in which time stands still. Holidays here are exactly as they should be – far from everything, amongst friends.

It takes little to imagine the wind-driven rain that must whip these exposed cliffs during winter. At Puntjie three ocean currents meet – the Agulhas, the Mozambique and Benguela. As a result, winters produce sodden wet, grey days, and often the Duiwenhoks floods… Continued

Thursday, 30 April 2015

10 Short Beginner Hikes In Cape Town – Perfect For The (Relatively) Unfit, Or Those With Children

Most of the hikes in Cape Town involve scaling a mountain (if you hadn’t already noticed, there are a fair number in the city).

If Tranquillity Cracks, Platteklip Gorge, Maclear’s Beacon and India Venster are not on your list of must-do hikes, then this list of ‘sedate’ trails, even if one or two involve a short (though not overly taxing) uphill, is for you.

Some of the 10 beginner hikes in Cape Town are perfect for children. Most of them, because of their ease, are popular and busy, particularly on hot summer, windless days… Continued

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Slow Life –7 Detours On The N2 Between George And Knysna

One of the most exceptional parts of the coast in the Western Cape, the area between George and Knysna is riddled with appealing seaside villages, beaches, delightful finds and magnificent scenery.

Too often, though, we merely use the N2 as a means to our destination.

Next time you’re passing this way, make the time to slow down, savour the beauty and charm of the heart of the Garden Route, and take at least one of 7 detours on the N2 between George and Knysna… Continued

Friday, 17 April 2015

5 Insider Things To Do When In Vermaaklikheid

The fairytale hamlet of Vermaaklikheid lies on the lower reaches of the Duiwenhoks River, south of Heidelberg.

To find it on Google maps we have to do a precise search, for it appears only as a map marker two-thirds of the way up the river, on a dirt road east of the R322 between Heidelberg and Witsand.

It isn’t on any tourist routes, and has little to lure the Toyota Fortuners and their ilk – no farmstall or artisan bread-and-pie-producing bakery here.

Vermaaklikheid (meaning ‘entertainment’ or ‘amusement’ – which may or may not allude to the town’s original subsistence on sweet potatoes and ‘witblits’) is a smattering of thatched, white-walled Cape-style cottages (a couple of which are for sale), a shop (which always seems to be closed), newly planted olive groves, and a not-recently-in-use trading post. Continued

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

8 Glorious Gardens That Just Happen To Be On Wine Estates

To explore a garden before, or after, tasting the wine grown on the farm is one of the highlights of these 8 glorious gardens on wine estates… Continued

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

30 Things To Do In The Cape Winelands

The essence of the Cape Winelands is wine tasting.

You will discover, however, that there are so many wine estates jostling for your attention that you need something other than wine estates as your yard stick for selecting which ones to visit.

For this reason we’ve put together a list for you of 30 things to do in the Cape Winelands. Select what interests you most, and then visit the wine farms closest to you.

Alternatively, choose one of the winelands’ villages  as a base for the weekend, and visit the wine estates closest to your town of choice… Continued

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

7 Ancient Forests in and around Cape Town

Once upon a time, before the fynbos evolved, much of the south-western Cape, and indeed Southern Africa, was palm forest.

Rainfall patterns and climate changed, and more robust trees replaced the palms forming magnificent forest. Today forests are southern Africa’s smallest biome.

The ancient, once-huge forests are still in evidence in only 0.5% of Africa. You will find what remains in sheltered, remote pockets in mountain ravines or on river banks; the trees’ ancestry millions of years old – a legacy from the time when man was not yet on Earth.

In and around Cape Town you will find 7 remaining ancient forests. But you need to know where to find them… Continued

Monday, 16 March 2015

Durban’s Top 10 Foodie and Lifestyle Markets

Durban is brimming over with food and lifestyle markets. Craft and flea markets, farmers’ and organic food markets, indoor markets, open-air markets – whatever your preference. They manage to combine live music, foodies, crafters and enthusiasts in a way that keeps the locals coming back for more.

In Durban and want to know which markets to go to – here are the city’s top 10 … Continued