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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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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, 17 December 2014

Mossel Bay – 5 things to do in SA’s most mistakenly maligned town

Calling Mossel Bay a ‘harbour town’ is a misnomer. It does have a harbour, but ‘town’ suggests small, when in reality some 60 000 people live there. Mossel Bay is big enough to give the impression of a city. What adds to this impression is that it sprawls, merging seamlessly with the beach side villages of Klein Brak River, Reebok, Tergniet, Groot Brakrivier and Glentana so that the entire bay is a twinkle at night (provided Eskom isn’t load shedding).

Travel brochures tend to gloss over Mossel Bay’s domination by oil refineries; from the N2 they are all you can see between the highway and the harbour. Mossgas’ gas-to-liquids refinery meets 7% of the country’s liquid fuel needs, initiated 22 years ago when gas was discovered offshore.

As a result, light industry monopolises Mossel Bay to such a degree that one’s initial sentiment is to give the town a wide berth. How wrong this impression, and how much more Mossel Bay has to offer than one thinks… Continued

Thursday, 11 December 2014

9 other (really) popular wine routes of the Cape – the bouquet beckons

Wines in South Africa do not start and end with the Cape Winelands (Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch), although one is hard pushed to find a comparable abundance of excellence in so small an area

The Overberg, Orange Free State, Northern Cape, and even the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, produce outstanding wines. And the country’s capacity to grow vines extends as far north as Bronkhorstspruit, 50 km east of Pretoria. You will even find vines in Mpumalanga.

But you would be right in assuming that vines grow particularly well in the Cape. The breezes off the Atlantic Ocean, the cold winters and hot summers, the winter rainfall – all combine to create the perfect scenario for wine production.

There are so many different wine routes in the Cape that we didn’t mention half of them in our first article Continued

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The wine lover’s guide to South Africa – 10 wine routes to tempt your taste buds

Whether you enjoy your wine big, buttery, smooth, opulent, complex, creamy or crisp, the wines made in South Africa will more than meet your needs, as we produce some of the best wines in the new world.

South African wine, a quick overview:

  • our wine history dates back 350 years, to 1659
  • today we export over 450 million litres of wine
  • a little over 10 years ago, most of our wine was distilled into brandy
  • SA wines are of the best valued red and white wines
  • there are 100 000 hectares under vine across the country
  • 56% of this is white wine, 44% is red
  • the oldest fruit bearing vine in the southern hemisphere is a Crouchen Blanc variety, planted around 1771 at the Cape Heritage Hotel in Cape Town
  • we are the 9th largest wine producer in the world
  • our most popular grape variety is Chenin Blanc
  • followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Colombard
  • a white label with a red key and Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) logo, indicates the wine is of the best (it was sold at a CWG annual auction and you’ll find it in top restaurants and cellars in SA)
  • if you’re new to South African wines, pick up a copy of John Platter’s South African Wine Guide…

Continued

Friday, 28 November 2014

Bring On The Barnyard Theatre

I am a big fan of the vibey, laid back atmosphere the Barnyard Theatre creates, but never seem to get to their fantastic shows often enough. In fact I only seem to get myself organized when friends and family visit from the USA every two years and they request an evening at the theatre!

However, friends have asked us to join them for the production currently showing at the Gateway Barnyard in Umhlanga; I don’t think there could be anything better than a night of listening to 80’s music and I’m sure the ‘80’s Rewind, The Total 80’s Party’ will have the crowd up and dancing in no time at all!

Continued

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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

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

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

Monday, 10 November 2014

Durban Botanic Gardens Music at the Lake

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

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spring Into The Stihl Open Gardens

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

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

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

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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

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

Friday, 17 October 2014

4 sun-drenched day trips along the Sunshine Coast

If there was a place that guaranteed more sunshine hours than anywhere else in the country, wouldn’t you head there?

Stretching between Tsitsikamma and East London is just such a place; its coastline gives you over six hours of driving pleasure along the N2. And whilst I know you’re itching to know what it is (no, it isn’t the Garden Route), you’ll be tempted to slap me when you hear it’s (ta da): the Sunshine Coast.

Obvious, yes… Continued

Monday, 13 October 2014

15 great Garden Route adventures (something for everyone)

The 200 km strip of coastline between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains is one of the country’s most beautiful. A collection of beaches, mountains, ancient forests, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, artists’ communities, mountain hideaways, kloofs and bustling country towns combine in such an exceptional way that thousands of visitors visit every year.

The secret is to make enough time for the many adventures available to visitors.

Be warned: a week in the Garden Route is not long enough.

This list of 15 Garden Route adventures (that ranges from picnic sites to tandem skydiving) will help you get started… Continued

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

4 day trips that will have you packing a bag for the Magaliesberg

The Magaliesberg is on the back stoeps of both Pretoria and Johannesburg.  The mountain range, once known as the Kashan Mountains, is said to be 100 times older even than Everest. It extends from Rustenburg in the west, to the Bronkhorstspruit Dam just east of Pretoria – a montage of deep gullies, impressive kloofs, clear mountain streams, pools and waterfalls, well wooded slopes, rocky outcrops and a series of sheer quartzite cliffs.

A weekend’s break in the Magaliesberg takes little more than a phone call and a bag on the back seat. But we’ve made it easier for you by designing 4 day trips in the Magaliesberg that include a little of this and a little of that (something for everyone, in other words). You can either choose one day trip and do it as is (we’ve tried to keep each day in a particular geographical area), or you can mix and match attractions until you have the perfect day for your friends and family… Continued

Monday, 6 October 2014

4 jam-packed day trips to the Cederberg

The Cederberg is the place of rooibos and buchu tea, blue and cloudless skies, intensely hot summers, little towns and fertile valleys that summon holiday makers all year round.

For Capetonians, it is a playground and long weekend hiking paradise, whilst hikers, rock-climbers, cyclists and nature lovers treat it as a refuge.

Dominated by burnt orange mountains and jagged sandstone rock formations, like the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross, and ancient !Xam rock art, it is a 70 000 hectare mountainous wilderness ripe for outdoor adventure.

It gets its name from the Clanwilliam Cedar, an endemic and protected tree in this undeveloped, and largely isolated part of the Western Cape.

Choosing a list of things to do from the myriad attractions of the area is a task, but we rose to the occasion and selected a line-up for 4 day trips to the Cederberg, jam-packed with things to doContinued