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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, 10 February 2016

Offbeat Route 56 – Take The Alternative Route Through The Transkei

Route 56 is a surprisingly well-maintained, provincial route that links Middleburg in the Eastern Cape, with Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. On the map it looks as though someone has taken a crayon and drawn a squiggly line east, north east through the country.

Marketed as the ‘shortest route’ between the Western Cape and Durban, the route’s main leverage is that it is a viable alternative to the N2 through the Transkei. It passes through the mountain country of Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal connecting Molteno, Maclear and Kokstad.

Calling it ‘short’ is a little misleading. It may be shorter in terms of kilometres, but the nature of the roads through the mountains mean that you take it slower. You can easily add three hours to your journey, but they’re hours well spent in terms of scenery and escaping the N2. Continued

Monday, 8 February 2016

6 Marine Protected Areas in South Africa

South Africa protects just under 25 areas of its 3 000 km coastline. Known as marine protected areas (MPA), they safeguard threatened marine species and important habitats.

What they are, in essence, is a space in the ocean that strictly regulates human activities. Kind of like nature reserves, but in the sea.

To succeed as conservation areas of South Africa’s marine resources involves collaboration between civil society, communities and government… Continued

Friday, 5 February 2016

West Coast National Park’s Turquoise Blue Lagoon

And other reasons to visit the West Coast National Park…

The West Coast National Park, for most people, is all about the spring flowers.

From the beginning of August Capetonians, or visitors to Cape Town who haven’t the time to drive all the way to Springbok to see the Namaqualand daisies drive out in their droves to drink in the valleys and sand dunes of the reserve – literally awash with colour.

Postberg nature reserve, that part of the reserve on the other side of the Postberg (the mountain on the edge of the Langebaan Lagoon) that is usually closed, opens specially for the flowers.

At other times of the year the West Coast National Park seems to languish, like a strumpet whose skirts have long been explored. As if there was nothing other than flowers to attract visitors. Continued

Monday, 21 December 2015

7 Wilderness Areas In South Africa You Probably Don’t Know About

Wilderness areas are the most intact, undisturbed, truly wild spaces left on the planet…

They are unaffected by any development and many, if not all of them, practice the highest level of conservation – legally protected and untouched by man. There are no roads, vehicles, houses or industry in these areas.

In short: wilderness areas are the only places left in which man can develop a true relationship with nature, if he wants to. South Africa is the only country in Africa with such a rich variety of parks, reserves and wilderness areas.

The first wilderness area (now the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park) was designated in South Africa in 1959 – 12 150 hectares in which all form of motor traffic was stopped and rangers and visitors were allowed in the area only on foot. Soon afterwards the St Lucia Wilderness Area, now in the northern section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, followed.

The country only introduced legislation to protect formal Wilderness Areas In South Africa in 2003. Continued

Monday, 14 December 2015

‘Big Five’ Multi-Day Hikes in South Africa

South Africa is one of the world’s best hiking destinations…

The weather is fantastic, the country’s infrastructure is excellent, the scenery is out of this world and the ‘backcountry’, or outback, areas in which to hike – the Cederberg, the Drakensberg, the Wild Coast, the Dolphin Coast, and Amatola (to name but a few) – are of the most beautiful on the planet.

South Africa also has exceptional wilderness areas – areas dedicated to remaining truly wild spaces; intact and undisturbed by man – around the country that include: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Wolkberg, Winterhoek, Mkhomazi, Ntendeka, Groendal and the Cederberg. Each of these is ideal for days of off-the-beaten-track tramping specially for those for whom marked hiking trails are anathema.

Our hikes, although well known amongst locals, have taken a while to draw the crowds. Now people travel specially to South Africa to join the Otter or Whale Trail, or to hike one of the Kruger Park’s Wilderness Trails.

Here are the ‘Big Five’ multi-day hikes in South Africa that rank up there with the best in the world. One or two of them are relatively new and deserve attention, the others are, without doubt, the country’s favourites… Continued

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Walks in the Wild – 7 Kruger Wilderness Trails

Wilderness trails are one of the only true ways to experience the essence of nature. They imply an escape into the great beyond, a following of your heart, rather than any designated paths. They necessitate the absence of people, society and the noise and bombardment that come with it.

Wilderness trails in the bush are totally unique to the African continent. Those who walk them claim they are the only way to know Africa. For once you have done a wilderness trail in the Kruger National Park, there is only one way to be in the bush, and that is to walk it.

There is, however, a proviso… Continued

Monday, 7 December 2015

Walk Cape Town – Top Free And Other Walks, In The City Bowl

Cape Town is one of the most walkable cities in South Africa.

We’ve put together a list of city bowl walks that will have you in touch with the beat of the city’s heart in no time. Included in our list are free guided walks, walks you can do on your own, and those Cape Town walks that you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to do. Continued

Friday, 4 December 2015

10 Places You Could Be Spending Christmas in South Africa, and Why

South Africans celebrate Christmas in much the same way as the rest of world.

We spread good cheer, enjoy Christmas traditions – like leaving cookies and carrots out for Santa Claus – decorate our homes with mistletoe, Christmas lights and little figurines like Santa or the elves, buy and decorate a Christmas tree, join up with friends and reconnect with family we might not have seen for most of the year, invite friends and family over for dinner, sing Christmas carols, watch Christmas movies, behave more generously than usual, and wrap presents for under the tree.

We just don’t have any snow. Or log fires, eggnog or snowmen (actually, some of us do the eggnog anyway).

The advantage, of course, to all of the sunshine we experience is that Christmas in South Africa is generally a warm one, spent outdoors appreciating the beauty of nature. We usually swim, walk or rest on the lawn whilst our children play games on the grass (computer screens are totally banned for the day).

South Africa, though, is as diverse as its people. It’s a good idea to know just what kind of Christmas you want to celebrate. We help you narrow your choices down… Continued

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

10 Superb Scenic Drives in South Africa

Narrowing scenic drives in South Africa down to ten is not easy. Just the mountain passes in each of the provinces would leave you speechless for months (the Swartberg, Sani and Bainskloof passes in particular).

And so we’ve selected a number of longer routes, some of which incorporate mountain passes, from across the country.

Each of these drives has a unique beauty.

Drive as many of them as you can. Continued

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Adventures On 8 Of South Africas Most Significant Rivers

Not only are they a source of beauty, but rivers drain nearly 75% of the earth’s land surface. They are the lifeblood of any country, their steady flow of clean, fresh water a vital part of survival for millions of people. They are a means of transport, recreation, drinking water and power.

People are intrinsically drawn to rivers. They provide spectacular settings, a sense of heritage, a place of adventure, a space in which to watch birds and wildlife, and inspire art. Which is why so much of our outdoor lifestyle is experienced on the banks of rivers – white river rafting, canoeing, stand-up paddling or simply watching the water drift by.

South Africa has many rivers. Here is a list of activities on 8 of South Africas most significant riversContinued

Friday, 6 November 2015

Top 10 Christmas Markets in Johannesburg 2015

Jo’burg can be a nightmare during the Christmas rush.

Which is why we are such fans of the Christmas market scene that makes shopping for gifts such a gentle experience.

November and December are jam-packed with markets flaunting their wares, so take advantage and stock up early. There is a market for almost every week of the lead-up to the 25 December, but don’t leave it ’til the last minute.

Here are the top 10 Christmas markets in Johannesburg you cannot afford to miss… Continued

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

10 Top Markets In The Countdown To Christmas in Durban 2015

There is a definite shift towards buying local (if you hadn’t already noticed the number of foodie and artisan craft markets that have mushroomed in your neighbourhood).

Never more so than at Christmas. For no matter how easy the Internet makes buying gadgets, there is nothing like buying your gifts, and food, from the local community.

Not only is it ethical to support local business, but it also keeps our communities strong.

The bonuses for you include: artisan crafters and food providers sell one-off gifts and offers that nobody else will have, you’re supporting South African entrepreneurs, you will probably spend less, and you help to build the local community.

Durban is alive with local talent, and a feast of Christmas markets. This year is not a case of where will you find local gifts, but: how will you make a choice between all the markets. Continued

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Top 10 Christmas Markets in Cape Town 2015

I start to feel the pressure around this time of the year when the likes of Pick n Pay and Woolies accumulate baubles, advent calendars and tinsel in their prime shelf space. My stomach literally sinks as I think of the annual crowds, and the grab-and-horde mentality that dominates any mall shopping experience over Christmas.

Which is why I’m such a fan of Christmas markets! They’ve turned the festive season around.

Now the Christmas experience is as it’s supposed to be – a gentle gifting experience, not only for one’s loved ones, but for oneself. The local markets in Cape Town are vibrant, creative and brimming with design and craft ideas that are a testimony to the inventive and imaginative talent across the country.

Cape Town has so many markets in November / December that one is spoilt for choice. Here are  the top 10 Christmas markets in Cape Town 2015 you cannot afford to miss (in order of occurrence): Continued

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Endangered Cape Griffon Vulture – Where To See It In South Africa

The Cape Griffon Vulture (more commonly known as the Cape vulture) is a large bird; the largest of its kind in Africa.

Its size is clearly no measure of its ability to survive for the IUCN Red List lists it as Vulnerable and it is also the most endangered of the vultures; its already small population, distributed over various colonies, likely to continue declining unless conservation increases its efforts.

Called ‘Cape’ vulture because of the bird’s original commonplace sighting throughout the former Cape province of South Africa, it is today confined to a small part of south and southwest Africa.

Its population has significantly declined over the last few decades. Today there are colonies in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa. In Swaziland they are extinct, and only non-breeding populations survive in Zimbabwe and Namibia.

In South Africa 39% of the colonies recorded between 1987 and 1992 are now inactive.

In 2006 an estimation of the total population of Cape vultures brought the overall figures to between 8 000 and 10 000 individuals. The species is thought to have declined by as much as 70% between 1992 and 2007 in eastern South Africa. Continued

Monday, 5 October 2015

10 top natural attractions in the Karoo

What the Outback is to Australia, the Karoo is to South Africa.

It occupies 400 000 km²- practically one-third of the country’s total area; a vast, semi-arid region in the heart of the country, bounded by mountains in the south and west, and the huge Senqu, or Orange River, on its eastern and northern flanks.

This area of little rainfall, blue and cloudless skies, and extreme temperatures may have acted as a barrier to the interior from Cape Town for early settlers, but today it has come out of isolation to become a major tourist attraction – its immense spaces, incredible mountains, idiosyncratic towns and promise of escape the reason for its popularity.

These 10 top natural attractions are only a taste of what the Karoo holds in store for you. Continued