• 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 ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • 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!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The 8 best drinking holes in Cape Town

Cape Town is lively, sophisticated and one of the world’s 10 most loved cities at any time of the year. But in winter, when driving rain or cold can keep people from spilling out onto the pavements, finding the city’s favourite drinking holes is not as easy as cruising the streets to follow the crowd; the crowd is usually safely sequestered indoors.

We thought we’d be helpful and highlight our top trendy drinking holes in Cape Town, in the centre of the city… Continued

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Living in Cape Town – The 15 best days

Just about any time spent living in Cape Town is better than living anywhere else (yes, I am unashamedly biased). Even so, there are some days that are even better than others. Guess that’s why we love living here so much… Continued

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Where to drink in Jozi – top 15 bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants

Jozi’s bustling nightlife has so much by way of eclectic and vibey restaurants, pubs, and clubs that making a choice is difficult.

We make it easy for you – Here is our guide on Where to drink in Jozi – top 15 bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants …
Continued

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

South Africa’s peace parks – top 5 parks that transcend borders

Peace parks, also known as Transboundary Protected Areas (TBPA), allow animals to migrate freely between neighbouring countries in a return to their natural migration patterns. They promote tourism and goodwill between neighbouring countries.

It is also a potential tool to save a deteriorating ecology. Once parties or countries involved realise the importance of biological diversity, they are more likely to co-operate.  Environmental cooperation, in turn, can help resolve political and territorial conflicts. Sharing physical space and management responsibilities sustains peace among countries.

Real-life examples of such successes include the Seslous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor, and the Emerald Triangle conservation zone in Indochina.

But the bonus for visitors is the increased access to a greater variety of game, and far greater variety of wildlife habitats.

South Africa has eight peace parks, and one in the making. All are worthy of a visit. Here is more on 5 of them: Continued

Friday, 27 June 2014

A Visit to Harold Johnson Nature Reserve

When you live on a farm, like we do, and the closest Ster Kinekor is an hour’s drive and two toll gates away, it is sometimes necessary to make your own entertainment.

We did this a few Sunday’s ago when I suggested breakfast at the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve. The Skottel and breakfast supplies (including a tin of condensed milk …necessary for any game reserve cup of coffee) were loaded into the double cab and off we went. Continued

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Burnedale Farmers Market

We tried out the fantastic Burnedale Farmers Market over this past weekend. Having only started in mid-May, this market is going from strength to strength with the 25 stalls offering a wide range of products. I was particularly impressed with the purposefully built covered market area; stall holders and market goers will be dry on a rainy day but the light and airy space is perfect for the mostly sunny days the Dolphin Coast provides! Continued

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

South Africa’s four small wild cats – where to see them

The big cats in South Africa receive a lot of attention. In fairness lions, leopards and cheetah deserve the focus; most of these top predators are in danger – we live in their space, we hunt them illegally and kill them when they prey on livestock.

But South Africa is also home to four smaller cats – the African wild cat, the black-footed cat (now known as the small spotted cat), the caracal, and the serval. To this list I wanted to add the civet and genet but they are not, in fact, cats at all. Instead they belong to a family known as Viverrids, related to the mongoose and meerkatContinued

Friday, 13 June 2014

30 things you MUST do in Port Elizabeth in winter

Port Elizabeth might be regarded as Cape Town’s poorer cousin, and far less glamourous than Jozi, but it does have rather mild winters, which makes it a far more attractive option once winter’s cold sets in.

In fact there are those who say that Port Elizabeth has more sunshine hours than any other city in South Africa (we’ll just cast a blind eye to the wind factor).

It’s also just down the road from St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay (but cheaper), and has access to plenty of swimming beaches and a beachfront lifestyle that is easy to access. And Port Elizabeth has loads of action-packed activities (in the bungi-jumping, sandboarding, adrenaline junkie vein).

So if you haven’t yet reached for your mouse to find the next low-cost flight out of your seat in to the slow city (slow as in ‘chilled’) then cast your eye over the list below for further impetus… Continued

Monday, 9 June 2014

Kirstenbosch Tree Canopy Walkway

The giant steel snake that utterly transforms Kirstenbosch’s little known arboretum is leaving visitors and locals gasping…

Not only does it rise from the ground at a gentle slope until it reaches above the tree line, with panoramic views of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the distance, but its curved arc is an effortless example of grace in motion; of bio-mimicry in design.

Strolling the wooden-slatted, steel-endowed walkway conveys one into another world. The sky, the views, the ingenious curves of the walkway’s design and the delight at finding oneself above the world, in a part of the garden not often visited, is a winning combination.

No matter the weather – for even the stormy, cloud-blown sky has something to offer – the walkway at Kirstenbosch is amazing and a must for any visitor to the garden. I, for one, will be visiting as often as my annual membership will allow… Continued

Monday, 26 May 2014

10 top places to see leopard in South Africa

The leopard: a solitary creature that because of its preference for living in dense bush, and its nocturnal habits, remains well hidden and seldom, if ever, seen earning it the labels: secretive and elusive.

They are strong, comfortable in trees, and adept climbers who think nothing of hauling their kill up into branches. Closely related to lions, tigers and jaguars they are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Outside of Africa, many of them are endangered.

There is a long history in South Africa of conflict between farmers with live stock and leopards. There is also little information about leopard populations or their conservation status.

Tourists who come to South Africa expecting leopard interaction are disappointed.  Whilst numerous places offer up close and personal moments with elephant, lions and cheetah, leopards very seldom put in an appearance for photo moments.

On the whole, a bit of sleuth work might pay off if you intend spotting a leopard.

But you are more likely to see leopard in South Africa at one of these 10 places: Continued

Friday, 23 May 2014

Do the Langa Tag – a township tour with an art angle

Langa is ten minutes from my house. A few kilometres and a whole world apart.

Just off Bhunga Avenue, in Rubusana Street, is the Langa Quarter – a collection of quirky, brightly painted houses that form part of Langa’s walking art gallery tour.

We meet Xola Maswana, our guide, at Khaya Langa just behind Langa’s stadium. From its gates are enviable views of Table Mountain and the two flimsy 99 metre chimneys that now enjoy landmark status and are all that remains of Cape Town’s enormous twin cooling towers. Continued

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Fifty Shades of Greyton

Gorgeous Greyton. A Delicious Day in Greyton. The titles and opening lines for my travel story had already been lilting in and out of my head for days. I hadn’t yet unpacked from my previous getaway when I was invited to write about the charming town that I’d somehow neglected to spend much time in, even though I live one hour away. I’d asked my Travel Blogger friend, Natalie Roos to join me for the experience and could already hear the clinking of our ice as it surfed to and fro inside our gin and tonics between sips.

It was at least 32 degrees centigrade and the Cape was blowing on one final ember of summer, burning across us like dragon’s breath. Notebook, laptop, sun cream, toothbrush. Check. I hit the road. Air con out of gas. Typical. I wound down the window and listened to Bob Dylan croak out his ‘made for cruising country back roads’ folk poetry. Toasty, golden fields rolled towards the road. Cows grazed. Clouds lazed… Continued

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

10 uniquely South African foods

When you dream of Greece, you think moussaka. Italy brings pasta to mind. And where would Israel be without the falafel?

Yet South Africa does not really have one ubiquitous, national dish, a food typically associated only with the south of the continent; something like paella in Spain, hamburgers in America, or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding in England (although, admittedly, things have moved on a little in the UK).

Instead we have a number of dishes the rest of the world, and the locals, associate strongly with South Africa. Here are 10 uniquely South African foodsContinued

Thursday, 15 May 2014

7 South African Adventures that will Change Your Life

Life-changing, life-affirming events are a dime-a-dozen these days. Every adrenalin-filled activity claims to change your perspective on life and, to be fair, many of them do.

But here is a list of South African adventures that are more akin to journeys; personal inward journeys to change your life. For each of them takes place in such incredible natural beauty, and involves just enough adrenalin-filled action, to facilitate a change in perspective… Continued

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Sultry Swellendam

I was first drawn to Swellendam because of resident, Bruce Geils’ ‘Flyinghorse’ photography. I caught myself falling into his depictions of this town that he so clearly loved, which ached with sensitivity and seeped mystery from every inky evening shot. It takes time to capture photographs like these of a town or a place. You need to settle in and breathe the air; become familiar with the beauty, the curves, the colours and the light. But it also takes a muse to inspire an artist to pick up his paints and brushes and it was through Bruce’s magnificent burning mountain sunsets shots, family moments and misty mornings captured on the lake, that I realised Swellendam was something extraordinary.

So, I packed up my little ‘Wanderluster’ (my globe-trotting eleven-year-old son and travel assistant) and pointed my car in the direction of a place I hadn’t yet explored. I heard myself exhale as we turned into the lush, tree-lined main road. Victorian homesteads, now converted into restaurants and guest houses, lined the dappled streets as Friday afternoon sunk into the village… Continued