South Africa presents so many choices to the visitor that it is hard to know just when to do what, and so we’ve made it easier for you by compiling a list of best places to be month by month. Here is the Ultimate Travel Calendar: Your Guide to the Best Places in South Africa for every month of the year … Continued
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!
To reach it involves a scenic two-and-a-half hour drive from Cape Town to Clanwilliam before heading east on the R364 through the Cederberg Wilderness Area, up the graceful Pakhuis Pass, down the other side and then off a gravel road that takes you to Wupperthal.
You can also access the valley from the Northern Cape (Tankwa Karoo National Park), but the Biedouw River spends most of its time in flood, when it does flow, inhibiting any access from that side of the valley. Even 4×4 vehicles only manage the crossing after October, provided the rains haven’t been too severe… Continued
Cape Town is a Foodie’s idea of heaven – food, and wine, in the Mother City is as diverse as the people who live here.
Labelled a ‘gourmet nirvana’ by Lonely Planet, Cape Town bursts at the seams with trendy markets, food trucks, original restaurants and cozy little eateries.
The biggest issue facing any gastronome is not so much what to eat, as where to eat it. Hence our list of the 12 best food & drink ‘hoods in Cape Town – the lowdown on which neighbourhoods to visit, for which top restaurants … Continued
There is nothing better than a movie to set the scene. Movies are visual. They cut the fat and bring imagination to life. They can give you great insight into a subject, far faster than a book. And they can take you backward in time.
Which is what we’ve done with this list of 10 movies (in no particular order) that brings you up to speed with South Africa’s chequered history, gives you an idea of the people who live here, sets the scene for a visit, and moves you in a way that makes you wish you could get here sooner… Continued
Over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas – the world’s fastest growing land cover type.
In Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa green spaces are on the decline. In Africa this decline is critical – with green spaces occupying less than 10% of land area in South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda, Somalia etc.
Despite these statistics, the city of Johannesburg boasts 24% of public green space in the form of parks and gardens. Compared with cities like Berlin (14.4%), Brussels (18.8%), Dubai (2%), London (33%) and Paris (9.5%), the city is positively green.
Here is a list of 9 of Johannesburgs green spaces and parks to which to escape… Continued
At the far northern extension of the Cape Fold Mountains is a mountain range known as the Cederberg. It is a vast array of weathered sandstone mountains and long, arid valleys that combine into a 830 square kilometre hinterland offering rock formations, remote hiking opportunities, camping, rock climbing and some breathtaking scenery.
Bounded by the towns Clanwilliam, Citrusdal and Wupperthal the Cederberg functions as a weekend bolthole for Capetonians, and a hiking mecca for those after wilderness adventures. And all of this a mere three hours’ drive from Cape Town.
Spelled interchangeably Cedarberg, or Cederberg, (depending on whom you ask) the mountains are named after the Clanwilliam cedar (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) now regarded as a ‘relic species’ from a time when the area had a colder climate… Continued
For those of you who lived through television of the ’80s, the Swartland meant only one thing: The home of Bokomo Weet-Bix, the heart of the wheat industry (that Weet-Bix was a top selling breakfast in 1988 is no surprise). Today, the Swartland is fashionable inland farming country that is still regarded as the ‘granary of South Africa’.
It is home to sheep, cattle and vine farming, with a huge sweep of dry-land vineyards just outside Malmesbury. But it also boasts a myriad Cape-Dutch and Victorian buildings, trendy ‘country’ towns, protea and tobacco production, and cheese, olive and citrus cultivation. Continued
A visit to thermal springs for health reasons is one of the oldest forms of tourism in the world. In ancient times thermal springs were believed to have supernatural and healing powers, and archaeological digs reveal how thermal springs were used as communal baths in ancient cities like Mohenjo-Daro in India, the palaces of Knossos in Crete, and the Egyptian royal city of Tall al ‘Amarinah. Visits to spas in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries were all the rage, for health and wellbeing.
In South Africa the hot springs at Bela-Bela were used by the Tswana people hundreds of years ago for healing, and The Baths were pivotal to the San, evidenced by rock art found near The Baths (the hot springs on the Olifants River). Today we head to hot springs mostly for recreation – lots of lolling around in hot pools, plenty of slides and activities for the kids, and the odd hot stone massage thrown in for good measure. Continued
I do a day of the Cape Camino and go on a pilgrimage for part of the route. On the way I celebrate peace, love and humanity and discover the joy of wandering along the byways of my own city, free of all responsibilities for a few hours …
I stumble across the Cape Camino in my trawlings of the Internet and manage to bag myself a day on the route, in the company of the founder, Gabrielle Andrew… Continued
Is there such a thing as typical Capetonian?
As much as the rest of the country loves to generalise about those who live in the Mother City as tardy, with a propensity to wait until the last minute before committing to an event, and obsessed with their mountain, actually they’re about as diverse as people of any city can be.
And every little enclave and seaside village has a life of its own. Cape Town, surrounded by sea and mountain, nonetheless has a distinctive quality. And there are certain general things locals tend to do.
Here are 15 things only a Capetonian would do… Continued
To explore a wealth of information on the rich history and culture of Durban’s Inanda, so little of which has been recorded in the annuls of history, take the Inanda Heritage Route.
Just outside Durban is a generous, green valley through which sprawls the township of the same name. Inanda (eNanda), which is isiZulu for ‘a pleasant place’, is also known as the Freedom Valley, and for good reason.
It is where the seeds of the country’s liberation were planted; a valley imbued in history that explores both sung and unsung African heroes.
Inanda is where Gandhi built his Phoenix settlement, it is the spiritual home of the Shembe religion, it is the birthplace of John Dube – the ANC’s first president – and it is where Nelson Mandela cast his vote in the country’s first democratic elections.
The Inanda Heritage Route links Gandhi’s passive resistance movement (satyagraha) with the philosophy that shaped John Dube’s Ohlange Institute, the prophet Isaiah Shembe, and the community of the Inanda Seminary to present an historical perspective on Durban’s role in the country’s history that is at once spellbinding and fascinating… Continued
The next in our series on where to find the ‘secret’ spots not normally advertised by travel brochures for perfect scenic #instagram pics, this one explores KwaZulu Natal.
KwaZulu Natal is only just coming of age. Durban, its capital, was voted one of the top 10 of the 52 Places to Go in 2015 by the New York Times, and dubbed by CNN as ‘the coolest city in South Africa you’ve never seen’. It then ranked even higher than Cape Town and Johannesburg on Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living survey.
Here are 20 secret scenic spots in KwaZulu Natal… Continued
It’s also where sea, mountains and fynbos meet. The garden, which rests on the slope of the mountains within the Kogelberg Biosphere reserve, overlooks the ocean from almost every vantage point, and the gardens are awash with fynbos, irises, daisies and orchids, including the famous red disa.
There is nothing more magical than the Cape in autumn.
The permanent ambient light means that everything is more striking. You don’t need sunglasses, for a start, the constant heat haze of summer gives way to a delicate blue sky, and vivid vistas, and you no longer gasp for shade but are grateful for the gentle presence of the sun. Continued
Kramats are not mosques. They’re burial places, or shrines, of the saints or holy men of Islam. They’re also open to anyone who wishes to visit them.
In Cape Town, the city with the largest Muslim community in South Africa, there are 30 or so kramats that form part of the city’s landscape.
Kramats (mazars in Arabic) look like miniature mosques. Most of them are humble white buildings crested with domes (some of them fairly ornate), scented with incense, resting quietly on hillsides. There is even one on Lion’s Head (although my research turned up very little information about it). Continued