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The Leopard’s Kloof Trail and Other Magical Discoveries at Harold Porter Garden
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The Leopard’s Kloof Trail and Other Magical Discoveries at Harold Porter Garden

Harold Porter Garden is one of the country's national botanical gardens. It's only about an hour's drive from Cape Town, just off Clarence Drive at Betty's Bay, and well worth the drive. 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 mo...
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Visit these 5 Popular Kramats in Cape Town – The Circle Of Kramats
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Visit these 5 Popular Kramats in Cape Town – The Circle Of Kramats

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. Four of them lie on Signal Hill, whilst others lie in areas as far reaching as Bainskloof, Caledon and Rawsonville. That they are often confused with mosques is understandable. Kramats (mazars in Arabic) look like miniature mosques. Most of them are humble white buildings crested with domes (some of...
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Cape Towns City Wine Route
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Cape Towns City Wine Route

You don't have to drive far to visit some of the oldest wine estates in the country when in Cape Town. The Constantia Valley lies in the midst of the southern suburbs, 20 minutes' drive from Cape Town's City Bowl. And it holds everything you've come to expect from a wine route – Cape Fold Mountains, vineyards, oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch manors, excellent food and superior wines. One of the oldest suburbs of the city, Constantia may be small by comparison with Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, but it supports 11 estates, all of whom produce superlative wines. Any visit to Cape Town is incompl...
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12 Top Routes Of The Eastern Cape – Great Ways To Explore The Province
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12 Top Routes Of The Eastern Cape – Great Ways To Explore The Province

Despite its reputation as poorer cousin to the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape includes several of the country's greatest adventure destinations, the bulk of the Great Karoo, the Wild Coast, the homelands of the Xhosa people, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, and some of South Africa's greatest hiking trails. What's more its climate is mild throughout the year with a Sunshine Coast that promises good surfing and kilometres of beach. Inland a collection of stunning landscapes, plenty of private and national wildlife reserves, and farms producing chicory, tomatoes, deciduous fruit and citrus b...
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Top Things To Do In The Winelands That Aren’t About Wine
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Top Things To Do In The Winelands That Aren’t About Wine

The traditional Cape Winelands – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Somerset West – are within a stone's throw of Cape Town. These earliest colonial settlements each come with their own wine route, making it easy to travel from one farm to the next sampling wines. Cape Dutch architecture (do you know the difference between a Holbol gable and a Neoclassical gable) dominates the landscape, whilst the beauty of the countryside is inspiring (all those mountains!), and the cuisine of this core of the wine-producing areas is difficult to beat (award-winning chefs and restaurants). And that's be...
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10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Kirstenbosch
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10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Kirstenbosch

There isn't a visitor to Cape Town who doesn't visit Kirstenbosch. The 52 800 square kilometre botanical garden is up there with the best in the world, particularly since the introduction of the 'Boomslang' (officially named the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa in 2015). Kirstenbosch grows no fewer than 9 000 of Southern Africa's 22 000 plant species in different types of garden – a fragrance garden, a Braille trail through the forest, a garden for useful plants, a protea garden, Erica garden, a sculpture garden. There are even dinosaurs and gorillas (though not in the same part of the...
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The Most Beautiful Historic Towns In South Africa
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The Most Beautiful Historic Towns In South Africa

South Africa's history is not all that old. The buildings don't date back hundreds and hundreds of years, as they do in Europe, but (and it's a BIG but) South Africa has its own unique architectural styles, much of it evident in little towns across the country. The styles and architectural fashions in these historic towns are heavily influenced by the people who spent time at the tip of Africa. Dutch settlement heralded the Cape Dutch gable; the French Huguenots brought with them a baroque refinement, whilst both French and German professionals (in the Cape at the behest of the Dutch Eas...
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Green Durban – 9 Sustainable Sites In The City
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Green Durban – 9 Sustainable Sites In The City

Durban's focus is a lot more green than one thinks and finding sustainable projects, green spaces, heritage sites and businesses with an eco core in Durban is not difficult. The city's major green focus in the build up to the Soccer World Cup 2010, followed by COP17 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted in Durban in November and December 2011), resulted in a green legacy that has done anything but fade from the city's agenda. The good news, for those after a more responsible holiday when in the city of beaches, there is plenty to find and do, beginning with these 9 sustain...
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6 Things To Do On The Wild Coast (That You Don’t Know About)
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6 Things To Do On The Wild Coast (That You Don’t Know About)

The Wild Coast covers 350 km of Indian Ocean shoreline in the Eastern Cape. It's synonymous with remote beaches, gob-stopping scenery, and the Xhosa people. It's somewhere every South African has to travel, at least once. It's also the homeland of Nelson Mandela who was born in the village of Mvezo on the Mbashe River, seaside villages like Cintsa, Port St Johns and Coffee Bay, geological wonders like the Hole in the Wall, inspiring waterfalls like Magwa, the almost 57-kilometre, four-day hike known as the Strandloper trail, Hluleka and Silaka nature reserves, and dirt roads full of poth...
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6 Off The Beaten Track Towns In The Eastern Cape
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6 Off The Beaten Track Towns In The Eastern Cape

South Africa is one of the best holiday destinations in Africa enjoying an ever-increasing number of tourists every year, who head to the glamorous coastal cities of Cape Town and Durban, and the cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg. Away from these cities South Africa has dozens of little towns and villages. Many of them, particularly those in the Western Cape and Free State, have succumbed to a small town renaissance as an influx of artists and intellectuals restore their Victorian and Cape Dutch architecture and reinvigorate the towns with markets, wine estates, annual events, places to sta...
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7 Routes Durban – Great Ways To Explore The City Of Beaches
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7 Routes Durban – Great Ways To Explore The City Of Beaches

Durban, South Africa's second largest coastal city, is known for its Golden Mile beaches and its jogging, surfing, cycling, scuba diving, bodyboarding, dolphin viewing, jet-skiing, shark cage-diving, canoeing, boat cruising, sunbathing lifestyle. As Lonely Planet so aptly puts it: 'Durban is a window into life aquatic'. More often than not, though, it is passed over for the glamour of Johannesburg or the Cosmopolitan vibe of Cape Town. Yet Durban is no longer the poorer cousin. It co-hosted the 2010 Soccer World Cup, COP17 in 2011, and in 2022 will be the first African city to host the Co...
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Thousands Of Swallows, Just Outside Durban
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Thousands Of Swallows, Just Outside Durban

Post storm, the sky still leaden and the streets reeking of that just-rained-earth smell so particular to South Africa, we watched hundreds of swallows duck and dive in a display of abandon, on the banks of Lake Victoria (not that Lake Victoria, another one, but more about that later). I fall in love. We are just outside Durban overlooking a wetland in Mount Moreland conservancy where barn swallows from all across Europe overnight in a series of reed beds, coming in to roost at sundown in their thousands... Mount Moreland is one the largest barn swallow roosting sites in South Africa. ...
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Is Durban Worth A Visit – 7 Insider Things To Do in Durban
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Is Durban Worth A Visit – 7 Insider Things To Do in Durban

After the New York Times included Durban at #7 on its list of 52 Places to Go in 2015, and CNN dubbed it 'the coolest city in South Africa you've never seen', it was only time before the city with a Cinderella-complex came of age. Then Mercer released its 2015 Quality of Living survey results and ranked Durban higher than Cape Town and Johannesburg, as the South African city with the highest quality of life. Suddenly the world's attention shifted to the country's east coast. That was over-and-above the global vote of confidence for Durban as one of the New7Wonders Cities – up there with ...
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Cape Towns Big 7 – If You Haven’t Done Them, You Haven’t Lived
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Cape Towns Big 7 – If You Haven’t Done Them, You Haven’t Lived

Cape Towns Big 7 have nothing to do with animals... The city has not suddenly acquired direct access to lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, great white shark and southern right whales – although southern right whales, sharks, seals and penguins you can find within the city's parameters. Instead, Cape Towns Big 7 is about seven unmissable things to do in Cape Town. The city has always had a Big 6 list of major tourist attractions, but to that it has added a city walk, embracing the idea of multi-purpose, liveable streets that focus on pedestrians. Most of the Big 7 need little by wa...
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Stitching The Dragon’s Tail – South Africas Great 8 Passes Challenge
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Stitching The Dragon’s Tail – South Africas Great 8 Passes Challenge

Imagine driving the highest navigable mountain pass in the country, enjoying wild and unspoilt countryside with views to match, skiing the slopes of Ben Macdhui and then passing down the other side of the mountain into one of the country's prettiest and most historical villages ... No, you do not have to head into the Alps of Switzerland, or the Scottish Highlands. Such a challenge exists right here, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Known as the 8 Passes Challenge, or Stitching the Dragon's Tail, the navigation of eight mountain passes in the southernmost section of the Drakensberg M...
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