• 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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Attractions

This category includes posts about featured and new attractions throughout South Africa as well as editors’ reviews of popular towns and holiday resorts. Need more info? Visit SA-Venues.com for comprehensive information about all our towns and South Africa’s Attractions.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Four Towns, A Biosphere, Penguins & Whales – Clarence Drive Has It All

Clarence Drive is one of the most stunning coastal drives in the world. It’s every bit as exciting as Chapman’s Peak, without the cost of the toll.

Forming part of Route 44 Clarence Drive hugs an incredibly scenic portion of the coast just south east of Cape Town, connecting the seaside towns of Rooi Els and Betty’s Bay – the Hottentot Hollands Mountains on one side, the ocean on the other.

Seventy seven bends, numerous wide curves and a couple of sharp corners – with plenty of opportunity to pull over, hop out of your vehicle and survey the beauty of what lies before you (including whales during winter) – makes up one of the flattest ‘mountain passes’ you’ll ever drive… Continued

Thursday, 18 August 2016

How To Have A Whale Of A Time Without Whales In Hermanus

Only an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town, Hermanus hugs Walker Bay every bit like a mother who has perfected the art of the embrace – gently, but without any attachment – so that its waters appeal to a group of whales who return, year-upon-year, to mate and calve in these waters.

Being animals they’re unperturbed by ideas anyone on land has about their presence in these waters, and so they keep largely offshore until it suits them – usually around September – to coincide with the annual Whale Festival.

Hermanus draws huge crowds of people anywhere between July and October. If it’s calm and the sun is out you can guarantee that town is humming. Which only adds to its allure… Continued

Friday, 12 August 2016

Why The Lesser-Known Northern Cape Is The Perfect Place For Adventure

It’s no secret. South Africans regard their country as the Adventure Capital of the World.

And for good reason – we’ve the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee jump, the world’s only crocodile cage-diving, we free dive with tiger sharks, swim with Cape fur seals, cage dive with great whites, hike in Big Five territory, abseil off Table Mountain, kayak with crocodiles and boast an Extreme 19th hole (accessible only by helicopter) on one of our signature golf courses (we’ll leave it up to you to find out where!).

And that’s only the highlights we managed to fit in one paragraph…

But you might not know about the Northern Cape as an adventure destination. This region, best known for its desert landscapes, red sand dunes, nature reserves and springtime flowers, is such that once you’ve visited, you are inexplicably drawn to return.

Continued

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Expert Tips For Spotting Whales On The Cape Whale Route

The winter whale watching season is upon us!

From early July until October every year the Southern Right Whale makes the Cape shoreline of South Africa its nursery. Whales come to warmer waters (from the icy waters further north) to mate, give birth and nurse their young.

Whilst you can catch a glimpse of them all the way from the West Coast up to Storms River Mouth, the best part of the coastline to spot them is known as the Cape Whale Coast. Continued

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Who Wants To Know The Best Way To See The Namaqua Flowers?

Cut through the jargon and the hype and take note of these easy to follow suggestions for the best blooming Namaqua experience you’ve had yet! Continued

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

15 Tourist Attractions That Are Worth The Money (And 3 That Are ‘Meh’)

It’s only fair that your money should work hard for you on holiday. Let’s be honest: there is nothing worse than standing in a queue, to hand over your cash, only to find that the attraction is over-hyped and underwhelming.

To save you money, we’ve put together a list of 15 South African attractions that are worth every cent. And three that are not… Continued

Monday, 25 July 2016

The Ultimate Travel Calendar: Your Guide To The Best Places For Every Month Of The Year!

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

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

8 Stops On The Road To The Biedouw Valley, And Why It Will Change Your Life

The beautiful, relatively unknown Biedouw Valley lies hidden beyond the Cederberg Mountains on the other side of the Pakhuis Pass.

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

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

10 Movies To Get You In The Mood For South Africa

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

Monday, 27 June 2016

Escape The City: 9 Of Cape Towns Green Spaces And Parks

Cape Town has no shortage of green spaces and parks. Next time you’re in the Mother City trade a shopping spree for a walk in one of these … Continued

Friday, 24 June 2016

Our Top 7 Really Unusual Activities In The Cederberg

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

Monday, 20 June 2016

Amazing Snippets Of History: Cape Towns First Wines

It’s intriguing – the history of the Cape’s first wine. Both van Riebeeck and van der Stel played pivotal roles. One was a fine wine maker; the other was not.

But even more fascinating is the fact that Constantia wines were the toast of Europe three centuries ago.

We might be winning gold medals by the dozen internationally (in 2015 South Africa achieved a 50% increase in gold medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition), but back in the late 18th century, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were mentioning Constantia wines in their books, and lord this and earl that were ordering them by the ship load… Continued

Friday, 17 June 2016

We Share Our 10 Favourite Spots (and Towns) Of The Swartland

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

Monday, 13 June 2016

12 Of The Most Stunning Thermal Hot Springs In South Africa. The Last One Blew Us Away.

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

Friday, 10 June 2016

Do You Know About The Cape Camino?

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