• 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 ...
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  • 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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Font "AlpineScript" was not found.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.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Slow Life –7 Detours On The N2 Between George And Knysna

One of the most exceptional parts of the coast in the Western Cape, the area between George and Knysna is riddled with appealing seaside villages, beaches, delightful finds and magnificent scenery.

Too often, though, we merely use the N2 as a means to our destination.

Next time you’re passing this way, make the time to slow down, savour the beauty and charm of the heart of the Garden Route, and take at least one of 7 detours on the N2 between George and Knysna… Continued

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

7 Cape Town Community Gardens That Are Setting A Trend

A community garden is a piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. They serve as a way to build a sense of local community, a connection to the environment and to provide fresh produce and plants. They range from small plots of vegetables, to large ‘greening’ projects to preserve natural areas. And not all of them have an open gate policy. Some grow only ornamental plants, others function as market gardens.

In Cape Town Community gardens have been a rising trend for a while now. Whether they’re tiny backyard plots, a portion of a city park, rooftop gardens, vertical gardens or ornamental gardening along a river bank, urban community gardening is on the rise.

Here is a list of 7 community gardens in Cape TownContinued

Thursday, 9 April 2015

South Africa’s 8 Most Beautiful Vleis and Marshes

posted to: Attractions

Over half of South Africa’s marshes and vleis have disappeared. Most of them reclaimed for industry and the construction of airports, harbours, and sewage treatment plants. In KwaZulu Natal alone 58% of the wetlands of the Mfolozi River catchment have vanished owing to siltation and overgrazing.

Wetlands are historically regarded as ‘unhealthy’, even dangerous, because of their association with malaria, dampness and disease. They vary greatly in size and location. But broadly speaking wetlands – of which vleis, marshes, bogs, and swamps are examples – are likened to kidneys in the human body; they play a vital role in purifying water, regulating water flow, storing water to release it slowly, and easing the effect of droughts and floods. Continued

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

8 Glorious Gardens That Just Happen To Be On Wine Estates

To explore a garden before, or after, tasting the wine grown on the farm is one of the highlights of these 8 glorious gardens on wine estates… Continued

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

20 of the Finest Food Trucks in South Africa

Food trucks have taken on new meaning. No longer do they fall into the play-incessant-mindless-jingle ice-cream van class. Or the white, sugared rolls with pink Vienna and a good dollop of tomato sauce scene either.

Food trucks are now ‘mobile eateries’ that dish up gourmet food to compete with the best of restaurants. Find them at weddings, parties, concerts, weekend markets and street corners in the city.

What really makes them viable is the wheel factor – they get to you, rather than you having to get to them.

Here are 20 of the finest food trucks in South Africa, city by city… Continued

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

7 Ancient Forests in and around Cape Town

Once upon a time, before the fynbos evolved, much of the south-western Cape, and indeed Southern Africa, was palm forest.

Rainfall patterns and climate changed, and more robust trees replaced the palms forming magnificent forest. Today forests are southern Africa’s smallest biome.

The ancient, once-huge forests are still in evidence in only 0.5% of Africa. You will find what remains in sheltered, remote pockets in mountain ravines or on river banks; the trees’ ancestry millions of years old – a legacy from the time when man was not yet on Earth.

In and around Cape Town you will find 7 remaining ancient forests. But you need to know where to find them… Continued

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

36 Things You Must See and Do When in South Africa

South Africa is vast. It is also jam-packed with things to do and see, and places to visit.

Once you open the guide books you’re lost in a maze of options – anything from our eight World Heritage Sites to Mandela-infused icons and Table Mountain.

We’ve narrowed it down to a list you cannot afford to be without. The definitive list of things you must see and do when in South Africa … Continued

Monday, 9 March 2015

10 Nature Reserves In and Around Cape Town

There are many nature reserves in and around Cape Town. The 10 below include national parks run by SANParks, and reserves managed by CapeNature. These are ‘public’ reserves that are open to anyone, although most have an entrance fee attached to using their facilities… Continued

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Amatikulu Nature Reserve – A Must Visit

A day or two after waving our Christmas guests goodbye (with a sigh of relief on my part), we decided that a bit of exploring was in order. Friends had told us about the small but worthwhile Amatikulu Nature Reserve which is a mere 25 minute drive from our house. So, we packed a picnic of sorts and headed in the direction of Amatikulu … Continued

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Top 10 Views in South Africa

South Africa has heart-stopping vistas aplenty. We struggled more with narrowing it down to a list of 10 than trying to find the views in South Africa … Continued

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Wonders of Mtunzini

In December, while we had a bit of free time we decided to try and see a bit of our local area … our journey took us to the coastal town of Mtunzini which is located just 90 minutes drive north of Durban. The word Mtunzini is derived from the Zulu word emthunzini which means ‘a place in the shade’ and in the history of this coastal town it refers more to the place under the milkwood trees near the Mlalazi River.

Overlooking the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, Mtunzini is a lovely coastal town, well known for its status as a conservancy and also for being a town with a safe, clean and peaceful environment. As had already spent the morning exploring the Amatikulu Nature Reserve we were in need of lunch when we arrived in Mtunzini and stopped for a quick bite to eat at The Clay Oven Restaurant. Continued

Thursday, 15 January 2015

10 churches designed by a woman in the Cape; plan your Sophia Gray Route

Sophia (Sophy) Gray designed no fewer than 40 of the 50 Anglican churches built during her husband Robert Gray’s bishopric. She was the first woman to practise architecture in South Africa, and one of the earliest to do so in the world. No mean feat for a woman who was a wife during the Victorian era, and a mother to five children.

Perhaps Sophy managed to escape the full impact of the crinoline, and its relegation of women to the home, when she moved with her husband from England after he was assigned the colonial bishopric of the Cape of Good Hope. Part of his remit was to build churches.

Robert and Sophy Gray arrived in 1848 to settle on the farm Boschheuvel, originally known as Wijnberg, and later called Bishopscourt. With her Sophy brought drawings and plans of church architecture that she felt would best adapt to South African conditions. She added her own sketches of styles and details that shaped the form of Anglican churches all over South Africa, conferring often with the British ecclesiastical architect W. Butterfield. Continued

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Mossel Bay – 5 things to do in SA’s most mistakenly maligned town

Calling Mossel Bay a ‘harbour town’ is a misnomer. It does have a harbour, but ‘town’ suggests small, when in reality some 60 000 people live there. Mossel Bay is big enough to give the impression of a city. What adds to this impression is that it sprawls, merging seamlessly with the beach side villages of Klein Brak River, Reebok, Tergniet, Groot Brakrivier and Glentana so that the entire bay is a twinkle at night (provided Eskom isn’t load shedding).

Travel brochures tend to gloss over Mossel Bay’s domination by oil refineries; from the N2 they are all you can see between the highway and the harbour. Mossgas’ gas-to-liquids refinery meets 7% of the country’s liquid fuel needs, initiated 22 years ago when gas was discovered offshore.

As a result, light industry monopolises Mossel Bay to such a degree that one’s initial sentiment is to give the town a wide berth. How wrong this impression, and how much more Mossel Bay has to offer than one thinks… Continued

Thursday, 11 December 2014

9 other (really) popular wine routes of the Cape – the bouquet beckons

Wines in South Africa do not start and end with the Cape Winelands (Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch), although one is hard pushed to find a comparable abundance of excellence in so small an area

The Overberg, Orange Free State, Northern Cape, and even the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, produce outstanding wines. And the country’s capacity to grow vines extends as far north as Bronkhorstspruit, 50 km east of Pretoria. You will even find vines in Mpumalanga.

But you would be right in assuming that vines grow particularly well in the Cape. The breezes off the Atlantic Ocean, the cold winters and hot summers, the winter rainfall – all combine to create the perfect scenario for wine production.

There are so many different wine routes in the Cape that we didn’t mention half of them in our first article Continued

Monday, 8 December 2014

10 best places to see wild dogs in South Africa

Probably the most distinctive feature of the African wild dog is its big, round ears. They’re nothing like a domestic dog’s.

They’re nothing like a wolf’s either, yet this beautiful Cape hunting dog, or painted dog as it’s also known, is given the Latin name Lycaon pictus, meaning ‘painted wolf-like animal’, because it is closest in nature to a wolf.

Their hide is different from a dog’s too – covered with irregular patches of black, brown, red, white and yellow fur. Wild dogs have a black, furrow-like vertical line on the forehead between the eyes that is rather endearing. And they have only four toes per foot, unlike the five toes of domestic dogs.

Catching a glimpse of one is difficult. The wild dog is southern Africa’s most endangered large carnivore, and has all but disappeared from most of its original range… Continued