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Picnicking at Harold Porter Botanical Garden, and sighting penguins
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Picnicking at Harold Porter Botanical Garden, and sighting penguins

Harold Porter Botanical Garden is a really pleasant surprise! In fact, it's one of the Cape's best kept secrets ... I had forgotten just how gorgeous the drive from Cape Town to Betty's Bay along Clarence Drive, known also as Route 44, is. We were to visit friends in Somerset West in the evening and, since it looked as though the day would be clear, we ambitiously set off for the Harold Porter Botanical Garden, a long-delayed visit, one we had been meaning to make for too long. Fortunately for us, despite roadworks in Somerset West that could have turned our journey into a complete mis...
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29 Blue Flag Beaches in South Africa
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29 Blue Flag Beaches in South Africa

The new season of Blue Flag South Africa was launched at Muizenberg beach in Cape Town yesterday where it was announced that 29 of South Africa's beaches have achieved Blue Flag status - an increase from 19 to 29 this year ... Announced by Marthinus van Schalkwyk (Minister of Tourism), who said that the increase of Blue Flag beaches from 19 last year to 29 this year was extremely good for tourism in South Africa. “In order for South Africa to optimise its tourism potential, it is critical that we offer both domestic and international visitors clean, safe and well-managed beaches.” Sout...
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History or horticulture? How about a whole lot of both at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden?
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History or horticulture? How about a whole lot of both at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden?

The Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden is one of the Cape’s most well-known tourism draw cards, as well as being a favourite with locals as a picnic spot. Any Cape Town guide book worth its salt will tell you about the Garden’s 528 hectares of indigenous flora and natural forest (36 of which are cultivated), its restaurants, its hiking trails and its line-up of summer concerts. What they might not tell you about is Kirstenbosch’s very long and interesting history ... It’s a common misconception that just about all of Cape Town sprang into existence only when European settlers planted thei...
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The Outeniqua Country Hop
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The Outeniqua Country Hop

One could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘country hop’ is some sort of quaint rural dance, but the Outeniqua country hop in the Garden Route is a tourist route, initiated by a group of local women to help put local trade in and around George on the map. The clever play on the term ‘hop’ was inspired by the abundance of hops growing in the area, a plant used in the manufacturing of beer, and unique to this region in South Africa. We picked up signs for the Hop on the R404, as we drove out of George. With two young boys in tow, I was taken with the icon of the tractor, which accompanie...
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Bloubergstrand Beach with Kids
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Bloubergstrand Beach with Kids

It is a humbling experience watching a child have their first experience of the beach, something that I as a Capetonian often take for granted. My cousin and her 13 month old son came down to Cape Town from Johannesburg for a visit. The day they arrived was quite a typical summer’s day, hot with a bit of wind and we decided that it would be a great opportunity to go down to the beach, after all the little guy could have his first taste (literally) of the beach sand and see the sea. We took a drive down to Bloubergstrand and parked in the parking lot near the Dolphin Beach Complex, wh...
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Eggman by Greg Lumley
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Eggman by Greg Lumley

This photograph by Cape Town photographer, Greg Lumley, is of "Eggman" - he's the guy with all the Eggs on his head that you see at all the best festivals in Cape Town. His name is Gregory da Silva - Greg is a storyteller, dancer and live street perfomer from Benin West Africa. "Eggman" performs every day in Market Square, Cape Town and adds an air of Rio-style festivity wherever he performs ... Contact Details: Contact Greg on Telephone: +27 (0)83 604-0107. Save Save Save
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Flower Power – the Cape Floral Kingdom
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Flower Power – the Cape Floral Kingdom

Here in South Africa, we’re really quite proud of all the cool stuff our country has to offer. You’ve heard us wax lyrical about our mountains, our game reserves, our wildlife, our beaches, and just gush in general about South Africa’s natural beauty (not to mention its world-class hotels, restaurants, bars, nightlife…). So small wonder that here’s yet another part of the country we want to tell you about: The Cape Floral Kingdom. Of the six floral kingdoms in the world, ours might be the smallest, but, as the old adage goes, it’s not the size that matters. You see ... it’s also the...
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Down the garden path … Cape Town Company Gardens
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Down the garden path … Cape Town Company Gardens

In the midst of Cape Town’s bustling CBD, abutting the Houses of Parliament and Tuynhuys (the President’s Cape Town residence), hides an oasis of greenery, the roots of which extend across the centuries to tap into our country’s history – though most locals simply think of the Company Gardens as a cool spot for an inner-city picnic. Cape Town Company Gardens: Named for the Dutch East India Company, the gardens were established by Jan van Rieebeck in the 1650's as a fresh produce garden for the purpose of re-victualling ships and providing Cape Town’s colonists with veggies. They have bee...
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Rondevlei Nature Reserve – Hippos in the City
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Rondevlei Nature Reserve – Hippos in the City

One of the serious advantages to living in Plumstead, other than the quick access to just about anywhere in the city, is the close proximity to both the Rondevlei and Seekoevlei nature reserves. Constantia may lay claim to Kirstenbosch (admittedly gorgeous, but over a weekend it is inundated) but Plumstead (well, okay, Grassy Park) has a unique eco spot in the city where you can see hippos, a part of the world where hippos were once a plenty ... Besides, it's not as if Kirstenbosch made it into the recent Rough Guides' Clean Breaks – 500 new ways to see the world! Up there with 'must do'...
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A visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve
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A visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve

Nestled on the undeveloped western headland of the Knysna lagoon sits the piece of untouched paradise known as Featherbed Private Nature Reserve – the Garden Route’s premier eco-tourism spot. The lagoon is more accurately termed a river estuary, filled by five freshwater rivers that flow out of the Outeniqua Mountains to meet the saltwater of the Indian Ocean. It’s watched over by the forbidding sandstone cliffs known as the Knysna Heads. Ecologically speaking, the area is very important, home to indigenous flora and endangered fauna – hence the necessity of its preservation and its status ...
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Sipping organic wine at Waverley Hills
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Sipping organic wine at Waverley Hills

Lying at the foot of the Witzenberg Mountains on the R46 between Tulbagh and Ceres, Waverley Hills produces organic wines that are definitely worth sampling. The Du Toit family entered the rather tough organic market in 2000 when they planted 21 hectares of vineyard, and we popped in to visit the estate recently. Waverley Hills Estate lies on a natural watershed area - both the Breede and Berg River originated here before continuing on to enter two completely different oceans - which more than accounts for the myriad wild flowers and the effortless expanse of grasses at Waverley Hills. It w...
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The Palace at the lost City Photographs
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The Palace at the lost City Photographs

Photographs and a short video taken at The Palace at The Lost City in Sun City, North West Province. The internationally acclaimed Sun City Resort has a unique heartbeat and an African rhythm of its own and is unlike any other Resort destination in the world. This is pure fantasy and your every desire is met ... Destination Info: The Palace at the Lost City Find other hotels in Sun City Nationwide Accommodation Save
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National Parks week – get in for free
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National Parks week – get in for free

It's official. This week, starting today 14th September, you can get into any (or at least the majority) of the South African National Parks (SANParks) for free. So, if you're in Cape Town you have the whole of the Table Mountain National Park at your disposal, and, better still, if you're up in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the Kruger National Park is yours for free this week ... (that's your entrance fee, not your accommodation, unfortunately). For those of you who, like me, didn't have a clue that such a thing as National Parks Week existed, then the next seven days are yours to explore th...
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