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Hogsback – a town of pure magic and mystical atmosphere
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Hogsback – a town of pure magic and mystical atmosphere

Not many people know much about Hogsback, or where it is, for that matter, which perhaps is just as well given that its charm is something one might want to protect, and because the very essence of Hogsback is its almost otherworldly silence, where it lies high up in the Amatola Mountains, surrounded by centuries old indigenous forest. All I knew about Hogsback, as we wound our way up the steep mountain roads covered in  fine mist and rain at the beginning of December, was that I had read and heard enough to want to visit, and that we were probably in for a far colder week than my suitc...
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Addo, addo, addo!
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Addo, addo, addo!

If it weren't for the Addo Elephant National Park, Addo would still be an obscure little town off the beaten track, roughly an hour from Port Elizabeth. It really is something of a one-horse town, and locals use the police station as a landmark, rather than the town, which isn't surprising given that it is almost the same size. That said, it isn't the town one comes here to experience. And the area between the town of Addo and the Addo Elephant National Park, which is a ten minute drive away, is filled with a series of restaurants, Addo accommodation venues and exciting places to visit ...
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Breakfast at the Wild Oats Market
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Breakfast at the Wild Oats Market

As far as food markets go, the Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield on the Garden Route probably comes up tops. Residents of Sedgefield and visitors to the town head out in their droves on a Saturday morning to the edge of town right next to the Swartvlei lake-lagoon, where the market has a permanent home under the trees. The market's full name is the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market and it has won numerous awards during its ten year life span. Whilst I'd heard only good things about the farmers' market, I hadn't yet had the opportunity to visit it, but our road trip up to Hogsback had been co...
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Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Port Elizabeth (photographs)
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Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Port Elizabeth (photographs)

The five-tier, 1.1 billion Rand Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was built overlooking the North End Lake in the heart of the city of Port Elizabeth. The Nelson Mandela Stadium will host 8 games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It will host 5 group games, as well as knock out games. A round of 16 game, a quarterfinal and the 3rd/4th playoff will be played at the stadium ... Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Match Dates: Match # 4 on 12 June 2010: Korea Republic vs Greece Match # 13 on 15 June 2010: Ivory Coast vs Portugal Match # 21 on 18 June 2010: Germany vs Serbia Match # 31 on 21 June 2010:...
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Maynardville and Chelsea Village – a reprieve in the midst of Wynberg
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Maynardville and Chelsea Village – a reprieve in the midst of Wynberg

A few of my friends have been talking about Maynardville Park of late. It seems that the park has undergone something of a facelift and the children's play area in particular is now definitely worth a visit. Besides, we're all waiting in anticipation for the next outdoor production of Shakespeare. Maynardville Park is in on the corner of Church and Wolfe Street in Wynberg, for those of you who haven't been there, with one of the main entrances at the end of Wolfe Street, which runs through Chelsea Village. Chelsea Village, also known as Old Wynberg Village and Little Chelsea (although it...
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The Imhoff Farm
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The Imhoff Farm

If you’re on the way to visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve - or hey, even if you’re not - be sure make a stop at the Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie. You’ll find yourself whiling away a more than pleasant afternoon at this historical farmstead, whether enjoying a leisurely lunch, browsing around the shops and boutiques, or participating in one of the many activities on offer. Open seven days a week and with something for everyone, the Imhoff Farm is a definite must-visit. And it’s kid-friendly too. The Blue Water Café offers relaxed alfresco dining with beautiful beach views, combined with an imp...
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Kelp Vuvuzelas – a local, green touch for the Fifa World Cup Final Draw
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Kelp Vuvuzelas – a local, green touch for the Fifa World Cup Final Draw

I stumbled upon a new type of vuvuzela that definitely bears talking about. Not that I'm a fan of the vuvuzela. I happen to hate them. I know, how very unpatriotic of me, but anything that makes that much noise and is mass produced in plastic so that it bears little resemblance to the original home-made kudu horn version is hardly inspiring. I'm not surprised there was an attempt to ban them. But the vuvus made in kelp are works of art. And I'm inspired to buy one in time for the World Cup Final Draw on Friday, particularly as its unique to Cape Town. Graphic designer, Adam Carnegie, is beh...
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Seal takes fish from Fisherman’s mouth – Video
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Seal takes fish from Fisherman’s mouth – Video

Below is a short (17 second) video of an encounter between a fisherman at Hout Bay and a seal (seal takes a fish from the mans mouth). We were lucky enough to capture this moment on camera, taken at the Hout Bay Harbour on a Sunday morning, just as the boats came in laden with crayfish. See more photographs in the gallery below ... Video: Seal takes fish from Fisherman's mouth: Photographs of Hout Bay Harbour - Click to enlarge: Hout Bay Links: Hout Bay Attractions Things to Do in Hout Bay Hout Bay Map Hout Bay Self Catering Hout Bay Accommodation
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Mariannhill Monastery – a gentle space of beauty and peace
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Mariannhill Monastery – a gentle space of beauty and peace

I'm looking at the incredible interior of the church of the Monastery of Mariannhill and realising why, despite its being years since last I was here, it had such a profound effect on me as a 16-year-old. During my third year of high school I sang with a choir that recorded Franz Schubert's mass no 2 in G standing within this sanctuary. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life. The sound we managed to evoke in this place of God was not only incredible, it was impressive and, as young people only beginning to form opinions and views on the world, I felt I had touched something w...
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Things to Do in Cape Town by a Capetonian
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Things to Do in Cape Town by a Capetonian

As a born and bred Capetonian and since it is almost time for holidays I thought I would suggest my own list of activities that I think everyone would enjoy while they’re in Cape Town. So if you plan to be in Cape Town during the holidays (or at any other time of the year) give some of these a try - Things to Do in Cape Town by a Capetonian. Top of my list would be a visit to Table Mountain. As one of Cape Town’s prominent features and also nature's GPS for the city (whenever I am lost my dad’s words come back to me “which side of the mountain are you looking at” and then it’s easy enou...
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All eyes on Cape Town (photographs)
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All eyes on Cape Town (photographs)

The city is buzzing with visitors all here to enjoy what Cape Town has to offer in the lead up to the final draw for the FIFA 2010 World Cup which is happening on 4 December. Readers of the UK Telegraph recently voted Cape Town as their favourite city outside Europe and in Condé Nast Traveller's Readers Choice, Cape Town was named top city in Africa / Middle East, and 4th in the world ... Wouldn't you rather be here too? Photograph: View from Robben Island towards Cape Town Photograph: Table Mountain Cableway Photograph: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Cape Town is gearing up for a ...
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Food & Wine Market at Hermanuspietersfontein
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Food & Wine Market at Hermanuspietersfontein

This is a popular market on a Saturday morning for residents of Hermanus and the surrounds. Its setting is the Hermanuspietersfontein Wine Cellars at the Hemel en Aarde Village closest to Onrus, and if you're not there to pick up the weekend's nibbles and nosh, then you're there for breakfast with friends. It's a market in much the same vein as the Neighbourgoods and the Earth Fair markets in Cape Town, although on a slightly smaller scale. It can get busy though, so you might want to get here relatively early. The market opens at 09h00 ... As you enter the generous courtyard, its perime...
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Peaks, Valleys and Champagne … in the Drakensberg
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Peaks, Valleys and Champagne … in the Drakensberg

One of my favourite holiday spots is the Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach and there is nothing better than an early morning swim in the Indian Ocean, but the Drakensberg offers just as good a holiday and there is no need to watch out for jellyfish and sand in your sarmies! The Northern and Central Drakensberg falls into four valleys; Champagne Valley, Didima Valley, Amphitheatre Valley and finally the Middledale Pass Valley in the Northern Berg. Big peaks in the Champagne Valley are Cathkin and Champagne Castle with peaks of 3149 and 3248 metres resp...
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A stay in Vermont
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A stay in Vermont

Tell people that you're on your way to Vermont and many give you a puzzled response. They obviously are not expecting you to go all the way to America for the weekend, but whilst their brains are whizzing around trying to place the town on a map, I rescue them and explain that it lies close to Hermanus. The relief is palpable. Acquaintances of ours have a wee cottage set in the heart of Vermont's 'old' quarter. After staying in the town twice now, and familiarising myself with its streets, I have divided Vermont into the 'old' and 'new', or 'east' and 'west' quarters for my own reasons....
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