• 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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Book Reviews and SA Authors

In this section SA-Venues.com proudly features reviews of books by South Africa authors. Presented by local publisher, New Voices Publishing, you can look forward to reviews of books by new authors as well as seasoned writers. New Voices Publishing offers the South African author new alternatives – giving unpublished authors the platform to have a voice. We celebrate these authors creativity and their books right here …

Monday, 19 September 2016

10 Best Non-Fiction Books About South Africa That Will Have You Hanging On Every Word

Many books have been written about South Africa.

It may lie on the southernmost tip of the African continent, but it’s attracted a fair amount of attention since 1994 for numerous reasons – political and otherwise.

This list of 10 best non-fiction books about South Africa does not include Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom (we assume you’ve read that). Here, instead, are some you’ll know and others about which you won’t.

All of them are worth reading … Continued

Thursday, 20 November 2014

8 favourite South African writers, for your Christmas stocking

I first connected with South African fiction when I read Etienne van Heerden’s The Long Silence of Mario Salviati, and was hooked. If you consider it was 2002, it took me rather a long time to get there.

Since then I’ve read much and often.

Here is a list of my 8 favourite South African writers, in no particular order. Any of their books make great holiday reads, or gifts… Continued

Monday, 12 August 2013

Cockney Liz – The Lady Who Gave The Barberton Daisy Its Name

A great many stories about the legendary barmaid known as Cockney Liz circulate, many of them rumours. That the classy barmaid became famous not only for her musical abilities but also for her regular offerings of herself on auction to the highest bidder, is true. But little is actually known about her beyond her time in Barberton.

But a recent discovery of her diaries has uncovered enough of a story to mean the making of a movie about Elizabeth Jane Webster that connects her, not only directly to the Barberton daisy, but also to the robber’s grave in Pilgrim’s Rest. Continued

Monday, 20 June 2011

Walking on the Wildside by Pat Dewil – a Book Review

Pat Dewil is an enthusiastic conservationist and professional wildlife ranger and guide and a very accomplished story teller. You will get to know him through the countless tales of his exploits and adventures in his book – Walking on the Wildside. He travels throughout Africa, through the bush and over the Serengeti. His travels take him to Mana Pools, Victoria Falls and the great Zambezi River. His photography captures Africa and there are some images of scary moments and funny instances. You don’t have to be a safari-nut to really enjoy this book. Continued

Monday, 13 June 2011

The South African Story by Ron McGregor – a Book Review

Ron McGregor is one of South Africa’s most experienced tour guides. Over many years, thousands of visitors have enjoyed his commentaries and gained through them a greater insight into the story of South Africa and its people. Very informative and entertaining, The South African Story is a collection of these commentaries written in Ron’s trademark style. It covers history and legend, geography and climate, people and politics and much more besides. It is the ideal introduction to this fascinating country! Continued

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Great Whites of False Bay, South Africa by Dirk Schmidt – a Book Review

The Great Whites of False Bay South AfricaThis groundbreaking book is a world first, depicting the Great White Sharks which dominate the False Bay area and present a unique hunting behaviour of breaching during predatory events – and is the only book of its kind in print. It is soon to be a South African bestseller!

About the book

The book contains spell-binding photography of the Great Whites breaching and hunting seals within the False Bay area, as well as delving briefly into the life cycle of the Cape Fur Seal, Seal Island’s history and False Bay, without diverging too much from the awesomeness of the White Shark hunting these waters … Continued

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

‘The Penguins of Boulders’ by Dirk Schmidt – a Book Review

The Penguins of BouldersThe Penguins of Boulders is a book all about the African penguin.  Despite being one of the most charismatic animals on our planet, it is a species in peril suffering from rapid environmental degradation through oil and chemical spillages and the depletion of inshore fish stocks as its primary food source.

About the Book

The African penguin is an indicator species for environmental health and biodiversity. This book not only highlights some of the environmental pressures these animals face, but also illustrates and describes interesting penguins facts, reference information on the species, but also various conservation and ongoing rescue operations.

The book is aimed at a wide audience from young adults, adult readers, bird enthusiasts, and tourists that visit the Penguin colony of Boulders or have an interest in penguins. Continued

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

‘Now this feels like Home’ by Gail Masondo – book review

Gail MasondoNow, This feels like Home is a treasure of a book – offering an honest account of Gail’s life experiences, a memoir with a difference. It takes on the familiar sensations of loss, fear, sadness and regret. We have all experienced these and while reading Gail’s autobiography, we share these feelings with her while on her journey to a place called Home. Home is the Gift of Welcome, the Gift of Serenity, the Gift of Affirmation, not just a place or a building or a country. Gail invites you to journal your experiences and what Home means to you. You might even find yourself going through a healing journey of your own. This is a must read – 25 Life -Gifts revealing the essence of home! Continued

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Hector Kunene’s ‘Through the Tunnel’ – a book review

Hector Kunene

Hector Kunene

Hector Kunene is a young and aspiring South African poet. He was born in Hammarsdale in 1982, a place where politics reigned with bloodshed and burning of houses for the fight of dominance between the ANC and the IFP around 1989. Hector is a first born in the family with 2 siblings. He started working after completing his matric, but his love of art and poetry, which began in high school, continued. As an as yet unpublished author, one of his Poems, “Bloody Corpuscles” appeared in Sunday World and this inspired Victor to complete his first offering, an anthology called Through The Tunnel

As a columnist for the newspaper Free State News, he is humbled to be part of history in the making, playing a role in the Bloemfontein community to enlarge knowledge and spread the word of knowledge and peace. He has enjoyed creating this book … Continued

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Poacher by Div de Villiers – book review

The Poacher by Div de VilliersMany books have been written about game rangers. Most are set in the African bushveld or savannas and portray the romantic image of rugged men exposed to harsh elements and dangerous game. The stories in this book are different. They give an insight into the lives of conservationists in the Eastern Cape; ordinary men and women who may not face the dangers of lions, crocodiles and Anopheles mosquitoes on a daily basis, but who have a passion for protecting one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in Africa.

The Eastern Cape is one of the most beautiful, diverse and wild areas of South Africa with a proud, yet poorly recorded conservation history. Div de Villiers has a passion for the Eastern Cape province, its people and its wildlife, an emotion that is portrayed in his writing … Continued

Friday, 27 August 2010

Win a copy of Berried Treasures, South Africa’s first cookbook devoted to berries (closed)

Enter to win ...

Enter to win …

Win a copy of Berried Treasures, South Africa’s first cookbook devoted to berries!

This is South Africa’s first berry cookbook dedicated to food and berry-lovers everywhere! Filled with a generous reflection of Hillcrest Berry Orchards’ irresistible recipes, complete with pearls of wisdom about growing, harvesting and enjoying youngberries, raspberries, tayberries, blueberries, gooseberries, black and red currants and much more … Myrna Robins pens the Foreword and tells us about “Berried treasure from the Boland”! Continued

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Lekgowa by Tony Harding – Book Review

Lekgowa by Tony HardingLekgowa stands alongside Antjie Krog’s recent text, Begging to be Black, as a powerful contribution to the complex and fraught discourse about identity in the ‘new’ South Africa.  At the same time, the text’s intensely personal nature makes the challenges it poses to received ideas accessible and direct.  It will certainly appeal to any adult, thinking member of South African society, particularly descendants of the original colonizers who are currently embroiled in political change and social transformation – Professor Deirdre Byrne

From the Publisher

Lekgowa is a challenging read. It is not for anyone who is looking for a light read! The rewards of reading Lekgowa, though, far outweigh the challenges. Harding presents himself as sometimes miserable and crippled by his family dysfunctions, but relentlessly courageous in his search for the truth about himself, as a white person and as a fully functioning member of South African society Continued

Monday, 16 August 2010

Publish your own Book in South Africa – Find out just how easy it is!

Attend a Free Worshop and find out just how easy it is to Publish your own Book in South Africa! In one content-packed morning, you will be guided through the process of publishing by the Industry Leaders – for free! Those in the know agree that writing & publishing a book is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert, an Authority on your chosen subject. However, the vast majority of people simply don’t start the simple process because “they don’t know how”. Well, now you have the opportunity to find out just how easy can be to publish your own book in South Africa! Continued

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Berried Treasure by Hillcrest Berry Orchards – Book Review

Hillcrestberries.co.za CoverFrom the Foreword by Myrna Robin, Hillcrestberries.co.za is a generous reflection of Hillcrest’s irresistible recipes, complete with pearls of wisdom about growing, harvesting and enjoying youngberries, blackberries, raspberries, tayberries, boysenberries, blueberries, gooseberries, red and blackcurrants and more… Strawberries have their chance to shine and there are sections devoted to figs, which are also cultivated at Hillcrest, as well as to imported varieties like cranberries, currants and black cherries …

From the Publisher

This is one of my favourite books because it was a pleasure to work with the owners of Hillcrest Berry Orchards. We both wanted to produce a colourful, tempt-your-tastbuds experience and we feel we did just that! This recipe book is full of delicious photography and the best of all – it’s all on berries! Well, most of them … Continued