• 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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This category includes posts about things we really want to share with our readers but don’t “fit into” any of our standard categories. Posts include general news and things we are proud of … Visit SA-Venues.com to explore our beautiful country, South Africa.

Friday, 14 February 2014

South Africanisms everyone should know

posted to: Miscellaneous

With 11 official languages, it is no wonder that there is a lingo in South Africa that is completely unique to this diverse country of colours, tongues and cultures. While English is widely spoken and understood, visitors are encouraged to learn some of the local words, which hail from a combination of English, Afrikaans and the many African languages found here.

Here are some of the most significant South Africanisms … Continued

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

South Africa’s national symbols – a guide for dummies

I’m prepared to bet the average person knows our national flag, our national flower (king protea), and probably our national bird (blue crane). But when it comes to national symbols like the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli or even our national fish (the galjoen) some of us need a little help … Continued

Monday, 27 January 2014

18 Travel Trends for 2014

The latest Travel Trends for 2014 show South Africa and Cape Town are to be reckoned with, airports are becoming more liveable, mobile bookings are on the up, and travellers are demanding a more ‘local’ experience …

1 – Despite the recession, tourism continues to grow

2.5 billion internet users worldwide mean that countries like India and China have increased buying power, and are travelling more. Asia was 2013′s hot spot for travel, both incoming and domestic, and Southern Europe – Malta, Portugal, Croatia – expect a high tourist rate this year; higher than Northern Europe. Continued

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How eco friendly is your tour operator, really?

Is your eco friendly tour operator really environmentally friendly? And how do you recognise one?

So many organisers of tours and trips these days attach the prefix ‘eco’ to their offering. How far reaching this ‘umbrella’ claim is depends on a number of issues. But when is it just a wishful title, and when is it credible? Continued

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

An Interview with Joe Cloete of the Shamwari Group

Joe Cloete - Shamwari Group

Joe Cloete – Shamwari Group

Joe Cloete is the General Manager of the Shamwari Group, which represents the exquisite Shamwari Game Reserve just outside Nelson Mandela Bay.

This reserve has consistently been voted the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and Conservation Company, and promises visitors an experience of sheer luxury.

Mr Cloete sheds some light on the lodge, its facilities, and what makes it so very special… Continued

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

15 tips on how to save for your next trip

Friends often ask me how we manage to go away as often as we do. Somewhere in the disbelief at yet another trip, is the inference that we must have loads of money to be able to do as we do.

Far from it! Our monthly earnings would not make an investment broker sit up straighter. Our going away often has less to do with earning pot loads, and more to do with living frugally so that we have money over for fun – i.e. travel.

Here are a few ideas on how to find the money for travelling – Our 15 tips on how to save for your next trip Continued

Monday, 7 October 2013

Snapshot South Africa – 20 interesting and informative facts

South Africa is vast – 1 233 404 km² – making it the 25th largest country in the world, twice the size of Texas, and five times the size of Great Britain.

South Africa has the second highest waterfall in the world (the Tugela Falls)

And the third largest canyon in the world (Blyde River Canyon). Continued

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Where Will You Chop ‘n Dop On Braai Day?

24th September is National Heritage Day in South Africa, this public holiday was set by the government for South Africans to celebrate and enjoy our rich heritage. National Heritage Day is called something different by each culture, some call it Ukosa, others Chisa Nyama and of course Braai Day. The one thing in common is that we all commemorate the day by lighting a fire and enjoying fabulous food. It is tradition to braai on 24th September, which is exactly what I intend to do. If you are a visitor to the county and enjoying a holiday here, I suggest you get involved in the festivities and experience a good old South African braai … there is no better day for it! Continued

Friday, 20 September 2013

10 great ways to cope when your flight is delayed

You’re hemmed in on one side by a Japanese tour group making its way to Sun City, whilst the family next to you can barely contain their three-year old in the throes of an extraordinarily bad hair day, when there is a public announcement that your connecting flight is delayed.

Flight delays are a large part of the travel experience. They happen. But there are ways to survive them … Continued

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sussed on travel – 10 top tech travel gadgets

Sussed on travel – 10 top tech travel gadgets – Much as you’d love to have a holiday from them, rather than with them, when travelling, particularly overseas, there are some travel gadgets you just can’t leave at home… Continued

Monday, 16 September 2013

Travel Then and Now – 16 Changes

Ever wondered how much travel has changed in the last thirty or forty years?

For those of us who would be lost without cell phones, that’s going back to when unless a phone was plugged in at the wall, or you had access to a tickie box (aka pay phone or phone box), you would have to rely on the kindness of shop keepers, or random agony aunts, if you needed to make a call home.

But has travel improved? Have all the ‘progressive’ changes that have delivered an apparent simplicity to the travel experience been good for us? Continued

Friday, 13 September 2013

5 types of traveller – which one are you?

I took an online quizz recently to discover what type of traveller I am.

It turns out that not only am I a ‘cultural’ traveller who explores all the art and food a city has to offer (true) but I can sense a tourist trap from miles away (I can?) and I also gravitate towards more authentic experiences and don’t need a guidebook to show me what to do (well, ja, but I have a husband who reads them from cover to cover!).

The results were questionable, but it got me thinking about the ‘types’ of travellers we are – from those who simply want to sun worship, to others for whom a list of top attractions taken at breakneck speed is the very essence of travel. Continued

Monday, 26 August 2013

Beer, Biltong, Braai – My 3 Favourite Things About South Africa

When I was 21, I decided to broaden my horizons and move to the United Kingdom to visit my family, gain some new experiences and to travel a bit. I was there for eight years and returned home to Cape Town not so long ago. Although I had a wonderful time abroad, filled with laughter, great memories and fabulous photos, I missed South Africa. It is by far the most beautiful country and when I was living here I took its beauty for granted.

As the plane was landing in Cape Town after an hour stopover in Jo-burg, there were only about ten of us on board, all Capetonians. When we rounded past Table Mountain to land, I think everyone of us on board was in tears … Continued

Friday, 9 August 2013

Jo’burg’s Ponte – It’s Back On The Map

posted to: Miscellaneous
Ponte Building

Ponte Building

Not only has the interior of the Ponte building leapt up a notch from sleeze to fashionable, but it’s now part of an inner-city walking tour.

Everyone knows the Ponte building – the iconic cyclindrical skyscraper in Berea, right next to Hillbrow, with its upper end encrusted with the Vodacom logo.

The tallest residential skyscraper in Africa it might be but very few of us have visited it. Certainly nobody I know has ventured as far as Berea recently; it’s one of Johannesburg‘s ‘no-go’ areas, if you want to live and tell the tale.

Not quite true. Things, it seems, have changed. Continued

Thursday, 8 August 2013

My New Buzz Word – Flashpacking – What It Means, And Why I’m Doing It

I was recently discussing with my better half (I say this with complete candour as when it comes to shoe-chucking, word spewing bouts of frustration, my husband has a lot more control than I; which must make him a better human being. He also plants great vegetables, builds legendary lego towers, and ignores the phone more readily than I) the ins and outs of packing for a just over three-week holiday.

There are more outs than ins when packing. Of the bulging variety. As in bags; the sit-on-to-close variety. Whether we leave for a week or a month we generally look as though we’re going away for at least a year. And then some. There is something about the desperation of leaving that has one trying to fit every little thing one can possibly imagine needing, including the kitchen sink, into the car. Are you sure we shouldn’t take the blender, hon? Continued