• 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 ...
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Destinations and Provinces

Nature has worked a special magic on the South African landscape. Although culture and history are an integral part of the South African experience, it is nature which is the true jewel in the crown.

Wind, sun and rain have sculpted vistas of unsurpassed beauty in which some of the earth’s most diverse plant population thrive. With kilometres of countryside and coastline where visitors can enjoy the sun, South Africa is an African masterpiece … MORE \ Discover South Africa

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Offbeat Route 56 – Take The Alternative Route Through The Transkei

Route 56 is a surprisingly well-maintained, provincial route that links Middleburg in the Eastern Cape, with Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. On the map it looks as though someone has taken a crayon and drawn a squiggly line east, north east through the country.

Marketed as the ‘shortest route’ between the Western Cape and Durban, the route’s main leverage is that it is a viable alternative to the N2 through the Transkei. It passes through the mountain country of Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal connecting Molteno, Maclear and Kokstad.

Calling it ‘short’ is a little misleading. It may be shorter in terms of kilometres, but the nature of the roads through the mountains mean that you take it slower. You can easily add three hours to your journey, but they’re hours well spent in terms of scenery and escaping the N2. Continued

Friday, 5 February 2016

West Coast National Park’s Turquoise Blue Lagoon

And other reasons to visit the West Coast National Park…

The West Coast National Park, for most people, is all about the spring flowers.

From the beginning of August Capetonians, or visitors to Cape Town who haven’t the time to drive all the way to Springbok to see the Namaqualand daisies drive out in their droves to drink in the valleys and sand dunes of the reserve – literally awash with colour.

Postberg nature reserve, that part of the reserve on the other side of the Postberg (the mountain on the edge of the Langebaan Lagoon) that is usually closed, opens specially for the flowers.

At other times of the year the West Coast National Park seems to languish, like a strumpet whose skirts have long been explored. As if there was nothing other than flowers to attract visitors. Continued

Monday, 18 January 2016

Mountain Zebra National Park – 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit

Most people I speak to haven’t heard of Mountain Zebra National Park. The park is one of the country’s lesser known hideaways, and those in the know would rather keep it that way.

For some reason people fail to imagine mountains and zebras together (for most of us, zebras belong on the grassy plains of the Kruger National Park, or Serengeti). And when I then mention that the park is close to Cradock in the Karoo, there is further bafflement: yes, there are mountains in the Karoo!

Mountain Zebra National Park falls under the SANParks banner, one of twenty odd national parks in the country. It lies on Route 61, 12 km outside Cradock in the Eastern Cape. From Cape Town it’s a good nine hour journey along either the N1and R61, or N2 and N9, which you can do in one stretch, but I’d advise breaking the journey for comfort’s sake.

Its appeal lies in its beauty, rather than its animal checklist… Continued

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Walks in the Wild – 7 Kruger Wilderness Trails

Wilderness trails are one of the only true ways to experience the essence of nature. They imply an escape into the great beyond, a following of your heart, rather than any designated paths. They necessitate the absence of people, society and the noise and bombardment that come with it.

Wilderness trails in the bush are totally unique to the African continent. Those who walk them claim they are the only way to know Africa. For once you have done a wilderness trail in the Kruger National Park, there is only one way to be in the bush, and that is to walk it.

There is, however, a proviso… Continued

Monday, 7 December 2015

Walk Cape Town – Top Free And Other Walks, In The City Bowl

Cape Town is one of the most walkable cities in South Africa.

We’ve put together a list of city bowl walks that will have you in touch with the beat of the city’s heart in no time. Included in our list are free guided walks, walks you can do on your own, and those Cape Town walks that you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to do. Continued

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

10 Superb Scenic Drives in South Africa

Narrowing scenic drives in South Africa down to ten is not easy. Just the mountain passes in each of the provinces would leave you speechless for months (the Swartberg, Sani and Bainskloof passes in particular).

And so we’ve selected a number of longer routes, some of which incorporate mountain passes, from across the country.

Each of these drives has a unique beauty.

Drive as many of them as you can. Continued

Friday, 13 November 2015

7 Most Amazing Caves To Visit In The Western Cape

Caves – underground crevices and cavities that develop naturally over millennia, usually due to erosive underwater action or the slow erosion of dripping water – keep hidden the natural beauty and splendours of the world; their breathtaking formation or cultural relevance uncovered by scientists or explorers and later shared with visitors.

Their importance, or simply their majesty, an echo of the people or creatures who have celebrated, lived or sheltered against their porous walls and floors.

Some of these caves are filled with stalactites and stalagmites, others harbour historical evidence of mankind’s early existence. Some are open for visiting, others can only be explored by scientist-led tours. All of these amazing caves are beautiful… Continued

Monday, 9 November 2015

10 Natural Attractions In The Natal Midlands

As the name suggests the Midlands lie in the middle of KwaZulu Natal, in that part of the province that lies beyond Pietermaritzburg but before the Drakensberg Mountains.

Much of this area is now popularised by the Midlands Meander – a self-drive arts, crafts, eateries and farmstay route that is a retreat for holiday makers. It is best done with some advance research, and a Midlands Meander guide (available at most stores en route) in hand to uncover the real treats and first-rate spots.

The Midlands is quintessential country living – green hills, forests, waterfalls, the foothills of the Drakensberg, lakes and dams, farmlands, great birding, fishing, hiking, walking and biking opportunities. And the chance to slow down.

Here are 10 natural attractions in the Natal MidlandsContinued

Friday, 6 November 2015

Top 10 Christmas Markets in Johannesburg 2015

Jo’burg can be a nightmare during the Christmas rush.

Which is why we are such fans of the Christmas market scene that makes shopping for gifts such a gentle experience.

November and December are jam-packed with markets flaunting their wares, so take advantage and stock up early. There is a market for almost every week of the lead-up to the 25 December, but don’t leave it ’til the last minute.

Here are the top 10 Christmas markets in Johannesburg you cannot afford to miss… Continued

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

10 Top Markets In The Countdown To Christmas in Durban 2015

There is a definite shift towards buying local (if you hadn’t already noticed the number of foodie and artisan craft markets that have mushroomed in your neighbourhood).

Never more so than at Christmas. For no matter how easy the Internet makes buying gadgets, there is nothing like buying your gifts, and food, from the local community.

Not only is it ethical to support local business, but it also keeps our communities strong.

The bonuses for you include: artisan crafters and food providers sell one-off gifts and offers that nobody else will have, you’re supporting South African entrepreneurs, you will probably spend less, and you help to build the local community.

Durban is alive with local talent, and a feast of Christmas markets. This year is not a case of where will you find local gifts, but: how will you make a choice between all the markets. Continued

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Top 10 Christmas Markets in Cape Town 2015

I start to feel the pressure around this time of the year when the likes of Pick n Pay and Woolies accumulate baubles, advent calendars and tinsel in their prime shelf space. My stomach literally sinks as I think of the annual crowds, and the grab-and-horde mentality that dominates any mall shopping experience over Christmas.

Which is why I’m such a fan of Christmas markets! They’ve turned the festive season around.

Now the Christmas experience is as it’s supposed to be – a gentle gifting experience, not only for one’s loved ones, but for oneself. The local markets in Cape Town are vibrant, creative and brimming with design and craft ideas that are a testimony to the inventive and imaginative talent across the country.

Cape Town has so many markets in November / December that one is spoilt for choice. Here are  the top 10 Christmas markets in Cape Town 2015 you cannot afford to miss (in order of occurrence): Continued

Monday, 12 October 2015

10 Natural Attractions on the West Coast

Despite the surge in tourism that has thrust South Africa into the limelight as a holiday destination to which Europeans and Americans make return visits, this long stretch of fishing villages, windswept beaches, open-air seafood restaurants and icy seas remains relatively obscure.

However, it is conveniently close enough to Cape Town to serve as an escape for Capetonians.

The southern parts of the coastline are thus beginning to feel the pressure, and towns like Paternoster burst at the seams over long weekends and the festive season. But head north outside the flower season to the Namaqualand and its coast, or inland to the Cederberg, and you will discover a rural, raw beauty that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Here are 10 natural attractions on the West CoastContinued

Monday, 5 October 2015

10 top natural attractions in the Karoo

What the Outback is to Australia, the Karoo is to South Africa.

It occupies 400 000 km²- practically one-third of the country’s total area; a vast, semi-arid region in the heart of the country, bounded by mountains in the south and west, and the huge Senqu, or Orange River, on its eastern and northern flanks.

This area of little rainfall, blue and cloudless skies, and extreme temperatures may have acted as a barrier to the interior from Cape Town for early settlers, but today it has come out of isolation to become a major tourist attraction – its immense spaces, incredible mountains, idiosyncratic towns and promise of escape the reason for its popularity.

These 10 top natural attractions are only a taste of what the Karoo holds in store for you. Continued

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Free State

The term ‘free state‘ dates back to South Africa’s early history when, for almost 150 years, the white settlers, who lived between the Vaal and Orange rivers in an area they called the Orange Free State, were independent of British rule.

Today the fundamentally Afrikaans province is also the home of the country’s judicial capital and birthplace of the ANC.

However, the Free State’s major appeal is its natural beauty, open farmlands, and uninterrupted sky, quirky, idiosyncratic towns and villages, interesting road routes, and the vast rocky mountain area of the East Highlands.

For more on the Free State’s history, visit the City of Roses, Bloemfontein. This historical heartland is awash with museums, memorials and monuments.

For natural beauty, visit the Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Free StateContinued

Monday, 28 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Garden Route

The Garden Route is a coastal corridor between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains – that divide the Garden Route from the Little Karoo – and the Indian Ocean so richly endowed in natural beauty that one is hard pushed to narrow a list down to a mere 10 attractions.

It provides a coastline of some 300 km between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay – one of South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations for its effortless combination of ancient forests, rivers, wetlands, pristine stretches of beach, lakes, mountains and fynbos.

Here are 10 of the most popular natural attractions in the Garden Route. Continued