• 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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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

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

10 Great Spots for Snorkelling and Free Diving in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the best places to free dive, or snorkel, in the world. Cape fur seals, mako sharks, blue sharks, seven gill sharks, dolphins, whales and the magic of the kelp forests that line our west coast, mean the seas are rich with marine creatures, and incredibly beautiful.

Snorkelling is the act of swimming through the sea with nothing other than a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel and, usually, fins. In Cape Town you will need a wetsuit. Snorkellers make use of the shallow kelp forests, using the stems to pull themselves to the sea bed.

Through the kelp fringe roam red romans, pajama sharks, sea urchins, anemones, shrimp and rock lobsters amongst other fish. And there are groups of Cape fur seals around the coast with whom you can interact (contact companies that facilitate seal snorkelling – now rather popular). Continued

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Amatikulu Nature Reserve – A Must Visit

A day or two after waving our Christmas guests goodbye (with a sigh of relief on my part), we decided that a bit of exploring was in order. Friends had told us about the small but worthwhile Amatikulu Nature Reserve which is a mere 25 minute drive from our house. So, we packed a picnic of sorts and headed in the direction of Amatikulu … Continued

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Your 2015 Travel Itinerary in SA – Diarise These 6 Weekend Road Trips

South Africa is one of the best country’s in the world for road trips – with nigh on 750 000 kilometres of road (the longest road network on the continent, and one of the ten longest road networks globally). The country is probably best known for its Garden Route – a road trip that winds its way up the coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, passing some of the most incredible scenery, beaches and coastline in the world en route.

But there are other shorter, just as extraordinary, road trips around the country. We’ve put together 6 weekend trips for you to choose from for your 2015 diaries. Few of them are more than five hours’ drive but there is much to do and see en route. They give credence to the slogan: local is lekker. Continued

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Top 10 Views in South Africa

South Africa has heart-stopping vistas aplenty. We struggled more with narrowing it down to a list of 10 than trying to find the views in South Africa … Continued

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Wonders of Mtunzini

In December, while we had a bit of free time we decided to try and see a bit of our local area … our journey took us to the coastal town of Mtunzini which is located just 90 minutes drive north of Durban. The word Mtunzini is derived from the Zulu word emthunzini which means ‘a place in the shade’ and in the history of this coastal town it refers more to the place under the milkwood trees near the Mlalazi River.

Overlooking the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, Mtunzini is a lovely coastal town, well known for its status as a conservancy and also for being a town with a safe, clean and peaceful environment. As had already spent the morning exploring the Amatikulu Nature Reserve we were in need of lunch when we arrived in Mtunzini and stopped for a quick bite to eat at The Clay Oven Restaurant. Continued

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Escape The Crowds – 8 Places and Spaces to Break Away

South Africa is a huge country. It is also incredibly diverse, promising anything from the lush, indigenous forests of the Tsitsikamma to the dry, cracked clay of the Kgalagadi river beds.

Remote beaches, wild life reserves deep in what remains of true African bush, mountains that tower thousands of metres above sea level, skies filled with stars, and the vast, lonely expanse of the Karoo are but the first few on a list that reads like a treasure trove of collected highlights of a world tour.

We list 10 places and spaces to break away from it all and escape the crowds – for a day; for a week – the choice is yours… Continued

Friday, 30 January 2015

Greytown and Tranquili-Tea

A few weeks ago a friend and I took a trip from where we farm in Kearsney to the town of Greytown. I must admit, I had driven through Greytown on my way to the Natal Midlands many times before but had never taken the time to stop and see what the town has to offer.

The landscape is for one is completely different; here the hills are covered in green forests compared to the sugar-cane fields that makeup the Kearsney landscape. The climate is wonderful too; on the day we visited it was beautifully cool and misty … in fact the drive home on the windy R74 took much longer than anticipated due to the misty, wet conditions (it’s not always easy to see a cow wandering across the road in the mist!) Continued

Thursday, 29 January 2015

I Love Greyton Because … Insider Tips

Hi, we are Ines Stoll and Mark Dittke from The Purple Dog Self Catering House in Greyton in the Cape Overberg, Western Cape.

Greyton IS BEST KNOWN FOR its magnificent piece of peace, tucked away from the N2 but still close enough to Cape Town with its oak tree lined streets surrounded by the majestic Riviersonderend Mountains.

GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN whilst meandering in the Nature Reserve along the Gobos River with an easily accessible waterfall or from the top of the Mountain whilst hiking the Loerkop Trail with a marvellous 360-degree view with the whole chain of the Riviersonderend mountains spread from east to west, with Greyton and Genadendal in sheltered positions… Continued

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

6 Ways to Experience Cape Town’s Ocean Wildlife

Known historically as ‘The Cape of Storms’ the tempestuous seas around the Cape Peninsula have battered the rocky shores, and more than a few ships, for millennia. The peninsula juts out into the ocean at the edge of the African continent, tipped by the Cape of Good Hope (which, contrary to popular myth, is not the southernmost tip of Africa – this honour is reserved for Cape L’agulhas, a little further east).

With the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one shore, and the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean on the other, Cape Town has historically served as a watering hole for travellers, and continues to do so today, although as a destination rather than a stopover on the Spice Route to and from Asia. Continued

Thursday, 22 January 2015

10 Reasons Downtown Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct is the Place to Live, Eat and Visit

Downtown Johannesburg is a dangerous place. In May 1999, not five years after the first democratic government was elected in South Africa, the Guardian published an article entitled: Johannesburg, the most dangerous city on earth? The chilling article gives personal accounts of death by car-jacking, muggings and rapes, and cites frightening statistics about the country’s daily murder and rape rates.

It presents Johannesburg as nothing short of a ‘rough, provisional kind of place’ that has ‘never quite shaken off its arbitrary, squatter-camp beginnings’. (ouch!) It is not a pretty picture.

Johannesburg’s downtown has attracted many illegal immigrants. The CBD, dense with skyscrapers, is also dense with people. If statistics are to be believed 217 000 inner city residents live in 37 000 dwelling units. The threat of vagrancy and crime keeps people away. But. Things are changing.

Fast forward to 2014 and news articles now convey Jo’burg’s downtown as ‘less dodgy’. They describe an urban renaissance transforming the city’s once-feared streets into welcoming urban spaces. One of the major contributors to this renaissance is the Maboneng Precinct.

Here are 10 Reasons Downtown Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct is the Place to Live, Eat and Visit… Continued

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Mossel Bay – 5 things to do in SA’s most mistakenly maligned town

Calling Mossel Bay a ‘harbour town’ is a misnomer. It does have a harbour, but ‘town’ suggests small, when in reality some 60 000 people live there. Mossel Bay is big enough to give the impression of a city. What adds to this impression is that it sprawls, merging seamlessly with the beach side villages of Klein Brak River, Reebok, Tergniet, Groot Brakrivier and Glentana so that the entire bay is a twinkle at night (provided Eskom isn’t load shedding).

Travel brochures tend to gloss over Mossel Bay’s domination by oil refineries; from the N2 they are all you can see between the highway and the harbour. Mossgas’ gas-to-liquids refinery meets 7% of the country’s liquid fuel needs, initiated 22 years ago when gas was discovered offshore.

As a result, light industry monopolises Mossel Bay to such a degree that one’s initial sentiment is to give the town a wide berth. How wrong this impression, and how much more Mossel Bay has to offer than one thinks… Continued

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

10 attractions that will have you packing your bags for the Upper Karoo

For many the Karoo is a great expanse of (dry) land somewhere in the middle of South Africa. Just where this place of great heat and frosts, with an annual rainfall of next to nothing, starts and ends is a mystery, expounded by the impression that its extent is unknown (although we estimate it as nearly 400 000 square kilometres).

We have rather a romantic notion about its limitless skies, Marino sheep, succulents, windmills and little hillocks. Rightly so, as it is unusually beautiful. Some of us speak with longing of retiring to a town in said expanse of land, to fritter away our days running fish ‘n chips shops, or little coffee cum bookshops. Others actually do this… Continued

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Exceptional Bakery and Deli is popular with the local crowd

I’ve discovered somewhere that is fast becoming my favourite coffee spot. Located in the village of Umhlali, The Exceptional Bakery and Deli has only been open for six short weeks but is quickly gaining popularity with the local crowd.

What makes this venue so attractive is its premises … slap bang in the middle of the Karibu Nursery! There are a number of tables on a raised and covered deck area which overlooks the majority of the nursery area and there is certainly something tranquil about sipping a cup of Illy coffee while gazing out over rows of bobbing Agapanthus or bright daisies… Continued

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

To market, to market – the top 10 Christmas markets in Cape Town

I’ve obviously left my Christmas market shopping a little late as I’ve missed both the Constantia Gift Fair (this weekend past), and Kamers vol Geskenke.

The good news: there are still plenty of Christmas markets to choose from (despite the fact that Kamers must be one of the best markets ever, and I missed out on a bumper edition of creativity and variety!). Continued

Monday, 10 November 2014

Durban Botanic Gardens Music at the Lake

When I used to live in Cape Town, one of my favorite things to do during the summer months was to pack a picnic and, with tickets in hand, head to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens for a Sunday concert.

The Durban Botanic Gardens have not disappointed, with the Old Mutual Music at the Lake series currently taking place. The concerts take place throughout the year and are centered around the beautiful lake in the gardens. There are approximately 5000 tickets per performance with different pricing options depending on how close to the stage one would like to sit… Continued