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
At the far northern extension of the Cape Fold Mountains is a mountain range known as the Cederberg. It is a vast array of weathered sandstone mountains and long, arid valleys that combine into a 830 square kilometre hinterland offering rock formations, remote hiking opportunities, camping, rock climbing and some breathtaking scenery.
Bounded by the towns Clanwilliam, Citrusdal and Wupperthal the Cederberg functions as a weekend bolthole for Capetonians, and a hiking mecca for those after wilderness adventures. And all of this a mere three hours’ drive from Cape Town.
Spelled interchangeably Cedarberg, or Cederberg, (depending on whom you ask) the mountains are named after the Clanwilliam cedar (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) now regarded as a ‘relic species’ from a time when the area had a colder climate… Continued
It’s intriguing – the history of the Cape’s first wine. Both van Riebeeck and van der Stel played pivotal roles. One was a fine wine maker; the other was not.
But even more fascinating is the fact that Constantia wines were the toast of Europe three centuries ago.
We might be winning gold medals by the dozen internationally (in 2015 South Africa achieved a 50% increase in gold medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition), but back in the late 18th century, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were mentioning Constantia wines in their books, and lord this and earl that were ordering them by the ship load… Continued
For those of you who lived through television of the ’80s, the Swartland meant only one thing: The home of Bokomo Weet-Bix, the heart of the wheat industry (that Weet-Bix was a top selling breakfast in 1988 is no surprise). Today, the Swartland is fashionable inland farming country that is still regarded as the ‘granary of South Africa’.
It is home to sheep, cattle and vine farming, with a huge sweep of dry-land vineyards just outside Malmesbury. But it also boasts a myriad Cape-Dutch and Victorian buildings, trendy ‘country’ towns, protea and tobacco production, and cheese, olive and citrus cultivation. Continued
I do a day of the Cape Camino and go on a pilgrimage for part of the route. On the way I celebrate peace, love and humanity and discover the joy of wandering along the byways of my own city, free of all responsibilities for a few hours …
I stumble across the Cape Camino in my trawlings of the Internet and manage to bag myself a day on the route, in the company of the founder, Gabrielle Andrew… Continued
Is there such a thing as typical Capetonian?
As much as the rest of the country loves to generalise about those who live in the Mother City as tardy, with a propensity to wait until the last minute before committing to an event, and obsessed with their mountain, actually they’re about as diverse as people of any city can be.
And every little enclave and seaside village has a life of its own. Cape Town, surrounded by sea and mountain, nonetheless has a distinctive quality. And there are certain general things locals tend to do.
Here are 15 things only a Capetonian would do… Continued
Comparatively #Cape Town is understandably not as popular as somewhere like #London (53 434 729 photos), or #NewYork (32 937 931 photos)but it easily beats hashtags like #Perth (2 800 824), and #Auckland (1 155 287), and even comes in ahead of #Iceland (2 320 325),and just behind trendy cities like #Copenhagen (3 227 166) and #Buenos Aires (3 134 220).
But how do the Mother City’s major tourist attractions fare on Instagram? Which attraction hashtags are used the most? We set out to uncover the top 15 most instagrammed attractions in Cape Town … Continued
To explore a wealth of information on the rich history and culture of Durban’s Inanda, so little of which has been recorded in the annuls of history, take the Inanda Heritage Route.
Just outside Durban is a generous, green valley through which sprawls the township of the same name. Inanda (eNanda), which is isiZulu for ‘a pleasant place’, is also known as the Freedom Valley, and for good reason.
It is where the seeds of the country’s liberation were planted; a valley imbued in history that explores both sung and unsung African heroes.
Inanda is where Gandhi built his Phoenix settlement, it is the spiritual home of the Shembe religion, it is the birthplace of John Dube – the ANC’s first president – and it is where Nelson Mandela cast his vote in the country’s first democratic elections.
The Inanda Heritage Route links Gandhi’s passive resistance movement (satyagraha) with the philosophy that shaped John Dube’s Ohlange Institute, the prophet Isaiah Shembe, and the community of the Inanda Seminary to present an historical perspective on Durban’s role in the country’s history that is at once spellbinding and fascinating… Continued
The next in our series on where to find the ‘secret’ spots not normally advertised by travel brochures for perfect scenic #instagram pics, this one explores KwaZulu Natal.
KwaZulu Natal is only just coming of age. Durban, its capital, was voted one of the top 10 of the 52 Places to Go in 2015 by the New York Times, and dubbed by CNN as ‘the coolest city in South Africa you’ve never seen’. It then ranked even higher than Cape Town and Johannesburg on Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living survey.
Here are 20 secret scenic spots in KwaZulu Natal… Continued
For those #travellers after photo moments worth sharing on Instagram and other social media, look no further than these #highlights of the Eastern Cape.
We’ve put together a list of beautiful spaces, extraordinary spots, and remote places to share with the rest of the world.
For your perfect #travel moments head to these 20 secret scenic spots in Eastern Cape… Continued
Nestled in the heart of the bushveld within the Waterberg mountain range, lies the tranquil setting of the 4-star Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa. Guests wanting to escape the madness of modern life will be delighted by lush tropical gardens, a trickling waterfall and leafy stone pathways with luxurious pampering in 49 en-suite rooms… Continued
It’s also where sea, mountains and fynbos meet. The garden, which rests on the slope of the mountains within the Kogelberg Biosphere reserve, overlooks the ocean from almost every vantage point, and the gardens are awash with fynbos, irises, daisies and orchids, including the famous red disa.
There is nothing more magical than the Cape in autumn.
The permanent ambient light means that everything is more striking. You don’t need sunglasses, for a start, the constant heat haze of summer gives way to a delicate blue sky, and vivid vistas, and you no longer gasp for shade but are grateful for the gentle presence of the sun. Continued
Kramats are not mosques. They’re burial places, or shrines, of the saints or holy men of Islam. They’re also open to anyone who wishes to visit them.
In Cape Town, the city with the largest Muslim community in South Africa, there are 30 or so kramats that form part of the city’s landscape.
Kramats (mazars in Arabic) look like miniature mosques. Most of them are humble white buildings crested with domes (some of them fairly ornate), scented with incense, resting quietly on hillsides. There is even one on Lion’s Head (although my research turned up very little information about it). Continued
You don’t have to drive far to visit some of the oldest wine estates in the country when in Cape Town. The Constantia Valley lies in the midst of the southern suburbs, 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s City Bowl. And it holds everything you’ve come to expect from a wine route – Cape Fold Mountains, vineyards, oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch manors, excellent food and superior wines.
One of the oldest suburbs of the city, Constantia may be small by comparison with Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, but it supports 11 estates, all of whom produce superlative wines. Any visit to Cape Town is incomplete without a drive through the valley and at least a couple of stops to taste wine. You can also take the Purple Wine Tour on the hop-on-hop-off bus(it stops at three wine estates).
We share 8 of Cape Town’s city wine estates with you… Continued
It is not difficult to find exceptional scenic spots in Mpumalanga. This province is riddled with picture card moments designed to keep Instagrammers happy. The Blyde River Canyon, the province’s main draw card, is not its only geographical wonder. Others include: Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a long list of waterfalls, the Three Rondawels, and God’s Window.
But if you want to avoid the tourists, particularly in summer, then here are 20 secret scenic spots in Mpumalanga for those #instagram_sa #thisissouthafrica moments… Continued