• 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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Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape Province is an exhilarating experience for visitors, from blue flag beaches such as Kings Beach to the rural tranquility of the Transkei. Despite the cosmopolitan feeling in some of the urban centres, there is always an element of the untamed, just below the surface … MORE \ Discover the Eastern Cape \ or to find a place to stay visit Eastern Cape Accommodation or Eastern Cape Hotels. (Popular regions include Port Elizabeth, East London and Greater Addo).

Friday, 13 June 2014

30 things you MUST do in Port Elizabeth in winter

Port Elizabeth might be regarded as Cape Town’s poorer cousin, and far less glamourous than Jozi, but it does have rather mild winters, which makes it a far more attractive option once winter’s cold sets in.

In fact there are those who say that Port Elizabeth has more sunshine hours than any other city in South Africa (we’ll just cast a blind eye to the wind factor).

It’s also just down the road from St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay (but cheaper), and has access to plenty of swimming beaches and a beachfront lifestyle that is easy to access. And Port Elizabeth has loads of action-packed activities (in the bungi-jumping, sandboarding, adrenaline junkie vein).

So if you haven’t yet reached for your mouse to find the next low-cost flight out of your seat in to the slow city (slow as in ‘chilled’) then cast your eye over the list below for further impetus… Continued

Monday, 21 April 2014

The city of saints – 10 slightly off-beat historical attractions in Grahamstown

Grahamstown is not known as the town of 60 churches, or the city of saints, for nothing. It is steeped in colonial English history, filled with historical buildings and churches, and is also a university town – which goes some way to explain its reputation for tolerance and left-of-centre thinking.

The town of the annual avant-garde Arts Festival, Grahamstown is also home to the oldest independent newspaper offices (still producing the Grocott’s Mail), and was home to author André Brink, who lectured at Rhodes University between 1961 and 1990 whilst producing numerous novels, many of which went on to win literary awards (more controversially: a couple were banned during apartheid, making him something of a cult hero).

Grahamstown’s churches are worth investigation in their own right. But below are a selection of historical buildings that have something slightly quirky or different about them and are thus interesting to visit. Continued

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Things to Do at The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth

The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World enjoys prime positioning along Beach Road, the motorway that separates this world-class development from the warm waters of Algoa Bay. As such, it is centrally situated and showcases gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean. There is plenty of free, secure parking and, while the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth is open-air, there are sheltered walkways that protect visitors from the rain as they peruse the many shops.

Here are our top five reasons to visit The Boardwalk … Continued

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Insider Tips for Travelling Port Elizabeth

The Eastern Cape is a destination of many facets, ideal for families, couples, groups of friends and lone explorers alike. Like any other tourist hub, there are ways to get the most out of Port Elizabeth (the Friendly City), and we want to share these tips with you so that Nelson Mandela Bay is showcased at its best.

Cheat Codes for exploring the Friendly City – Getting the most out of your stay in Port ElizabethContinued

Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Choosing the perfect hotel

Our guide to the best hotels in Port Elizabeth, the friendly city

No time to find accommodation? Our guide to the best hotels in Port Elizabeth, the friendly city …

Those who live in PE think it’s the best city in the country. Certainly it’s the most underrated. Port Elizabeth is one of the largest cities in South Africa, and is laid out in a way that you can reach everything within 15 minutes of the airport – not something you can attribute to Jo’burg.

Port Elizabeth regards itself as the end of the Garden Route, a city with warm temperatures all year round, beaches that give Durban and Cape Town’s beaches a serious run for their money, a host of historical attractions and walks, whale sightings during autumn, and access to wild game reserves within an hour of town. Continued

Monday, 6 January 2014

Things you have to do in the Wild Coast

I’m convinced that there isn’t another area in South Africa, as rural, unspoilt and as simply beautiful as the Wild Coast. We canoed, relaxed on empty beaches and trailed along the coastal hills.  Here are a few of our favourite things to do in the Wild Coast regionContinued

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Surfing in Jeffreys Bay

If you have ever looked out into the depths of the ocean, met the approaching waves with your eyes and dreamt of dancing upon the silky smooth surfaces, then now is as good a time as any to break it to that you’re a surfer, be it with your soul or with a board – and there’s nothing you can do to change it.

Your yearning is shared by millions of men and women around the globe who cannot wait, come rain or shine, to dunk their heads beneath the surface and be a part of it all. Jeffrey’s Bay is South Africa’s favourite and most famous surfing destination. Surfing in Jeffreys Bay is only eight hours away from Cape Town and eleven away from Durban, making it incredible accessible, or at least within reach, of the Major Cities…

So, if you’ve been to surf J-bay and can’t quite remember where you surfed or if you’re planning a trip – here’s a blow by blow list of the breaks on offer in Jeffreys Bay … enjoy! Continued

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Simplicity and Beauty of Bulungula Lodge

Bags packed and ready to go, we tore ourselves away from the incredible beauty of Coffee Bay and jumped into our little vehicle, one person extra, and set off into the hills of the Wild Coast once more. The sun had come out and everyone’s spirits were buoyed after a couple of cold and rainy days.

We whipped out our printed map, as we were told that Google Maps would simply get us lost, and began the 80 km / 3 hour drive towards the tiny and remote village of Nqileni… Continued

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

By the sea in Jeffreys Bay …

Nothing had changed since the last time I was in Jeffrey’s Bay.  The wind whipped between the houses, across the white sand beach and sent water spraying off the back of waves.  The ocean at Supertubes was somewhat messy and littered with white horses.

That didn’t seem to deter the two surfers who had just ran down the boardwalk and stepped out onto the beach. They surveyed the swell with eager eyes and clutched their short, colourful boards. Jeffrey’s Bay was unchanged, quiet before the festive season and beautiful still. Continued

Friday, 29 November 2013

Mountain Biking in Hogsback

Hogsback is an ancient and enchanted place that lies on the R345 between Alice and Cathcart in the Eastern Cape. It is possibly most famous for its link to Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” novel and is claimed to have inspired the novel and subsequent Tolkien scenery, whether true or not, the town certainly looks as though it has been dreamed up by a fantasy novelist.

Some of the things that makes Hogsback so special is that it is incredibly, almost magically, well-populated with indigenous forest, trout rivers and waterfalls – according to one guide Hogsback has one of the highest densities of waterfalls in a single area – and on bicycle back, we were about to go and hunt down nine of them. Continued

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

On Safari in Sibuya Game Reserve

So when the day came for us to check in to Sibuya Game Reserve in Kenton on Sea, we completely missed the boat.  Literally, at 11:30am the boat chartered all the guests across from the reception to the reserve.  Except for us.  We arrived late from Hogsback and Ranger Chris came all the way this side of the river to collect us in time for lunch.

As we boated along the river, looking out for birds and even game beside the water’s edge I realised that so much of this game reserve’s beauty lies in the fact that you can only access it by water. We stopped to see a tiny malachite kingfisher perched above his nest on the bank.  It wasn’t long before he took off, his bright blue and orange colours disappeared quickly… Continued

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

An Interview with Graeme Mann of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Graeme Mann

Graeme Mann

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve showcases the lushness and beauty of the Eastern Cape’s fauna and flora. It is the perfect getaway for locals and visitors alike. Home to prey and predator, along with a breath-taking variety of birds and other impressive animals, this is a nature-lover’s delight. We interviewed General Manager, Graeme Mann, to hear what’s behind the success of this reserve…

An Interview with Graeme Mann, GM of the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, a proud member of the Relais & Châteaux Association… Continued

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

At the heart of Cintsa

Let me just tell you now that two nights in Cintsa is just not enough. Especially when the drought decides to end and the rain arrives.

Sitting on the balcony of Buccaneers Lodge & Backpackers, I watch the clouds slowly pulling in over the high sand dunes and where the river meets the ocean.   The palms and thick fronds of green vegetation start to gain movement as the wind picks up.  The sun that heated up our late afternoon here on the hill of Cintsa West has all but disappeared. Continued

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Discovering Coffee Bay

Tucked away along South Africa’s Wild Coast is the little area of Coffee Bay.  I’m not sure if it was the name or what my imagination conjured up, but for the longest time it has been a mystical place for me.  Somewhere far from Cape Town in a rural place along the coast.

Now as I lay on the bed in our hut on the hill, I could see the green hill to the right jutting out over the ocean, the large aloe in the garden, a wooden gate keeping the cows out and the river moving steadily in with the tide. For the next two nights, this chunk of paradise at Coffee Shack would be our home… Continued

Friday, 8 November 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Coastal Hike in Coffee Bay

With the wind at full force and the rain relentless, the roads that lead to the start of the Hole in the Wall hiking trail in Coffee Bay were in too poor condition for the Coffee Shack tour vehicles to navigate. Slightly dejected at not getting the opportunity to see one of Coffee Bay’s famed marvels, but still very keen, we headed out wrapped thick in layers with local guide and barman, Lazarus, to the Umtata river mouth which is just north of Coffee Bay. Continued