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Discovering Coffee Bay
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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... As ...
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Coastal Hike in Coffee Bay
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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. The plan was to do the Coastal Hike which runs from the river mouth back to the hostel, which usually takes around two hours. With o...
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Hike to Kettlespout Falls in Hogsback
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Hike to Kettlespout Falls in Hogsback

Visiting Hogsback for the first time (see our post here), after living in South Africa all my life, was honestly like stepping into another country- A greener, lushious region where forests and mountains took up nearly all of the space and left tiny areas for houses and roads.  Even without names around town such as Lothlorien, Middle Earth and Striders, this green oasis immediately took me back to the Lord of the Rings and the Shire. The cottage we stayed in at Away with the Fairies Backpackers had paintings of little gnomes and fairies beside the fireplace, next to the tiny doors and ...
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Hogsback as a first-timer
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Hogsback as a first-timer

It is a sad fact of life that it has taken us 29 years before visiting Hogsback. Even as we drove inland towards the mountains in the downpour, the land became greener and more lushious than we had seen throughout our entire trip down the Wild Coast. Our stay for the next few nights was at Away with Fairies Backpackers set within an oasis of trees and easily mistaken for a hangout of hobbits.  With room names like Frodo and Bilbo’s Rest, they too recognized the resemblance to the magical shire in the Lord of the Rings. Right in front of our room just beyond the flowers, tall trees an...
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Canoeing down the Xhora
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Canoeing down the Xhora

We set out to face the hills with paddles in hand and the sun beating down upon our sun-screened shoulders as the clock turned over to ten. The Xhora is one of many rivers that gracefully wind their way down to the Wild Coast, through the hill and past the clay huts, it goes, supporting the local fisherman and providing much needed nourishment to the livestock of the land. Canoeing is one of the many activities offered by community driven backpacker lodge, Bulungula, and today we were headed out with local guide, Lindo, to conquer one of the rivers in the area. Although Bulungula ...
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An Interview with Janine Keyser of Koffylaagte Game Lodge
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An Interview with Janine Keyser of Koffylaagte Game Lodge

Koffylaagte Game Lodge challenges the norms and traditions, and offers nature-lovers something novel and memorable. Janine Keyser is the Sales and Marketing Manager, and has a passion for this Eastern Cape retreat. She shares some insights into what makes this lodge unique and why the Eastern Cape is its ideal home. A Interview with Janine Keyser, Sales and Marketing Manager of the Pegasus Hospitality Group ... When was Koffylaagte established? What was the vision? Koffylaagte was purchased in 2005 as a family farm which was a third of the size it is now and was commercialised in 2007 with ...
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10 reasons to head to the Karoo Heartland
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10 reasons to head to the Karoo Heartland

The Karoo Heartland lies at the heart of South Africa. Threatened with imminent fracking, this beautiful, water-strapped and desolate area is a series of mountains, vast plains, star studded skies, farmland, idiosyncratic little dorps reminiscent of yesteryear and space – lots of it. You may intend heading off in that direction, a mere couple of days at your disposal to take in the towns of Aberdeen, Cradock, Dordrecht, Graaff-Reinet, Nieu-Bethesda, Somerset East and similar, but I should warn you: they do things SLOW in the Karoo... If it isn't the heat then the people will get you. And...
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An Interview with Fayroush Ludick of Addo Elephant National Park
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An Interview with Fayroush Ludick of Addo Elephant National Park

The Addo Elephant National Park is one of the Eastern Cape’s, and indeed South Africa's most popular attractions, and is home to an impressive array of wildlife. Included in this is the Big 7. Find out what animals are part of this sought-after group and what unique attractions Addo Elephant Park has to offer, as Amelia chats to Fayroush Ludick, the Marketing Manager of this popular park. An Interview with Fayroush Ludick of Addo Elephant Park: Q. When was Addo established? What was the vision? A. The emphasis at Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) was for years to save the Eastern Cape e...
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An Interview with Joe Cloete of the Shamwari Group
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An Interview with Joe Cloete of the 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... An Interview with Joe Cloete of the Shamwari Group: When was Shamwari Game Reserve established? What was the vision? It was established in 1992 and the vision was to conserve a vanishing...
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10 reasons to head to South Africa’s Wild Coast
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10 reasons to head to South Africa’s Wild Coast

The Eastern Cape's Wild Coast, as its name suggests, is one of South Africa's least spoilt areas stretching from just beyond East London to Port Edward. In between are a series of remote, wild, ragged cliff-lined beaches (the real thing), valleys, coastal forests, seaside villages and great expanses of undeveloped wilderness. The Wild Coast gets wilder the further you travel. At its start, places like Cintsa are beautiful, but they can get seasonally inundated. Head up as far as Coffee Bay, Bulungula and Mdumbi, and both the people and the wildlife begin to represent a part of Afr...
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Afro Optimism at ABSA Vuka Showcase
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Afro Optimism at ABSA Vuka Showcase

This year sees the very first of a brand new event that promises to whip South Africa and the rest of the continent into a vibe of unique arts, music and the delicious cuisine of the nations. The Absa VUKA Showcase will highlight all that is African, progressive and exciting... In the light of its theme, which is Afro Optimism, the art, cuisine and music of Africa is presented in a positive light; displaying how such a diverse continent can be united by the very things that define its different cultures and customs. This event is inviting representatives from 12 different countries (inc...
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What to wear in the Eastern Cape – the Ultimate Packing List
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What to wear in the Eastern Cape – the Ultimate Packing List

The Eastern Cape is known for having one of the most temperate climates in the world. This makes it a fabulous destination all year round, and also one that is fairly diverse in terms of what to pack. Amongst other things, this province is also known for having “four seasons in one day”, particularly along the coast. Therefore, whenever one chooses to visit the Eastern Cape, the layering of clothing is always a good idea. If you are planning a visit to the Eastern Cape, read on for what to wear in the Eastern Cape - The Ultimate Packing List! The coastal areas of the province enjoy a climat...
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Port Elizabeth one of the “Big Five” Cities
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Port Elizabeth one of the “Big Five” Cities

One of South Africa’s “Big Five” Cities, Port Elizabeth is located on South Africa’s world renowned N2 road. This long road travels along the eastern coast all the way from Cape Town, up through the picturesque Garden Route, and carries on through Durban, Richards Bay and then finally heading inland at St Lucia toward its ending in Ermelo. Just as many coastal cities in South Africa were started off thanks to the trade routes, so was Port Elizabeth. Noted on the charts of Portuguese navigational giants such as Bartholomew Dias and Vasco da Gama simply as “landing place with fresh wat...
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Two Olives Restaurant in Port Elizabeth – a review
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Two Olives Restaurant in Port Elizabeth – a review

The Two Olives Restaurant is an authentic culinary experience, immersing diners in the basic pleasures of enjoying excellent quality, coupled with flavours that are worthy of a few audible sighs. Situated in the food Mecca of Stanley Street in Richmond Hill, it is at the very heart of the ‘who’s who’ and ‘what’s what’ of the Friendly City. The menu is a delight to explore. Even simple sounding dishes are presented beautifully and taste heavenly. The tapas options are a great way to sample a number of different dishes, especially when shared amongst friends. The portions (even the starters) ...
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Port Elizabeth Township Tour – Tales From the Township
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Port Elizabeth Township Tour – Tales From the Township

Lyn and Peter Haller own a tour company in Port Elizabeth called Umzantsi Afrika. As such, they offer a number of fantastic tours that expose the art, culture, history and heritage of Nelson Mandela Bay. The Port Elizabeth Township Tour is a very special experience; both for those that lived through the Apartheid era and for those that did not. Lyn Haller is a registered tour guide, qualified through THETA (ex-SATOUR). Her passion for the historical homes and buildings of Port Elizabeth makes her keen knowledge of the area and its exciting beginnings even more engaging. Peter Haller is flue...
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