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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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Port Elizabeth Historical Tour – Discovering the Riches of the Bay
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Port Elizabeth Historical Tour – Discovering the Riches of the Bay

Port Elizabeth is part of Nelson Mandela Bay and is popular for its stunning swimming beaches. In fact, every summer, Port Elizabeths guesthouses and hotels are brimming with visitors from all over the country, who have come to indulge in the pretty surrounds and warm waters of the glittering Indian Ocean. Still, it has plenty more to offer than long, lazy days spent on the pristine white sands. The Port Elizaberh Historical Tour on offer by Umzantsi Afrika Tours is made successful by the experience, knowledge and passion of the tour guides, Lyn and Peter Haller. Lyn has been qualified ...
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Exploring South Africa’s Wild Coast
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Exploring South Africa’s Wild Coast

Exploring South Africa’s Wild Coast: In an area first settled in by the Bushmen (San) and Hottentots, the Wild Coast presents a rural, unspoilt part of South Africa that is hard to find elsewhere. The best way to explore the coastline is by road tripping. So back those travel tunes and hit the road. Here are some places I suggest you visit... For Bird Lovers If you have your binoculars and zoom lens ready for days of bird watching, visit the coastal forest of Mbotyi. This extensive region includes mangroves, lagoons, gorges and open grassland with over 100 species. In the estuaries you...
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A Peek into St Francis Bay – Playground of Millionaires
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A Peek into St Francis Bay – Playground of Millionaires

Only 30 minutes away from the surfer’s paradise of Jeffrey’s Bay lies St. Francis Bay. Driving through this little village of thatched-roofs and white-washed houses, it’s easy to see that this enclave holds a lot of wealth. As with many places in South Africa, you won’t have to look too far either to view extreme poverty close by. On the drive to Port St. Francis, we passed little children playing outside their houses made from tin. This was such a vast contrast to the luxury exuded once in the port. We stayed in a friend’s apartment and from the lounge we could see the yachts and expensiv...
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A Weekend Stop-Over in Jeffreys Bay
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A Weekend Stop-Over in Jeffreys Bay

Exploring the coast of South Africa’s Eastern Cape is something every adventurer has close to their hearts, either they have it in fond memories and tales plentiful or they have yet to come across this sacred land and live in hope for the chance to bear witness and experience it for themselves. Jefferys Bay is at the start of this adventure or at the end, depending on which side you start at. This quaint seaside village rich in fishing heritage and Afrikaans culture has become incredibly diversified and popular in recent years – so much so that the town had to add a traffic light, yes, one ...
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The Pleasure of Papies
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The Pleasure of Papies

It was with very energetic butterflies that I mounted the magnificent Chestnut, so named for her rich colouring. Our guide, Mira, hopped on – with no visible effort – to Blue, a stunning boy of about four years old, whose slate-coloured coat shone in the February sunlight. Mira is currently studying biology in Germany and comes down to South Africa to help with the Papiesfontein trails and to indulge in the African summers. Her passion for, and knowledge of horses put us totally at ease; despite our being real novices. The trail starts off with about 50 minutes along a gravel trail through ...
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Hiking Trails in the Tsitsikamma
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Hiking Trails in the Tsitsikamma

Tsitsikamma is renowned for its natural beauty, being endowed with magnificent forests, deep ravines, towering mountain ranges and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. In fact, the word “Tsitsikamma” is a San word that means “place of abundant waters”, testifying to the lush abundance of this very special part of the Garden Route. There are a number of ways to enjoy the natural splendour of the Tsitsikamma including walking trails, cycling routes, horse rides, tubing along the river and more. Hiking through the forests and mountains is one more way to get the most out of your time in S...
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Exploring the Alfred Nzo District
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Exploring the Alfred Nzo District

The Alfred Nzo District Municipality has, as its seat, Mount Ayliff. It is situated in the northern part of the Eastern Cape and is surrounded by Lesotho, KwaZulu Natal, the OR Tambo District and the Ukhahlamba District. Being so centrally situated makes Alfred Nzo an ideal base from which to launch your tour of South Africa. The Xhosa cultural heritage of this area is fascinating, and gives this quiet retreat a sense of true South African pride and identity. Visitors are encouraged to visit local villages, interact with the folk occupying the land and immerse yourselves in this authentic A...
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The Popular Otter Trail – Spectacular but challenging
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The Popular Otter Trail – Spectacular but challenging

The Otter Trail is undoubtedly one of the best known and most popular hiking trails in South Africa, and ranks highly when compared to the trails of the world. This trail is 42.5 kilometres (or a little over 25 miles) long and stretches from Storms River to Nature’s Valley, which are both trailheads. Being along the Garden Route means that this route is accessible, showcasing some of the most beautiful features of South Africa’s landscape. It is named after the Cape Clawless Otter that can be found in this region. The trail takes five days to complete and is split into very clear stages to ...
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