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
The province of KwaZulu Natal is home to a multitude of attractions, with something to suit every taste, budget and relaxation requirement. Having formerly been an independent homeland, the kingdom of the Zulu, the province is touched by this great nations culture. But with many immigrants, this has become a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination, with different cultural experiences on offer … MORE \ Discover KwaZulu Natal \ or to find a place to stay in this Province, visit KwaZulu Natal Accommodation or KwaZulu Natal Hotels on SA-Venues.com. (Popular regions include Durban, Unhlanga and the Drakensberg).
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
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
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
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
Every spring marks the return of the Stihl Open Gardens which take place in the town of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. Gardeners are kind enough to open their beautiful gardens to the public and are delighted to share their gardening tips and secrets!
Although some of the gardens were only open for a few weekends in October and have already closed, there are still a number that are open during weekends in November and December. Continued
It’s that time of the year again; the time when the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra strut their stuff in their Spring Season series of concerts. I must admit, I’ve been half asleep and have already missed a number of the series of concerts but have made amends by booking tickets for the concert on October 9th. Continued
I am so looking forward to this weekend; we are meandering our way to the village of Hilton and will be attending not one, not two but three productions at the Hilton Arts Festival! Now in its 22nd year, the Festival, which takes place from September 18th to 21st at the very beautiful Hilton College, is the largest theatrical event of its kind in KwaZulu Natal.
There are a large number of different events happening over the four days of the festival and they range in genre from drama, comedy, physical theatre, music, cabaret, mindscape, performing arts, children’s theatre, music revival, children’s workshops, adults workshops and supper theatre. Continued
I had wanted to go to Makaranga ever since I first saw photos of it on a friend’s FaceBook page and although we made a first attempt earlier this month we didn’t quite make it so were determined to get there this time around. Located in the KwaZulu Natal suburb of Kloof, the main attraction at the 30 acre property (named Makaranga after the wild poplar trees and a Zimbabwean tribe of the same name) are the simply stunning gardens. Continued
Durban as a ‘foodie destination’ is a recent concept. The Roma revolving restaurant was about as good as it got. Recently areas like Greyville, Berea and Glenwood have mushroomed into trendy alternatives to the always buzzing Florida Road, and places to nosh have restored the city’s lunch and dinner scene.
Here are 10 of the best eateries in Durban, for a variety of reasons… Continued
My husband and I went out for dinner on Friday at a restaurant we found almost by accident. My first choice was for Thai but on arrival at the restaurant in Umhlali, it appeared that it has closed its doors for business (either that or they only operate during lunch hours), our second choice was for Chinese but the restaurant was lacking a lot of ambiance and so we settled on pizza and pasta at La Piazza.
When you live on a farm, like we do, and the closest Ster Kinekor is an hour’s drive and two toll gates away, it is sometimes necessary to make your own entertainment.
We did this a few Sunday’s ago when I suggested breakfast at the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve. The Skottel and breakfast supplies (including a tin of condensed milk …necessary for any game reserve cup of coffee) were loaded into the double cab and off we went. Continued
We tried out the fantastic Burnedale Farmers Market over this past weekend. Having only started in mid-May, this market is going from strength to strength with the 25 stalls offering a wide range of products. I was particularly impressed with the purposefully built covered market area; stall holders and market goers will be dry on a rainy day but the light and airy space is perfect for the mostly sunny days the Dolphin Coast provides! Continued
Tucked away in a corner on the 2nd floor of the Gateway Theatre of Shopping is a brightly decorated little restaurant in Umhlanga called De’Ma. It had been recommended to friends of ours who were on holiday in Umhlanga from Cape Town and we joined them there last week for dinner.
To be honest I was not bowled over by the service; when my husband and I arrived at approximately 18h30 we were the only customers in the restaurant and we still had to signal for the waiter’s attention in order to get ourselves a beverage! The food however, was delicious and once we’d got over the shock of being asked to pay R75 corkage (this was dropped to R35 after a call to the restaurant’s owner) we got stuck in and really enjoyed our meals. Continued
As a youngster, my parents would often treat my brother and I to a toasted sandwich and a milkshake at The Press Club on our monthly jaunts into Durban from our home in Zululand. Located in the centre of town, I thought it was the coolest place ever; with its newsprint wallpaper I entertained romantic notions of becoming a journalist and memories of this little coffee shop have remained with me since the mid ‘80’s. Continued