Loading posts...
Offbeat Route 56 – Take The Alternative Route Through The Transkei
View

Offbeat Route 56 – Take The Alternative Route Through The Transkei

Route 56 is a surprisingly well-maintained, provincial route that links Middleburg in the Eastern Cape, with Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. On the map it looks as though someone has taken a crayon and drawn a squiggly line east, north east through the country. Marketed as the 'shortest route' between the Western Cape and Durban, the route's main leverage is that it is a viable alternative to the N2 through the Transkei. It passes through the mountain country of Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal connecting Molteno, Maclear and Kokstad. Calling it 'short' is a little misl...
Continue reading
10 Natural Attractions In The Natal Midlands
View

10 Natural Attractions In The Natal Midlands

As the name suggests the Midlands lie in the middle of KwaZulu Natal, in that part of the province that lies beyond Pietermaritzburg but before the Drakensberg Mountains. Much of this area is now popularised by the Midlands Meander - a self-drive arts, crafts, eateries and farmstay route that is a retreat for holiday makers. It is best done with some advance research, and a Midlands Meander guide (available at most stores en route) in hand to uncover the real treats and first-rate spots. The Midlands is quintessential country living - green hills, forests, waterfalls, the foothills of th...
Continue reading
10 Top Markets In The Countdown To Christmas in Durban 2015
View

10 Top Markets In The Countdown To Christmas in Durban 2015

There is a definite shift towards buying local (if you hadn't already noticed the number of foodie and artisan craft markets that have mushroomed in your neighbourhood). Never more so than at Christmas. For no matter how easy the Internet makes buying gadgets, there is nothing like buying your gifts, and food, from the local community. Not only is it ethical to support local business, but it also keeps our communities strong. The bonuses for you include: artisan crafters and food providers sell one-off gifts and offers that nobody else will have, you're supporting South African entrep...
Continue reading
The Durban Experience – 10 Must-Do’s In Durbs-By-The-Sea
View

The Durban Experience – 10 Must-Do’s In Durbs-By-The-Sea

South Africa's third-largest city, Durban, is also arguably the country's most laidback centre (although Port Elizabeth gives it a run for its money), by virtue of its sauna-like summer heat, and beach-centred culture (if slops and shorts are your idea of attire, then you're in the right place). Yet the city is not all about its beaches, Golden Mile, Moses Mabhida Stadium, and uShaka Marine World. Although these are a drawcard in their own right Durban moves to the drumbeat of its cultural heritage, involving visitors in tours that venture into the heart of the inner-city and two of Durb...
Continue reading
Top 4 Snorkelling Spots On Durbans Coast
View

Top 4 Snorkelling Spots On Durbans Coast

The best thing about Durban is its warm seas. Durban's 'all year round summer' translates into sea temperatures, even in winter, that hover around 20 degrees Celsius. Even Durban's summer sea temperatures are more akin to a bath than the sea, and you can spend hours in the water without feeling the cold. If this weren't enough of an invitation (bearing in mind that you may need to live in the sea between January and March as the city's humidity can get unbearable), the clarity of the water and the phenomenal sea life also make Durban the perfect place to snorkel, particularly along the n...
Continue reading
Durban’s Ancient Forest – Not Even The Locals Know About It
View

Durban’s Ancient Forest – Not Even The Locals Know About It

Jocelyn Sutherland's hands are full of litter when she meets us at the gate to Hawaan Forest. She's incensed by the dumping of bougainvillea on the edge of the forest's perimeter fence, and by the litter. 'Hardly any one local knows about this magnificent forest, ' she shares by way of greeting, 'it is visitors to Durban who want to know more about it, not the locals.' We've met just off the M4 at Umhlanga, one of Durban's more privileged neighbourhoods on the north coast. The M4 divides the green forest belt in two, yet there couldn't be two more divergent forests. Across the M4 the for...
Continue reading
5 Reasons To Visit Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves (If You Can Wangle A Visit)
View

5 Reasons To Visit Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves (If You Can Wangle A Visit)

A visit to Durban's Beachwood Mangroves is not as simple as driving up to the gate and taking a saunter along one of two boardwalk trails through the mangroves, as and when it suits you. Durban has closed ranks and protects this National Monument, one of three last remaining bits of mangrove swamp in and around Durban (the other two are the Isipingo Mangroves and the Bayhead Mangroves), rather fiercely. You will need to join the regular tours, either on the evening of every first Thursday or the third Saturday morning of every month, by the Honorary Officers of KZN Wildlife - who volunte...
Continue reading
One place you’ve got to visit when in Durban is People’s Park
View

One place you’ve got to visit when in Durban is People’s Park

I used to live in Durban. That was long before it became a tourist attraction and all the road names changed. Back then, on weekends, you'd go to the beach. Occasional highlights were Mini Town, or the rides at the Amusement Park on the beachfront (the red chairs on the cablecar are still there, though; I checked). Sometimes you'd head out to Midmar Dam for the day. Durban was a low-key kind of place. But now Durban is a heady mix of old and new, and a tourist mecca of note (I totally get why CNN listed the city as one of the world's 10 most underrated cities)... Take Stamford Hill, f...
Continue reading
If There’s One Thing You Do In Durban – The 9 Markets of Warwick Tour
View

If There’s One Thing You Do In Durban – The 9 Markets of Warwick Tour

Everyone knows the Victoria Street Market in Durban's inner-city. Its vibrantly painted building looks more like the palace of a Maharajah than a market. It lies on the edge of Bertha Mkhize Street (formerly Victoria Street); the site of a market since 1910. Victoria Market is a predominantly Indian spice and flea market fused with north African curios, art and jewellery, fresh fish, Chinese wholesale goods and everything and anything in-between. It is a 'safe' option for tourists overwhelmed by the noise and inner-city turbulence that happens just outside the building, on one of Durban's b...
Continue reading
Top Ten Natural Attractions in KwaZulu Natal
View

Top Ten Natural Attractions in KwaZulu Natal

The coastal province of KwaZulu Natal has just about everything – historical battlefields, architecture and memorials, first world shopping malls, Victorian-cottage shabby-chic suburban living, tribal settlements in rural areas, towering basalt mountains, warm seas, world-class wetlands, wildlife game reserves, hiking and snorkelling opportunities, vibrant markets, an annual sardine run, and a strong Indian, Zulu and colonial influence. It isn't short of rustic beauty either, and the top 10 natural attractions in KwaZulu Natal are a good place to start... UKHAHLAMBA-DRAKENSBERG PARK O...
Continue reading
8 Fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal – Making Travel Easy
View

8 Fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal – Making Travel Easy

There is no better way to get a feel for a place than from the seat of your car, the open road before you; nothing to do, nowhere to be but exactly where you are, exploring and appreciating the scene as it unfolds before you. The scenic beauty and rich history of KwaZulu Natal needs little introduction, but choosing just how best to explore it does. Here are 10 fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal - to make travel easy... ROUTE 56 MATATIELE The shortest route between the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal it might be, but if you get caught up in the incredible scenery it's going to...
Continue reading
Durban’s Top 10 Foodie and Lifestyle Markets
View

Durban’s Top 10 Foodie and Lifestyle Markets

Durban is brimming over with food and lifestyle markets. Craft and flea markets, farmers' and organic food markets, indoor markets, open-air markets – whatever your preference. They manage to combine live music, foodies, crafters and enthusiasts in a way that keeps the locals coming back for more. In Durban and want to know which markets to go to – here are the city's top 10 ... Durban Food Market Held on the last Saturday of every month from 08h00 until 13h00 at the Hellenic Community Centre in Umgeni Park, this award-winning market lures some 3 000 local foodies to breakfast, brunch...
Continue reading
Amatikulu Nature Reserve – A Must Visit
View

Amatikulu Nature Reserve – A Must Visit

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 ... The reserve is located about 100kms from Durban and is found between the Tugela and Amatikulu River mouths. It is one of the few places in this country where wildlife can be spotted feeding on forested areas that overlook the sea! We paid the nomina...
Continue reading
The Wonders of Mtunzini
View

The Wonders of Mtunzini

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 e...
Continue reading
Greytown and Tranquili-Tea
View

Greytown and Tranquili-Tea

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 t...
Continue reading