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Amatikulu Nature Reserve – A Must Visit
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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...
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The Wonders of Mtunzini
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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...
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Greytown and Tranquili-Tea
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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...
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The Exceptional Bakery and Deli is popular with the local crowd
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The Exceptional Bakery and Deli is popular with the local crowd

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... ...
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Durban Botanic Gardens Music at the Lake
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Durban Botanic Gardens Music at the Lake

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... We have tickets for the...
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Spring Into The Stihl Open Gardens
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Spring Into The Stihl Open Gardens

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. Harrow Hill Guest Farm Caroline Gemmell has a beautiful farm garden with old trees, perennials as well as a variety of cannas, day lilies and alstroemeria...
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KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
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KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra

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. There are three remaining concerts, all of which take place on a Thursday evening at the magnificent Durban City Hall. Concert 6 takes listeners on a journey through time in one of the world’s most musical cities; Vienna. Kenneth Slowick, an acclaimed conductor, cellist and ke...
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Time For The Hilton Arts Festival
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Time For The Hilton Arts Festival

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, ch...
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The Marvellous Makaranga Botanical Gardens
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The Marvellous Makaranga Botanical Gardens

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. We took our shoes off and strolled barefoot around the gardens for at least an hour – following the wheelchair friendly paths that wind their way through this...
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Umhlali Coffee Cafe Crawl
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Umhlali Coffee Cafe Crawl

I had the most wonderful morning last Saturday; enjoying a long overdue catchup with a very dear school friend. We had last seen each other at my 40th birthday lunch in November and here we were in July … where had the time gone too? As she lives in Durban North and I live on a farm just outside of Stanger we decided to meet in Umhlali which is pretty much halfway for both of us and would not be the chaos that is Ballito on a Saturday morning! I had heard a bit about a new coffee spot called Wonderland Coffee that had recently opened at the LINC church campus and suggested that we ki...
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The 10 Best Eateries in Durban
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The 10 Best Eateries in Durban

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... Freedom Café, Greyville (for the novelty) If fire-engine red shipping containers and ceramic sausage-dog salt and pepper holders sound like fun, then the food is sure to please you too, for this little café is both av...
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La Piazza – Ooh La La
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La Piazza – Ooh La La

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. Clearly the good people of Ballito know more than we do … we hadn’t made a reservation and were lucky to get a table. La Piazza is new on the Ballito restaurant scene but judging by...
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A Visit to Harold Johnson Nature Reserve
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A Visit to Harold Johnson Nature Reserve

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. Harold Johnson (as it’s fondly known to North Coast locals) is a small reserve of only 100 hectares and is to both my husband and I, the place of childhood memo...
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Burnedale Farmers Market
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Burnedale Farmers Market

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! The market aims to bring organic, fresh produce and beautiful homemade goods to the North Coast and we loved what was already on offer. We stopped at the ...
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De’Ma Restaurant in Umhlanga
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De’Ma Restaurant in Umhlanga

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 a...
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