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When the Drakensberg stole my heart
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When the Drakensberg stole my heart

Having lived in Cape Town all my life, I couldn’t believe that this was my first visit to the Drakensberg region of South Africa.  Having driven for over eight hours from the Kruger National Park, we found ourselves moving sluggishly along at a designated 40km per hour.  The heat continues to scorch the dry grass on the road side and on the mountains to our right. It was hot, we were tired and hungry and just wanted to get there.  The mountains in the distance drifted closer to us and the empty farmlands continued to span past us.  Out of what seemed like nowhere, we saw the sign for Amphit...
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Tea at Durban Botanic Gardens
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Tea at Durban Botanic Gardens

At the beginning of November we spent the weekend in Umhlanga and being in the area, I used the opportunity to revisit, after a 20 odd year hiatus, the Durban Botanic Gardens. These gardens hold very fond memories for me; a place where, as a student at the nearby Technikon Natal, I would go to escape the heat and humidity of the summer months. The gardens are absolutely beautiful; manicured lawns, massive trees, paved pathways … the perfect place to relax and escape the city. An added attraction for me (and the underlying reason for our visit) is the Tea Garden – a facility run entir...
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Sentinel Peak Hike – Drakensberg
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Sentinel Peak Hike – Drakensberg

Driving into the Drakensberg just the day before and seeing Southern Africa’s highest escarpment rise up in sheer cliff’s before us was jaw-droppingly beautiful and filled us with a sense of wonder mixed with a tinge of anxiety for we knew that one of the things we came here to achieve was summiting at least one of these impossibly tall peaks... The weather was superb the afternoon we arrived and the sun shone late into the day, casting a golden hue upon the tall yellow grasses that extended far out, past the acacias, until the purple hues of the mountains rose up. Rain had been scarce ...
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Kick Back And Relax At Kearsney Manor
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Kick Back And Relax At Kearsney Manor

Kearsney Manor is a gorgeous old English mansion, built on an old sugar estate during the 1800’s. Located on the Dolphin Coast, this heritage site is steeped in history and is a magnificent colonial estate that is beautiful inside and out. The tranquil surroundings and stunning grounds are an ideal spot for a lovely wedding and reception. There is also a charming stone church on the property where you can have the ceremony. If you are on business, then take advantage of the excellent conference facilities available with plenty of veranda space and comfy lounges for your breaks in the day. ...
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SUPPing in Durban
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SUPPing in Durban

So what do you do in Durban when it’s raining, a bit cold and the sea is rough?  We went to Durban with the intention of sunning on the beach, getting to catch some waves and enjoy the coast.  But that was not to happen in the miserable weather. Before despair set in, I found out that South Africa’s number SUPPing Champ, Justin Bing, was in Durban at Xpressions on the Beach store and was keen to give us a lesson out on the canals. Having won many accolades in the longboarding and Stand-Up Paddle boarding world, Justin Bing recently became SA’s SUP Champ in 2012.  He said he was based...
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High Tea at The Oyster Box Hotel
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High Tea at The Oyster Box Hotel

Before I left Cape Town to move to KwaZulu Natal last year, I arranged high tea at The Mount Nelson Hotel as a combination farewell for myself and a friends surprise baby shower. It seemed fitting then that when that friend and her now one year old daughter visited me on our farm near Stanger, that we enjoy another high tea; this time at the grand old dame of hotels, High Tea at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga... The OBH (as it’s fondly known in this part of the world) is something quite special. From the fat cat Skabenga who sits aloofly on the red carpet outside the hotel, to the lemo...
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Lunch at the Circus Circus Beach Cafe in Durban
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Lunch at the Circus Circus Beach Cafe in Durban

During the September school holiday I met friends for lunch at the Circus Circus Beach Cafe on Durban’s beachfront. Circus Circus has been around in Durban since 1996 and although I’ve frequented both the Musgrave and Gateway franchises (and the Pietermaritzburg branch come to think of it); I’d never visited the beach café. To be honest, it had been many a year since Id last been to the Durban beachfront. I certainly hadn’t been since the area had been redeveloped for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and I was pleasantly surprised with the upgrades. Located below Mini Town, the Circus Circus ...
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Day Hikes of the Drakensberg
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Day Hikes of the Drakensberg

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is one of South Africa’s most spectacular natural wonders, showcasing a selection of the most breath-taking vistas imaginable. It is the highest mountain range in the country, reaching an impressive 3 482 metres above sea level. Incredibly, its extensive nature means that the range spans the provinces of the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal as well as Lesotho and Swaziland. The Drakensberg is a hiker’s dream destination as it offers so much in the way of trails – ranging from relatively short, easy walks to far more challenging, even technical...
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10 rivetting reasons to visit the Elephant Coast
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10 rivetting reasons to visit the Elephant Coast

South Africa's Elephant Coast is a lesser-known holiday destination, probably because of its location right up the east coast from Durban. Yet it's home to two of the country's most prominent wildlife parks - the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (famous for its rhino conservation projects) and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (a World Heritage Site with a huge biodiversity and more animal species even than Kruger), some of the most beautiful and remote beaches, sea turtles and whales... The Elephant Coast is regarded as an eco-tourism hotspot particularly because of its access to Africa's largest est...
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Curry at the Salt Rock Hotel
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Curry at the Salt Rock Hotel

We stopped in at the Salt Rock Hotel for an early dinner on the way home from Gateway on Saturday evening – our original idea was to have a burger but as we had arrived shortly after 17h00 (which is when the snack bar menu stops being served) we had to opt for a curry instead. Not that this was second prize – the curry at the Salt Rock Hotel is legendary in these parts, and this one came up trumps! Although the Salt Rock Hotel has a dining room and verandah area which looks out onto beautiful gardens, we chose to sit out on the deck to make the most of the balmy weather and magnificent ...
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Enjoy Luxury Accommodation at The Crooked Tree Lodge in Umhlanga
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Enjoy Luxury Accommodation at The Crooked Tree Lodge in Umhlanga

Situated in the heart of Umhlanga Rocks, Crooked Tree Lodge is a fabulous 3 star establishment set in one of the top holiday destinations in South Africa. Perfectly located for that ideal holiday or your business trip, this establishment is close to all major roads, La Lucia Ridge and Umhlanga Village which boasts beautiful Blue Flag beaches. Durban ICC is only 15 minutes away while The Gateway Theater of Shopping is a mere 2 minutes. Offering both self catering and bed & breakfast options, you will be able to enjoy a holiday that will suit your needs and your budget. No matter what you...
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What to Wear in KwaZulu Natal – The ultimate packing list
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What to Wear in KwaZulu Natal – The ultimate packing list

Affectionately called KZN by the locals, the KwaZulu-Natal Province is a popular tourist hotspot for many reasons. One of the most significant of these, though, is its year-round summery conditions along the long coastline. Caressed by the arm waters of the inviting Indian Ocean, the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal continue to lure visitors from all over South Africa and the world to enjoy their sunny vacation here. Of course, as one moves further inland, the temperatures drop a little and the humidity decreases. Still, KwaZulu-Natal continues to be the destination of choice for those that want to ex...
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KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra World Symphony Series line up
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KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra World Symphony Series line up

I am so looking forward to Thursday, September 26th because not only is it our wedding anniversary but we are also marking the occasion with a trip to Durban to watch the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in concert as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. I am constantly bemoaning the fact that not much in the way of international shows ever comes to Durban but after reading about the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra World Symphony Series line up taking place at the beautiful City Hall on Thursday evenings through September and October thought that I must make the effort to g...
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Sapore in Nottingham Road
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Sapore in Nottingham Road

As mentioned in a previous blog, we spent the Woman’s Day long weekend in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands town of Nottingham Road. We were guests of a wedding at Bellwood and with the service taking place at 14h00 but dinner to only be served about five hours later, the wedding literature sent with the invitation subtly hinted that a decent lunch of some kind would be advisable (you know, to line the stomach that a free bar normally plays havoc with!) We took this advice on board and with three weddings in Nottingham Road that day, booked a table at Sapore earlier in the morning. There is nothin...
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Blueberry Hill Cafe in Nottingham Road
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Blueberry Hill Cafe in Nottingham Road

Perched on the top of a hill, in a fairly nondescript, barn-like building on Netherwood Farm in Nottingham Road is Blueberry Hill Cafe. We attended a wedding at Bellwood over the Womans Day long weekend and with our self catering accommodation at Netherwood at the bottom of the hill that Blueberry Café is perched upon, it made sense to start the day here. My husband and I were the first people to arrive and after pulling the huge sliding doors open were greeted by the friendly staff and more importantly a blazing log fire … the weather was freezing – in fact the mercury had hovered around 4...
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