• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed

Reviews and Visitors’ Perspectives

In this section we publish articles and reviews of towns, attractions and special places to visit within South Africa. Reviews are written from a visitors perpective and highlight the things which may interest tourists and locals, including where to go, what to do, where to eat … the whole story!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

10 ‘Must Do’ Things For Accommodation Owners, To Keep Us Coming Back For More

Ever stayed in a B&B or self-catering unit where there were a couple of things you knew would just make the place sing, but did not have the courage to write it in the guest book? I have … more than once.

I’ve travelled a great deal around South Africa, staying mostly in modest self-catering accommodation and in B&Bs, some of them delightfully quirky, others bordering on objectionable (particularly as there seems to be a regular rate, regardless of standard).

Some have wowed me while others have left me feeling resentful at having to pay hard-earned cash for an uncomfortable night. And I’m not difficult to please… Continued

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Tantalize your tastebuds in Stanford Village

Described by many as resembling a scene from ‘A River Runs Through It‘, Stanford village possesses the idyllic, dreamy charm of an epic romantic film. Children fish from the jetties while Gymnogenes call nearby; residents hit the river with their canoes early in summer for a ‘country gym session’, while horse-riders saddle up for long out-rides in the mountains.

Stanford has quietly been attracting ‘swallows’, investors, weekenders, visitors and residents to its sleepy river banks over the past few years, shaking things up for the better. This small Overberg town now boasts award-winning wineries, restaurants and artisans, along with just about the prettiest country views you’ve ever clapped eyes on… Continued

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Fifty Shades of Greyton

Gorgeous Greyton. A Delicious Day in Greyton. The titles and opening lines for my travel story had already been lilting in and out of my head for days. I hadn’t yet unpacked from my previous getaway when I was invited to write about the charming town that I’d somehow neglected to spend much time in, even though I live one hour away. I’d asked my Travel Blogger friend, Natalie Roos to join me for the experience and could already hear the clinking of our ice as it surfed to and fro inside our gin and tonics between sips.

It was at least 32 degrees centigrade and the Cape was blowing on one final ember of summer, burning across us like dragon’s breath. Notebook, laptop, sun cream, toothbrush. Check. I hit the road. Air con out of gas. Typical. I wound down the window and listened to Bob Dylan croak out his ‘made for cruising country back roads’ folk poetry. Toasty, golden fields rolled towards the road. Cows grazed. Clouds lazed… Continued

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Sultry Swellendam

I was first drawn to Swellendam because of resident, Bruce Geils’ ‘Flyinghorse’ photography. I caught myself falling into his depictions of this town that he so clearly loved, which ached with sensitivity and seeped mystery from every inky evening shot. It takes time to capture photographs like these of a town or a place. You need to settle in and breathe the air; become familiar with the beauty, the curves, the colours and the light. But it also takes a muse to inspire an artist to pick up his paints and brushes and it was through Bruce’s magnificent burning mountain sunsets shots, family moments and misty mornings captured on the lake, that I realised Swellendam was something extraordinary.

So, I packed up my little ‘Wanderluster’ (my globe-trotting eleven-year-old son and travel assistant) and pointed my car in the direction of a place I hadn’t yet explored. I heard myself exhale as we turned into the lush, tree-lined main road. Victorian homesteads, now converted into restaurants and guest houses, lined the dappled streets as Friday afternoon sunk into the village… Continued

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Jersey Boys – What a Jol!

I am a self proclaimed musical nut. I love all things theatre, but musicals are my favourite. My dvd and music collection will affirm this should you have any doubt. When I heard that Jersey Boys was coming to Cape Town I was ready and  gathered the troops and off we went. To be honest I hadn’t a clue what the show would be about – so let me give you a little bit of background. Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons. Who you ask? Well you’ll know who I mean once you’re at the show because the music is one hit after another. Continued

Friday, 10 May 2013

Pepper Cottages in Plumstead Cape Town – a review

Pepper Cottages is a quiet little retreat, right in the heart of Plumstead. You would hardly know it was there if it were not for the discreet sign at the gate.

The self-catering Red Pepper Cottage was to be my home for the night, and I was so glad it was. Tastefully furnished, the ample cottage would be ideal for corporate visitors or a couple needing a great base from which to explore the Mother City for a few days. Continued

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Taim-go-loer – a farm stay where time stands still in Napier

Taim-Go-Loer

Taim-Go-Loer

The first thing to grab my attention, other than the obvious prettiness of our accommodation, is the name of the place we choose to stay just outside of Napier – a little town in the Overberg close enough to Caledon not to feel like a trek-and-a-half for a weekend break.

It’s called Taim-go-loer.

I love words, and can’t resist playing with this obviously lovingly selected phrase to describe our self-catering venue. Time to go and look, time for a walkabout? It sounds a little like pidgin English. That it has something to do with time standing still is obvious, as no sooner are our bags on the floor of the bedroom than time slows. Continued

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A Brief Escape to Magical Wildekrans

Wildekrans Country House

Wildekrans Country House

A recent midweek break found us on the road to the lovely Elgin Valley, touted as an ideal destination for nature lovers and wine enthusiasts, and generally for anyone wanting a break from city life out in the country. The first surprise is its close distance to Cape Town. Under an hours drive from the city makes this a great destination when pressed for time or for those who don’t feel like driving for hours to their destination. And once you get there? The views and ambiance will have you believing you drove for hours to get to this little piece of paradise. Continued

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Lekker Velddrif and Laaiplek – it’s bokkoms to you, sir

Velddrif & Laaiplek

Velddrif & Laaiplek

It isn’t only bokkoms that make the town of Velddrif so famous. Enter the West Coast village across the white Carinus bridge that only recently, well historically anyway, replaced the pont across the Berg River and you will also pass hillocks of white, shiny salt.

This is where we get most of our table salt. Any attempt to take photos of the Cerebos pyramid-shaped salt mountains, however, will bring you into contact with the rather surly  security guard, who might, if he doesn’t mind the look of you, deign to allow you to turn your car around before you beat a hasty retreat. Cerebos, the other claim to fame in Velddrif, is not for visitors. And you can forget taking any photographs – there is a sign on the gate that forbids it. Continued

Monday, 28 February 2011

Coconut Grove in Pietermaritzburg – A review

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove

Eating out these days is expensive and finding a restaurant that offers genuine value for money is no easy task. However, a Sunday evening visit to Coconut Grove at the Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg proved that dining out can still be affordable and enjoyable at the same time.

Upon arrival, a friendly manager greeted me and I was ushered to my seat where my friends were already waiting. A waitress had already taken their drinks orders and not wanting to delay proceedings any further; I promptly requested my usual red grapetiser and began to look through the menu … Continued

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Grabouw for the day

Grabouw for the day

Grabouw for the day

Grabouw for the day: Our boot is full of apples and plums. We’re talking big, red, juicy apples. The type that, the minute you get home, having travelled a two-hour round trip to get them in the first place, you wish you’d been smart enough to stock up on three times the quantity.

The Peregrin farmstall is bursting with people, fruit and goodies. It is the second of at least four stalls on the side of the N2 after you leave the pinnacle of Sir Lowry’s Pass in a broad sweeping descent behind you. And I can assure you, worth a drive out here simply to sample the wares, see the views and enjoy the Elgin ValleyContinued

Monday, 17 January 2011

Addis in Cape Town – eating with your hands is all it’s cut out to be

Addis in Cape Town

Addis in Cape Town

As you have no doubt derived from the rather obvious name of the restaurant, Addis is a bit of Ethiopia bang smack in the middle of Cape Town.

I don’t usually do ‘theme’ restaurants, particularly those aimed at tourists. To be honest, I don’t get to eat out at night much at all – funny how that stops when the ‘bundle of joy’ arrives, and stays stopped until he’s left home, although I’m hoping I get out and about before then… another twenty odd years without culture will do my head in. But with mom-in-law down, a night on the town was obligatory, and Long Street was the obvious choice (Long Street is where the night life is, if Camps Bay isn’t your thing, which it isn’t). Even if Addis is technically just around the corner from Long Street, on Church Street, it has incredible views of Long Street, and blends right on in with the other trendy eateries … Continued

Monday, 22 November 2010

Grahamstown, the ‘Festival City’

Main Street Grahamstown

Main Street Grahamstown

Grahamstown is renowned as Festival City, as it is host to the largest arts festival in Africa – the National Arts Festival. Most people visit the town during the festival period, and experience the crazy bustle of thousands of tourists jostling their way down High Street, dodging between the hawkers touting their African wares, and on to the next fantastic show. In-between festival time, Grahamstown is a sleepy town. Grahamstown is also known for its many schools, and Rhodes University, and the town’s population seems to swell during term time when the students return to this quiet town that many students refer to as “the bubble.” Continued

Friday, 19 November 2010

Paternoster – a palliate for the soul

Paternoster

Paternoster

The first thing that strikes me about the gorgeous little seaside fishing village of Paternoster, is the harmony – there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ side of the tracks here. Instead society is lumped into the same handbasket. The average holiday maker encased in huge utility vehicle, here for the weekend, tends to drive with head turned away from the fishermen’s cottages that lie cheek by jowl with holiday homes in the village – an attempt to ignore the ‘other’ side of Paternoster, or craning to see the sea? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt … Continued

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Hebron – an oasis at the pinnacle of the Piekenierskloof pass

Hebron

Hebron

There is something about travelling that brings with it an element of the mundane. I’m talking about that glazed eyes feeling one begins to emit after an hour or two in the car so that even when faced with the incredible beauty of a pass like the Piekenierskloof, which marks the entrance to the Cederberg and Olifants River Valley (isn’t it slightly freaky the way the river flows the wrong way?), and which wends its way down to the town of Citrusdal, you remain slightly impervious.

To call the Piekenierskloof Pass, which links Piketberg with Citrusdal on the N7, stunning is to do it a disservice. In reality it is a series of rather daunting twists and turns that overlook a patchwork quilt of multi-coloured farm fields, beautiful blue mountain ranges in the distance. In days gone by there weren’t any wheat fields down  below one, and most of what you see would have been Renosterveld … Continued