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A guide to help you find hotels in Pretoria, depending on why you’re visiting
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A guide to help you find hotels in Pretoria, depending on why you’re visiting

Pretoria: more demure and Afrikaans than Jo'burg, but with a buzz of its own thanks to the energy of thousands of university students that give the city a certain charm, and the jacaranda trees (over 60 000 of them) that bloom during October and November turning the city into a mauve carpet (and gum your windscreen wipers for the season). Pretoria is just up the road from Johannesburg (give it a few more years and the two will merge into something of a metropolis) and steeped in history. The site of Nelson Mandela's presidential inauguration, the City of Pretoria functions as the country's ...
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Guide to choosing hotels in Durban – Where best to stay in Durban
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Guide to choosing hotels in Durban – Where best to stay in Durban

Durban - the country's third largest city - is known for its 100 kilometres of beach, all-year-round warm weather, and thanks largely to the colonial British Indian indentured labour system, more people of Indian descent than anywhere else in the country. With attractions like uShaka Marine World, upmarket curry and seafood cuisine, a gammet of new and stylish hangouts in Florida and Helen Joseph Roads, trendy neighbourhoods like Glenwood and Morningside, a thriving business sector in Umhlanga and Durban North, and easy access to the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the Drakensberg, Durban is...
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Finding hotels in Cape Town: 5 step guide to save you time
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Finding hotels in Cape Town: 5 step guide to save you time

It isn't estate agents alone who mutter the mantra – location, location, location. It's also how people choose hotels. I'm prepared to bet you thought it was all about the cost of the room? But the latest study of why people around the world choose the hotels they do reveals location as the number one priority. The cost of the hotel and past experience come in second. Based on this research, we have put together a five-step guide to help you find hotels in Cape Town ... Photograph: Four Rosmead Boutique Guest House in Oranjezicht Five-step guide to help you find hotels in Cape Town...
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The Secret Life of South Africa’s Little Five
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The Secret Life of South Africa’s Little Five

What do the leopard tortoise, buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, ant lion and rhinoceros beetle have in common with their large counterparts?  Very little other than the names they share. What they are is a sharp reminder of the neglected small creatures - the “forgotten inhabitants of the African savannah”. It's human nature to support the little guy. In psychology terms this is known as the appeal of the underdog; the Davids (as opposed to Goliaths) of this world... Which is one explanation for Rael Loon's concept of South Africa's Little Five. As opposed to the Big Five – one of the major r...
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15 Secrets of the West Coast
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15 Secrets of the West Coast

Do you know what makes the West Coast such an unbelievable holiday spot? Yes, it's the white sandy beaches, white cottaged fishing villages, mountains of the Cedarberg, citrus orchards above the Swartland and the apple and pear farms of the Koue Bokkeveld.  But it's also the historic towns along the Orange River of the Northern Cape, the annual flower display and the coming of the whales. The West Coast is more than a pretty postcard home saying: I'm missing you (not!). It's an unparalleled experience of intense beauty and diversity coupled with a wildness that is missing in many other part...
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Indulgent weekends – Venues in South Africa you will simply LOVE
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Indulgent weekends – Venues in South Africa you will simply LOVE

How to handle the Christmas holidays and still manage to relax? A weekend away – just the two of you. Leave the kids with your parents (isn't that why they visit you, anyway?) or put the pre-Christmas mall-trawl and parties on hold to head away for a couple of nights of just you time... Here are 30 handpicked venues that will make it that much easier to simply book the time away without having first to trawl the web for options. Some are super luxuriant, others I've chosen because of their location, the balance simply because I like them (quaint or eccentric) and think you might to...
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First Impressions of South Africa – 30 things you need to know
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First Impressions of South Africa – 30 things you need to know

30 things you need to know when first you arrive in South Africa - South Africa is a land of contradictions. That it is beautiful is indisputable. That it is also a mix of cultures, ideas, customs and traditions that are unique to the country is something most visitors need to experience first-hand. But here are a few insider tips for first-time visitors ... 1. When you arrive you must have a return ticket 2. and at least two blank pages in your passport 3. It is difficult to find legal work in South Africa, as a foreigner, as we don't have a Working Holiday scheme 4. But in SA...
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Favourite Backpackers Lodges Across South Africa
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Favourite Backpackers Lodges Across South Africa

There is nothing like low-cost, independent travel to make you feel immensely at one with the world. The spirit of adventure and discovery that comes with uncovering new cultures and languages, seeing new places, and owning only what is on your back is liberating. ASHANTI LODGE, GARDENS, CAPE TOWN You'd be hard pressed to find such an atmospheric backpackers elsewhere, and its location is brilliant. This newly refurbished Victorian-style house has modern, clean rooms, a pool area, wonderful balconies on which to simply chill, WiFi, gardens, a bar, an in-house restaurant, a travel centre t...
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The knack of solo travel in South Africa
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The knack of solo travel in South Africa

It isn't odd to see lone travellers in South Africa. South Africa is geared for tourism and its people are, by and large, friendly, hospitable and approachable. The warnings about the high level of crime and violence does not make you any more of a target when going it alone, provided you are cautious when it comes to doing things like walking down darkened alleys at midnight. Here are a 8 essential tips for when alone in South Africa ... Be smart about where you go Stick to the touristy areas. This isn't as limiting as it sounds. Much of the country encourages tourism and has recogn...
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Undiscovered, chilled towns to visit in South Africa
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Undiscovered, chilled towns to visit in South Africa

There are not many places in South Africa that remain 'undiscovered'. As a nation we enjoy wandering the country, and travel journalists have shared most of the 'secret' spots with us already. But if one is prepared to go that little bit further than the average trip makes comfortable, visit relatively unheard of towns that at first glance are unprepossessing, it's amazing what one can uncover. Whilst the towns below are no state secret, they seldom make it into braaiside conversations or appear on 'must-visit' bucket lists. That may change... Photograph: Anglican Church in Lady Grey,...
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Top 5 Spots for Bird Watching in South Africa
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Top 5 Spots for Bird Watching in South Africa

South Africa is ranked 25th in the world when it comes to size. But it isn't area alone that is responsible for the over 900 listed species of birds you are likely to see. We share the Top 5 Spots for Bird Watching in South Africa. Most of the country lies in rather temperate climes, some of it in the subtropics, and the huge diversity of habitat means that birds rather like it here. Whilst you can safely spot them in just about any green space, there are several 'hot spots' that you cannot afford to miss. Top 5 Spots for Bird Watching in South Africa... KRUGER NATIONAL PARK The lilac...
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10 Reasons Why I Love Cape Town
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10 Reasons Why I Love Cape Town

Everyone loves Cape Town. They do. And there are various reasons why. People, when asked, cite the mountains, the sea, the vibe in the city bowl, the open-top, red, double-decker bus, markets, and the food, as their reasons for living here. But why do You Love Cape Town? – why do you live here or come back often? Here are mine: The Mountains I know, I know it's not very original, but take away Table mountain and the rest of the mountains that unfold in a cascade of marvellous mother earth vibrancy all the way down to Cape Point, and where would we be? The Beaches You cannot pass over t...
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5 Reasonably Priced Romantic Retreats in South Africa
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5 Reasonably Priced Romantic Retreats in South Africa

Romance should never be put on hold because your bank account does not seem to cooperate. There are a number of places throughout this spectacular country in which couples can enjoy a getaway together without dipping into ‘the red’. Of course, a romantic escape is always special and worth saving up for, so we have selected some of the more reasonable retreats that promise a very special experience... 5 Reasonably Priced Romantic Retreats in South Africa 1. The Old Jail, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape Not only is this historical building an experience on its own - stone walls half a metre...
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Cape Escapes – Villages To Which To Escape, When You Live In Cape Town
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Cape Escapes – Villages To Which To Escape, When You Live In Cape Town

We went away this weekend, yet stayed at home. We drove all of 30 kilometres. Right the way to just beyond Simon's Town. It took us a little over half an hour to get there (longer if you take the wonderfully cheerful route, peppered with roadworks, along Main Road past all the seaside villages of False Bay to help you get in the holiday mood) and we didn't even use a quarter of a tank of petrol. Where we stayed had incredible views over the sea and was set right back against the craggy heights of the mountains of a nature reserve. There were no people or houses for miles (except for the hou...
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South Africa’s 8 World Heritage Sites – and why they’re worth a visit
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South Africa’s 8 World Heritage Sites – and why they’re worth a visit

It's incredible to think that South Africa has eight sites that have 'outstanding universal value to humanity'. These places form part of a World Heritage Sites List that is protected for the future of our children. Around the world there are about 936 of them that include the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, the Taj Mahal in India, the Grand Canyon in the USA ... so we're in good company. Those countries involved form part of an international community that have come together, in a sense, to make sure that these sites are kept safe f...
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