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Common ailments when travelling – use these 10 wild South African plants
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Common ailments when travelling – use these 10 wild South African plants

You are on a road trip and someone comes down with earache, a rash, a sore throat or needs a little help with the daily, well, let's just say that they need help. And there is not a pharmacy in sight. Fear not. There is help at hand. As close as the side of the road. South Africa has many medicinal plants – 3 000 species are used as medicine. In fact, many of the plants that surround us are used in primary health care throughout the country... South Africa has well over 30 000 species of what science calls 'higher plants' (not mosses, liverworts or lichens; in other words plants with ...
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5 forms of unusual transport in South Africa
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5 forms of unusual transport in South Africa

South Africans clearly do not lack in the inventiveness department. We're forever coming up with alternative ways of doing things. Transport is no different. The heaviness of traffic, the influx of visitors demanding unique experiences, and the need to get from A to B have all contributed to these forms of unusual transport in South Africa... 1. THE TUK-TUK Forget having to go all the way to India or Thailand to wind your way through traffic in a sturdy little tuk-tuk. These zippy, easy to ride motorised tricycles now whiz their way through Sandton, Rosebank and Melville in Johannesbu...
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A visitor’s guide to using minibus taxis in Cape Town and Johannesburg
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A visitor’s guide to using minibus taxis in Cape Town and Johannesburg

The minibus taxi is as commonplace in South Africa as the tuk-tuk is in Thailand (although tuk-tuks are now also found on the streets of Jozi, but that's another story) . They're everywhere. Last count, which was quite some time ago, saw over 50 000 of them in Johannesburg alone... Accommodating roughly 10 people at a time, the average minibus is in dire need of mechanical assistance, and driving standards seldom adhere to the rules of the road - frustrating for everyday commuters (read: those with cars) who regard taxis as a scourge. Many routes are highly unsafe, and as a visitor to...
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20 reasons to never leave a big city (like Jozi or Cape Town) EVER
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20 reasons to never leave a big city (like Jozi or Cape Town) EVER

Hard to believe that in 1800 only 3 percent of the world lived in cities. Most people lived in the countryside, in towns. By 1900 things had changed somewhat – 12 cities already had over 1 million people. Now not only are there 400 cities with over a million people in them, but the world has 40 mega cities with over 5 million people in each (Japan, Seoul, New York, Mumbai, Delhi, LA etc.). For as many of us choosing to downscale by moving to small towns, countless others would never dream of doing so. There are various reasons to never leave a big city. Here are just 20 ... 1. MORE JOB...
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20 reasons to leave the city and move to a ‘dorp’
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20 reasons to leave the city and move to a ‘dorp’

You've had a life-long dream. That goes something like this: meet soul mate (optional), have child (optional), move to a SMALL TOWN and open a coffee shop/fish shop/country restaurant/country pub and live out the rest of your life in the slow lane without any big city stress. Perhaps you have given the idea merely a passing thought? Either way, here are a list of reasons to leave the city and head for South Africa's country 'dorps'... 1. NO TRAFFIC JAMS No more sitting in traffic for up to two hours a day. Whilst your town of choice is unlikely to have more than one main road, dependin...
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13 vital tips for women travelling alone in South Africa
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13 vital tips for women travelling alone in South Africa

Is South Africa safe for a woman travelling on her own? - the $10 million question. And one that has as many different answers as there are people with opinions. Let me add my two cents worth: yes, you can safely travel in South Africa as a woman. You just need to take a few extra precautions. South Africa is not that different from anywhere else in the world. Behave as you would in any unknown city in the developing world and you should be just fine. It doesn't help that South Africa has something of a reputation when it comes to crime, taxi wars and strikes. It is true. They happen....
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Why you should visit South Africa NOW
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Why you should visit South Africa NOW

If you were here for the World Cup in 2010 and swore blind you would return, now is the time to do so. Because things in South Africa, for the average tourist, are rather peachy. Whilst those who live here are struggling as things become more than a little tight – petrol and food prices have risen exponentially on the basis of the Rand's weakness against the Pound, US Dollar and other major peers – those who visit are only too happy. Their already cheap world-class bottle of wine just got cheap – er. In 2010 the US Dollar was able to buy about R7. Today it will get you R11. An average...
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A South African working holiday
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A South African working holiday

Exploring South Africa and appreciating the many different facets of this prime destination takes time. While many visitors come year after year to experience the real allure of this country, there is also the opportunity to work here for a few months, even years, and get to live the real South African life amongst real South African people. There are a number of programmes that invite tourists from all over the world to volunteer their services at no charge during their stay. These include crèches, vegetable farms, schools, animal sanctuaries, and far more. However, for those who want t...
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Secretly recovering from a facelift – 10 top spots to remain incognito in South Africa
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Secretly recovering from a facelift – 10 top spots to remain incognito in South Africa

Whatever reservations you may have about cosmetic surgery, South Africa serves as a perfect destination for those intent on a nip or tuck.  The country offers top quality cosmetic surgery, the Rand/Dollar/Euro exchange makes the option rather attractive, and the country has so many scenic spots in which to recuperate that you can visit for a month and return home looking several decades 'younger' with ease. It's been termed medical tourism. Packages to South Africa include the job and recovery time spent on safari, or in a spa on the coast. For those who want to remain well hidden here a...
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18 Travel Trends for 2014
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18 Travel Trends for 2014

The latest Travel Trends for 2014 show South Africa and Cape Town are to be reckoned with, airports are becoming more liveable, mobile bookings are on the up, and travellers are demanding a more 'local' experience ... 1 - Despite the recession, tourism continues to grow 2.5 billion internet users worldwide mean that countries like India and China have increased buying power, and are travelling more. Asia was 2013's hot spot for travel, both incoming and domestic, and Southern Europe – Malta, Portugal, Croatia – expect a high tourist rate this year; higher than Northern Europe. 2 - South Afr...
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Helpful tips when Road Tripping around South Africa
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Helpful tips when Road Tripping around South Africa

In October we set off on a month long road trip around the country. Our route took us from the bushveld, through the Drakensberg along the Wild Coast and back down to the Western Cape. Here are some tips you may find helpful before heading out on the long road this festive season... Get Insured If you are going with your own car, it’s more than likely that you pay a monthly fee for full insurance coverage.  We rented a car but the premium package we took to insure the car didn’t cover wheels and tyres.  Heading into the Eastern Cape and especially the Wild Coast without a 4x4 means that ...
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The Staycation – 10 ways to stay at home, yet be on holiday
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The Staycation – 10 ways to stay at home, yet be on holiday

The Staycation. It's not a new term, in case you think that I'm just slow on the uptake (I can be, I admit). Staycations are about staying at home whilst taking time off. The word is a little, well, it's a little lame. It's tantamount to convincing yourself you're rich when you know the bank balance is well below where you'd like it to be. But it does rather aptly combine the ideas of home and holiday in a way that goes beyond the image of gardening and walking the dog as highlights to the day... Explore your city! Staying at home needn't revert to a list of dull, arduous odd jobs...
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How eco friendly is your tour operator, really?
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How eco friendly is your tour operator, really?

Is your eco friendly tour operator really environmentally friendly? And how do you recognise one? So many organisers of tours and trips these days attach the prefix 'eco' to their offering. How far reaching this 'umbrella' claim is depends on a number of issues. But when is it just a wishful title, and when is it credible? The good news: it isn't difficult to assess yourself The bad news: you cannot assume that the term 'eco' means the company is accredited (in South Africa there is no formal eco accreditation in the travel sector, other than Fair Trade). There are also no univers...
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What to wear in Mpumalanga – The Mpumalanga Packing List
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What to wear in Mpumalanga – The Mpumalanga Packing List

Mpumalanga’s topography is a varied one, comprising of the Highveld (high lying) and the Lowveld (low lying) regions. Naturally, due to their altitudes and physical characteristics, these regions display different climates. This makes Mpumalanga an even more interesting place to visit at almost any time of year. The Lowveld of this province enjoys a tropical climate that is hot and humid during summer, and temperate during winter. The annual rains occur mainly during the summer months. Between December and March, daily highs often reach well into the 30’s. Accompanied with the moisture in t...
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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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