• 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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Monday, 14 October 2013

Let Your Bike And Your Stomach Rumble On The Gourmet Motorcycle Tour

What could be better that going on a bike ride, admiring phenomenal views, seeing a variety of places and enjoying sensational meals? Well you can enjoy all this and more on the Gourmet Motorcycle Tour. Although you get to experience so much more, it’s all really about the food you try along the way, so if you are after a gastronomical experience, then this is the tour for you. Continued

Friday, 20 September 2013

6 Garden Route Nature Reserves for Wildlife, Aquatic And Birder Fanatics

For an unforgettable getaway with multitudes of leisure activities and things to do, stunning accommodation, exquisite scenery, a wildlife safari and more, visit the Garden Route.

The Garden Route has such a varied ecosystem and here you can find anything from rivers, forests, beaches, wetlands, dunes, mountain scenery, fynbos and more. This breathtaking area also has some fabulous game and nature reserves, with various hiking trails and birding opportunities, as well as the chance to see some large game, smaller animals and marine life. Continued

Monday, 16 September 2013

Whale Watching with Ocean Odyssey in the Garden Route

Knysna is one of the most popular destination towns along the esteemed Garden Route of South Africa. It is aesthetically charming, surrounded by magnificent natural landscapes and home to an abundance of attractions and activities. Knysna has a calm lagoon, which leads out to the Indian Ocean through a dramatic passage created by the twin mountain peaks known as The Knysna Heads. Beyond the peaceful lagoon lies a world of exciting exploration on the wild waters of the ocean … Continued

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Weekend in Tsitsikamma

Tsitsikamma was one the areas of the Garden Route where we spent a lot of time camping during my childhood holidays.  Still to this day when I think of Tsitsikamma and Storms River valley I think of lushious forests, bridges, untamed ocean and heaven for outdoor enthusiasts.  Tsitsikamma is the Khoi word for ‘a place of abundant water’. A weekend in Tsitsikamma is really is not long enough to stay here, but if it’s all you have, here are some must-do’s … Continued

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Snuggling Up to Some Scaly Characters at Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary

Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary

Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary

While snakes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they certainly are fascinating, even for those that prefer to enjoy them from a distance. The Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary’s aim is to educate visitors about hundreds of different snake species, from tiny to mammoth, and to dispel some of the myths and horror stories around them.

Situated right on the N2 Motorway, just 18 kilometres outside of Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, this is one of the Garden Route’s popular attractions. When coming from Cape Town, it is after Plettenberg Bay, on the right. It lies within a short drive from other popular wildlife sanctuaries like Jukani, Birds of Eden and Monkeyland, making this entire area, known as The Crags, a veritable hotspot for nature lovers. Continued

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Romance on the River at Bitou River Lodge

Bitou River Lodge

Bitou River Lodge

Right on the banks of the tranquil Bitou River, just 10 minutes outside Plett, lies the gorgeous 4-star retreat called the Bitou River Lodge. This lodge is more than just holiday accommodation in Plettenberg Bay; it provides an authentic (albeit somewhat luxurious) home away from home. One only has to read the comments in the guest book to appreciate how very loved this lodge has become over the years.

While the heated floors, fluffy white robes and irresistible linen give Bitou River Lodge an unmistakeable sense of opulence, the farm-style approach of the guesthouse as a whole keeps it warm and hospitable. Sue, the ever-available host, is wonderfully welcoming, always available to assist, and great for a chat over coffee … Continued

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary – Taking a Walk on the Wild Side of the Garden Route

The Crags is an important part of the Garden Route in terms of the wildlife to which it is home. In addition to rescue facilities like Birds of Eden and Monkeyland, the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary joined the ranks when it moved to this area in August 2013.

Having been established near George in 2005, this facility has been integral to the rescue of a number of beautiful and impressive wildlife species (from zoos and other similar institutions around the world). A tour of this sanctuary provides an incredibly close perspective of a host of predators and other animals within their natural environment. Continued

Monday, 8 July 2013

George on a Bicycle

Explore George

Explore George

George is one of the beautiful towns that lie along the picturesque Garden Route in the Western Cape. It is peacefully secluded at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountain Range. In addition to being known for a fabulously fascinating history that dates back centuries, it is also acclaimed for its outstanding beauty, which acts as a breath-taking backdrop to just about every view of and around George.

Experiencing George on a bicycle is the perfect way to enjoy all of the natural beauty at a comfortable pace that allows you to be a real part of the South African outdoors, immersing yourself in its wonder. Smell the fresh mountain air, feel the sea breeze on your face and listen to the magnificent soundtrack of the unspoilt countryside and its wild inhabitants. Continued

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Relax to the Max at Aquamarine Guest House in Mossel Bay

With winter setting in don’t you think it’s a good time to start planning your summer holidays. Wouldn’t you love to spend a lazy afternoon by the pool overlooking a magnificent view? Why not book the family a treat at the exclusive 5 bedroom Aquamarine Guest House.

You’ll love the location as Aquamarine Guest House is in central Mossel Bay along the Garden Route – find yourself at the Santos Blue Flag beach which is only a short 10 minute walk. Enjoy a scrumptious English breakfast either on the main patio at the poolside or in the dining room, all the while you’ll be overlooking the picturesque Outeniqua Mountains. Continued

Friday, 31 May 2013

Knysna – A seaside town close to my heart

Noetzie Castles

Noetzie Castles

Growing up caravanning and camping in and near the little town of Knysna almost became a norm for me. I would visit every year during the school holidays, visit the town’s markets, picnic alongside the lagoon and enjoy the summer rainfall.

Now that I’m travelling the world, it’s hard to believe that such a spectacular little place exists in the heart of the Garden Route only a few hours from Cape Town. Mountains, beaches, rivers and lagoons will leave you awe-struck and with many things to do. Here are some things to do in and around Knysna Continued

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Stopover in George at Outeniqua Travel Lodge – a review

George is sometimes nicknamed “Cold and Wet” in reference to its number plate (CAW) and its weather conditions, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when I meandered my way along the Garden Route in May and stopped over at Outeniqua Travel Lodge for the night. It was a glorious sunshiny day, even though this time of year is unpredictable. The stunning Outeniqua Mountain Range towers as the backdrop of the lodge, which is a very homely house situated in the suburbs of George.

A friendly Jack Russell and the owner and manager, Sue, are the first to offer a welcome to this self-catering lodge in George. It is warm and inviting, creating a feeling of visiting a relative. The walls are bedecked with old photographs of the area, providing a fascinating insight into its history and hours of gazing for those that take an interest in such memories that have been frozen in time. Continued

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Natures Valleys Best Kept Secrets

Gorgeous Natures Valley

Gorgeous Natures Valley

Natures Valley is an exquisite valley and forest (as well as a tiny community) that is tucked away from the hubbub, but easily accessible as it is perched along the world-famous Garden Route. It is part of the magnificent Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve as well as the De Vasselot Nature Reserve. Its local residents have worked hard to prevent urbanisation here, maintaining a quiet little village look and feel about the place.

Nature’s Valley is popular amongst hikers and campers; those who enjoy the outdoors. These ones are invited to explore its hills and mountains, walk deep into its forests, and sit along the banks of the Groot River (Big River) and listen to the uninterrupted calls of the many birds that have made this their home.

Here are some of the lesser-known things to do and see in Nature’s Valley, all of which promise spectacular views and unforgettable vistas: Continued

Friday, 1 March 2013

A few Reasons to visit Knysna

Bustling Knysna

Bustling Knysna

Having grown up camping along the Garden Route, I am well acquainted with this seaside town with its lagoon and holiday vibe. When I think of Knysna, I honestly can’t forget road trips past the pine forests, warm rainy days and coffee in the town square. Here are some of my reasons to visit Knysna …

Visit before it becomes too developed

Due to its popularity amongst South Africans and scours of tourists in the last decade, Knysna has become extremely developed in certain areas with a waterfront, more guesthouses and shops popping up along the main road. You could be driving along the Garden Route only to find a traffic jam in Knysna main road. Try visit in low season outside of the bustling summer months and take time to enjoy its beauty by taking a sunset boat trip on the lagoon, visiting the market during the day and looking at the beautiful gardens of its churches. Go while it can still be considered relatively peaceful. Continued

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Birds of Eden Experience

Birds of Eden

Birds of Eden

Immerse yourself in the peaceful paradise of Birds of Eden – the largest single dome free-flight multi-species bird aviary in the world. Situated just outside Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route, Birds of Eden is accessible and central, close to a number of other fabulous attractions. This makes it the ideal addition to your holiday itinerary.

Our expectations were high, after hearing fantastic reports of this facility from so many different sources. Our experience did not disappoint.

Birds of Eden and neighbouring Monkeyland were both established by Lara and Tony, who continue to have a hands-on approach to these two facilities. Their unwavering passion and commitment to establishing a hands-off sanctuary that allows rescued, unwanted, wild and somewhat-tame birds to live within a natural environment. Continued

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Blackwater Tubing on Storms River

What fun!

What fun!

The word “tsitsikamma” comes from the ancient San people and means “place of abundant waters”. Exploring these waters is the perfect way to immerse yourself within the unspoilt beauty of this exquisite area. It was a sweltering day when the SA-Venues.com team decided to brave the deep Storms River waters and, apart from the obvious excitement, we were glad to be spending time in the cool waters too.

We were greeted by our tour guides – Nico, Richard and Tait – who were full of fun and made the group of about 20 feel very comfortable and well-prepared. We were briefed for about 15 minutes at the Tube ‘n Axe Lodge before being given our gear (wetsuits, helmets and lifejackets) and loaded onto two trucks. The tour starts straight away with a drive through the town and then the breath-taking Tsitsikamma forest to reach the water, with a commentary by the guides on the various types of trees as well as a brief history of the area. Continued