5 reasons to put on your jacket and head on a winter safari

15 Jun 2017

Winter is no longer coming, it is here. You probably don’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of your house, but have you considered that winter may be the best time to head to the bush. Here’s why:

The beautiful weather

We can all agree that South Africa has beautiful weather all-year round, but during winter there is more blue in the sky, the air is cooler, the sun is out and you don’t even have to worry about getting sunburnt. You will no longer need big hats that obstruct your view to block the heat. Even better, with no rain and cooler temperatures, the threat of mosquitos getting in your way is significantly decreased. And nobody likes having to reek of repellent.

Spot more wildlife

While we all have our reasons for loving the bush, it’s obvious that the wildlife itself takes centre stage in all our hearts. Well, in winter, you’re most likely to see the wildlife. Why? Because the weather is dry and the rains are few, so animals tend to congregate around the most reliable watering hole. Not only this, without all the green summery foliage getting in the way, the dry winter brush is much easier to peer through, helping you spot way more animals.

It is not packed

This time of year is usually a low season for bush visits. That makes it the perfect time to go to national parks – you can be sure that you will not be bothered by large roaming packs of human beings. You can practically have the park to yourself on many routes.

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Specials

With low seasons in tourism come low prices and specials at lodges and hotels, so you can save and see the beautiful country at the same time. There are wonderful packages available on Sho’t Left for you to enjoy this winter.

There is always more to see

Enjoy a bon fire and wine, with a great view of the stars away from the city lights, on chilly nights that make you realise how beautiful the bush really is.

If you ever need a mid-year break from the everyday hustle of life, the South African wild is the place to go. So go on, get off the couch and go wild on a Sho’t Left to the nearest national park this winter.

Cosy winter retreats

8 Jun 2017

Venture out and brave South Africa’s nippy season with these winter getaways to beat the big chill. From beach houses and luxury lodges to incredible hideouts, there are plenty hidden gems to visit on weekends this winter.

Here are some delightful options to consider when you hit the road in search of an ideal winter getaway:

Tau Game Lodge, Madikwe:

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One of the first lodges built in the Madikwe Game Reserve, Tau is a traditional safari lodge and its spacious lounge offers an opportunity to sit back and relax on a comfy couch after a game drive.

Abalone House, Paternoster:

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This delightful hotel along the West Coast promises solitude and a great crackling fire. Order a glass of port and forget the world exists as you enjoy the guesthouse decor, inspired by the vibrancy of Tretchikoff.

De Oude Kraal Country Estate & Spa, Free State:

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About 35 km south of Bloemfontein on a working sheep farm, De Oude Kraal offers a retreat to birdwatch, horse ride, tuck into a hearty meal and view a spectacular winter Free State sunset. Book a room with an open fireplace for a cosy winter vibe.

De Hoek Country Hotel, Magaliesburg:

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This five-star country house is constructed of sandstone. Its interiors are filled with Oregon pine and Mahogany, and dressed with luxurious fabrics. Dining is the finest of crystal and silver affairs. This winter, luxuriate in one of the superior suites that come with their own fireplaces.

Granny Mouse Country House, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands:

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Deluxe rooms at this popular country house and spa on the Midlands Meander, at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains, have great fireplaces. Warm your toes after a day of exploring the arts and crafts in the area.

Tenahead Mountain Lodge & Spa, Rhodes:

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This five-star lodge is surrounded by the Drakensberg, Witteberg and Maluti mountains, and as such luxuriates in the magnificent scenery of peaks, valleys and streams. Large, double-glazed windows in the rooms offer unmatched panoramas, while open fireplaces remove any chill from the air.

With these and more amazing establishments available to you this winter, there’s no excuse to not pack an overnight bag, head out and experience South Africa’s winter in the comfort of these incredible hidden gems. 

 

 

 

 

 

Come experience wild Durban

15 May 2017

While Durban is a busy urban centre, a few hours’ drive from the city lies a number of phenomenal wildlife destinations. From Durban’s Sharks Board to uShaka Sea World for marine wildlife to Hluhluwe-Imfolosi and a host of smaller parks along the Elephant Coast, or down south to Pure Venom reptile park or inland to private reserves or the Lion Park – there’s wildlife aplenty not far from Durban.

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Sardine Run

In July most years the annual Sardine Run hits the beaches of the south coast, when millions of small, silver fish migrate up the coastline, followed by predators such as dolphins, whales, sharks and seabirds.

Umgeni River estuary

The Umgeni River estuary is a popular picnic spot. At low tide, the shallows are exposed, and thousands of birds, including terns and pelicans, gather to feast. Get close to nature and birdlife by traversing the boardwalk through the protected Beachwood mangroves on the north side of Blue Lagoon.

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Don’t miss CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) in Yellowwood Park, a wildlife hospital that cares for injured and orphaned wild animals and birds. Also worth a visit is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board for an informative glimpse into the world of these impressive, misunderstood predators.

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Hluhuluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

KwaZulu-Natal is a leading conservation area packed with game parks and reserves. In the north are the Hluhuluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage site. Both are renowned for large populations of wild animals and exquisite bird life.

uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and small boutique game reserves

Inland is the mighty uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, another World Heritage Site that is home to a wealth of plant and birdlife. Numerous smaller boutique game reserves such as Tala and GwaHumbe lie in the mid-Illovo region, and the Lion Park is close to Pietermaritzburg.

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DID YOU KNOWHluhuluwe is the oldest game reserve in South Africa. Now you have every reason to visit KwaZulu-Natal, not only does it have great beaches but you are also able to view some of the best wildlife.

6 TOP THINGS TO DO IN KZN

11 May 2017

South Africa’s third-smallest province, KwaZulu-Natal has a wealth of scenic and cultural attractions that include the country’s most popular beaches lying to the south and north of Durban. Add to that its bushveld reserves to the north, historic battlefields and the dramatic Drakensberg mountains, and you truly have a place that offers something for everyone.

Have you visited…

uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is home to 35 000 examples of San rock paintings and a huge diversity of protected plant and animal species. While there are many mountains in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal’s 200km long uKhahlamba Drakensberg escarpment is by far the most impressive.

WHO TO CONTACT: +27 (0)31 355 7500 / Email: kznta@iafrica.com

HOW TO GET HERE: The Berg is divided into the southern, central and northern regions. The N3 national road between Durban and Johannesburg is well signposted to access routes for each of these regions.

Unspoilt scenery in the Drakensberg

Durban Botanic Gardens

Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens, the Durban Botanic Gardens are a magnificent testimony to more than 160 years of dedication and care by a succession of curators. Not only do these gardens offer travellers a scenic respite from the busy city, but they’re world-renowned for their indigenous and exotic plant collections from the subtropics – cycads, ferns, bromeliads, palms and orchids, among many other stunning flowers and more than 80 magnificent heritage trees.

WHO TO CONTACT: Durban Botanic Gardens+27 (0)31 322 4021 / Email: dbginfo@durban.gov.za

HOW TO GET HERE: The Durban Botanic Gardens are located west of the city centre towards the suburb of Berea, in Botanic Gardens Road, above the Greyville Racecourse. A shuttle bus connecting the city centre to the gardens leaves regularly from Sydenham Road.

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Segway tours at Moses Mabhida Stadium

Since they first hit South African shores the funky, modern design of the Segway transporter has held a fascination for the young and the young-at-heart. By taking a tour of the Moses Mabhida Stadium using this unique mode of transport, you’ll be able to tick two boxes on your to-do list at once! A Segway tour of Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium combines the fun and freedom of a ride on one of these uber-cool mobility transporters with a comprehensive overview of one of South Africa’s top sporting attractions.

WHO TO CONTACT: +27 (0)31 303 4534 / Email: mms@segwayglidingtours.com

HOW TO GET HERE: Take the N2 north towards the north coast. As you move out of the city centre, you cannot miss the Moses Mabhida Stadium on your left. Physical address: Shop 16A, 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Avenue, Durban.

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Around June each year, word gets out along the KwaZulu-Natal coast that the sardines have arrived. They’ve swum for more than 30 days from their spawning ground in the Cape to reach South Africa’s east coast. Scores of fishermen join the sharks, game fish, marine mammals and birds that gorge themselves on the shimmering band of silver fish.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: Book your trip anytime from mid-May to mid-July.

WHO TO CONTACT: KwaZulu-Natal Tourism +27 (0)31 366 7500 / Email: info@zulu.org.za or Seal/Sardineun.net Expeditions+ 27 (0)21 422 0394 / Email: info@sardinerun.net

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Beer tour of KwaZulu-Natal

Following the province’s beer route is not just about drinking beer (although it goes without saying that you’ll be tipping many a tankard, should you so wish) – it’s as much about discovering the history behind the brew and the art of beer-making from exceptional brew masters at eight of the region’s breweries.

Try the Khangela Brewery in Durban, well known for umqombothi, a traditional beer made from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water. Umqombothi is popular among a large proportion of South Africa’s beer drinkers.

WHO TO CONTACT: KwaZulu-Natal Beer Route / Email: kznta@iafrica.com

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Discover the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is the only remaining major nesting site in Africa where Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles still lay their eggs and it is a sight that should find its way on to every bucket list. Don’t forget about the sand forests, thornvelds, open savannahs and welcoming beaches of False Bay, while Charters Creek is a wildlife haven for larger game species such as elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards, giraffes and tsessebe.

WHO TO CONTACT: iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority +27 (0)35 590 1633 / Email: info@isimangaliso.com

HOW TO GET HERE: iSimangaliso is easily accessible by road. Take the N2 north from Durban until you reach it. Durban is the closest city with an international airport, the King Shaka International Airport. From here, St Lucia is less than four hours’ drive away.

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Durban’s endless summer

2 May 2017

They don’t call Durban “South Africa’s playground” for nothing – so dig your toes in the sand, take a dip in the sea and enjoy your time in this great city. The weather is gorgeous all-year round, which is why we can brag about Durban’s coastline, even during the winter months! Durban welcomes visitors to a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle where braais, seafood and curry restaurants, clubs and friendly accommodation establishments provide everything an out-of-towner could wish for while on holiday.

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The Beaches

Durban’s beaches lie along a stretch of golden sand, known as the Golden Mile. From Blue Lagoon’s fishing spot to the sunken Vetch’s Pier, a host of flat, sandy beaches invites you to set down an umbrella and towel, and while away hours in the sun.

With its warm water, awesome waves and seemingly endless stretches of sandy beaches, you’ll soon understand why Durbs is everyone’s favourite seaside playground. Premier beaches in Durban include body-boarding hotspot – North Beach; and swimmers’ delight – South Beach; while Bay of Plenty and Dairy Beach are top surfing breaks. Swimming takes place at all of these beaches, closer inshore.

The LEARN 2 SURF Durban surf school is based at Addington Beach, just north of uShaka Marine World.

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The Activities

About 15 minutes’ north of Durban, Umhlanga Rocks beach is lined with luxury hotels and apartments. This is a fun spot with a permanent holiday vibe. Umhlanga’s village is full of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, pubs and clubs. If you’re after a quieter spot, Umhlanga’s Bronze Beach is more secluded, while Umdloti, Salt Rock and Zinkwazi, further north, are more family friendly.

With a long, paved promenade, the Golden Mile offers joggers, cyclists, dog owners, surfers, body boarders and walkers the opportunity to enjoy early-morning and late-afternoon exercise.

Visitors cannot miss Durban’s striking Moses Mabhida Stadium, host venue to top-notch sporting events, Segway tours, a city-viewing SkyCar and bungee swing.

CONTACT: +27 31 582 8242

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Closer to the harbour, uShaka Marine World, a world-class water park, aquarium (with fish, dolphins, seals, penguins and others) and restaurant and shopping complex overlooks the ocean, and offers hours of entertainment for the whole family.

CONTACT: +27 31 328 8000 / mkt@ushakamarineworld.co.za

WHO TO CONTACT FOR MORE INFO

Durban Tourism
Tel: +27 31 322 4164
Email: funinsun@iafrica.com

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly in via Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, located 45 minutes north of Durban at La Mercy. Or take the N3 from Johannesburg, a road trip of about 580km.

Cool Cape Town and its cool activities

19 Apr 2017

Cape Town is not only a pretty face, there is so much to do and see it could make you dizzy with all the choices. Here is a little guide to some great activity options – some are affordable and some may need to be considered as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, but all will be totally worth it!

Hop on hop off bus

A classic favourite when visiting Cape Town, as it provides the easiest and most convenient way to visit the Table Mountain Cableway and it offers a great introduction to Cape Town’s City Bowl, as well as Camps Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard. A red bus ticket allows you to hop on and hop off on all tours so you can start your double-decker experience at any of the stops on the route. Their open-top tours are a delight for anyone wanting a safe, fun and informative introduction to the city.

Their bestseller for the bus: 1-Day Ticket Cape Town, R170 

City Sightseeing South Africa also offers an array of community tours, from the free walking tours in and around the city to multicultural township experiences, sidecar adventures and even a chopper flip! They do a LaGuGu Township experience, which is great. The LaGuGu Township Tour is a not-to-be-missed township tour that offers a unique, personal, in-depth and unforgettable experience of the Cape Town townships of Langa (the city’s original and oldest township) and Gugulethu.

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Tours

This unforgettable journey takes you along some of the most spectacular scenery along the coast of Cape Town. The journey begins on the Atlantic coastline through Clifton and Camps Bay to Hout Bay. After a short coffee stop across the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, wind your way down to the Cape of Good Hope. Lunch can be enjoyed at the Two Oceans Restaurant (on your own account) with its great view across False Bay before making your way back towards Cape Town along the False Bay coast.

Cost: Chauffer Ride – R3200 per person / Guided from two people – R1565 per person plus R1800 per bike

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Lion’s Head Paragliding

Probably the most exhilarating adventure sport in Cape Town with no previous experience or knowledge required. They are disabled-, gay- and pet-friendly, having taken wheelchair-bound paraplegics, old and young – the oldest person was nearly 93! Anybody can fly! You simply need a good state of health – good walking shoes and 30 minutes to two hours. With a very experienced pilot behind you, you will feel just great! Paragliding is the most amazing feeling. Once in the air, most people are surprised that they feel so relaxed. You sit comfortably upright (like on your sofa at home). 

Cost: Paragliding Tandem Flight – R1150pp / Paragliding Tandem Flight with Pictures & Videos –R1400

Tokara wine and olive tasting

Tokara is a picture-perfect destination that offers visitors a unique combination of award-winning wines, brandy and olive oils, a gallery of fine art, a restaurant featuring one of South Africa’s leading chefs as well as a delicatessen. This could be an outing on its own as there is so much to do. You could start off with some wine and olive tasting and then enjoy lunch on the estate while taking in the views and relaxed atmosphere.

Cost: This depends on whether you taste wines, olive oils or join them for lunch.

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Scootours

The first of its kind in SA – enjoy an exhilarating downhill descent on the Monster Mountain Scooters. The scooters are non-motorised, making this an eco-friendly adventure. These Swiss-designed scooters are used in the Alps during the summer season on the ski slopes when the snow has melted, so you can imagine the power and speed.

Cost: Driver Tickets – R490 pp / Junior Passenger Tickets – R270 pp / Kids Birthday Party – R350 pp

Gin-making experience

Nestled neatly between Salt River and Woodstock is a bustling and creative commercial complex called the Salt River Arcade. Within this lies a small yet highly productive micro-distillery named the Woodstock Gin Company. Here they are passionate about letting people know that gin is so much more than Juniper berry-infused alcohol.

If you prefer a pint, you could also visit the Woodstock Brewery for a beer-making experience. Situated in the heart of Woodstock, the Woodstock Brewery Tap Room is the place to go to sample and buy the full range of Woodstock Brewery beers. You can organise a tour and tasting or you can buy a pint and relax in the beer garden, both of which give you a view of the working brewery.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Music lovers, did you get to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival this year? We know this activity requires some planning since it’s an annual event, but it’s a great one and should be a highlight on everyone’s calendar – every year! Recently held in Cape Town, we suggest you add it to your itinerary for next year and make a weekend of it in the Mother City.

What’s it all about? Now in its 18th year, the much-loved annual music festival beckons to both fervent jazz devotees and mainstream music lovers. Since its inception in 2000, this awesome gathering has seen its audiences grow exponentially and has successfully carved out a space for itself on the world’s events calendar, with fans from across the globe travelling to South African soil to attend.

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The Gogos enjoy the Eastern Cape

12 Apr 2017

We think everyone should get to enjoy all that South Africa has to offer, most of all the wisest of our nation – the gogos. The “Gogos on Tour” initiative aims to treat our senior citizens to some awesome experiences at various places across their provinces.

This week, the lovely gogos from the Eastern Cape were treated and delighted to a host of activities, and this is what they got up to…How well do you know your city? The gogos were treated to a city tour and loved every minute of it. East London City Tour is the only river port in South Africa and a unique holiday destination. Explore the city and visit historical sites, including the East London Museum, which is the home of the Coelacanth – a fish which was discovered at the Chalumna River. This town prides itself on its Victorian-style buildings and one of the best beaches in the country.

Contact: +27 83 487 8975

The gogos enjoyed a busy day, and after their tour they headed to East London Aquarium

The East London aquarium is small, but fun and informative thanks to a number of unique displays and features including a whale-watching deck, a breeding colony of African penguins and some of the best seal shows in the world. Here the gogos could explore the marine life on display as well as take in a show.

Tel: +27 43 705 2637

Gogos together

The gogos got to lunch in style at an art gallery before going to their lovely accommodation for the evening. At the Garden Court East London Hotel, the gogos enjoyed a welcome drink and dinner. Garden Court East London Hotel, located on the city’s spectacular Eastern Beach Promenade and close to the CBD, is the ideal base for those travelling for business, as well as leisure travellers visiting one of South Africa’s most historic cities. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Garden Court East London Hotel is a perfect springboard from which to explore great, local attractions and is a short walk from the beach.

Contact: +27 43 722 7260

Day two started off with a trip to the East London Zoo

Situated in the Queens Park Zoological Gardens, you’ll find the East London Zoo. With a remarkable variety of plant life and vegetation, this outstanding zoo is home to a wide range of animals, birds and reptiles.

You can expect to see tigers, white lions, brown lions, a hyena, a jaguar, giraffe, springbok, chimpanzees, Chacma baboons, other small monkeys and much more.

Contact: +27 43 722 1171

After fun at the zoo and a relazing pamper session, the gogos had worked up an appetite and what better way to enjoy the beautiful Eastern Cape then to have lunch at a beachfront restaurant. If you enjoy eating out, East London offers a wide range or restaurants designed to cater to your specific tastes, and of course everyone loves a meal near the ocean. The gogos got to enjoy lunch together before heading home.

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Nine provinces, numerous pampering sessions and one great meal after the other – this was our final Gogos Tour and what a great time the gogos have had! From the Western Cape right up to Limpopo, the gogos have been able to experience amazing sites, sounds and attractions. What a treat it has been to spoil these wonderful gogos. 

Easter getaways

10 Apr 2017

April holidays are just around the corner and they are full of lovely treats like long weekends, chocolate delights and hot cross buns! If you don’t already think that Easter is absolutely the best holiday, these getaways are bound to convince you.

Here are some of the best self-catering options for a great time away with friends, family and of course lots of good food!

Western Cape

River Magic Cottages

Four spacious designer cottages appointed in a pastoral and river settings. Sleeping accommodation consists of one double bedroom and en-suite, one double bedroom with basin, one twin-bedded room with basin and two 3 bedded rooms en-suite. Separate bathroom. There is an open plan living/kitchen/dining room with a large fire place. The outside braai area over looks magnificent river views and guests have the use of a canoe and row boat onto which you may attach your own small outboard engine.

Where: Vermaaklikheid, 35 km from Riversdale.

Ismore

Offers a six-sleeper house with a separate loft apartment and is within walking distance to the beach. If it’s a family beach break you’re after, then Ismore has you covered. This three-bedroom self-catering house is located in Klein Paternoster, a one-of-a-kind development with lush gardens and a few resident owls.

Where: Paternoster, 145 km north of Cape Town

KwaZulu-Natal

Umzimkulu River Lodge

About 15 km’s from Underberg village, you will arrive at a rustic river lodge with rolling hills and a fresh running river. With a choice of eight self-catering units that can sleep from two to ten guests, there is no shortage of choice.  The units are spacious and comfortably furnished. Each has a well-equipped kitchen, as well as private braai area to enjoy those starry summer evenings.

Where: Underberg

Tower of Pizza Lodge

This farm is 10km from Royal Natal National Park, with nine cottages and a pizzeria restaurant. Situated on a working grain farm, experience traditional farmstyle hospitality in close proximity to all major attractions in the beautiful Amphitheatre valley. Artistic and off beat décor complement the tranquil and natural beauty of the area.

Where: Northern Drakensberg, 34km from Bergville

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Mpumalanga

Sabie River Camp,

Sabie, sprawled along the river just outside Sabie, Sabie River Camp is one of those places that even the adamant non-camper will enjoy. With a wide range of accommodation options, it has something for everyone: camping and caravan sites, three 10-sleeper dorm rooms, en-suite pre-erected safari tents, more pre-erected tents on stilts, three backpacker family rooms.

Where: Sabie

Fox and Squirrel

This is the most romantic venue in the whole of Dullstroom. Fox & Squirrel is a beautiful self-catering cottage situated in the secure Oaklane Estate on the eastern side of town.  The cottage overlooks the dam and Steenkampsberg Nature Reserve. This popular self-catering cottage promises to change your state of mind! Fox and Squirrel appears to tick most Budget Getaways boxes.

Where: Dullstroom

Eastern Cape

Kouga Wildernis, Baviaanskloof

This historic farm, bordering the Baviaanskloof, with a farmhouse, two cottages, a campsite, a bush camp, and an equipped caravan is perfect for a nature-filled getaway. So if you’re heading Eastern Cape way and seeking comfortable (or rustic) lodgings, raw nature and a platter of potential action, Kouga Wildernis ticks just about every box. The three self-catering units come with mountain views and their own nearby swimming holes along the course of the Klein River. 

Watercolours, Cape St Francis

This luxury family home is within walking distance of Seal Point in Cape St Francis. Right in the heart of Cape St Francis and within easy reach of Seal Point and the beach, Watercolours is a stylish and modern family pad. Flicking through the guest book, the feedback paints a pretty picture.

Free State

The Nellsbells Cottage

Nells Bells is a grand double-storey affair. Sleeping-wise, it offers three nicely appointed bedrooms – two doubles and one with single beds. One of the bedroom flows onto the balcony and its lovely outlook over Mount Horeb. The house can sleep a total eight. The open-plan lounge is a comfortable affair with DSTV and fireplace – essential to survive the Clarens winter. Timber floors and beams inject further cosiness. 

Where: Clarens

Schaapplaats Farm Cottages

This getaway promises rambling farmlands and an equestrian centre with three rustic cottages. There’s plenty of history lurking in the walls of the Schaapplaats farmhouse – this rambling farm hails from the days of the Basotho Wars, and the sandstone homestead is believed to have been a field hospital during the Boer War. Three fully self-catering cottages that have each been individually decorated which satisfy for all self-catering needs.

Where: Maluti Mountains, 6km from Clarens

Cape Town on a budget

29 Mar 2017

Summer is nearing its end and the winter months are looming, so we suggest you get to the Mother City and enjoy some fun activities in style but also on budget…

Where to eat breakie

Cape Town has no shortage of breakfast spots that don’t break the bank. Arnolds has long been an institution among Cape Town locals, and is especially known for its cheap-as-chips breakfasts, laidback vibes and good coffee. Arnolds’ Early Bird Breakfast for R23 is the way to go. Clarke’s Dining Room is popular with locals for its hip (but not too hipster) vibe, and the main attraction at Clarke’s is undoubtedly its food, especially breakfast, which is served all day. For breakfast with a view, Knead at Muizenberg is arguably one of the best spots in Cape Town, and also offers one of the best bakeries. During the week, Knead is buzzing with surfers and over the weekend it’s packed with beachgoers. The delectable French toast is a firm favourite here.

Ladies and Gentlemen who lunch and dine out…

If you find yourself in Cape Town on a Monday evening, don’t miss this great special at HQ. Two for the price of one at HQ! Cost: R185 for two on a Monday nights only. Sirloin, chips and salad. HQ knows exactly what it does best and sticks to it with pride – the perfect steak in a modern French brasserie setting. Looking for something spicy, Eastern Food Bazaar is an exotic food court-style eatery reminiscent of a vibrant Middle Eastern souk. This famed CBD spot is one restaurant in which guests can enjoy a hearty helping of cuisine while still keeping bank balances intact.

Can’t go to Cape Town and not have some fish and chips, right? Kalky’s – perched right on the water’s edge at Kalk Bay’s small working harbour – is well-loved by locals and tourists alike for its reliable offering of cheap seafood and a classically Capetonian experience. For something sweet, head over to Kloof Street’s Unframed. Owner, Yann Rey and ice-cream master Stéphane Augé, have engineered and dreamed up the exciting variety of flavours at this understated, yet stylish, ice-cream parlour. How about, Jasmine Rice Lemongrass (vegan), Burnt White Chocolate, Matcha Tea (vegan) and Sea Salt Chocolate?

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Things to do…

After all the eating you may need to take a hike

The freely accessible Lions Head hike is a hit with locals and visitors. For the price of a bottle of water and a packet of chips, you can enjoy the unsurpassed, 360-degree views from the top of the city’s second-most iconic mountain. It’s about an hour and a half to the top if you’re going at a slow pace. Go when there’s a full moon for excellent viewing and a naturally-lit pathway to the top.

Cost: Free

VISIT ONE OF CAPE TOWN’S BEACHES

The Mother City has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and something to offer everyone. It is no surprise that South Africa was one of the first countries outside of Europe to earn blue flag status for some of her beaches – here are some of the beaches you have to visit- Clifton Fourth, Muizenberg, Mnandi, Camps Bay, Bikini, Llandudno, Fish Hoek, Melkbosstrand, Silwerstroomstrand and Strandfontein beaches.

LIVE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT AT THE BAY HARBOUR MARKET

Aside from having great stalls where you can buy locally made and crafted gifts and curios, the Bay Harbour Market has live music that you can enjoy for free. Local artists entertain the crowd and keep the vibe going all day and into the evening. It’s open on Fridays from 5pm to 9pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30am to 4pm.

Cost: Free

CITY SIGHTSEEING HARBOUR CRUISE

This cruise gives you an amazing experience from the V&A Waterfront and around the harbour. It’s a fun adventure and offers you the chance to admire mountain views from a unique angle. ‪

Cost: R40

TAKE IN THE SIGHTS WITH A FREE WALKING TOUR

Learn more about the city, its history and interesting facts while taking in the beautiful sights with Cape Town Free Walking Tours. There are various tours on offer – a historic tour, a street art tour, a Bo-Kaap tour, a promenade bicycle tour, a District Six tour and a Taste of Cape Town tour. Each one offers a unique perspective on Cape Town and what this amazing city has to offer.

Cost: Free

Gogos go gaga for the Western Cape

22 Mar 2017

We think everyone should get to enjoy all that South Africa has to offer, most of all the wisest of our nation – the gogos. The “Gogos on Tour” initiative aims to treat our senior citizens to some awesome experiences at various places across their provinces.

This week, the lovely gogos from the Western Cape were treated and delighted to a host of activities, and this is what they got up to…

V&A Waterfront

There is no better outing than visiting the beautiful V&A Waterfront which lies nestled under Table Mountain. The Waterfront, Situated in the heart of Cape Town, where the mountain meets the sea, it has been a working harbour since about 1860. You can enjoy some of the many activities including seal watching; a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium or the Maritime Museum; boat trips around the harbour and along the coast; or an exciting helicopter tour: world class shopping and amazing food!

Contact:  +27 21 408 7600

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This was also the departing point for an experience the gogos were all super excited for, a visit to Robben Island.

Robben Island Touring

A trip to Robben Island is a must do for anyone visiting Cape Town. When you step foot on the Island, you’re able to see the cell in which Mandela, the world’s most famous prisoner, was held for 18 years of his 27-year incarceration. Today, you can catch a ferry ride to what is now called “The Robben Island Museum”. The standard tour starts at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront and takes around 3.5 hours in total (the boat ride is half-an-hour one way). To add to the immersive experience tours are often led by former political prisoners who draw a vivid picture of life in prison. It is a testimony to the true spirit of the South African people and history, and will never fail to humble you and give you perspective.  

Contact:  +27 (0)21 413 4200 / info@robben-island.org.za

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After such a busy the day the gogos headed to their hotel for some R&R. They were exited to hear that they were stay in the heart of Cape Town at the Southen Sun Hotel: Cape Sun Hotel. The Southern Sun Cape Sun hotel offers world-class hospitality, outstanding service, and breathtaking views of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Hotel guests are invited to make use of facilities like the indoor pool, fitness centre, and the Camelot Spa. Each suite is equipped with amenities like free WiFi, DStv and many more besides. Picture-postcard views of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay contribute to an unforgettable stay, along with easy access to Cape Town’s top attractions.

Contact: +27 21 488 5100

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Dinner was enjoyed at the hotel and the gogos enjoyed a wonderful night’s stay!

Day two included a visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens where the gogos enjoyed breathtaking scenery and a wonderful pamper session surrounded by the natural beauty of the garden.

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The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, not only has spectacular views of nearby Table Mountain, but the garden is also a splendid showcase for South Africa’s indigenous flora. It is not surprising the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is are admired as one of the great botanical gardens of the world, helped by the fact that it is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Contact: +27(0)21 799 8783 / Kirstenboschinfo@sanbi.org.za

We truly hope the gogos enjoyed their experience and realise that South Africa offers friendly services and activities that accommodate everyone – old and young. For more information on child-friendly and family-friendly accommodation, please visit: SA Venues.

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