The cultural richness of the Mpumalanga Heartland

22 Aug 2017

Cultural Villages

Town of Siyabuswa – Home to the Kghodwana Cultural Village

For total immersion in the Mpumalanga Heartland, head for Siyabuswa – a small town where Ndebele traditions have been completely maintained. Here you can take your pick of the cultural tours on offer. By the time you’ve visited all the must-see places − Kghodwana Traditional Ndebele Village, Kgoshi Mathebe Royal Kraal, Nzundza Mabhoko Royal Kraal, Mkhambathini Royal Residence − you’ll have made a deep and lasting cultural connection. Siyabuswa also lies close to Mabusa Nature Reserve, Mdala Nature Reserve, Mkhombo Dam and Nature Reserve, and the SS Shoksana Nature Reserve.

Village of Botshabelo

For those wishing to experience the tribal culture of Mpumalanga, the village of Botshabelo (Place of Refuge) has an excellent open-air museum, providing an authentic look at the colourful Ndebele culture. Another cultural hotspot is the Botshabelo Mission Station in Middelburg. At the Botshabelo Historical Village, you can have a traditional meal and absorb the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned trading post complete with blacksmiths, wagon makers, horse carts, as well as an Ndebele village. The village’s Ndebele huts are decorated with beautiful traditional geometric paintings that are so well-known in this part of the world.

Shangana Cultural Village

Visit the Shangana Cultural Village and discover the traditional world of the fascinating Shangaan people, descended from Shaka Zulu and the Tsonga tribe. This Mpumalanga cultural village is centred on a busy craft market and includes a recreation of the founding monarch’s royal residence. Situated just outside Hazyview, this village’s highlight is the Evening Festival in the royal kraal of Chief Soshangana. Enjoy a traditional feast accompanied by music, dancing and performances that recount the story of the Shangaan people.

Sudwala Caves Cultural Village

While the caves invite you to discover the history of the earth itself, the village invites you to discover Nguni history, art and culture. Look out for beadwork, clay pots, woven items, woodcarvings and ceremonial artefacts of the Zulu, the Swazi and the Ndebele people. At the village, you are also invited to explore the different types of housing preferred by each group, noting the different techniques, materials and decorative styles used. You can also meet a local healer, enjoy traditional dancing and singing, and share a specially prepared meal.

Matsamo Cultural Experience

In this traditional Swazi village, the colourful Matsamo people tend their cattle, cultivate their crops and produce beautiful crafts. Here you’ll be treated to age-old folk songs, rhythmic dance performances including the famous Rain Dance, music with authentic African instruments, as well as traditional Swazi cuisine. You can also wander on a tour through the village, interacting with the villagers as they go about their daily activities, cultivating their crops, preparing traditional food and fashioning beautiful craft works. If you stay overnight, you’ll sleep in a traditional “hive” (beehive hut), nestled among other “hives” in the village. A well-stocked curio shop with local crafts and a spacious restaurant with a stunning panoramic view can also be enjoyed here.

WHO TO CONTACT

Mpumalanga Tourism
Tel: +27 13 759 5300
Email: info@mtpa.co.za

Matsamo Cultural Village
Tel: + 27 13 781 0578
Email: info@matsamo.co.za

Sudwala Cultural Village
Tel: +27 13 733 3073
Email: info@sudwala.com 

Shangana Cultural Village
Tel: +27 13 737 5804/5
Email: chief@shangana.co.za

There is nothing dull about Dullstroom

22 Aug 2017

Mountain views and serene surroundings set the scene for a host of activities that will keep you entertained while visiting the town of Dullstroom. This charming Mpumalanga town is more interesting than the name suggests.

Here are a couple of things you can get up to when visiting this beautiful little town.

Fly-Fishing

Dullstroom is a premier place for fly-fishing enthusiasts and not only for the fly-fishing professionals, but to those who like to do it as a hobby as well. The town’s dams are open to the public, with catch limitations to ensure the sustainability of the fish in the area. Dullstroom encourages a catch-and-release policy at its dams, so you can have fun and still preserve the environment.

Mountain Biking

With the great mountain biking trails that exist in Dullstroom, you will find paddling through the fresh morning air irresistible. Trails like Kruisfontein and T6 Tonteldoos provide different challenges and views for cyclers, depending on the type of challenge you want. Cycle off-road or on tar roads, either way you will enjoy this hobby with all the variety the trails provide.

There is also the Railway Track, which travels along the highest railway station in South Africa.

Picnic at Dullstroom Dam

Who wouldn’t want a picturesque view of the dam while enjoying a late picnic and watching the sun set over the mountains! Dullstroom provides the type of settings for picnics that movies are made of.

Health and Beauty

Dullstroom has some of the best health and beauty treatment spots that are away from the busy and hectic city life. Dullstroom offers health spas, gyms and beauty salons that will have you leaving this charming town ready to take on the world.

Golf

Fore! Feel like you are in the PGA Championship with beautifully cut grass and views that rival the best in the world.

So take a Sho’t Left to the town that is far from dull, and experience an amazing time in Dullstroom. Find out more about things to do in Mpumalanga.

Mpumalanga embraces sustainable tourism

22 Aug 2017

Mpumalanga is “the place where the sun rises”, and while it may be among South Africa’s smallest provinces, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in spectacular natural diversity. Not only is Mpumalanga home to the world-famous Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon, the region is also dotted with numerous reserves teeming with flora and fauna. No other place in South Africa showcases natural beauty better than Mpumalanga, and it has wonderful establishments and people doing their bit for tourism.

Tourism Month is a crucial period, especially from a domestic perspective, as it serves as an opportunity to create a culture of travel amongst South Africans. Tourism Month also provides the tourism industry with the opportunity to focus on the importance of tourism to the local economy, and the role that each South African can play in contributing to positive tourism growth. Mpumalanga recognises the importance of this and promotes tourism growth wherever possible.

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The Mpumalanga area offers exceptional opportunities for game viewing, bird watching, hiking, horse riding and fishing. Steeped in the history of pioneers, hunters and fortune seekers, fascinating gold rush towns abound and this small province offers something for everyone. This year, Tourism Month aims to promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:

  • Inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
  • Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction;
  • Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change;
  • Cultural values, diversity and heritage; and
  • Mutual understanding, peace and security.

Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to achieving a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. Mpumalanga promotes sustainable tourism through the intense focus on biodiversity. Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency understands the vital importance of having a solid foundation and continuing flow of information on biodiversity in the province, and plays a fundamental role in decisions relating to sustainable development and conservation in the province.

The province boasts a high level of biological diversity, with three recognised centres of endemism in the province (Barberton, Sekhukhuneland and Wolkberg) and one proposed centre of endemism (Lydenburg).

Dullstroom is a wonderful example of how a small town in Mpumalanga has become a must-see destination for both local South African and international visitors, as well as an example of tourism sustainability in action. Dullstroom business owners have recognised their assets – beautiful scenery, excellent fly-fishing and the ideal stop between Nelspruit and Gauteng – to promote tourism development for a stable economy and a stable community too. Generations of families have remained in Dullstroom because they have stable and well-paid employment in the tourism economy and opportunities to enhance their skills and education.

Dullstroom is not only known for its fishing, but small businesses in the town itself have played a major role in tourism growth. Dullstroom Butchery The Biltong King supplies “the best biltong in town”. Putting Dullstroom on the map for culinary reasons, Dullstroom Butchery the Biltong King hires and trains local employees to ensure that its reputation exceeds expectations. By providing a selection of biltong and fresh meats in this small town, the butchery has created employment for locals and at the same time gives travellers a great reason to stop over in Dullstroom when heading to the Kruger. When buying from Dullstroom Butchery the Biltong King, you are not only getting the best biltong in town, but supporting the local community as well.

Tourism development in Dullstroom has had a profoundly positive impact on both black and non-black community members and these benefits exceed economic gains.

Mpumalanga proves that there is no better time to celebrate tourism excellence and the players who deliver product and service excellence, such as was experienced in this province. Showcasing, celebrating and recognising ourselves as a destination of excellence attracts visitors to South Africa. Mpumalanga is most certainly playing a large and influential role in making tourism as successful as possible in our beautiful country.  

Mpumalanga – A road well taken

14 Aug 2017

With just a few more weeks of winter left, there’s no better time than now to hit the road in search for the perfect winter getaway. Imagine snuggling up in front of a crackling fireplace, waking up to nothing but the faint sounds of nature, taking in a deep breath of fresh air and drinking water from natural springs, or even a game drive with Africa’s Big Five. Experience this and so much more in majestic Mpumalanga, a province that boasts many hidden gems. To find them, take an unforgettable journey to the “place where the sun rises”.

Hit the N12 and N4 highways from Johannesburg en route to Mpumalanga and you’ll discover many surprisingly quaint stops along the 300km journey. Depending on which route you take, you could to drive into Dullstroom. As you arrive in the Highveld town, you’ll notice the beautifully designed Piazza on your right – this Italian-style “village” boasts quaint shops, restaurants and luxury accommodation for tourists who’d like to overnight. If there’s time, explore the town and the activities on offer, such as fly-fishing, horse riding and hiking.

The Piazza Dullstroom

Journey on and venture inward into the province known for its incredible mountain peaks, vast escarpment, and jaw-dropping views. The Long Tom Pass is just one of the areas where road-trippers can take advantage of the picturesque scenery. This stretch of land is named after the Long Tom cannons used during the Anglo-Boer war.

The Long Tom Pass

An ideal if not perfect winter getaway in Mpumalanga is without a doubt Misty Mountain. Established in 1974, this lodge that’s situated on 280 hectares of land is 1700m above sea level and offers sweeping views of the valleys below. 

Dinning area_Misty Mountain

The accommodation at this three-star establishment, which is graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Arica, comprises several units ranging from studio and family to farmhouse. Regardless of which unit you choose, you’re bound be to spoilt with the unique aspects of the rooms, be it the spectacular views, welcoming fireplace or outdoor area.

 Cabin_Misty Mountain

Once settled in after the long drive, visitors should definitely indulge in the fine cuisine served at the lodge’s restaurant. If the delicious culinary options on the a la carte menu do not tickle your palate, nothing will. The service from staff is impeccable, and Lillian, a waitress of 12 years says: “Misty Mountain is a lovely place. Tourists always come back for the beautiful wilderness and heritage sites.”

Restuarant_Misty Mountain

Activities onsite, in and around the Panorama Route include Africa’s only alpine coaster, the Long Tom Toboggan that sits on a 1.7km track. Thrill seekers can expect to reach speeds of up to 45km an hour, and the three-minute ride is enough to get anyone’s heart racing. After bolting down this extreme ride, South African Tourism’s Marketing Coordinator, Funeka Kraai says: “The Long Tom is an adrenaline rush of note, it’s exciting.”

Toboggan_Misty Mountain

“The unique selling point of Misty Mountain, and one of the things that’s close to my heart is the view, it really gives the wow factor. Mpumalanga is a place of extreme natural beauty, natural beauty that goes right down to the flora and fauna,” says Lisa Sheard, owner of this incredible mountain getaway. On why South Africans should venture out and take a Sho’t Left, Lisa says: “Getting out of one’s normal environment is healthy, and a wonderful way to discover your country.”

Contact: +27 (0) 13 764 3377

Email: mistymtn@iafrica.com

Before the end of an epic road trip through Mpumalanga, it’s worth your while to visit one of the province’s attractions – Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, where extraordinary views and more from God’s Window await you.

What are you waiting for? Mpumalanga has so much more to offer, so why not take a Sho’t Left this winter and enjoy the beauty and adventure that lies in this province.

 

 

 

Tourism Month

4 Aug 2017

Tourism Month

South Africa celebrates Tourism Month annually in September with the aim to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa.  The world-wide message for Tourism Month 2017 is sustainable tourism, which encourages the industry to commit to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. Sustainable tourism aims to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people, tourism companies, and tourists themselves.

Tourism Month 2017

In South Africa, this dedicated month takes place in a lesser visited province to provide the locals of the province with the opportunity to showcase their tourism facilities and attractions. For 2017, the focus is on Mpumalanga. The province is encouraged to showcase its leisure experiences on offer so as to inspire domestic travellers. Mpumalanga, is known as “the place where the sun rises”, and while it may be among South Africa’s smallest provinces, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in spectacular natural diversity. Not only is Mpumalanga home to the world’s most famous game park (the Kruger National Park), the world’s third deepest canyon, Blyde River, and the world’s oldest cave system, the region is also dotted with numerous game reserves teeming with flora and fauna.

The importance of Tourism Month in South Africa and I do tourism

Tourism Month is a crucial period, from a domestic perspective. It serves as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism. It creates a culture of travel amongst South Africans to gain a better understanding of the affordable, exciting and world-class attractions that are available on their own doorstep. Tourism Month provides the tourism industry with the opportunity for a heightened focus on the importance of tourism to the local economy.

From a business perspective, Tourism Month also aims to generate awareness on the enormous contribution that the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth and job creation. This year, South African Tourism approaches Tourism Month under the lens of the I Do Tourism campaign, which seeks to make tourism everyone’s business by getting the whole country to rally behind tourism by demonstrating the far-reaching impact of the tourism value chain.

Key objectives for Tourism Month and I Do Tourism

In keeping with the international theme for the event, Tourism Month aims to do the following:  

  • Show how the world tourism theme can be worked into the IDT initiative and inspire domestic travel by showcasing how taking a trip can be easily accessible, affordable and exciting.
  • Encourage all South Africans to get behind tourism and to contribute to tourism in a positive and sustainable manner.
  • Show people how they can Do Tourism through assisting with the preservation of the local wildlife and environment.
  • Show people how they can Do Tourism through cultural preservation and learning more about the different cultures that grace our beautiful country.

Tourism Month

South Africa celebrates Tourism Month annually in September with the aim to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa.  The world-wide message for Tourism Month 2017 is sustainable tourism, which encourages the industry to commit to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. Sustainable tourism aims to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people, tourism companies, and tourists themselves.

Tourism Month 2017

In South Africa, this dedicated month takes place in a lesser visited province to provide the locals of the province with the opportunity to showcase their tourism facilities and attractions. For 2017, the focus is on Mpumalanga. The province is encouraged to showcase its leisure experiences on offer so as to inspire domestic travellers. Mpumalanga, is known as “the place where the sun rises”, and while it may be among South Africa’s smallest provinces, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in spectacular natural diversity. Not only is Mpumalanga home to the world’s most famous game park (the Kruger National Park), the world’s third deepest canyon, Blyde River, and the world’s oldest cave system, the region is also dotted with numerous game reserves teeming with flora and fauna.

The importance of Tourism Month in South Africa and I do tourism

Tourism Month is a crucial period, from a domestic perspective. It serves as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism. It creates a culture of travel amongst South Africans to gain a better understanding of the affordable, exciting and world-class attractions that are available on their own doorstep. Tourism Month provides the tourism industry with the opportunity for a heightened focus on the importance of tourism to the local economy.

From a business perspective, Tourism Month also aims to generate awareness on the enormous contribution that the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth and job creation. This year, South African Tourism approaches Tourism Month under the lens of the I Do Tourism campaign, which seeks to make tourism everyone’s business by getting the whole country to rally behind tourism by demonstrating the far-reaching impact of the tourism value chain.

Key objectives for Tourism Month and I Do Tourism

In keeping with the international theme for the event, Tourism Month aims to do the following:

  • Show how the world tourism theme can be worked into the IDT initiative and inspire domestic travel by showcasing how taking a trip can be easily accessible, affordable and exciting.
  • Encourage all South Africans to get behind tourism and to contribute to tourism in a positive and sustainable manner.
  • Show people how they can Do Tourism through assisting with the preservation of the local wildlife and environment.
  • Show people how they can Do Tourism through cultural preservation and learning more about the different cultures that grace our beautiful country.

A weekend spent in Clarens

20 Jul 2017

For nature, art and fun, Clarens is an ideal getaway. Find yourselves in a frenzy of art buying, restaurant hopping, cycling, game driving, trout fishing, birding and late night wining and dining.

A visit to Clarens is so rich with experience— here is why:

Walk the Angels Wing Trail – this requires some forward planning and reserving as it’s a 2-day trail. The Angels Wing Trail in Clarens is popular and perfect for a weekend break. Your vehicle can be left at the secure parking lot off the R712 Golden Gate Road. You are then collected and taken up the mountain in a 4×4 vehicle to the Ouma’s Kraal overnight hut.

Cool off in streams and rock pools, enjoy beautiful views and find yourself forgetting all about your busy city-life. There are plenty of other hiking trails, so do some research to find the perfect walk for your fitness level.

Contact: +27 (0)86 152 2262Romantic-Clarens_1120x600

Drink at the Clarens Brewery which was inspired by fun, adventure and a passionate approach to brewing craft beers. The team at the brewery share an incredible knowledge of beer and cider brewing, as well as a modern approach to creating new flavours. Situated in the heart of this little town it offers locals and visitors the opportunity to sample a selection of ales, ciders, liqueurs and spirits. Tastings and brewery tours are conducted free of charge, so you really have no excuse!

The brewery has a gorgeous location at the foot of the magnificent Maluti Mountains.

Contact: +27 (0)82 901-4700The Clarens Mountains during winter months

Relax at the Clarens Wellness Day Spa where the focus is on de-stressing and healing. A variety of treatments are on offer including couples treatments, body therapy and massages. This Wellness Day Spa has a team that is dedicated to the healing and harmonising of mind, body and soul. Their professional manner, goal for inner peace and natural treatments equips them to make every treatment an unforgettable one.

Contact: +27 (0)82 887 1503 Clarens, Free State_1120x600_3

Adventure with some river rafting down the Ash River as it’s not enough to just soak up awesome scenery; you want to immerse yourself in it too. Whether it’s feeling the rush of the rapids with some white-river rafting or hiking up incredible mountains, there are plenty of adventures to have in this scenic corner of South Africa!

Your adventure starts in town where you meet your guides before driving 12 kms out of town to begin the days rafting down the Ash River. Although white water rafting can be quite extreme, have no fear as there are rapids suited to everyone. Going down this 18 km stretch of the Ash River you will encounter the river’s Grade 3 and 4 rapids, including Car Wash, Fish Pond and Big Surprise.

Clarens Xtreme
Tel: +27 (0)58 256 1260
Cell: +27 (0)82 563 6242
Email: ollie@clarensxtreme.co.za

Outrageous Adventures
Cell: +27 (0)83 485 9654
Email: kallie@outrageousadventures.co.zaThis way to Clarens in the Free State

Eat your way through Clarens, as there is no shortage of great restaurant, pubs, bistros, farm-style kitchens, delis and even a gourmet shed. If you’re a foodie whose calling is finding small town culinary hotspots or a tourist travelling to the town, you’ll be kept busy all weekend indulging in home-made treats. Here are some favourites:

Gourmet Shed,  in a converted sandstone barn, it offers a unique restaurant and country-style feasting.

Artist Café, ideal if you are traveling with children and offers cosy indoor seating, with a fireplace or cool comfortable outdoor seating where you can get lost in the views of the mountains.

Clementines restaurant and bar, here you can dine with stunning views of the mountains.

Sugar and Cinnamon, which is great for a breakfast pit stop with homemade deliciousness.

Get your morning started with a hearty breakfast at The Courtyard Café.

Finding accommodation in Clarens is easy, as you are spoilt for choice. Here are a few to get you started:

Waterford House is a great option for golfers as it’s on Clarens Golf and Trout Estate. The luxurious home has a comfortable, cottage-like feel and covered patio with views of the mountain.

Brookside Self-Catering Cottage is within easy walking distance of the village square and offers twin self-contained apartments, which sleep two each. 

Rebellie Game Farm  is set in the mountains outside Clarens and boasts an impressive 4×4 trail.highlands

TRAVEL TIPS

Clarens Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 (0) 58 256 1542
Email: clarens@bhm.dorea.co.za

HOW TO GET HERE

Clarens is in the Eastern Free State highlands, approximately a 3-hour drive from either Johannesburg or Bloemfontein.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Any time of year is good but autumn and spring are particularly beautiful.

Mandela Day – Discover the legacy

18 Jul 2017

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day is celebrated annually on 18 July, the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday. In order to celebrate the life of Madiba South Africans have chosen to honour our first democratically elected president by performing acts of service. The message behind Mandela Day is simple: each person has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better. Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place.

If you are as big of a fan of the Mandela legacy as we are, then you have to visit some of these iconic places in order to fully immerse yourself in his profound life…

Nelson Mandela Voting Line sculpture

Walking around the beautifully made Voting Line sculpture at the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth, you get the true sense of the Rainbow Nation of South Africa. The metal figures represent all the communities who share the land – and who voted peacefully on 27 April 1994.

The Mandela House

Visit the home where Nelson Mandela lived with his family in Soweto, from the 1940s until the 1990s, the home to which Madiba returned after his 27 years in prison. Situated in Vilakazi Street, this iconic home has been restored to give visitors a glimpse and some insight into his family life. The home is filled with memorabilia and historical photos. 

Voting-Line-Sculptures_1920x810

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

When Nelson Mandela arrived to live at a private house in the precinct of Victor Verster Prison (now Drakenstein Correctional Centre) between Paarl and Franschhoek in December 1988, it was his first taste of normal life after nearly 27 years in prison. Groot Drakenstein Prison is actually the place where the famous image of Mandela walking out of prison in 1990 is taken.

Liliesleaf Farm Rivonia

Often called the Home of the Freedom Struggle, this place was a “hide-out” and meeting place for top ANC and SACP activists. This was also the site of the Liliesleaf Farm police raid on 11 July 1963 that resulted in the Rivonia Treason Trials and eventual incarceration of many senior ANC leaders.

The artistic Mandela Capture Site

Mandela Capture Site

On 5 August 1962, police waved down a car on a lonely country road in KwaZulu-Natal. At the wheel was Nelson Mandela, posing as a chauffeur, his arrest lead to the Rivonia Treason Trial, ultimately seeing him spend 27 years in prison. Today, this site is marked by an impressive sculpture in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Until relatively recently, the Mandela Capture Site was just a small bricked area with a plaque but in 2012, an impressive steel sculpture and visitor centre was unveiled to give full recognition to the significance of this spot.

Robben Island

As you make your way through the corridors of Robben Island, you get transported to a time in South African history where the country reached a turning point. Standing in the jail cell that housed Nelson Mandela for so many years brings to heart the emotional story of the South African struggle for democracy and equality.

Robben-Island_1120x600_26

The Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum focuses on the system of racial discrimination that became synonymous with South Africa from 1948-1994. The Apartheid Museum, close to downtown Johannesburg, even greets visitors with a very real reflection of what it was like to live in a racially segregated society.

The Nelson Mandela Museum

To give a true overview of Nelson Mandela in all phases of his life, from his youth in Qunu to his role as statesman, the museum built in his honour comprises three separate structures: the Bhunga Building in Mthatha, the Qunu component and an open-air museum at Mvezo, where Madiba was born. 

If you would like more detailed information about the places and events that are so historically important please download the Madiba’s Journey app on the Apple iStore or Android App Store and explore more.

 

The Northern Cape is waiting for you this winter

21 Jun 2017

Small town charm, fun activities and a festival or two – what more could you possibly need this winter? We think it’s time for you to pack a bag and head out to the serene and beautiful province of the Northern Cape for the best weekend getaway. Here are few reasons why the Northern Cape is where you should be this winter.

Hot Air Ballooning

Richtersveld_Alistair_Daynes_0103

What better way to view the Kalahari Desert’s red sand dunes than from the beautiful and clear skies of the Northern Cape. From high up, you can see the vast beauty that South Africa has to offer. Hot air ballooning in the Northern Cape is the perfect activity to make you feel like winter does not exist, and it is the best way to enjoy the peacefulness of this province.

Contact
Hot Air Ballooning South Africa: +27 83 446 9423

Augrabies Falls National Park

Augrabies-Falls_1120x600_12

You will feel you like you have entered into another world and you will forget all about the winter blues once you have spent some time exploring this magical place. Get to see fascinating rock formations like the Moon Rock, which towers 30m above the park, offering a fantastic 360-degree view for those who are willing to venture up. Prepare to have your breath taken away at the summit.

Contact
Augrabies Falls National Park: +27 54 452 9200
Email: augrabies@sanparks.org

Hantam Meat Festivals

In winter, good food is always welcome, and the Northern Cape has just the festival to satisfy your appetite. The Hantam Meat Festival takes place in Calvinia and celebrates meat in all kinds of ways – from braai to stew and all the delicious preparations in between. There are other activities that will keep you and your family entertained. The event runs for two days from 25 to 26 August 2017.

Contact
Hantam Meat Festivals: +27 27 341 8200
Email: vleisfees@klk.co.za

Riemvasmaak Hot Springs

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Do you fancy diving into a pool that looks like it comes straight out of the movies? We have just the place for you – created by volcanic eruptions centuries ago, the spring water is kept warm by the earth’s underground activities. Once you’ve warmed your chilled winter bones, some scenic hiking and more fun opportunities are available.

Contact
Riemvasmaak Tourism: +27 73 383 8812 or + 27 83 873 7715

Pofadder Town

Located in what is said to be the middle of nowhere, this quiet little town has so many good things waiting just for you. Experience all kinds of outdoor adventures in this beautiful little town from hiking and quad biking to 4×4 adventures and delicious farm-fresh lamb. Make a stop when passing by this town and see what Klaas Pofadder, the person the town is named after, saw in it.

Contact
Pofadder Hotel: +27 54 933 0063
Email: info@pofadderhotel.co.za

Richtersveld_Alistair_Daynes_0093

What are you waiting for? The Northern Cape has so much more to offer, so why not take a Sho’t Left this winter and enjoy the beauty and adventure that lies in this province.

Contact
Northern Cape Tourism

Tel: +27 53 832 2657
Email: info@experiencenortherncape.com

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.

Image_4_Cheetah_Experience

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:

Tau Game Lodge - image 1

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:

Alba House - image 2

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:

De Oude Kraal - image 3

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:

De hoek - image 4

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:

Granny Mouse - image 5

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:

Tenahead - image 6

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

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