Take a Sho’t Left and immerse yourself in the stark beauty of the Northern Cape – eat, stay and play!

5 Apr 2018

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have 9 amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. And now it is time to explore the Northern Cape!

The Northern Cape is known for san rock art, amazing culture, big blue skies and wide open spaces. Our last blog in our series is where to eat, stay and play in the great wide province of the Northern Cape.

We hope you enjoyed these and have been inspired to take a Sho’t Left of your own. Remember, it’s your country, enjoy it!

Where to stay

African Vineyard

African Vineyard is a four-star spa hotel in Upington. It is one of the few signature Kalahari Spas in South Africa, using Kalahari ancient desert products to rejuvenate and refuel your body. You can either spend time on the farm just walking through the vineyards and relaxing, or use it as a base to explore the surrounding area. Either way, you are sure to never want to leave!

Vergelegen Guesthouse

Another absolutely incredible place to stay is Vergelegen Guest House at Augrabies Falls. The whole place oozes relaxation and luxury, from its air-conditioned rooms to its purple lit swimming pool. It is also conveniently located near to some exciting things to do such as wine tasting and rafting on the Orange River.

Where to play

Take a Balloon Ride and see the falls like never before.

A sunset hot air balloon ride over the Augrabies falls is breathtaking, special and the best bird’s eye view you’ll ever get.  There is no better way to take in the full majesty of our country than from a hot air balloon high up in the air!

Canoe down the Orange River

The Orange River offers plenty of canoeing, rafting and fly-fishing adventures for the intrepid traveller. Whether you are seeking a relaxing day out in the sunshine or a week-long white-water expedition, the Orange River is an exciting option.

Orange River Wine Cellars

For a bit of a difference on the usual Western Cape wines, take a turn to Orange River Wine Cellars. You can try out a varying number of wines, and pair them with a platter of cheese!

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The seven toed impressions and rock engravings route

The seven toed impressions and rock engravings route is a 45 km drive on the Kenhardt Upington road. It consists of some of the best examples of San rock art in the country along with a very odd footprint impression in a rock. Take in the culture, history and ancestral antiquity of an ancient time past.

Kalahari-Oranje Museum

Housed in a building that was built in 1875 as a church and mission station, the museum showcases a number of cool little household objects from the province’s history. The museum is home to the life-sized statue of the donkey, sculptured in bronze by Hennie Potgieter. It represents the unselfish contribution made by the donkey in developing the Lower Orange River Valley during the pioneer days.

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Where to eat

The Augrabies Falls National Park is an eat, play and stay destination! Being a San Parks venue. The accommodation is affordable and accessible. There are a number of restaurants on site as well if you are not geared up for cooking. The Quiver Tree Restaurant has simple food and friendly staff. Check out the falls themselves, where you can raft down the river, 4×4 through the park or hike the options are endless!

Bi-Lo is a chilled bistro style place in Upington. The vibe is relaxed and the staff are friendly, with emphasis on spoiling their customers. You can get anything from sushi, to burgers to ribs there, and they have a great kiddies menu too. Relax under the trees in the garden with an ice cold drink while you wait for some pretty scrumptious food to arrive.

 

Take a Sho’t Left and take in the majesty of the escarpment – eat, stay and play!

3 Apr 2018

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have 9 amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. And now it is time to explore Mpumalanga!

“The place where the sun rises!” –  Formally known as the Eastern Transvaal, Mpumalanga is considered to be one of the most geographically diverse and beautiful places in South Africa.

Where to stay

Casambo Lodge

This is award-winning accommodation in White River and Nelspruit. Casambo offers a great place to relax after a busy day adventuring in the surrounding area. The chalets are either B&B or self-catering, but restaurants are only a stone’s throw away. Sink into a fluffy, soft bed and rest your head while thinking back on your action-packed day. What a pleasure!

Sabi River Sun Resort

Looking for a family getaway? Look no further! Sabi River Sun has something for all ages! Dad can play a round of gold while avoiding hippos on the course, kids can play in the pool and games area while mom enjoys a spa day. Later on everyone can come together and have dinner on the veranda of their chalet while watching the sun set and hearing the lions roar from a nearby game park. Absolute bliss!

Patio at the Sabi River Sun

Where to play

Panorama Route

When you’re exploring a country, there are few things better than stopping your car at a viewpoint and being rewarded with the kind of scenery that brightens your day and broadens your horizons. On the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, every viewpoint gives you that opportunity.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes are an unusual geological formation and well worth the visit. These giant potholes formed at the confluence of the Blyde and Treur rivers and mark the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. Other places you can see on the tour are Pinnacle Rock God’s Window Lisbon Falls Berlin Falls. On the route you can also go river rafting, wall climbing, skyway rails, zip-line, mountain boarding and quad biking just to mention a few. 

Induna Adventures

Induna Adventures are just that; an adventure company that offers everything from rafting to team building. The say that no matter if you are young or old, you will without a doubt find something to do in the natural forests which surround the camp. Some of the activities include geckoing, quad biking, archery and a zzip line What are we waiting for?

Visit the Kruger Park

When you think of South Africa, the incredible Kruger National Park most certainly comes to mind. Not only can you catch a glimpse of the famous Big Five, but you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of species of birds, ancient trees, winding rivers, superb accommodation and adventure. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for all of your wildlife dreams.

Where to eat

This one is an eat and stay. Summerfield Rose Retreat is the perfect place to rejuvenate your body and soul. Spa treatments and gorgeous rooms can be found at this 5-star luxury retreat on the Sabie River. Accommodation includes Tented Suites, a Forest Suite and a self-catering Stone House – You won’t want to leave!

And the food… The restaurant uses only fresh ingredients grown in their own organic veggie garden and promises a gastronomic experience. This is food for body, soul and mind!

At The Shangaan River Club  you can eat and stay – the rustic African restaurant is on the banks of the Sabie River and say, “Immerse yourself in a feast of culture with a night of Shangaan song and dance and an unforgettable African Banquet… Sounds amazing!

Explore North West’s amazing nature – eat, stay and play!

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have nine amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. And now… the North West!

The North West is a place of wide open spaces, huge skies, great wildlife and endless adventures. There seems to be another natural experience around every corner, from hot air ballooning over one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world to the most thrilling resort in South Africa; Sun City. Read on to discover where to eat, stay and play in the wild North West.

Where to stay

Villa Paradiso

Set on the slopes of the Magalies Mountain range, Villa Paradiso is a luxury estate and conference venues. It is situated a short, twenty minute drive from Pretoria and an hour from Jozi. Views from the hotel are of the pretty magnificent Hartbeespoort Dam, and on a good day you can see all the way to Joburg! The Black Fox Gin bar is an awesome place to unwind with magnificent views and fantastic food. If you enjoy into the new craft gin movement, it’s heaven on Earth.

Sun City Cabanas

Who hasn’t heard of Sun City, one of the most dreamed about destinations in South Africa?
The Sun City theme park in the North West province is part of the Sun City Resort and Entertainment complex, offering a myriad of leisure and recreation options for the entire family. Known worldwide for its exotic entertainment options, the Sun City theme park is more a mini-city than a park, with so many attractions and entertainment options that first-time visitors may find it pleasantly bewildering.

Where to play

Magaliesberg Canopy Tours

Zipping through the forest canopy along gorges and cliffs on the Magalies Mountains is an experience that everyone should try. Eleven platforms have been built against the cliff and rock faces of the spectacular Ysterhout Kloof, a gorgeous gorge carved out of the mountainside. The platforms are joined by long steel cables that you slide along to reach the next one. Much like a “foefie” slide, the canopy tour essentially involves zigzagging down the kloof while stopping at each platform to admire the expansive views and surrounding ecology.

Harties Cableway

You don’t have to go to Cape Town to ride a cable way up to the top of the mountain! The newly redone Harties Cableway has modern cars, that exciting feeling in your tummy as you ascend, great views, and an awesome restaurant at the top. Take a walk around the top of the mountain from where you can see the Dam, Jozi, and Brits to the North.

Cultural Villages

If you are looking for a more relaxed and cultural experience, look no further than Lesedi Cultural Village. It’s a traditional style village, which celebrates a number of South Africa’s cultures. You can grab a bite to eat there too, so don’t stress about finding food. What’s also worth a doing is Leeto Kgolo Village Tour – expect a real eye opener of the rich culture and heritage.

Where to eat

Going back to Sun City, you can eat at a pretty cool place called simply Shebeen. This restaurant offers totally chilled vibe with pool tables, a bonfire outside, dancers and a traditional feel.  Lamb chops with pap and chakalaka are the order of the day.

Silver Orange Bistro is set on an old orange farm, which still retains a number of trees in the orchard. Sit inside on a winters night in the old house, or outside in the orchard on a breezy summers day. The menu changes seasonally, and all the ingredients are sourced locally and fresh. Food is as pretty to look at as it is to eat, and you will really want to linger all afternoon.

Check out these Sho’t Left deals and plan your trip today!

Take a Sho’t Left and visit the province of rushing water – eat, stay and play!

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have nine amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. And now it is time to explore Limpopo!

Limpopo means the place of rushing water, and with good reason! The province is well known not only for the enormous river it is named after, but also for the many streams and waterfalls which provide some great adventure opportunities. Not to mention the incredible wildlife experiences! So pack your backs and take a Sho’t Left to Limpopo.

 

Where to stay

Limpopo Guest Manor

Limpopo Guest Manor is a four-star lodge in the heart of Polokwane, the province’s capital. It specialises in pampered luxury that makes for a really special stay. The on-site restaurant offers scrumptious meals, or you can simply take a stroll into the city and try one of the nearby eateries. For business or pleasure, you can’t go wrong here!

Magoebaskloof Hotel

Anyone who has been to Limpopo has heard of the Magoebaskloof Hotel, and with good reason! This three star establishment is not only affordable, but steeped in history and has loads of activities to offer. Using the hotel as a base, you can go rafting, riding, biking and hiking in the area. On a cold night the pub has a roaring fire and some great food, while the dining room has all the old school hotel charm you could ever want.

Where to play

Magoebaskloof Adventures

The Magoebaskloof Adventures is both a stay and a play! The accommodation available at the adventure site is self-catering and rustic; imagine log cabins set in the forest. Adventure activities are run from the site, with transport to and from organised into the package. On-site activities include Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour; tubing; abseiling, paintball; climbing wall; mountain biking; hiking and trout fishing. This is great fun for the whole family!

 

Take a Game Drive

When you think of South Africa, the incredible Kruger National Park most certainly comes to mind. Not only can you catch a glimpse of the famous Big Five, but you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of species of birds, ancient trees, winding rivers, superb accommodation and adventure. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for all of your wildlife dreams. You don’t actually need to stay in the park to check it out; take a game drive for a part of a day, have a bite to eat there, and then drive back to your hotel. Remember that the best times to see animals is in the morning or the evening, especially in summer.

Bakwena Express Spa

If you are weary from your travels and are looking for a pick me up, Bakwena Express Spa is the place for you. From a quick 60 min treatment to a romantic experience under the stars, you will be sure to leave relaxed and rejuvenated.

Madi a Thava Mountain Lodge

This is a delightfully different experience for those looking to add a bit of culture to their lives. Madi a Thava Mountain Lodge does offer spectacular accommodation, but its big draw card is the culture and art tour with a folk telling and creative craft workshop experience. Delve into the fascinating story of the people of Limpopo, said to be one of the oldest civilisations in the world.

Where to eat

Nguni Grill

Named after the colourful cows you can find wandering around South Africa and the ancestors of many of our modern tribes, Nguni Grill offers great comfort food. Steaks, Mexican fare, seafood and so much more will get your mouth watering and your tummy full. Come hungry!

Zwashu prides itself on traditional African food, served with flair. The restaurant is in the heart of Polokwane and offers things like stews, shesenyama and delicacies like chicken feet. If you are looking for an authentic taste sensation this is the place for you!

The Tlou at the Magoebaskloof Hotel is an old school hotel dining room which will take you back to the days when waiters all wore smart white shirts, napkins were starched to perfection and there was more cutlery on the table that you knew what to do with. Be sure to dress nicely as this is a relatively snazzy place.  You can expect A la Carte, buffets, and on special occasions a Carvery. The cuisine is an interesting mix of local area favourites such as trout, and good old fashioned comfort food. One of the signature dishes is the “Magoebaskloof Pot” a miniature Potjie pot with a secret recipe that leaves you wanting more…

Check out these Sho’t Left deals and plan your trip today!

Explore KwaZulu-Natal’s sunshine and playfulness – eat, stay and play!

26 Mar 2018

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have 9 amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. And now….. KwaZulu-Natal!

The land of sugarcane, bright tropical forests, gorgeous sandy beaches, warm surf and bunny chow, Durban is a welcome break for anyone in the country.

 

WHERE TO STAY

Marine Parade Hotel

The hotel describes itself as modern and trendy. Clean lines, sea facing rooms and useful amenities make the Marine Parade Hotel a great choice for those who are looking for a mid-budget stay without compromising on luxury and location. Cool down on the rooftop pool with a cocktail while looking out over the restless sea before dinner. You can’t get better than that!

 

 

WHERE TO PLAY

The Green Hub Market Tour

Durban is well known for its markets. From fish markets, to spice markets to a market in a station, you can buy pretty much anything you wish for. Green Hub tours will take you on a morning of discovery to delight all of your senses. Take a trip using not only your eyes but your nose as well through Durban’s top touristy markets.

Segway All Access Tours

What better way to see the Moses Mahbida stadium, the promenade and more from your own Segway! Training is provided so that you can glide around happily without fear of falling off. If the wind is good, you can even do the Big Swing at the stadium, although this is for adrenaline junkies only. Don’t even try if you have a fear of heights!

Big Rush Big Swing

As mentioned above, you can take on one of the biggest rushes in the known world at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Big Rush Swing has won a Guinness World Record for the tallest swing in the world. Just check on the weather before you go, as if it is windy the swing doesn’t operate.

Drakensburg

The great mountain range of the Drakensberg runs very near to Durban, offering access to the Natal Midlands within an hour or two’s drive. There is so much to do there, from hiking to cultural activities, to nature walks. Be sure to bring good walking shoes, sunblock, and a hat! Your camera will also come in handy to capture the gorgeous nature which makes the Midlands such a popular place to go.

Drum lessons with a queen. #shotleft #itsmySouthAfrica

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Midlands Meander

The Natal Midlands is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the country with deep valleys, rolling hills, high mountains and lush green basins, not to mention the great food and drinks that can be found in neat little hidey holes! Nottingham Road called is one of the oldest towns in the province and is jam-packed with old interesting history. Take a day or two to explore the Midlands, there is so much to see we promise it will be worth it!

 

WHERE TO EAT

La Vue features 2 amazing decks, 2 full bars and a dance floor! Begin your journey and stroll the outdoor deck under the stars, taking in all the sights of the Durban skyline while sipping on one of their designer cocktails. Then step below, where a cosmopolitan dining deck offers fine-dining cuisine. The cosy climate controlled decks are the ideal venue for dinners, sightseeing, social cocktails. There is no better way to see Durban harbour at night!

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You may have seen the yellow Cubana sign in various cities around the country, but definitely take a turn past the Durban one in Florida Road for a great night out eating and dancing. The chain restaurant offers the only authentic Latino food and cocktail lounge in the country. They all also offer a cigar lounge which is pretty fancy.

Lugz at the Blue Lagoon is a Durban eatery legend. So much so in fact that they have opened branches in Jozi as well. Without a doubt you HAVE to have their bunny chow! For those who don’t know what bunny chow is, it involves loads of carbs. Think half a loaf of white bread, cut open and stuffed with curry and sometimes chips. It’s delicious and super authentic!

check out these Sho’t left deals and plan your trip today!

Explore Gauteng’s vibrant experiences – eat, stay and play!

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have nine amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. Next up is Gauteng…

Gauteng is known as the place of gold and there is no shortage of interesting things to do and see in this unique province! From inner city vibes to bushveld experiences, Gauteng has something for pretty much every taste.

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have nine amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. Next up is Gauteng…

Gauteng is known as the place of gold and there is no shortage of interesting things to do and see in this unique province! From inner city vibes to bushveld experiences, Gauteng has something for pretty much every taste.

WHERE TO STAY

Genesis Suites

This all-suite hotel is set in the heart of Joburg with easy access to OR Tambo International Airport, and the cosmopolitan business and leisure suburb of Rosebank and Melrose Arch. The hotel boasts a pretty fancy four stars, and is quite unique in that you can actually stay in one of the suites as long as you like, even on a month-to-month basis! There are two onsite restaurants, the Genesis Bistro and Fairmount Bar & Lounge. They also boast state-of the-art conference and boardroom facilities. This is a one-stop business shop.

Hotel Lamunu

Hotel Lamunu is located in the trendy and arty area of Braamfontein. The hotel is colourful and trendy with focus on African art and culture, and is situated a convenient kilometre away from a variety of restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Braamfontein is a reclaimed inner city area, filled with interesting little corners to discover. The three star Lamunu prides itself on affordable accommodation in one of the most popular parts of Joburg.

Thaba Eco Hotel

Just a quick trip from the city centre you can find Thaba Eco Hotel in the Kilpriviersberg Nature Reserve. You may be excused for thinking that you are off on a bush retreat when staying at this luxurious thatch venue! Game in the garden, horse rides through the bush, and the most amazing tasty treats are just some of the things you can expect.

 

What are we waiting for?

WHERE TO PLAY

Bryanston Organic and Natural Market

Here’s a time saving play and eat for those who like an all-in-one activity. Bryanston Organic and Natural Market is a thrumming outdoor market selling pretty much anything good. You can find raw foods, healthy cooked stuff, and a range of amazing arts and crafts to keep you busy for hours. Around every corner there seems to be a new thing to look at!

Red Bus City Tour

What better way to see all the landmarks of the City of Gold than from the top of an open, double decker bus? Hop on or off as you please and discover all sorts of cool sites, such as historical buildings, beer halls and the roof of the Carlton Centre. Add a guided tour of the most vibrant township in South Africa, Soweto and you really have a seen it all in the City of Gold!

 

Maboneng

One of the hippest precincts in the city is the reclaimed Maboneng. Found next to Braamfontein, Maboneng is a haven for artists, businessmen and party-goers. Restaurants abound on almost every street corner, and trendy little places offer live shows in all forms. Check out the MOAD Museum to marvel at some really amazing African fashion and furniture to architecture, landscaping and public art.

WHERE TO EAT

If listening to smooth jazz while happily nibbling on some awesome bistro food, then The Orbit is the place for you. Designed as a starting block for musicians this place will make you feel right at home with great food and even greater entertainment.

Vilakazi Street in Soweto is well known for a number of reasons. One: it is where Nelson Mandela lived. Two: It is one of the most visited places in Jozi. Three: it is the home of Sakhumzi Restaurant! This traditional African eatery is a restaurant with true ‘kasi’ flavour.

Love Asian food? Then The Good Luck Club is the place for you! Nestled in Illovo Junction, this is the perfect restaurant for intimate dinners of Thai curries and special drinks to warm and enjoy the night. The restaurant also offers Japanese cuisine such as dim sum (which is a must!) and noodle dishes.  We suggest you leave you kids at home and make this a date night for sure!

check out these Sho’t left deals and plan your trip today!

Explore Free State’s history and hospitality – eat, stay and play!

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have 9 amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. Next up….. The Free State!

Known for its wide open spaces and flaming coral trees, the Free State is a province of scenic beauty and wild outdoor adventure. Go quad biking, horseback riding, river rafting or take in a wildlife tour in one of the many game reserves. End you day at a spa or grab a meal at one of their great offerings. We think if you are looking for a relaxing Sho’t Left with a bit of a difference, look no further than the Free State!

WHERE TO STAY

Protea Willow Lake Hotel

For something a little different, book a stay at the Protea Willow Lake hotel, the only hotel in South Africa situated inside a zoo! This four-star establishment offers a tranquil setting in the ever growing corporate hub of Bloemfontein and is easily accessible both from the airport and from the N1 and within walking distance of the Loch Logan Waterfront Mall, Kings Park, Vodacom Park Stadium. You may be forgiven for forgetting how close you are to the hustle and bustle of the city when the lions roar at night while you sip cocktails on your balcony.

De Oude Kraal Country estate

This venue is both eat and stay! This working merino sheep farm offers fine dining and a gorgeous farm lifestyle atmosphere which makes De Oude Kraal a great place for a romantic weekend getaway. The main house where the restaurant is situated dates back to 1885 and the farming is based on the traditional, Khoi way of keeping livestock. Relax in their spa or take a horse ride through the surrounding Karoo. This one is all about romance and tranquillity!

 

WHERE TO PLAY

Bloemfontein

Just four hours from Jozi, Bloemfontein is a destination that many people don’t even think about. But, Bloem offers activities and adventures for pretty much every taste. From picnicking next to a river or in the botanical gardens, to the thrill of a water park, you are definitely going to find something to keep you entertained here. Naval Hill is a famous landmark, and boasts the only game reserve inside a city in SA. Visit the massive statue of Mandela on Naval Hill, or the great white horse which was used as a landmark during the war.

Art galleries and museums abound, so be sure to wear comfy shoes and take sunblock.

Oliewenhuis Art Gallery

Set in a beautiful old Cape Dutch style house, this art gallery showcases not only some great masterpieces, but also contemporary African Art as well. After the establishment of the Republic of South Africa in 1961, Oliewenhuis became the official residence for the State Presidents of South Africa during official visits to Bloemfontein. Today you can sit on the veranda at their restaurant called The Terrace, and eat some absolutely scrumptious food in wonderful style.

 

WHERE TO EAT

Again we have to mention De Oude Kraal here. Their fine dining restaurant is in the original farmhouse with four meter high ceilings and wooden floors. The separate dining rooms have open fireplaces and original antique furniture, some dating back to the early 1900’s. The food is fresh, organic and seasonal. They are best known for their five course meals which is so unique we suggest you take a someone special. Yum is all we can say!!

Bella Cassa is one of Bloem’s most well-known restaurants, and for very good reason. Their menu includes pizza, steaks and burgers, but they are best known for a few signature dishes. The black beast steak keeps people coming back again and again, and the vegan curry is a breath of fresh aroma in a city where vegans may find it hard to find food. Chilling outside at one of the tables sipping on an ice cold drink while you take in the leafy surroundings is absolute bliss!

For sizzling steaks, succulent ribs and amazing chicken you absolutely HAVE to check out the Longhorn Grill in Bloem. Think old school steakhouse with all the juicy flame grilled smells you can wish for. Not a place for vegetarians!

 

check out these Sho’t left deals and plan your trip today!

Explore the national parks of the Northern Cape

23 Mar 2018

When last did you take a road trip, a carefree excursion with friends and family to enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside? Well, with only a few more months left before the chilly season descends on South Africa’s vast escarpment, there’s never been a better time than now to enjoy the last of our warm days, and to hit the road, exploring the national parks of the majestic Northern Cape. To help you reach your flora and fauna destination, here’s a quick guide to three incredible parks that you can visit:

Augrabies Falls National Park

Did you know this unbelievably beautiful park is named after a waterfall that forms part of the Orange River? The Khoi people call the falls “Aukoerebis”, or place of Great Noise, as the powerful flow of water rushes down 56 metres over smooth rocks. There are lots to see and do here, including the Dassie Nature Trail, a circular 5 km self-guided trail that leads you up a gorge up until Arrow Point, takes you over Moon Rock and then back to your starting point. After a long day hiking and taking in the faint sounds of nature, you can relax at the park’s resting camp that ranges from camp accommodation and caravan sites to two-sleeper chalets and family cottages.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

This incredible landscape covers 3.6 million hectares of land and is considered one of the few conservation areas of this scale left in the world. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the wildlife that roams on these Kalahari plains – gemsbok, eland, springbok, wildebeest, and black-maned lions. An ideal time to visit is between June and August, as temperatures peak during the summer season, making it unbearably hot.

Mokala National Park

Situated 70 km south-southwest of Kimberley, and west of the N12 freeway to Cape Town, the Mokala National Park is one of the Northern Cape’s many hidden gems. The park’s name derives from Setswana and named after Camel Thorn trees. Covering 26 485 hectares of land, one can only imagine the different species of wildlife that call Mokala Nationa Park home. These range from tsessebe, black wildebeest, androan antelope, to white backed vultures. To say that this national park is beautiful would be an understatement – it’s beauty is indescribable, just as the calm presence of the animals who roam these African plains.

What are you waiting for? Take a Sho’t Left in the Northern Cape!

No matter which route, detour, path or highway you take, know that an epic road trip is guaranteed whenever a Sho’t Left is involved. Go on, and check out our Northern Cape deals. There may be one that’s just for you!

6 must-do adventures in the Northern Cape

15 Mar 2018

The Northern Cape is definitely South Africa’s all-in-one province. It doesn’t matter what adventure you’re after, in this beautifully sparse and diverse slice of Mzansi you’ll find everything from coastal getaways and bush adventures to small-town escapes with a lot of history and culture in between.

If you’re ever thinking of making your way to the land of big skies and small towns, here are a few adventures you won’t want to pass up.

Augrabies Falls

At the Augrabies Falls National Park in the Northern Cape, the waterfall is only the beginning. Exploring the region reveals many other attractions nearby, including a wide variety of flowers, animals and the unique Moon Rock.

If you’re looking for adventure then look no further than Augrabies. Want to take to the skies in a hot air balloon? No problem. How about a bit of river rafting or canoeing down the Orange River? They’ve got you covered. At Augrabies Falls National Park, adventure is the name of the game with plenty of adrenaline rushing and soul soothing activities to make any getaway one to remember.

Kimberley

If you’re a history buff, then you’ll know that South Africa has its past rooted in the ground and this historic little town, the capital of the Northern Cape, is lovingly known as the Diamond City.

Start your exploration of the city at its main attraction: the Big Hole. Imagine a hand-dug hole the size of eight football fields and you have some idea of the labour that went into creating the Big Hole. Right next to the Big Hole is the Kimberley Mine Museum, which brings to life the way the city was during the bustling days of the diamond rush.

Once you’ve immersed yourself in the history, the surrounding area is brimming with adventures to embark on. Try catching some yellow fish with some decent fly fishing in the dams and rivers, or getting tickled pink with thousands of flamingos at Kamfers Dam, or how about exploring the open Kalahari plains at the Mokala National Park.

4×4 trails

If you’re looking to tackle the tough terrain of the Northern Cape with four wheels instead of two legs, there are many 4×4 trails just waiting to test your resolve. From rocky, mountainous terrain to the free-flowing sands of the Kalahari Desert, there is enough adventure to wear out even the toughest of vehicles.

The beauty of the vast, open scenery of the Northern Cape is that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to 4x4ing. Here’s a list of all the 4×4 trails scattered across the province. 

Kalagadi Transfrontier Park

If your adventure lies on the wilder side of the spectrum, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a magical place where dry landscapes and red dunes provide the backdrop to a singularly unique experience. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a fusion of the former Kalahari Gemsbok National Park of South Africa, which was set up to protect migratory game such as Gemsbok, and the neighbouring Gemsbok National Park in Botswana.

The South African side has a variety of self-catering and camping facilities. There’s also a luxury lodge between Mata Mata and Twee Rivieren. Ask about the wilderness camps, if you’d like an unfenced, more private experience. The Botswana side specialises more in rustic wilderness camping.

Find out more about the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with South African National Parks.

Stargazing at Sutherland

When the sun goes down and you’ve kept your eyes on the ground the whole day, it’s time to look up, beyond South Africa, beyond this planet… it’s time to take your front seat to the universe.

Sutherland is actually a world-renowned astronomical centre in South Africa. Besides the ever-so-charming and sparse Upper Karoo, here you’ll find The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) situated on a mountain top, 14 km out of town. Obviously, this is the place to stargaze, being one of the best star-viewing destinations in the southern hemisphere.

If your kind of adventure is one among the stars, learn more about Sutherland and see what adventures this charming little Karoo town has to offer.

Namaqua National Park

From horizon-to-horizon, orange daisies take over the Namaqua National Park in spring. It’s a sight so beautiful and unique, it’ll take your breath away. The timing of the flowers and how many will bloom changes every year but its guaranteed that sometime between August and the beginning of October, the dusty land will spring to life and, for a few vibrant weeks, this low-rainfall desert is completely transformed.

To experience the heart of the succulent Karoo, you can take the Caracal 4×4 Eco Route, which is over 180 km long and will take you deep into the park’s newest lands.

Find out more about Namaqua National Park with South African National Parks.

Take a Sho’t Left in the Northern Cape

No matter what kind of adventure gets you going and inspires your wanderlust, check out our Northern Cape deals. There may be one that’s just for you!

The Mother City and her endless adventures – this is where to eat, stay and play!

It’s your country to enjoy and your province to explore! Get out of your comfort zone, create some memories and escape your day-to-day. We have 9 amazing provinces and we want to show you everything they have to offer. It’s time you choose a date, grab a mate and take that long overdue Sho’t left. First up is Cape Town…

With its larger-than-life mountain, white beaches and cultural heritage, Cape Town is your playground to explore. Untouched nature and a buzzing waterfront are just the start of your adventure. Today we sharing some eat, stay and play gems, so take note we promise you won’t want to miss them…

Where to stay

La splendida hotel

Sidewalk cafés and a bustling promenade set the scene for La Splendida in Mouille Point. This region is cool and trendy and the hotel is ideally suited to its modern surroundings. Its prime location is moments away from Cape Town Stadium, Green Point Park and the V&A Waterfront which adds to the hotel’s appeal and the convenience it offers guests.

Mojo Hotel

The Mojo hotel is situated above the Mojo Market which is a new and exciting 7-day-a-week food and lifestyle market. This is eat, stay and play all in one. Mojo Hotel offers a variety of rooms – from self-catering apartments to compact crash pads. Mojo introduces you to the pod or capsule hotel concept of small compact designer rooms at affordable prices. For those who want more space, try their studios, while remaining accessible and affordable. It‘s also conveniently located near the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay and Green Point Stadium.

Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa

For a change in pace why not travel 45 minutes from Cape Town to the heart of the Cape Winelands? Here you’ll find Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa – quiet, unassuming and elegant. Bordered by leafy vineyards in the small town of Franschhoek, this hotel offers a remarkable selection of inspiring venues, delectable restaurants, and indulgent spa treatments.

Take me there now! 

Where to play

Travel in style! This may be the highlight of anyone’s day, trip and maybe even year – a NAC Helicopter ride to the winelands, and more specifically to Babylonstoren. At this wine estate the gardens, the restaurants and the sheer beauty of this estate will blow you away. It is a culinary and sensory delight and a place where your faith in nature, the simple life and all things natural will be restored. Do not miss it – trust us! Here you can eat, walk through the gardens and shop artisan-inspired goods! It is a slice of heaven on earth!

Franschhoek Wine Tram Day Tour

Wine taste, lunch and see the sights with a difference on the Franschhoek wine tram. It allows you to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer such as wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and once you’re done just hop back on to continue the tour. The tour takes passengers right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley so sit back, relax and tram away…

The Signal Hill Sunset Trike Bike tour is a fabulous way to see the Cape’s Atlantic Coastline – ride through Clifton and Camps Bay all the way to Hout Bay. After a short coffee stop cross the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive and wind your way down to the Cape of Good Hope. Lunch can be enjoyed at the Two Oceans Restaurant (own account) before making your way back towards Cape Town along the False Bay Coast and through the Constantia Valley.

Where to eat

Have you ever wanted a unique or private dining experience? Chef Matt Manning may be just the chef you looking for. He is the creator of a number of unique dining experiences which are open to the public, including ‘One Ingredient’ – a pop-up dinner highlighting a single ingredient across a number of course.  Sound interesting? You bet it is!

We’re back at Babylonstoren, because it is worth a second mention. The wine estate offers lunch in a greenhouse aptly named the Greenhouse restaurant. Tucked away between the oak trees, their Greenhouse offers guests the perfect resting place to enjoy delicious home-baked treats and fresh garden juices. This place is one selfie moment after the other and Instagram worthy for sure!

If you are staying in Mouille Point, maybe in one of the hotels mentioned above, why not eat at Pepenero? Here it’s all about welcoming staff and the ability to cater to all palates. Pepenero invites guests to enjoy private booths, an expansive deck and vibrant beautiful bar. For a sundowner and sushi or lengthy lunches, Pepenero is delicious and trendy, definitely a place to celebrate the splendour of an exquisite seaside setting.

check out these Sho’t left deals and plan your trip today!