Saturday , 15 December 2018

Yearly Archives: 2013

Exploring Bloubergstrand

Exploring Bloubergstrand

Known for its breath-taking views of Table Mountain across Table Bay, Bloubergstrand is a suburb of Cape Town that has taken on an identity of its own, almost being recognised as a little town in its own right. It is mainly a residential area, with plenty of holiday accommodation. Its long stretch of beach is very popular for watersports and kiting.

This area was once inhabited by the Goringhaikona people during the 16th and 17th centuries. As Southern Africa began to be colonised by the Europeans, Bloubergstrand also came under the control of various other powers, no longer occupied by the traditional tribes; who were enslaved, killed or moved by the colonisers in a series of sometimes-bloody encounters. As a result of the rich, sometimes very sad history of the area, there are a number of monuments and historical attractions in BloubergstrandRead More »

What Sandton has to Offer

What Sandton has to Offer

Sandton is known as Africa’s richest square mile and is, without a doubt, Johannesburg’s shopping and commercial epicentre. Since the 1980’s, Sandton has experienced an exponential growth and development to become one of today’s most vibrant and exciting destinations – not only in Johannesburg, but in Gauteng as a province. It is centrally situated, and is accessible from all major centres, including OR Tambo International Airport; the launching pad of the vast majority of tourists to South Africa.

There are a number of facets to the allure and popularity of Sandton’s Attractions. It has so much to offer, no matter what visitors prefer. Here are some of the features that modern Sandton has to offer locals and tourists alike … Read More »

Exploring Constantia

Exploring Constantia

The verdant suburb of Constantia is Cape Town’s own little wineland, characterised by rolling hills and deep valleys, all occupied by rows and rows of fertile vineyards. Still, it is a residential suburb, occupied by beautiful homes, some of which are the original farm houses of yesteryear. It is about 15 kilometres from the City Bowl and popular areas for holiday accommodation in Cape Town (see here), Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront.

It is situated in the very heart of the Peninsula, and the Constantia Valley is flanked by the Table Mountain National Park, which is one of the world’s best known Heritage Sites. The whole of Constantia is nestled in the foothills of the Constantiaberg Mountain and the valley below, making for breath-taking views from just about anywhere. Read More »

5 Things to Do in Bloemfontein

5 Things to Do in Bloemfontein

In the heart of the beautiful Free State is the growing, popular holiday and residential city of Bloemfontein. It is practically in the middle of the province, surrounded by nothing but scenic, unspoilt landscapes as far as the eye can see. These landscapes are known for their somewhat arid, sparse appeal, with white rolling hills meeting the cornflower-blue skies.

As the sixth largest city in the country, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa, and is situated between Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Bloemfontein is also widely known as the City of Roses and, upon your visit there, it is not hard to see why. The streets, neighbourhoods and gardens are speckled by thousands of rose bushes and in excess of 4 000 rose trees were planted in Kings Park’s rose gardens alone. This creates a colourful city that continues to grow, offering local travellers and international tourists wonderful accommodation and a host of things to do in Bloemfontein.

Here are the top five attractions or activities in Bloemfontein … Read More »

Explore Langebaan

Explore Langebaan

Just over an hour’s drive north of the Mother City of Cape Town, Langebaan is a quiet little town that is known for its peaceful white beaches, multitude of bird species, and the colourful wild flowers that blanket the region over August and September of every year. It is surrounded by other West Coast favourites like Saldanha Bay, Vredenburg and Geelbek.

Significantly, the Langebaan Lagoon is acclaimed for being home to more than 300 different bird species, which invite bird-lovers to relax on the lagoon’s banks with a pair of binoculars and indulge in the avian display that rolls out before them. Resident species include flamingos and the largest breeding colony of black harriers in the world. Read More »

The Beaches of Camps Bay

The Beaches of Camps Bay

Camps Bay is an affluent neighbourhood at the foot of the 12 Apostles Mountain Range, behind Table Mountain. It is famous for its exquisite variety of restaurants, pavement cafés, champagne bars, clubs, boutiques, galleries and more. However, it is, perhaps, even better known for its gorgeous beaches, which stretch the entire length of the neighbourhood and beyond.

White sands are tickled and lapped by the turquoise and blues of the icy Atlantic Ocean, and many of the beaches are lined by palm trees or rocky mountain faces, giving the beaches a tropical, impressive appeal that is quite unique. Being situated so close to the hub of Camps Bay, and only a 10-minute drive from the City Bowl of the Mother City, the beaches of Camps Bay are easy to access, and make for the perfect day out in the South African summer sun.

Camps Bay, as a whole, is home to several beaches. These include … Read More »

Exploring Soweto

Exploring Soweto

Soweto (a shortened version of South Western Townships) has recently become an urban suburb of the City of Johannesburg. Although previously a separate municipality, Soweto has always played a major role in the history, identity and character of Johannesburg and Gauteng. Today, it is still a hub of excitement and a veritable tourist hotspot, representing much of the colour and diversity of South Africa as a nation.

Soweto was one of the first of the segregationist planning processes in Gauteng, and was positioned about 20 kilometres from the City of Johannesburg. These homes were established to accommodate the black labourers that worked mainly in the local mines. These ones were not permitted to live in the city centre or formal neighbourhoods, and all non-white folk were forced to occupy the informal settlements further afield. Forced removals in the 1950’s meant that many non-white folk lost their family homes and were sent with nothing to the outlying regions of the city. Soon, these communities grew and grew, and eventually developed their own culture and society. A large part of this new social norm was based on the political and societal upheavals experienced. Today, there are well over one million residents in Soweto. Read More »

Exploring Swellendam

Exploring Swellendam

Swellendam is a beautiful little town that, while small and quiet, offers tourists and local residents plenty to see and do during their time here. Whether you are interested in the historical sites, natural resources or adventure sports, Swellendam is the ideal escape from city life. There is a distinctive buzz and a sense of community that is established by the locals; who are made up of artists, musicians, authors and all who savour the beautiful things in life.

Within the immediate surrounds of Swellendam are the other little towns of Barrydale, Stormsvlei, and Malgas. Cape Town and all of its famous attractions, is about 240 kilometres away. The locals are friendly, and the whole town has an air of being peaceful and safe. Being situated at the foot of the beautiful Langeberg Mountain Range, the views are spectacular from just about anywhere.

Swellendam is known for its thriving hospitality industry. The cuisine is as varied as the folk themselves, and is of a very impressive quality. The nearby Winelands as well as a few local vineyards produce world-class wines to complement the savoury and sweet flavours produced by resident chefs. Read More »

Things to Do in Johannesburg on a Sunny Day

Things to Do in Johannesburg on a Sunny Day

Johannesburg, the City of Gold, boasts magnificent summers that are characterised by hot, dry mornings, refreshing afternoon thundershowers and clear, warm evenings. These are best enjoyed by those that love the outdoors and want to sample the beauty of South Africa in a very real, personal way.

There are plenty of local attractions in and around Johannesburg that are ideally suited to those that love the outdoors or that want to take advantage of the beautiful weather that graces Gauteng. For those that want to indulge in the glorious outdoors of this country.

Here are some of our top choices of things to do in Johannesburg on a Sunny Day… Read More »

Reasons to Visit Addo

Reasons to Visit Addo

Deep within the unspoilt bushveld of the Eastern Cape is the little village of Addo, along with the world-renowned Addo Elephant National Park. This is the third-largest national park in the country and covers about 180 000 hectares of the Zuurberg Mountain Range, Sundays River Valley and Bushmans River area. Because it boasts such rich biodiversity, Addo is home to an intriguing variety of plants and animals, including a seemingly endless array of bird species. It continues to be the main attraction to the area, welcoming hordes of national and international tourists every year.

The little town of Addo is situated within the Cacadu District Municipality and is only about 4.3 square kilometres in area. It is surrounded by well-known towns and villages of a similar size or larger. These include Colchester, Kirkwood, Canonville and Paterson. Addo and these towns are, generally, small and quiet. However, they do have facilities for tourists coming to get a real taste of the Eastern Cape countryside. They are charming in their own rights. Some are rural, others pastoral, and still others comprise mainly of vibrant townships. Read More »

Spending a Day in East London

Spending a Day in East London

East London is one of the main cities and industrial areas of the Eastern Cape, also known as Buffalo City. It continues to grow and develop at an impressive pace.

East London is a popular destination for those wanting a real beach holiday, thanks to its warm waters and extensive stretches of coastline. It is also a common stop for those on business travel or en route between the larger metropolises (such as Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg).

For those that will be spending limited time in East London, here are some activities that can be combined to fill up a free day here and there … Read More »

Exploring Clarens

Exploring Clarens

Clarens is a small village that is concealed at the foot of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State. The views from this little retreat are spectacular, and its idyllic setting has lured many creative folk from all over the world to settle here and draw their inspiration from the spectacular setting. But it is also this stunning setting that has made Clarens a very popular destination amongst those who love the outdoors.

Local popular activities for nature-lovers include hiking, 4 x 4 trailing, caving, horse riding, bird watching and cycling. However, this area is significant for its archaeological value too. There are a number of sites in and around Clarens that testify to ancient times, when this area was inhabited by prehistoric animals and humans. Later, it was the home of hunter-gatherer tribes of Khoisan, who left evidence of their lives and customs in the form of paintings on the rock faces. Read More »

Robben Island

Robben Island

One of Cape Town’s most historically relevant, culturally intriguing and naturally beautiful attractions is Robben Island. This is best known as being the location of the Robben Island Prison, which held some of South Africa’s most significant politicians and struggle activists. Not least of all are former President Nelson Mandela, current President Jacob Zuma, Dennis Brutus, Tokyo Sexwale, and Govan Mbeki. Robben Island was recognised as a place of banishment from as early as the 1600’s. Nelson Mandela served 18 years of his sentence here, and brought to life what had been kept a dark secret for so many years when he was released and told his story of life on Robben Island. The prison was eventually closed in 1996. Read More »

Exploring the Cape Town City Bowl

Exploring the Cape Town City Bowl

Cape Town, known also as the Mother City, is one of South Africa’s chief tourist hotspots. The City Bowl is, as its name implies, the main part of the buzzing city centre of Cape Town with a distinctive amphitheatre shape to it. This lends it an air of being exclusive, while it is surrounded by the gorgeous mountains of the Western Cape; namely, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and Devil’s Peak.

The Cape Town City Bowl comprises some of the city’s most popular suburbs. District Six and the Bo Kaap are known for their political and historical relevance. Oranjezicht, De Waterkant and Higgovale have earned acclaim for their unique homes and character-filled streets, and Tamboerskloof and the Company Gardens are hives of activity with restaurants, tourist attractions and plenty of shops. Read More »

My Big Fat Family Vacation – Holiday with a Large Family

My Big Fat Family Vacation – Holiday with a Large Family

A holiday is meant to be a time of fun and relaxation. But, it does take planning and preparation. Sometimes, with a holiday with a large family in tow, it can become a little overwhelming to undertake all the preparation required. It is not uncommon for families to avoid holidays altogether just to escape the logistics of planning one for so many different family members. Don’t despair. Where there is a will, there are many different ways to ensure that you and your family get to enjoy a relaxing time together, no matter how many members make up your clan.

A large family can mean that you, as a couple, have many children of various ages. Or, it may be the case that your family includes grandparents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and so on. This is especially true in South Africa, in which it is common for extended families to continue living and vacationing together.

Accommodation is often the biggest challenge when planning a holiday for a large group of people. Hotels, lodges and guesthouses will work out to be very costly, and are often limited in terms of the space available. Camping is a great option as it is far cheaper, allows the family to stay within close proximity to one another and is perceived as a huge adventure to little ones. Read More »