Wednesday , 18 July 2018
South Africa Blog / 2017 (page 3)

Yearly Archives: 2017

Exploring East London

Exploring East London

Part of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, which remains relatively quiet in terms of international tourists, East London, also known as Buffalo City for its positioning on the Buffalo River, is home to some of the most inviting beaches in the country and, some would argue, the world. Notably, East London is the only river port in South Africa, which not only makes it unique but functionally essential too.

East London is characterised by a slightly more tropical climate than the rest of the Eastern Cape. This means that it is humid, but also lush with vegetation typical of this climate. This gives it a real “summer vacation” feel. It is free of malaria and bilharzias threats, making it safe for families and the elderly. Read More »

Exploring Jeffreys Bay

Exploring Jeffreys Bay

It may be a small Eastern Cape coastal town with a population of less than 20 000 people, but Jeffreys Bay has gained popularity and respect all over the world for its awesome surfing beaches. In fact, it was one of the hosts for the internal Billabong Pro ASP World Tour challenge for many years, bringing surfers and their fans to this quiet retreat every winter. This challenge, which officially ended in 2011, took place at the famous surf-spot, Supertubes. During this time, the whole town came alive with cultural diversity.

The warm waters of the Indian Ocean roll gracefully onto kilometres of pristine beach sand, creating the ideal spot for a family vacation or a honeymoon. The permanent residents of Jeffrey’s comprise a melting pot of surfers, young families with local businesses, and retirees. This gives J-Bay a relaxed, laid-back feeling at any time of year. Still, the entire town is not very big, covering a total area of less than 12 square kilometres. Read More »

Exploring Hluhluwe

Exploring Hluhluwe

Amid the vast emerald-coloured mountains of Zululand, in the heart of northern KwaZulu-Natal, is the little town of Hluhluwe. Although small, this town is the centre of tourism for Zululand and an ideal spot from which to explore the game reserves, cultural villages, and natural hotspots of the region.

The town itself is situated between the world-renowned iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, making it the perfect base for those wanting the African safari of a lifetime. In addition, this part of the Elephant Coast of KZN is scenic and offers a world of things to do and see. The Elephant Coast is wild and rugged, scenic and irresistible to adventurers and families alike. It is characterised by coral reefs, sand dunes mangrove swamps, massive wetlands, and dense coastal forests that attract a variety of animals, including many birds. The Elephant Coast is a wonderland for snorkelling, SCUBA diving, whale watching and dolphin tours. Read More »

See and Do in Nelspruit

See and Do in Nelspruit

As the capital city of the South African province of Mpumalanga, Nelspruit is an important stopover for visitors from all over the world that are on their way to the renowned Kruger National Park. However, Nelspruit is an impressive tourist town in its own rights. It is a naturally beautiful part of South Africa. Its tropical climate means that the entire region has distinctively lush, fertile vegetation. In addition, it has a unique topography, with craggy outcrops and magnificent rock formations that creates a mystical intrigue around this area.

Nelspruit is only 100 kilometres from Mozambique and 330 kilometres from the commercial and financial epicentre of Johannesburg. This makes it accessible and easy to reach.

The entire region is known for its tropical crops; such as avocado pears, bananas, mangoes and Macadamia nuts. The most prolific of crops in Nelspruit is oranges. These tropical fruit farms and orchards create a spectacular countryside. Read More »

Bloemfontein’s Attractions

Bloemfontein’s Attractions

Laid-back Bloemfontein is deceptively large and progressive. The general atmosphere is one of a small holiday town, but this metropolis is, in fact, ever expanding and amply equipped for the many tourists and locals that visit it. Known as the City of Roses for the thousands of rose bushes that line its street and adorn its gardens, Bloemfontein is a pretty oasis in a rather arid province.

The Sesotho name for Bloemfontein, by which it is often called, is Mangaung, which means “place of cheetahs”. It is the sixth largest city in South Africa and the judicial capital of the country. It is, geographically, in the very centre of South Africa as well as of the Free State Province. Read More »

Explore Umhlanga

Explore Umhlanga

“Umhlanga” is a Zulu word that means “place of reeds”. The town is named after the nearby Ohlanga River and covers a total area of less than 20 square kilometres. As part of the KwaZulu-Natal province, though, Umhlanga is near to a number of attractions and activities that are associated with this tourist base.

Umhlanga was founded in 1895, but it was only from the 1980’s onward that it began to be developed as a tourist, residential and commercial epicentre. Despite this development, Umhlanga retains a small-town look and feel. As such, it is a fabulous place to be based during your time in KwaZulu-Natal and its surrounds, particularly the metropolis of Durban. Today, it is known as a holiday retreat; an escape from city living. Read More »

Exploring George

Exploring George

Flanked by the imposing Outeniqua Mountain Range and the exquisite Indian Ocean, George is particularly pretty. This beauty, combined with the heritage of this town, makes George a prime tourist spot for families, honeymooners and backpackers wanting to experience South Africa. The climate here is somewhat Mediterranean, with rainfall particularly during the nights and the winter months. The summers are moderately hot and the winters cool to cold.

George is one of the Garden Route’s main towns, situated almost halfway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town (about 100 kilometres closer to the PE side). This is one of the oldest cities in the country and still retains much of the old-world elegance and architecture of yesteryear. George is the capital town of the Southern Cape. Read More »

Exploring Hermanus

Exploring Hermanus

Perched along the south coast of the Western Cape, where the Atlantic Ocean laps the shore on the doorstep of holidaymakers and locals alike, Hermanus has long been acclaimed as the whale-watching capital of the world. It is a relatively small town with plenty to offer, thanks to its stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, friendly folk and charming character. It is about 120 kilometres from Cape Town and its international airport.

Hermanus is built on Walker Bay and flanked by the ocean and the Kleinrivier Mountain Range. These natural wonders are humbling in their proportions and fascinating to explore; offering visitors a completely different world of biodiversity and breath-taking backdrops to their Cape Overberg adventure. Read More »

Exploring Knysna

Exploring Knysna

Knysna is one of the best known gems along the world-famous Garden Route. It is situated between Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and Cape Town in the Western Cape. Although it has become a popular tourist attraction in the last two decades, Knysna’s history goes far further back; its forests being the famous home of African Elephants and forest-dwellers with an entire culture of their own in times past.

The spectacular scenery of Knysna is, undoubtedly, its most precious asset. The Indian Ocean tumbles through two mountain faces called The Heads. Together, these sandstone cliffs form a narrow channel, which connects the lagoon and estuary to the wild waters of the sea. Walking trails up The Heads reveal awe-inspiring views, not only of the impressive channel, but also of the tranquil lagoon that stretches to the horizon, lush forests and the mountains that they adorn. In fact, these views are, in whole or in part, something that can be enjoyed from just about any part of Knysna. Read More »

Exploring Hout Bay

Exploring Hout Bay

Once a densely forested fishing village, this little town was named Hout Bay (meaning “wood bay”) in honour of the beautiful woods on the mountains all around the little fishing hub. In fact, Jan van Riebeeck is reported to have said that these were the most beautiful forests he had ever seen. However, most of the timber was harvested by these original settlers for the building of the fort and ports.

Although Hout Bay has become a very popular tourist epicentre, it holds tightly to its intimate, laid-back lifestyle, which permeates just about every part of its identity, including the locals that boast this town as their residential address. Its natural beauty is undeniable, as it is surrounded on three sides by mountains. The fourth is left to the exquisite blue of the Atlantic Ocean. Read More »

Exploring Darling

Exploring Darling

The quaint town of Darling is situated on the West Coast. It is small, with an old-fashioned, laid-back ambience that lends it a charm beyond description. Its homes, people and rural lifestyle ensure that the entire town is reminiscent of yesteryear. However, Darling is also especially pretty. It is surrounded by rolling hills, each laden with green vineyards. Wheat fields that give the entire countryside the golden hue of fertility stretch on for miles.

While small and relatively quiet, the infrastructure of Darling is more than sufficient. There is everything necessary for locals and tourists that are based here while exploring the beauty of the Western Cape. The combination of being a peaceful retreat with plenty in the way of infrastructure has made Darling an ideal hub for creative minds, such as artists and writers, who need to explore the creative crevices of their minds for inspiration. Read More »

Exploring Franschhoek

Exploring Franschhoek

Surrounded by the exquisite Franschhoek Mountains, which are jade-coloured in some places and rugged rock in others, the town of Franschhoek is an utter escape. It is charming, elegant, historic, scenic, fun and, above all, the culinary capital of South Africa.

It is situated some 87 kilometres from the city centre of Cape Town in the Western Cape Province, along with all of its most famous attractions (such as Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the V & A Waterfront). Despite its close proximity to the Mother City, the peaceful ambience with the distinctive European air is unlike any other place, setting Franschhoek apart as a unique destination. Read More »

Exploring Stellenbosch

Exploring Stellenbosch

One of the primary towns of the Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch  is renowned for the incredible wines produced in and around it, as well as for the history that is felt in its architecture, wide roads, and many museums and galleries. More than this, Stellenbosch exudes an irresistible allure, thanks to its verdant beauty. Oak trees line the streets (in fact, this was once called City of Oaks by the Dutch settlers that discovered its inordinate beauty) and the surrounding mountains are visible from just about anywhere in this university town.

Stellenbosch is about 50 kilometres outside Cape Town in the Western Cape and is surrounded by other Winelands towns like Paarl, Pniel and Franschhoek. The rolling hills and mountains are adorned with immaculate vineyards, where the fruits are sweetened by the South African sunshine and the hands that pluck the grapes have viticulture in their blood. Read More »

Exploring Mossel Bay

Exploring Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay sits along the gorgeous Garden Route of South Africa; a route characterised by verdant forests, winding rivers, craggy mountain ranges laden with fynbos, and a white sandy coastline that rivals some of the loveliest beach destinations in the world. This harbour town marks the halfway point between Cape Town in the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Mossel Bay is not only a convenient spot along a well-known route, but it is also exquisite in its aesthetic appeal.

Flanked by the vast azure of the Indian Ocean, the pristine peninsula, and the dramatic rugged faces of the Outeniqua Mountain Range, Mossel Bay remains an important fishing and industrial hotspot, with liberal lashings of history, charm and intrigue. It is close to the towns of George, Knysna, Oudtshoorn and Swellendam, making it an accessible base for explorers. Read More »

Exploring Paternoster

Exploring Paternoster

The scenic fishing village of Paternoster is perched along the exquisite shores of the Cape West Coast; just 145 kilometres north of Cape Town and far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city vibe. This is one of the oldest fishing villages in the area, imbuing it with a unique charm and character.

Its appeal is seen and felt in the little whitewashed fishermen’s cottages that line the coast and the rugged cliff faces that tumble to some of the loveliest beaches in the Western Cape. From the shores or out at sea, the marine life is a delight to experience. Large pods of dolphins surf the waves and leap playfully from the waters all year round, while whales can be seen in the latter half of the year. Southern rights, humpbacks and orcas leap or peep inquisitively out of the water, entertaining their onlookers. The local seal and penguin colonies are also exciting to see, and amusing to watch as they go about their daily lives with some adorable antics. Read More »