Tuesday , 25 April 2017
South Africa Blog / Attractions and Places

Attractions and Places

Exploring Somerset West

Exploring Somerset West

Part of the Cape Winelands, Somerset West is conveniently situated just 30 minutes from the hub of Cape Town in the Western Cape. Although the vast majority of this town is residential, there are a few natural areas and, of course, wine farms that make this small district a fabulous place to explore. Somerset West is perhaps best known as being the first sight after travelling Sir Lowry’s Pass; the gateway to Cape Town when coming from the Cape Helderberg.

Having been established by the Dutch in 1672, Somerset West is steeped in history. Today, there still exist homes and farmhouses that reflect the old Cape Dutch style, some of which have been meticulously preserved for the sake of tourism and heritage. Read More »

Exploring Nottingham Road

Exploring Nottingham Road

The ethereal charm and beauty of the little town of Nottingham Road is really quite special. Massive, unspoilt dams that lie under the watchful eye of mammoth mountains ranges, quaint country inns surrounded by verdant woodlands, and rolling jade-coloured hills that are begging to be explored by keen adventurers make this part of KwaZulu-Natal nothing short of magical.

Notties, as it is affectionately known, is almost 60 kilometres north-west of Pietermaritzburg and 136.5 kilometres from the urban centre of Durban (home to the King Shaka International Airport). It was originally established in 1905, when the Nottingham Regiment was stationed there in preparation for potential uprisings from the hunter-gathering San folk against the local farmers. Since then, however, it has become popular for the world-class trout fishing that it offers to keen anglers and hobbyists alike. Read More »

Exploring Camps Bay

Exploring Camps Bay

Cape Town, also known as the Mother City, is the cultural epicentre of South Africa. It is as beautiful as it is diverse, and it is this unique combination that has earned Cape Town its renowned reputation of being one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Camps Bay is known for its luxurious mansions, its extensive beaches with chilly turquoise water and its main road, flanked with trendy champagne bars and chic restaurants.

Camps Bay Beach is fairly large, and is always speckled with locals and tourists that have come to enjoy the warm white sand and cool waters. Little ones will love the rock pools and enormous boulders, which never seem to lose their appeal. These boulders also create private little nooks for those wanting to escape the other bathers. The beach is lined with palm trees, giving it a particularly distinct holiday vibe. The beach was awarded Blue Flag status in 2008. Umbrellas and lounging chairs are available to hire. Read More »

Exploring Dullstroom

Exploring Dullstroom

The scenic Mpumalanga town of Dullstroom (or Emnotweni) may be small, but it remains one of the most important spots in the country for keen fly-fishermen. Here, brown and rainbow trout are available in abundance, and anglers can test their skills while drinking in breath-taking views of the dams and mountains that set Dullstroom apart.

This town boasts the De Berg mountain range and is nestled between the towns of Belfast and Lydenburg; which are 35 and 53 kilometres away respectively. It was established in the late 19th century (1883) as a spot for Dutch immigrants. However, when their settlement was destroyed in the Second Boer War, many of these first settlers returned home.  The Dutch colonialists planted beech and elm trees, and this remains the only place in South Africa in which these can still be found today. Read More »

Exploring Ballito

Exploring Ballito

What was once a small seaside retreat from the masses of urban living has become a popular spot in which to settle and enjoy summer holidays. Young and old have descended on the picturesque town of Ballito to start a new phase of their lives in its peaceful, laid-back atmosphere. The balmy KwaZulu-Natal climate means that even the winter months are temperate.

Due to its prime positioning along the Kwa-Zulu Natal coastline of South Africa, the beaches are Ballito’s primary attraction, both for visitors and for locals. The sea here is warm, being part of the Indian Ocean, making watersports and swimming a real pleasure, even for very little ones. Ballito is a surfer’s paradise, with the most acclaimed waves being found at Ballito’s, Salmon Bay, Clark Bay, Willard’s Beach, Thompson Bay, Salt Rock and Tiffany’s beaches. There is a promenade along the beachfront that extends for some 2.5 kilometres. This is an idyllic setting for a long, leisurely stroll, a jog or a walk with the dogs. Read More »

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 »