Friday , 26 May 2017
South Africa Blog / Explore Our Cities

Explore Our Cities

Exploring Hoedspruit

Exploring Hoedspruit

The farming town of Hoedspruit may be small, but it is an important little hub for those wanting to explore the province of Limpopo and the nearby Kruger National Park. In fact, it is less than an hour’s drive from this world-acclaimed reserve, where a massive variety of South Africa’s most beautiful fauna and flora can be seen within their natural habitat.

The countryside around Hoedspruit is some of Limpopo’s prettiest. It is littered by incredible game reserves, and has earned its place on the map for its mango and citrus products. These landscapes are part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, which is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the largest of three biosphere reserves in South Africa, and is the third-largest in the world.  It is made up of beautiful forests, savannahs and grasslands; and Hoedspruit is at its heart. Read More »

Lets Go Jeffreys Bay!

Lets Go Jeffreys Bay!

J-Bay (as it is commonly known) may be a small seaside town nestled away in the Eastern Cape but it has a big reputation around the world for the excellent surfing on offer. In fact, Jeffreys Bay is one of the top spots for surfing champions from various countries to test their skills and take full advantage of the best waves and the stunning weather. It has long been one of the legs for the annual Billabong Pro; where sportsmen like Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning compete for the coveted title of the best surfer in the world.

Of course, the beaches of J-Bay are also inviting for other watersports enthusiasts, as well as families that want to spend the day on the warm, white sands or splashing about in the waters of the Indian Ocean. This is a fabulous spot for kitesurfing, deep-sea fishing, hydrofoiling, surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. The long stretches of sandy shores and rolling sand dunes are absolutely amazing to explore on horseback. The powerful, responsive horses love breaking into a gallop (if and when the rider is ready) and splashing in the sea. Read More »

Exploring Hazyview

Exploring Hazyview

The charming little town of Hazyview is idyllically positioned in some of Mpumalanga’s prettiest countryside and is characterised by banana plantations and dramatic mountain ranges that stretch towards the horizon. To add to its allure, Hazyview is only five kilometres from the Phabeni Gate of the Kruger National Park, which is undoubtedly one of Africa’s top safari destinations.

This farming town is a fabulous choice for those that want a pretty base from which to explore some of South Africa’s most exquisite scenery, natural attractions and best known game reserves. But, it is also a gorgeous destination in its own right. It is home to many different restaurants, coffee shops and bars, where locals meet and visitors get to sample authentic South African cuisine. The Windmill Wine Shop offers visitors the opportunity to sample some popular wines from the acclaimed Cape Winelands, as well as to experience the unique flavours of locally brewed craft beers and coffees. Read More »

Explore Centurion

Explore Centurion

The Gauteng Province may be the smallest in South Africa but it is certainly home to some of the busiest and most exciting destinations. Centurion is part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, and has fewer than 300 000 inhabitants. It is situated between the two hubs of Pretoria and Johannesburg and has somewhat of a cosmopolitan look and feel to it.

Centurion is known for estate living, and these gated communities provide a safe, exclusive neighbourhood for families, couples and up-and-coming youngsters that love the vibe of city living but the security of a quiet suburb. It retains a sort of romantic, village kind of feel that the locals just love. Still, Centurion is also a commercial hotspot, the hub of a number of economic resources and initiatives, which earn it much respect amongst businessmen and women all over the world. Read More »

Exploring Hartbeespoort Dam

Exploring Hartbeespoort Dam

The Hartbeespoort Dam is a majestic retreat from the hubbub of the nearby urban metropolises of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Thanks to its close proximity to these hubs, though, it is a great weekend getaway for locals and a popular holiday spot for international tourists.

Hartbeespoort Dam is a favourite amongst travellers with a sense of adventure. The dam itself promises a world of excitement in the way of water sports. These include tubing, water-skiing, sailing, swimming, kitesurfing, hydrofoiling, parasailing, jet-skiing, and indulging in a restful sunset cruise. The scenery is spectacular and the cool waters are inviting on a hot South African summer day. Just north of the dam is the open-cast chrome mine at Miracle Waters, which is a magnificent dive site that plunges 33 metres into the earth. It has fabulous visibility and divers can expect to see an aeroplane and a bus among the objects that saw their demise at the bottom. Read More »

Exploring Umdloti

Exploring Umdloti

The idyllic resort town of Umdloti is part of the scenically magnificent Umhlanga Coast, just 26 kilometres away from the city centre of Durban and its King Shaka International Airport. Although it is a village, Umdloti can get very busy over the summer holidays, as travellers from all over South Africa and the world descend on its scenic beaches for the South African getaway of a lifetime.

The beach is, undoubtedly, the most popular drawcard to Umdloti. There are rock pools, which are fantastic for little ones, as well as stretches of sand on which to play, picnic or suntan. There are shark nets in place and the waters of the Indian Ocean are considerably warmer than those of the Atlantic, making this an ideal spot for swimming, surfing, kitesurfing, stand-up paddling (SUP-ping), kayaking, snorkelling and SCUBA diving. The marine life is impressive and a dive is always rewarding.  Rivermouth Reef, just 18 kilometres from the Umdloti River’s mouth, has massive caves and a pinnacle in which stunning reef fish can be discovered as they feed off and explore the natural vegetation. Read More »

Exploring Simons Town

Exploring Simons Town

Quintessential navy village, centred on the activities of those who are members of the South African Navy and other nautical enthusiasts alike, Simons Town is situated along the stretch of coast between Cape Town and the world-renowned Cape Point Nature Reserve, on the shores of False Bay, and neighbours the little towns of Fishhoek and Kalk Bay, which are contiguous with the Mother City of Cape Town.

The charm of Simons Town lies in its history, which permeates the architecture, monuments and famous tales of yesteryear that have been handed down from one generation to the next. False Bay became the favoured spot for ships to arrive as Table Bay was subject to violent winds, causing many shipwrecks. Simon van der Stel selected this part of the coast to anchor, sheltered from the powerful gales. However, because it is quite some distance from Cape Town (certainly back then), it remained a fairly quiet bay, with most seamen risking the more convenient Table Bay. Read More »

Exploring Sea Point

Exploring Sea Point

A bustling hub of activity along the coast of Cape Town, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and the gorgeous mountains of the Mother City, Sea Point is part of the greater area of the Atlantic Seaboard, with breath-taking views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak, as these hills and mountains loom over the busy streets and beachfront below.

Sea Point is situated between Mouille Point, Green Point, and Bantry Bay. It showcases an eclectic combination of homes, people, languages, cultures, colours and creeds. As such, it is an apt representation of the many faces of this Rainbow Nation, as South Africa is affectionately known. The streets are lined with quirky boutiques, galleries, luxury car showrooms, coffee cafés, cocktail bars, clubs, businesses and a huge selection of restaurants. It is always cosmopolitan, vibey and inviting. Read More »

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 »