Kavadi celebrations are Hindu practices that take place all over the world with what can only be described as dramatic dedication and unquestionable devotion. In Durban, there is a massive population of Hindu followers. So, it is no surprise that this annual event is something to which local residents and visitors from around the planet can look forward with much excitement.
Durban, the main metropolis of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, boasts some 60 temples that participate in this event. Some are right in the city centre, while others are scattered slightly further afield. Kavadi is held to honour the Hindu god of war and patron deity of Tamil, Lord Muruga. It is believed that the more pain that is endured by those devotees that participate, the happier this god will be and the greater their ultimate reward. Continue Reading
Nestled deep in the Free State, in the heart of the Maluti Mountains, is the small and pretty town of Clarens. The tranquillity of this region has created the perfect haven for artists and writers to disappear in a fantasy world of their own, uninterrupted by the hustle and bustle of city life. As a result, the entire town is sprinkled with galleries that showcase the works of many of the local artists as well as those who come to visit Clarens for inspiration.
Known for its many trees and its breath-taking views of the surrounding Maluti and Rooiberg mountains, Clarens has been dubbed “The Jewel of the Free State”. The rugged starkness of the mountain faces meet with the greenery and fertility of the vegetation, all topped by the pure azure of the African sky. Continue Reading
Although Franschhoek now falls under the Stellies district, it was originally established as a fully-functioning little town, independent of outside rule. It is one of South Africa’s oldest towns and, as such, still boasts much of the old-fashioned architecture of the late 17th century. This gives the entire area an intriguing quality of old-world class and elegance, with just a smattering of pure magic.
Franschhoek is nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains bedecked with emerald foliage. The clear African skies, lush vegetation, gorges, mountains and wine farms combine to lend Franschhoek an idyllic setting that is difficult to rival. It is, then, difficult to imagine that, a mere 75 kilometres away, lies the every-buzzing city of Cape Town. This is extremely convenient, as visitors are able to immerse themselves in the serenity of this food-and-wine hotspot, while still being less than an hour’s drive from the Mother City and its international airport.
Today, Franschhoek is known for its world-class wines, unrivalled luxury stay and awesome cuisine. Continue Reading
The Baviaanskloof is an area of natural abundance, which only contributes further to its somewhat-mysterious beauty and appeal. Situated deep within the province of the Eastern Cape, the Baviaanskloof boasts a floral diversity all its own. Naturally, this provides the ideal habitat for an impressive array of animal species, which range from reptiles and insects to mammalian predators and beautiful birds.
A massive 23 of the 56 reptile species in the Baviaanskloof are endemic to this country, with three species being found only in this specific region. There are also several amphibian and fish species to be found here. The tent tortoise can be found here and is endemic to the Cape region. There are also terrapins and leopard tortoises in the Baviaanskloof. Four of the 24 identified snake species here are endemic to this country. The Cape cobra and the puff adder present the most danger to campers, hikers and walkers, but are shy and prefer to be left alone. Continue Reading
There is a certain allure about the vibrant suburb of De Waterkant that is irresistible amongst Capetonians and tourists alike. It is colourful and quaint; and boasts a pulsating heartbeat that lends the entire area a uniquely urban, modern characteristic. The narrow cobbled streets are flanked by colourful homes that date back to the mid-18th century, and the people that live here are a fabulously varied selection of the Rainbow Nation that is South Africa.
De Waterkant is part of the Bo-Kaap, situated on the slopes of the iconic Signal Hill and is flanked by the excitement of the City Bowl and the V & A Waterfront. It is, therefore, centrally situated, right in the heart of the action and activities of Cape Town, one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Continue Reading
The Drakensberg Mountain Range is one of the most spectacular jewels of the country. It provides breath-taking vistas and is home to a stunning array of plant and animal life.
Escaping from the hustle and bustle of the city life and retreating to the quiet splendour of the mountains to one of the many Drakensburg hotel for a weekend or extended stay is a welcomed treat for locals as well as for visitors from around the world.
The wildlife of the Drakensberg is of particular interest to many visitors, who have a real passion for nature and the outdoors. This is, in fact, a major draw card to the region, contributing to local tourism quite significantly. Continue Reading
Umhlanga is one of the most popular summer holiday hubs of the country, famous for its magnificent, unspoilt beaches and summery conditions that last almost all year around. It is situated just north of Stay Durban, which is the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal. The Zulu name, Umhlanga, means “place of reeds”.
Being situated right on the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Umhlanga is the destination of choice for those that love water and the thrill of watersports. You can expect to find excellent stay in Umhlanga and plenty of opportunities to get the heart racing and the adrenalin pumping when visiting this little KwaZulu-Natal coastal town.
Here are some ideas for the adventure junkies … Continue Reading
Cape Town has a tangible buzz about it, a sparkle of life that permeates every neighbourhood, wine farm and tourist attraction. A major part of this is its market culture. Vibrant markets are scattered throughout the Mother City, and each offer something unique and special.
Markets, in general, tend to be more casual affairs; inviting families to enjoy goods and services that are not always readily available elsewhere. They also give local vendors the opportunity to showcase their wares, which are often handmade or organically sourced, for example.
Here are some of Cape Town’s favourite markets … Continue Reading
The city of Durban lies on the east coast of South Africa, and is part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province. It has some of the country’s most beautiful and popular beaches, especially loved for the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
The province, as a whole, has about 600 kilometres of coastline, but the popular beaches in Durban are along the Golden Mile, which is actually about four miles (or 6.4 kilometres) long. The beaches are flat and sandy, with plenty of room for a stroll, sun-tanning or a game of volleyball. The waves are great for surfing, but safe for young and old to enjoy as well. Most of the beaches are protected by shark nets, as well as safety beacons and lifeguards. Continue Reading
Every city has its dividing line. Normally it’s south and north of a river or railway line that becomes the distinction between the eligibility of any given suburb. In Pretoria, it’s more a case of a line of division between east and west.
East of Pretoria lie a collection of suburbs that include some of the city’s more upmarket communities like Waterkloof, Garsfontein, Faerie Glen and Lynnwood. For holiday-makers, finding accommodation in Pretoria (PTA) in one of these suburbs is recommended as they are close to all the “Jacaranda City” has to offer. Most of the more elite suburbs lie in a curve that forms a semi-circle around the centre of Pretoria moving out, and, whilst some of these have been abandoned by Pretoria city-dwellers for the more recent security estates Continue Reading
Bloemfontein, (which means Spring of flowers), is known as the city of roses due to the vast number of rose bushes lining the streets of the city and flooding the gardens and parks with a flourish of colour. When visiting Bloem, you will notice a warm welcoming atmosphere and a city filled with friendly people enjoying life at their own pace. This is a great place to go on holiday if you would like a relaxed getaway with plenty of things to do.
Enjoy accommodation in South Africa at its best in Bloemfontein’s hotels, bed & breakfasts and self catering units. There are numerous options for overnight accommodations in Bloem for your holiday or your business trip that will suit your needs and your budget and for a day of shopping, a relaxing meal or a couple of evening drinks, the best spot is the Loch Logan Waterfront. With a buzzing atmosphere and a vast selection of restaurants and bars to choose from, you are bound to have a fabulous time. There is no better place to let off some steam and enjoy the company of your friends than in this lively spot. Continue Reading
The Great Karoo. Just after the turnoff to Amalienstein. You will find a gravel road that takes you into the Klein Swartberg and Seweweekspoort (seven weeks pass). This is undoubtedly one of the most unspoilt and naturally beautiful areas in the country with incredible scenery, rock formations that hold one spellbound, bright blue skies and mountain streams. If you’re a landscape photographer then this natural treasure, just off the R62, offers some incredible moments.
Seweweekspoort itself is a deep cleft in the rocks that is used as a pass by travellers and has been for years. Continue Reading
“Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours!” goes the opening jingle of a famous Australian soap-opera that inflicted Kylie Minogue and Jason Donavan on the world. And as far as neighbours go, you can’t really go wrong with one of the world’s most famous game parks. The Thornybush Game reserve may not be as famous as its world-renowned neighbour, the Kruger National Park (KNP), but it’s every bit as special.
It consists of 10 000 hectares of Africa’s unspoilt bushveld and is Home to the “big five”, as well as a large range of other wildlife species; the game viewing here is considered to be on par with the best in the world. On top of great game viewing, the reserve is also a bird watchers heaven, with more than 280 bird species having been spotted. Continue Reading
Say Sandton CBD and your immediate picture is one of the financial hub of South Africa. The midst of Sandton is overwhelmingly dominated by stock brokers, advocates, corporate consulting companies and the JSE – if the company has a high image portfolio, then they are based in Sandton. The council has invested millions of Rand in Sandton reinforcing the infrastructure and ensuring that Sandton remains the financial powerhouse that it is.
If Sandton’s CBD were not already a draw card for business, then the added advantage of the Gautrain is a real positive. This directly links the Sandton CBD with Oliver Tambo Airport, making it that much easier for local businessmen and international visitors to effortlessly travel from the airport into Sandton. Continue Reading
Spending time on train in Mossel Bay doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? I regularly take public transport and spending time being jostled by loud and overzealous commuters is possibly the exact antithesis of relaxation.
So when it was suggested that I check out the Santos Express Train Lodge for accommodations in Garden Route, my expectations weren’t high. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised.
Mossel Bay is beautiful. It’s one of those places that doesn’t get much advertising, so it has remained unspoilt and untouched. A quiet seaside village where you can just sit back and relax in the sunshine, Mossel Bay turned out to be a dream come true. It seems the sun is permanently shining, the water is crystal clear and the beaches stretch for miles, golden sand glistening in the heat. Emerald and lilac in the distance are the Outeniqua Mountains, imposing and rugged. Mossel Bay is the perfect place to be on a hot summer’s day, with no worries and no fuss. Continue Reading
To the west of Johannesburg, in a valley scattered with unremarkable koppies, shrubs and the odd tree – dry in winter and green in summer – lies the 47 000 hectare World Heritage Site known as the Cradle of Humankind.
About 40 different palaeo-anthropological sites, including Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, Coopers B and Wonder cave, have unearthed some of the world’s most important fossils.
Mrs Ples (make that Master Ples, as some believe), dates back some 2.5 million years, and Little Foot, completely excavated only in late 2005, is an almost complete ape-man skeleton that is 3.3 million years old. Continue Reading
While for most visitors to Cape Town the V&A Waterfront describes the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront shopping centre and its immediate surrounds – a one-stop shopping, food and entertainment attraction right on the water, set against the backdrop most often featured when depicting the mother city, the V&A Waterfront is in fact virtually a suburb in its own right, including office parks, hotels, luxury apartments and a residential marina.
The V&A Waterfront is a tourist hotspot, high on the must-visit list of visitors into the city, but it has its fair share of locals who live and work in the area or use the facilities en route to the Atlantic Seaboard from the city. The marina and lavish apartments that dot the waterways created along the Waterfront are the way Cape Town should be enjoyed. With Table Mountain as your backdrop, the sea and water immediately accessible, a buzzing nightlife outside your door and easy access to the city bowl, there are few places to stay that beat the appeal of the Waterfront. Continue Reading
Named after the original Governor, Sir Benjamin D’Urban, Durbanville is an ever-growing suburb on the outskirts of Cape Town that was once a small town in its own rights. It was established in the early 1800’s when it became an important watering station for travellers, thanks to its freshwater spring. The actual village began when a Dutch Reformed Church was built here in 1825 by local farmers. From there, the expansion has never ceased.
Today, Durbanville is a suburb that boasts beautiful homes and breath-taking vistas of the Western Cape mountains all around. Despite being known as one of South Africa’s fastest growing suburbs, Durbanville has retained much of the village charm for which it is so loved. In fact, many of its permanent residents were once visitors from countries all over the world, who left their home countries to settle in these pretty surrounds. Today, there is a population of well over 40 000 people.
Due to its prime location, Durbanville is less than 30 kilometres away from Cape Town, which means that all of the Cape’s tourist attractions, amenities and facilities of this exciting hub are a short drive away. In addition, during the busy tourist season and times of special international events, when stays in Cape Town is less easily available, Durbanville is a fabulous alternative. Continue Reading
Simon’s Town was named after Dutch explorer, Simon van der Stel, and has a fascinating history that remains one of its chief attractions. In fact, even if you do not come to Simon’s Town to enjoy the old-world architecture or the many museums, the historical charm just permeates every part of this naval seaside resort.
Since its discovery in the late 17th century, Simon’s Town has been known for its safe harbour. From that time, it has been visited by notable figures, including Napoleon Bonaparte and Lord Nelson.
It also played a major role in the World Wars. However, it was only in 1957 that the harbour was handed over to South Africa. Today, it is still known as this country’s naval epicentre. Flanked by the blue shimmer of the ocean and the jade-coloured mountains so typical of the Western Cape, Simon’s Town and its harbour truly are magnificent. Continue Reading
Randlords is one of Johannesburg’s hottest, most popular venues, and welcomes the who’s who and über cool to its chic venue. This party and event venue is all about class.
Situated in Braamfontein, Randlords is perched on the 22nd floor of the beautiful South Point Towers, showcasing 360-degree views that are nothing less than magnificent. These views stretch from the Orlando Towers in Soweto to the glitzy buzz of Sandton, and everything in-between. Enjoying cool cocktails and awesome music above the ever-bustling city of Johannesburg is something very special, and has to be experienced to be appreciated fully. Continue Reading
The tropical KwaZulu-Natal South Coast stretches for 120km of the Indian Ocean from Umkomaas to Port Edward. With year around good weather, great beaches, excellent golf courses and varied accommodation, the South Coast deserves its reputation as the premier domestic holiday destination for South Africans.
The South Coast offers easy access to the magnificent Southern Drakensberg – if you are hiking in the area choose a route that incorporates viewing Khoi San rock paintings. For the adventure sport lover, Oribi Gorge has a global reputation for black water tubing, white water rafting and a 110 metre abseil, which ranks among the worlds highest. Continue Reading