Culture

South Africa’s Autumn Colours: Pure Inspiration for Photographers!

As the weather conditions change around South Africa, so too do the opportunities for photography fanatics searching for shots with a difference. Be it the lighting, the quality of air or the temporary colours, opportunity abounds.

Take the Western Cape for instance. Areas like Stellenbosch and Worcester, with their abundance of oak trees, put on quite a show when the colours turn. But the spectacle isn’t unique to the Cape. The whole country is on display. Visit the Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg (Gauteng), for example, and you’ll be surrounded by a forest of golden trees.

Hougaard Malan's 'Winter is coming' is shot at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in Stellenbosh. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

Hougaard Malan’s ‘Winter is coming’ is shot at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in Stellenbosh. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

The altered landscape also makes for brilliant backdrops for wildlife shots as well as portraiture. In fact, some of the most perfect wedding photography is done in autumn.

Autumn in South Africa can be a wedding photographer's dream. Photo credit: Szerdi and Andy, Knot Just Pics via www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com

Autumn in South Africa can be a wedding photographer’s dream. Photo credit: Szerdi and Andy, Knot Just Pics via www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com

If you’d like a little inspiration, check out some of South Africa’s local talent: Colin Peterson Jones, Marius Coetzee or Hougaard Malan. After all, they spend time in situ and have figured out the perfect angles, compositions and conditions. You can read Capture Earth’s ‘10 Questions for South Africa’s Top 10 Landscape Photographers’ for more insights.

South Africa becomes even more of a visual feast in autumn. Photo credit: Melanie-Ann Ferriss via www.southafrica.net

South Africa becomes even more of a visual feast in autumn. Photo credit: Melanie-Ann Ferris via www.southafrica.net

If you’re not keen on having to search for prime locations yourself however, or you want to brush up on your camera skills or learn some new ones, think about booking in for a photographic tour. There are lots you can do across the country whether you’re into safari shoots, urban shoots or landscape shoots. Here are a few you might want to consider:

Hougaard Malan's 'Eastern Freestate Autumn' capturing the iconic Poplar tree in the Stormberg District, Eastern Cape Highlands. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

Hougaard Malan’s ‘Eastern Freestate Autumn’ capturing the iconic Poplar tree in the Stormberg District, Eastern Cape Highlands. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

Of course, many professional South African photographers run their own tours as well, like David Rogers.

Candelabra flowers flowering en masse after good autumn rains on the Knersvlakte in Namaqualand with Gifberg beyond, Northern Cape, South Africa. Photo credit: www.colinpatersonjones.com

Candelabra flowers flowering en masse after good autumn rains on the Knersvlakte in Namaqualand with Gifberg beyond, Northern Cape, South Africa. Photo credit: www.colinpatersonjones.co.za

So, whether you’re more like Canadian photographer Dani Lew or Australian photographer Simon Phelps who caught some of South Africa’s beauty solo, or you choose to join a local pro or tour company, pack up your gear and head to this magnificent visual playground. Like the ‘clunk’ of an old-school SLR shutter capturing a moment in time forever, it should be a split second decision.

For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

“The Search” by Nicholas Whittall depicts a young  male lion looking for the rest of its pride. Photo credit: www.nicholaswhittall.com

“The Search” by Nicholas Whittall depicts a young male lion looking for the rest of its pride. Photo credit: www.nicholaswhittall.com

South Africa’s Autumn Colours: Pure Inspiration for Photographers!

As the weather conditions change around South Africa, so too do the opportunities for photography fanatics searching for shots with a difference. Be it the lighting, the quality of air or the temporary colours, opportunity abounds.

Take the Western Cape for instance. Areas like Stellenbosch and Worcester, with their abundance of oak trees, put on quite a show when the colours turn. But the spectacle isn’t unique to the Cape. The whole country is on display. Visit the Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg (Gauteng), for example, and you’ll be surrounded by a forest of golden trees.

Hougaard Malan's 'Winter is coming' is shot at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in Stellenbosh. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

Hougaard Malan’s ‘Winter is coming’ is shot at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve in Stellenbosh. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

The altered landscape also makes for brilliant backdrops for wildlife shots as well as portraiture. In fact, some of the most perfect wedding photography is done in autumn.

Autumn in South Africa can be a wedding photographer's dream. Photo credit: Szerdi and Andy, Knot Just Pics via www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com

Autumn in South Africa can be a wedding photographer’s dream. Photo credit: Szerdi and Andy, Knot Just Pics via www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com

If you’d like a little inspiration, check out some of South Africa’s local talent: Colin Peterson Jones, Marius Coetzee or Hougaard Malan. After all, they spend time in situ and have figured out the perfect angles, compositions and conditions. You can read Capture Earth’s ‘10 Questions for South Africa’s Top 10 Landscape Photographers’ for more insights.

South Africa becomes even more of a visual feast in autumn. Photo credit: Melanie-Ann Ferriss via www.southafrica.net

South Africa becomes even more of a visual feast in autumn. Photo credit: Melanie-Ann Ferris via www.southafrica.net

If you’re not keen on having to search for prime locations yourself however, or you want to brush up on your camera skills or learn some new ones, think about booking in for a photographic tour. There are lots you can do across the country whether you’re into safari shoots, urban shoots or landscape shoots. Here are a few you might want to consider:

Hougaard Malan's 'Eastern Freestate Autumn' capturing the iconic Poplar tree in the Stormberg District, Eastern Cape Highlands. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

Hougaard Malan’s ‘Eastern Freestate Autumn’ capturing the iconic Poplar tree in the Stormberg District, Eastern Cape Highlands. Photo credit: www.hougaardmalan.com

Of course, many professional South African photographers run their own tours as well, like David Rogers.

Candelabra flowers flowering en masse after good autumn rains on the Knersvlakte in Namaqualand with Gifberg beyond, Northern Cape, South Africa. Photo credit: www.colinpatersonjones.com

Candelabra flowers flowering en masse after good autumn rains on the Knersvlakte in Namaqualand with Gifberg beyond, Northern Cape, South Africa. Photo credit: www.colinpatersonjones.co.za

So, whether you’re more like Canadian photographer Dani Lew or Australian photographer Simon Phelps who caught some of South Africa’s beauty solo, or you choose to join a local pro or tour company, pack up your gear and head to this magnificent visual playground. Like the ‘clunk’ of an old-school SLR shutter capturing a moment in time forever, it should be a split second decision.

For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

“The Search” by Nicholas Whittall depicts a young  male lion looking for the rest of its pride. Photo credit: www.nicholaswhittall.com

“The Search” by Nicholas Whittall depicts a young male lion looking for the rest of its pride. Photo credit: www.nicholaswhittall.com

South Africa’s most romantic hidden gems

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, scouring the globe for that patch of perfection is top of mind for a lot of people. Now, we all know South Africa has unforgettable sunsets, breathtaking views, magnificent beaches and out-of-this-world cuisine making it the ultimate romantic destination, but did you know about these lesser known winners?

Text: Desiree Haakonsen

1. Paternoster, West Coast

This quiet, laid-back fishing village on the West Coast is filled with Mediterranean charm, and is both romantic and serene. With its traditional, whitewashed cottages and gorgeous beaches, Paternoster makes for a perfect place to leave your footprints behind in the sand. More information…

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious 'chill' appeal.

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious ‘chill’ appeal.

Credit: www.whatsonincapetown.com

2. Hartbeespoort, Magaliesberg

Are you in Gauteng and wanting something laid back but close by? We’d recommend the Hartbeespoort and its country markets, cafes and restaurants, water sports, mountain trails, golf, wildlife encounters, canopy tours, hot-air balloon rides and the aerial cable way. It’s definitely a getaway with options: choose to keep yourselves busy or simply enjoy doing very little. More information…

It's difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

It’s difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

Credit: www.functionvenues.co.za

3. Clarens, Eastern Free State Highlands

Clarens is a fairy-tale town waiting to be discovered. It’s known as the ‘Jewel of the Free State’ because of its wildlife, golden mountains, winding rivers and flower-strewn gardens. It’s also an artistic haven with lots of quirky spots to visit. More information…

One of Clarens' enexpected treasures.

One of Clarens’ unexpected treasures.

Credit: www.theclarens.co.za

4. Parys, Northern Free State

As chilled as Clarens is, if your partner’s style is more leaping out of planes, consider Parys! Mind you, although it’s big on adventure, it’s still a small town and you can definitely make equally happy memories there if you are after something more relaxed like chilling on the riverbanks! More information…

Stroll along the Vall River in Parys.

Stroll along the Vaal River in Parys.

Credit: www.getaway.co.za

5. Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

Dullstroom is definitely not dull! It might appeal more to nature lovers than those looking for ritzy holidays though as it’s a slice of paradise with little more to do than relish the mountain and wild-flower vistas. You might have heard about it being a popular trout fishing destination, but given trout fishing is a winter activity, you’re pretty safe that your partner won’t have divided loyalties. More information…

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

Credit: www.tripadvisor.co.za

6. Knysna, Garden Route

Whether you prefer opulence or rustic stays, Knysna is a great option! Take your time getting there by meandering along the stunning Garden Route, and be rewarded with a peaceful lagoon, beautiful beaches, thick mountain forests, good weather and a tangible sense of ‘holiday’. More information…

Knysna lagoon.

Knysna lagoon.

Credit: www.africanbreezeguesthouse.co.za

7. Bela-Bela, Waterberg

Do we need to say more than ‘hot springs’ when it comes to the Limpopo’s Bela-Bela (previously known as Warmbaths)? The perfect spot to soak away any stress from the work week or a long-haul flight. More information…

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Credit: www.roomsforafrica.com

8. Hermanus, Overberg

Hermanus is a wonderful option for the romantic at heart and those who enjoy a little indulgence. If spending a day pottering the Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Route, enjoying a seaside candlelit dinner and then taking a gentle stroll on the beach is your idea of heaven, Hermanus will be your home away from home. More information…

If you can't get in to Hermanus this weekend, definitely make a note to visit during whale season!

If Hermanus isn’t on the cards this weekend, definitely make a note to visit during whale season!

Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

9. Langebaan, West Coast

Langebaan is a hot favourite. It’s a place to unwind from the whirlwind of everyday busy-ness. The calm lagoon, soothing bird calls and untouched flora of the West Coast National Park make it an idyllic nature haven. But it’s not a completely sleepy town so don’t rest on your laurels. Places like Strandlopers beach restaurant get really busy so make sure you get in early! More information…

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Credit: www.high-five.co.za

10. Margate, Hibiscus Coast

Thinking subtropical, Hawaii-wannabe beach vibes where you only wear a cozzie and flip-flops for your special out-of-town break? Margate will be spot on. And if its palm-speckled beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters become too much for you to bear, there are lots of great shops, art galleries, craft markets, pubs and quaint restaurants to visit. More information…

Margate Beach.

Margate Beach.

Credit: www.booktravel.travel

And if your main squeeze happens to be a foodie, there are so many delicious delights to discover that will make him or her weak at the knees. What about a lazy lunch or dinner at Moyo in Durban? Or The Test Kitchen in Cape Town?

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

Credit: www.planyourholiday.co.za

Whatever your pleasure, head to South Africa and get romantic! For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African getaway, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

South Africa’s most romantic hidden gems

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, scouring the globe for that patch of perfection is top of mind for a lot of people. Now, we all know South Africa has unforgettable sunsets, breathtaking views, magnificent beaches and out-of-this-world cuisine making it the ultimate romantic destination, but did you know about these lesser known winners?

Text: Desiree Haakonsen

1. Paternoster, West Coast

This quiet, laid-back fishing village on the West Coast is filled with Mediterranean charm, and is both romantic and serene. With its traditional, whitewashed cottages and gorgeous beaches, Paternoster makes for a perfect place to leave your footprints behind in the sand. More information…

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious 'chill' appeal.

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious ‘chill’ appeal.

Credit: www.whatsonincapetown.com

2. Hartbeespoort, Magaliesberg

Are you in Gauteng and wanting something laid back but close by? We’d recommend the Hartbeespoort and its country markets, cafes and restaurants, water sports, mountain trails, golf, wildlife encounters, canopy tours, hot-air balloon rides and the aerial cable way. It’s definitely a getaway with options: choose to keep yourselves busy or simply enjoy doing very little. More information…

It's difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

It’s difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

Credit: www.functionvenues.co.za

3. Clarens, Eastern Free State Highlands

Clarens is a fairy-tale town waiting to be discovered. It’s known as the ‘Jewel of the Free State’ because of its wildlife, golden mountains, winding rivers and flower-strewn gardens. It’s also an artistic haven with lots of quirky spots to visit. More information…

One of Clarens' enexpected treasures.

One of Clarens’ unexpected treasures.

Credit: www.theclarens.co.za

4. Parys, Northern Free State

As chilled as Clarens is, if your partner’s style is more leaping out of planes, consider Parys! Mind you, although it’s big on adventure, it’s still a small town and you can definitely make equally happy memories there if you are after something more relaxed like chilling on the riverbanks! More information…

Stroll along the Vall River in Parys.

Stroll along the Vaal River in Parys.

Credit: www.getaway.co.za

5. Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

Dullstroom is definitely not dull! It might appeal more to nature lovers than those looking for ritzy holidays though as it’s a slice of paradise with little more to do than relish the mountain and wild-flower vistas. You might have heard about it being a popular trout fishing destination, but given trout fishing is a winter activity, you’re pretty safe that your partner won’t have divided loyalties. More information…

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

Credit: www.tripadvisor.co.za

6. Knysna, Garden Route

Whether you prefer opulence or rustic stays, Knysna is a great option! Take your time getting there by meandering along the stunning Garden Route, and be rewarded with a peaceful lagoon, beautiful beaches, thick mountain forests, good weather and a tangible sense of ‘holiday’. More information…

Knysna lagoon.

Knysna lagoon.

Credit: www.africanbreezeguesthouse.co.za

7. Bela-Bela, Waterberg

Do we need to say more than ‘hot springs’ when it comes to the Limpopo’s Bela-Bela (previously known as Warmbaths)? The perfect spot to soak away any stress from the work week or a long-haul flight. More information…

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Credit: www.roomsforafrica.com

8. Hermanus, Overberg

Hermanus is a wonderful option for the romantic at heart and those who enjoy a little indulgence. If spending a day pottering the Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Route, enjoying a seaside candlelit dinner and then taking a gentle stroll on the beach is your idea of heaven, Hermanus will be your home away from home. More information…

If you can't get in to Hermanus this weekend, definitely make a note to visit during whale season!

If Hermanus isn’t on the cards this weekend, definitely make a note to visit during whale season!

Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

9. Langebaan, West Coast

Langebaan is a hot favourite. It’s a place to unwind from the whirlwind of everyday busy-ness. The calm lagoon, soothing bird calls and untouched flora of the West Coast National Park make it an idyllic nature haven. But it’s not a completely sleepy town so don’t rest on your laurels. Places like Strandlopers beach restaurant get really busy so make sure you get in early! More information…

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Credit: www.high-five.co.za

10. Margate, Hibiscus Coast

Thinking subtropical, Hawaii-wannabe beach vibes where you only wear a cozzie and flip-flops for your special out-of-town break? Margate will be spot on. And if its palm-speckled beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters become too much for you to bear, there are lots of great shops, art galleries, craft markets, pubs and quaint restaurants to visit. More information…

Margate Beach.

Margate Beach.

Credit: www.booktravel.travel

And if your main squeeze happens to be a foodie, there are so many delicious delights to discover that will make him or her weak at the knees. What about a lazy lunch or dinner at Moyo in Durban? Or The Test Kitchen in Cape Town?

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

Credit: www.planyourholiday.co.za

Whatever your pleasure, head to South Africa and get romantic! For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African getaway, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

Celebrating NYE and NYD in South Africa

New Year’s is an event celebrated around the world. South Africans celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day similar to Australians. Both countries celebrate the last day of the year with parties and fireworks and New Year’s Day is generally spent outdoors.

If you’re spending New Year’s Eve in Cape Town you can ring in the New Year on top of Table Mountain. Pack a picnic and grab some friends and you can party until 12:30 a.m. This vantage point gives an unobstructed view of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront fireworks. The party continues on January 1, with thousands heading to local beaches.

5581_gallery
Image source: A luxury travel blog- Table Mountain Sunset

VAWaterfront-capeletting
Image source: A luxury travel blog – V&A Waterfront

There are many popular nightclubs and areas to watch fireworks in Durban, Johannesburg and Victoria Falls to bring in the New Year.

South Africans love a good ‘jol’ and New Year’s Day is a public holiday in South Africa, making it the perfect opportunity to celebrate the beginning of 2015 and recover from the festivities the night before.

New Year’s Day occurs during the balmy African summer and is often enjoyed outdoors. The many beaches of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape are buzzing with locals and international visitors who want to start the year off with a dip in the ocean and relaxing with friends and family on the sand. This can lead to delays in finding a parking spot or getting a bite to eat along the coast.

2417710541_16e5f8eda0_o (1)Image source: Hobie Beach – Port Elizabeth

Many South Africans spend New Year’s Day having a braai (barbecuing) with friends and families in the gardens, parks and beaches of the country (where permitted). The warm, sunny summers of the country make it a perfect way to celebrate the first day of the New Year.

Braaing-on-the-plains
Image source: Yuppie Chef

Whatever you end up doing on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, South Africa Tourism Australia and New Zealand wish you a happy holiday season.

Celebrating NYE and NYD in South Africa

New Year’s is an event celebrated around the world. South Africans celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day similar to Australians. Both countries celebrate the last day of the year with parties and fireworks and New Year’s Day is generally spent outdoors.

If you’re spending New Year’s Eve in Cape Town you can ring in the New Year on top of Table Mountain. Pack a picnic and grab some friends and you can party until 12:30 a.m. This vantage point gives an unobstructed view of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront fireworks. The party continues on January 1, with thousands heading to local beaches.

5581_gallery
Image source: A luxury travel blog- Table Mountain Sunset

VAWaterfront-capeletting
Image source: A luxury travel blog – V&A Waterfront

There are many popular nightclubs and areas to watch fireworks in Durban, Johannesburg and Victoria Falls to bring in the New Year.

South Africans love a good ‘jol’ and New Year’s Day is a public holiday in South Africa, making it the perfect opportunity to celebrate the beginning of 2015 and recover from the festivities the night before.

New Year’s Day occurs during the balmy African summer and is often enjoyed outdoors. The many beaches of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape are buzzing with locals and international visitors who want to start the year off with a dip in the ocean and relaxing with friends and family on the sand. This can lead to delays in finding a parking spot or getting a bite to eat along the coast.

2417710541_16e5f8eda0_o (1)Image source: Hobie Beach – Port Elizabeth

Many South Africans spend New Year’s Day having a braai (barbecuing) with friends and families in the gardens, parks and beaches of the country (where permitted). The warm, sunny summers of the country make it a perfect way to celebrate the first day of the New Year.

Braaing-on-the-plains
Image source: Yuppie Chef

Whatever you end up doing on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, South Africa Tourism Australia and New Zealand wish you a happy holiday season.

A very South African Holiday Season

During the December holiday South Africans, similar to Australians, are lucky enough to celebrate with friends and families in the sun, admiring the beautiful landscape of their country and enjoying the great outdoors.

A big part of enjoying the silly season is food and drink. South Africans enjoy a braai during the warmer months, known to Australians as a Barbecue. Braais are social events which are casual and laid-back events similar to barbeques in Australia. Traditional meats cooked on the braai include boerewors, sosaties, kebabs, marinated chicken, pork and lamb chops, steaks, sausages of different flavours and thickness, and possibly even racks of spareribs.

Lambkebabs
Image source: SBS

braai_1 (1)
Image source: Falling for white roses

sosatie-lamb-skewers_0Image source: SBS

December 26, known to Australians as Boxing Day is known to South Africans as The Day of Goodwill and is also a public holiday. In 1994 the South African Government renamed this holiday from Boxing Day to The Day of Goodwill, cutting ties from a colonial past. Similarly, South Africans and Australians like to be out and about during this time…or enjoying the sales!

 

With almost 3,000km of coastline, South Africa has many beautiful beaches, from long, sandy stretches ideal for a sunset stroll to cosy coves where you can spend the day basking in the sun. Popular beaches locals choose to relax at during the summer season include Camps Bay and Clifton Beach in Cape Town, Santos Beach and South Beach in Durban.

9522997973_4efeef74c0_z
Image source: Camps Bay – Travel Start

Camera360_2014_4_13_065505_jpg (1)565Image source: Clifton Beach – Travel Start

Horse riding in Cape Town’s Noordhoek Beach is a must-do for free-spirited travellers who love the idea of sprinting across a wide beach without a care in the world. Whether you’re an avid equestrian or just a beginner in search of an easy entry into the sport, this is the place to become one with nature. A truly memorable experience.

slide_beachfront
Image source: Imhoff Equestrian Centre

slide3
Image source: Imhoff Equestrian Centre

We hope this week’s blog has inspired you to make the most out of the holiday season!

Happy holidays and seasons greeting from the South African Tourism Australia and New Zealand team!

A very South African Holiday Season

During the December holiday South Africans, similar to Australians, are lucky enough to celebrate with friends and families in the sun, admiring the beautiful landscape of their country and enjoying the great outdoors.

A big part of enjoying the silly season is food and drink. South Africans enjoy a braai during the warmer months, known to Australians as a Barbecue. Braais are social events which are casual and laid-back events similar to barbeques in Australia. Traditional meats cooked on the braai include boerewors, sosaties, kebabs, marinated chicken, pork and lamb chops, steaks, sausages of different flavours and thickness, and possibly even racks of spareribs.

Lambkebabs
Image source: SBS

braai_1 (1)
Image source: Falling for white roses

sosatie-lamb-skewers_0Image source: SBS

December 26, known to Australians as Boxing Day is known to South Africans as The Day of Goodwill and is also a public holiday. In 1994 the South African Government renamed this holiday from Boxing Day to The Day of Goodwill, cutting ties from a colonial past. Similarly, South Africans and Australians like to be out and about during this time…or enjoying the sales!

 

With almost 3,000km of coastline, South Africa has many beautiful beaches, from long, sandy stretches ideal for a sunset stroll to cosy coves where you can spend the day basking in the sun. Popular beaches locals choose to relax at during the summer season include Camps Bay and Clifton Beach in Cape Town, Santos Beach and South Beach in Durban.

9522997973_4efeef74c0_z
Image source: Camps Bay – Travel Start

Camera360_2014_4_13_065505_jpg (1)565Image source: Clifton Beach – Travel Start

Horse riding in Cape Town’s Noordhoek Beach is a must-do for free-spirited travellers who love the idea of sprinting across a wide beach without a care in the world. Whether you’re an avid equestrian or just a beginner in search of an easy entry into the sport, this is the place to become one with nature. A truly memorable experience.

slide_beachfront
Image source: Imhoff Equestrian Centre

slide3
Image source: Imhoff Equestrian Centre

We hope this week’s blog has inspired you to make the most out of the holiday season!

Happy holidays and seasons greeting from the South African Tourism Australia and New Zealand team!

South Africa’s best markets to snag a bargain!

Markets in South Africa are a visual and sensory feast. There are handmade crafts and art, home-baked food, unique gift ideas and lots more suited for all budgets. It’s a great way to take a little bit of South Africa back home with you whilst supporting the local community!

The Greenmarket Square Market in the heart of Cape Town’s business district is one of South Africa’s most vibrant markets. Vendors from all over Africa come to show off their hand-painted fabric, clothing. footwear and African crafts.

A trip to Greenmarket Square is a feast for the senses with a number of local performers entertaining shoppers making for a great day out.

Surrounding the marketplace are a wonderful selection of coffee shops and restaurants whose pavement tables are a great place to soak up the atmosphere!

The Greenmarket Square market is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 4pm but the best time to visit is on Saturday morning when the vibe is unbeatable!

Greenmarket Square

The Bay Harbour Markets are located just outside of Cape Town in Hout Bay, a historic and functioning fishing village. Hout Bay has long been a popular tourist attraction among both local and international visitors because of its great surfing (Hout Bay is recognised as one of sixteen ‘big wave spots’ around the globe), local colour and beautiful scenery.

The markets are in a functioning fish factory and take place every Friday evening and on weekends.

Their mission is to celebrate the vibrancy, spirit and diversity of creativity and culture that make South Africa such a unique country, whilst developing the creative and business skills of the vendors to build an uplifted community.

Shoppers can focus on the art, craft and fashion stalls or can sample the fresh local produce and pre-made meals all whilst listening to amazing local musicians live on stage each evening.

There are also more informal local markets near the beach in Hout Bay where you will find fantastic handmade South African arts and crafts. At these informal markets, you can often bargain with the seller about the price of the items you are buying.

Hout Bay vendor

Sellers with their crafts in Hout Bay. Image courtesy of Khaled AL-Ajmi, aka Khaled100

Food lovers in Johannesburg are spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious local and organic food markets. The Jozi Food Market  offers a smorgasbord of quality products, handmade with care in the local community.  The markets are open every Saturday morning in the lovely suburb of Parkhurst

Expect to find everything from raw honey and flavourful, homemade sausages, decadent sweet treats and heavenly fresh-from-the-oven breads.

Jozi Food Market

Photo courtesy of fiverlocker

The Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg is another option to excite your taste-buds. Housed in a modernist building that has a spectacular 15-storey wall mural by the famed artist Eduardo Villa, the market has a great vibe and offers tasty food, including paella, bunny chow (hollowed-out half-loaves of bread filled with curry), Balkan burgers, oysters, gelato and massive pancakes . This market takes place every Saturday from 9am in a parking garage; it closes at 3pm and can get quite full on warm days. There is also a rooftop seating area and vintage clothing stores.

For a taste of what you will find at the Neighbourgoods Market check out this amazing video…

For something a little different, visitors to Durban should check out the Victoria Street Market which celebrates Durban’s long history with India (Durban has the highest population of Indians outside of Asia).  Built to resemble a Maharajah’s palace, the Victoria Street Market is essential for those who want to experience Durban’s relaxed Afro-Indian atmosphere and pick up some great bargains.

A great way to experience the Victoria Street Market and the nearby Zulu Muti (traditional African medicine) Market is to take a guided walking tour which explores Durban’s Indian community and ends up at the Victoria Street Market.  Here you will find dealers of traditional kurtas and saris as well as ornately embroidered fabrics, and barrels of aromatic spices.

Victoria Street Market

The popular Victoria Street Market
© Image courtesy Niall McNulty

No matter which market you choose, the beauty of South Africa has long been a source of inspiration to the country’s artists and craftsmen and women, who are well known for the beautiful work they produce in both the cities and the rural areas, working with diverse and creative materials to produce both traditional and contemporary artworks.

South Africa’s best markets to snag a bargain!

Markets in South Africa are a visual and sensory feast. There are handmade crafts and art, home-baked food, unique gift ideas and lots more suited for all budgets. It’s a great way to take a little bit of South Africa back home with you whilst supporting the local community!

The Greenmarket Square Market in the heart of Cape Town’s business district is one of South Africa’s most vibrant markets. Vendors from all over Africa come to show off their hand-painted fabric, clothing. footwear and African crafts.

A trip to Greenmarket Square is a feast for the senses with a number of local performers entertaining shoppers making for a great day out.

Surrounding the marketplace are a wonderful selection of coffee shops and restaurants whose pavement tables are a great place to soak up the atmosphere!

The Greenmarket Square market is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 4pm but the best time to visit is on Saturday morning when the vibe is unbeatable!

Greenmarket Square

The Bay Harbour Markets are located just outside of Cape Town in Hout Bay, a historic and functioning fishing village. Hout Bay has long been a popular tourist attraction among both local and international visitors because of its great surfing (Hout Bay is recognised as one of sixteen ‘big wave spots’ around the globe), local colour and beautiful scenery.

The markets are in a functioning fish factory and take place every Friday evening and on weekends.

Their mission is to celebrate the vibrancy, spirit and diversity of creativity and culture that make South Africa such a unique country, whilst developing the creative and business skills of the vendors to build an uplifted community.

Shoppers can focus on the art, craft and fashion stalls or can sample the fresh local produce and pre-made meals all whilst listening to amazing local musicians live on stage each evening.

There are also more informal local markets near the beach in Hout Bay where you will find fantastic handmade South African arts and crafts. At these informal markets, you can often bargain with the seller about the price of the items you are buying.

Hout Bay vendor

Sellers with their crafts in Hout Bay. Image courtesy of Khaled AL-Ajmi, aka Khaled100

Food lovers in Johannesburg are spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious local and organic food markets. The Jozi Food Market  offers a smorgasbord of quality products, handmade with care in the local community.  The markets are open every Saturday morning in the lovely suburb of Parkhurst

Expect to find everything from raw honey and flavourful, homemade sausages, decadent sweet treats and heavenly fresh-from-the-oven breads.

Jozi Food Market

Photo courtesy of fiverlocker

The Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg is another option to excite your taste-buds. Housed in a modernist building that has a spectacular 15-storey wall mural by the famed artist Eduardo Villa, the market has a great vibe and offers tasty food, including paella, bunny chow (hollowed-out half-loaves of bread filled with curry), Balkan burgers, oysters, gelato and massive pancakes . This market takes place every Saturday from 9am in a parking garage; it closes at 3pm and can get quite full on warm days. There is also a rooftop seating area and vintage clothing stores.

For a taste of what you will find at the Neighbourgoods Market check out this amazing video…

For something a little different, visitors to Durban should check out the Victoria Street Market which celebrates Durban’s long history with India (Durban has the highest population of Indians outside of Asia).  Built to resemble a Maharajah’s palace, the Victoria Street Market is essential for those who want to experience Durban’s relaxed Afro-Indian atmosphere and pick up some great bargains.

A great way to experience the Victoria Street Market and the nearby Zulu Muti (traditional African medicine) Market is to take a guided walking tour which explores Durban’s Indian community and ends up at the Victoria Street Market.  Here you will find dealers of traditional kurtas and saris as well as ornately embroidered fabrics, and barrels of aromatic spices.

Victoria Street Market

The popular Victoria Street Market
© Image courtesy Niall McNulty

No matter which market you choose, the beauty of South Africa has long been a source of inspiration to the country’s artists and craftsmen and women, who are well known for the beautiful work they produce in both the cities and the rural areas, working with diverse and creative materials to produce both traditional and contemporary artworks.

10 places where you can find the world in South Africa

Desiree Haakonsen of Travelground gathered this amazing selection of lookalike spots in South Africa that compare well with international destinations.

You’ve heard it before: South Africa is diverse. We didn’t realise quite how true this statement was until we embarked on a snapshot journey to find how many places in South Africa resembled destinations around the world. You’d be surprised!

1. Miami/Durban
The art deco buildings, palm trees, long sunny days, and warm tropical waters of Miami can be found on the Durban city coastline.

Miami. Image Bigstock

Miami. Image Bigstock

Durban. Image Bigstock

Durban. Image Bigstock

2. Piva Canyon/Blyde River Canyon
The famous Piva Canyon in Montenegro National Park could be the European sister of ourBlyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga.

Piva Canyon. Image Bigstock

Piva Canyon. Image Bigstock

Blyde River Canyon. Image Bigstock

Blyde River Canyon. Image Bigstock

3. Sub-Sahara/Karoo
We might not have the vast desert dunes of the Sahara, but the Karoo bears a striking resemblance to the scrubby terrain of the sub-Sahara.

Saharan landscape. Image Bigstock

Saharan landscape. Image Bigstock

Karoo landscape. Image Bigstock

Karoo landscape. Image Bigstock

4. Great Barrier Reef/Sodwana Bay
Why fork out your life savings to scuba in the Great Barrier Reef when Sodwana Bay is one of the top diving destinations in the world?

Great Barrier Reef. Image Bigstock

Great Barrier Reef. Image Bigstock

Sodwana Bay. Image Bigstock

Sodwana Bay. Image Bigstock

5. French Winelands/Cape Winelands
We may not be able to call it Champagne, but our Methode Cap Classiques are just as good!

French winelands. Image Bigstock

French winelands. Image Bigstock

Cape Winelands. Image Vergelegen Estate

Cape Winelands. Image Vergelegen Estate

6. Blue Mountains/Mpumalanga
Sometime less is more. Pinnacle Rock in Mpumalanga is just as inspiring as the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

Blue Mountains. Image Bigstock

Blue Mountains. Image Bigstock

Pinnacle Rock. Image Bigstock

Pinnacle Rock. Image Bigstock

7. Lake Nakuru/Kimberley
Lake Nakuru in Kenya is home to thousands of pink flamingos, but you’ll find a similar spectacle at Kamfers Dam in Kimberley.

Lake Nakaru. Image Bigstock

Lake Nakaru. Image Bigstock

Kamfer Dam. Image courtesy of Winston Mcleod

Kamfer Dam. Image courtesy of Winston Mcleod

8. Assateague Island/Bot River Lagoon
Assateague Island, off the coast of Maryland, United States, is home to more than 100 wild ponies. You can also find approximately 25 wild horses living freely in the dunes of the Bot River Lagoon in the Overberg.

Assateague Island. Image Bigstock

Assateague Island. Image Bigstock

Kleinmond. Image Travelground

Kleinmond. Image Travelground

9. Angel Falls/Tugela Falls
Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979m, while the Tugela Falls in the Drakensberg is the world’s second highest waterfall with a total drop of 948m in five free-leaping falls.

Angel Falls. Bigstock

Angel Falls. Bigstock

Tugela Falls. Bigstock

Tugela Falls. Bigstock

10 New Zealand/Wilderness
The forests, mountains and waterways that make New Zealand such an attractive destination can also be found in the little Garden Route town of Wilderness.

Forest trail, New Zealand. Image Bigstock

Forest trail, New Zealand. Image Bigstock

Wilderness. Image Travelground

Wilderness. Image Travelground

10 places where you can find the world in South Africa

Desiree Haakonsen of Travelground gathered this amazing selection of lookalike spots in South Africa that compare well with international destinations.

You’ve heard it before: South Africa is diverse. We didn’t realise quite how true this statement was until we embarked on a snapshot journey to find how many places in South Africa resembled destinations around the world. You’d be surprised!

1. Miami/Durban
The art deco buildings, palm trees, long sunny days, and warm tropical waters of Miami can be found on the Durban city coastline.

Miami. Image Bigstock

Miami. Image Bigstock

Durban. Image Bigstock

Durban. Image Bigstock

2. Piva Canyon/Blyde River Canyon
The famous Piva Canyon in Montenegro National Park could be the European sister of ourBlyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga.

Piva Canyon. Image Bigstock

Piva Canyon. Image Bigstock

Blyde River Canyon. Image Bigstock

Blyde River Canyon. Image Bigstock

3. Sub-Sahara/Karoo
We might not have the vast desert dunes of the Sahara, but the Karoo bears a striking resemblance to the scrubby terrain of the sub-Sahara.

Saharan landscape. Image Bigstock

Saharan landscape. Image Bigstock

Karoo landscape. Image Bigstock

Karoo landscape. Image Bigstock

4. Great Barrier Reef/Sodwana Bay
Why fork out your life savings to scuba in the Great Barrier Reef when Sodwana Bay is one of the top diving destinations in the world?

Great Barrier Reef. Image Bigstock

Great Barrier Reef. Image Bigstock

Sodwana Bay. Image Bigstock

Sodwana Bay. Image Bigstock

5. French Winelands/Cape Winelands
We may not be able to call it Champagne, but our Methode Cap Classiques are just as good!

French winelands. Image Bigstock

French winelands. Image Bigstock

Cape Winelands. Image Vergelegen Estate

Cape Winelands. Image Vergelegen Estate

6. Blue Mountains/Mpumalanga
Sometime less is more. Pinnacle Rock in Mpumalanga is just as inspiring as the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

Blue Mountains. Image Bigstock

Blue Mountains. Image Bigstock

Pinnacle Rock. Image Bigstock

Pinnacle Rock. Image Bigstock

7. Lake Nakuru/Kimberley
Lake Nakuru in Kenya is home to thousands of pink flamingos, but you’ll find a similar spectacle at Kamfers Dam in Kimberley.

Lake Nakaru. Image Bigstock

Lake Nakaru. Image Bigstock

Kamfer Dam. Image courtesy of Winston Mcleod

Kamfer Dam. Image courtesy of Winston Mcleod

8. Assateague Island/Bot River Lagoon
Assateague Island, off the coast of Maryland, United States, is home to more than 100 wild ponies. You can also find approximately 25 wild horses living freely in the dunes of the Bot River Lagoon in the Overberg.

Assateague Island. Image Bigstock

Assateague Island. Image Bigstock

Kleinmond. Image Travelground

Kleinmond. Image Travelground

9. Angel Falls/Tugela Falls
Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979m, while the Tugela Falls in the Drakensberg is the world’s second highest waterfall with a total drop of 948m in five free-leaping falls.

Angel Falls. Bigstock

Angel Falls. Bigstock

Tugela Falls. Bigstock

Tugela Falls. Bigstock

10 New Zealand/Wilderness
The forests, mountains and waterways that make New Zealand such an attractive destination can also be found in the little Garden Route town of Wilderness.

Forest trail, New Zealand. Image Bigstock

Forest trail, New Zealand. Image Bigstock

Wilderness. Image Travelground

Wilderness. Image Travelground

Getaway in South Africa

Catriona from Getaway recently joined Scenic Tours on an 18 day luxury all-inclusive South Africa and Garden Route tour which formed a three-part special on Southern African adventures.

Check out the start of their journey here:

Getaway to Africa with Catriona Rowntree & Scenic Tours Episode 1 of 3 from Scenic Tours on Vimeo.

The trip began in Sabi Sands, a group of game reserves next to the Kruger National Park where they set off to meet the Big 5.

Touring in a private reserve had benefits for the Getaway team. Private reserves have fewer people so it gave them the opportunity to get closer to the animals.  In addition, they were able to drive off-road for special sightings.

CatrionaSabiSandsCatriona stayed at the luxurious Lion Sands River Lodge  which is located on the banks of the Sabie River, one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa and home to Africa’s highest density of leopards.

The next destination involved some myth busting. Once notorious, Johannesburg is transforming into a tourist hot spot.

The team visited the Maboneng district – a neighbourhood on the east side of Johannesburg’s CBD which has been transformed into a bustling entertainment hub with vibrant restaurants and coffee shops alongside galleries, theatres, shopping and walking tours.

Whilst in Johannesburg the Getaway team visited Soweto and chatted to locals to discover the new South Africa after 20 years of democracy.

There is a huge amount of pride from Soweto residents for their hometown which includes two noble laureates – Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – from the same street!

Not only that, but in Soweto people claim they have the best barbecues, known as braai, ‘this side of the Indian Ocean’.  At Chaf Pozi  under the iconic Soweto chimney stacks, customers choose their meat from the counter, which is then cooked to perfection for them!  ChafPozi

The Details
The Getaway team did an 18 day luxury journey of South Africa and the Garden Route from Cape Town to Johannesburg with Scenic Tours.

To celebrate Getaway’s visit, Scenic tours are offering  up to $200 off selected Africa tours. Offer valid until December 31, 2014.  Click here for more information,

To book, request a free brochure or to attend a free information session, visit www.scenictours.com.au or call 1300 723 642.

Getaway in South Africa

Catriona from Getaway recently joined Scenic Tours on an 18 day luxury all-inclusive South Africa and Garden Route tour which formed a three-part special on Southern African adventures.

Check out the start of their journey here:

Getaway to Africa with Catriona Rowntree & Scenic Tours Episode 1 of 3 from Scenic Tours on Vimeo.

The trip began in Sabi Sands, a group of game reserves next to the Kruger National Park where they set off to meet the Big 5.

Touring in a private reserve had benefits for the Getaway team. Private reserves have fewer people so it gave them the opportunity to get closer to the animals.  In addition, they were able to drive off-road for special sightings.

CatrionaSabiSandsCatriona stayed at the luxurious Lion Sands River Lodge  which is located on the banks of the Sabie River, one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa and home to Africa’s highest density of leopards.

The next destination involved some myth busting. Once notorious, Johannesburg is transforming into a tourist hot spot.

The team visited the Maboneng district – a neighbourhood on the east side of Johannesburg’s CBD which has been transformed into a bustling entertainment hub with vibrant restaurants and coffee shops alongside galleries, theatres, shopping and walking tours.

Whilst in Johannesburg the Getaway team visited Soweto and chatted to locals to discover the new South Africa after 20 years of democracy.

There is a huge amount of pride from Soweto residents for their hometown which includes two noble laureates – Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – from the same street!

Not only that, but in Soweto people claim they have the best barbecues, known as braai, ‘this side of the Indian Ocean’.  At Chaf Pozi  under the iconic Soweto chimney stacks, customers choose their meat from the counter, which is then cooked to perfection for them!  ChafPozi

The Details
The Getaway team did an 18 day luxury journey of South Africa and the Garden Route from Cape Town to Johannesburg with Scenic Tours.

To celebrate Getaway’s visit, Scenic tours are offering  up to $200 off selected Africa tours. Offer valid until December 31, 2014.  Click here for more information,

To book, request a free brochure or to attend a free information session, visit www.scenictours.com.au or call 1300 723 642.

Reconsider South Africa:  The Video

 

videoFrameThe latest ad from South African Tourism highlights what makes a trip to South Africa so compelling by highlighting the authenticity and friendliness of the South African people.

Join traveller James O’Driscoll as he experiences the warmth and hospitality of his South African hosts and builds genuine connections with the people, places and experiences that make up a truly unforgettable holiday.

Reconsider South Africa: The Video

 

videoFrameThe latest ad from South African Tourism highlights what makes a trip to South Africa so compelling by highlighting the authenticity and friendliness of the South African people.

Join traveller James O’Driscoll as he experiences the warmth and hospitality of his South African hosts and builds genuine connections with the people, places and experiences that make up a truly unforgettable holiday.

Winter Warming Food – South African Style

With the colder weather, our thoughts tend towards indoor activities – family and friends in front of a roaring fire enjoying some decadent comfort food.

In South Africa there is a wealth of hearty traditional recipes that fit this bill and no trip during the winter months is complete without sampling some of this rich, hearty and delicious fare!

Found in homes all throughout South Africa is the potjiekos a cast iron three-legged pot that is traditionally heated over an open fire.  The pot is used to make potjies (stew) which usually contains meat (venison and biltong are common) beer and vegetables and which is flavoured with the distinctive spices of South Africa’s culinary history from Dutch Malay spices to the curry profiles favoured in Durban.

Unlike a traditional stew, potjies are never stirred but rather they are cooked for anywhere up to six hours over a low flame so that the ingredients are steamed rather than boiled giving the dish a distinctive flavour profile.

waterblommentjies

During the winter months a distinctive green vegetable called waterblommetjies flower in the ponds of the southern and eastern cape and are much prized for use in potjies.  South Africans know waterblommetjies as the secret ingredient that transforms a winter lamb or mutton stew into a feast.

Xhosa and Zulu favourites

What could be a better taste of your trip than to discover Nelson Mandela’s favourite food in the village of his birth?  Xhosa cuisine offers travellers an authentic taste of South Africa which is deliciously diverse.

The most famous Xhosa dish is umngqusho. Made of dried maize and beans it has been compared with Italian risotto and is delicious when served with a meaty stew.

umngqusho

Zulu cuisine offers the adventurous traveller Isibhede is a fermented porridge, which tingles on the tongue, washed down with Amahewu – a non-intoxicating grain beer or utywala its highly-alcoholic cousin.

Sweet Endings

250px-Malva_PuddingA popular way to end a South African winter meal is with a Malva pudding.

This sticky pudding usually made with Apricot jam rose to fame when it was cooked by Art Smith, Oprah’s personal chef during The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy’s first Christmas dinner.

If you want to try it at home you can find the recipe here.

 

 

Winter Warming Food – South African Style

With the colder weather, our thoughts tend towards indoor activities – family and friends in front of a roaring fire enjoying some decadent comfort food.

In South Africa there is a wealth of hearty traditional recipes that fit this bill and no trip during the winter months is complete without sampling some of this rich, hearty and delicious fare!

Found in homes all throughout South Africa is the potjiekos a cast iron three-legged pot that is traditionally heated over an open fire.  The pot is used to make potjies (stew) which usually contains meat (venison and biltong are common) beer and vegetables and which is flavoured with the distinctive spices of South Africa’s culinary history from Dutch Malay spices to the curry profiles favoured in Durban.

Unlike a traditional stew, potjies are never stirred but rather they are cooked for anywhere up to six hours over a low flame so that the ingredients are steamed rather than boiled giving the dish a distinctive flavour profile.

waterblommentjies

During the winter months a distinctive green vegetable called waterblommetjies flower in the ponds of the southern and eastern cape and are much prized for use in potjies.  South Africans know waterblommetjies as the secret ingredient that transforms a winter lamb or mutton stew into a feast.

Xhosa and Zulu favourites

What could be a better taste of your trip than to discover Nelson Mandela’s favourite food in the village of his birth?  Xhosa cuisine offers travellers an authentic taste of South Africa which is deliciously diverse.

The most famous Xhosa dish is umngqusho. Made of dried maize and beans it has been compared with Italian risotto and is delicious when served with a meaty stew.

umngqusho

Zulu cuisine offers the adventurous traveller Isibhede is a fermented porridge, which tingles on the tongue, washed down with Amahewu – a non-intoxicating grain beer or utywala its highly-alcoholic cousin.

Sweet Endings

250px-Malva_PuddingA popular way to end a South African winter meal is with a Malva pudding.

This sticky pudding usually made with Apricot jam rose to fame when it was cooked by Art Smith, Oprah’s personal chef during The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy’s first Christmas dinner.

If you want to try it at home you can find the recipe here.

 

 

Soweto From the Ground Up

Soweto (an abbreviation of South-Western Townships) has played a huge role in South Africa’s history. 20 years ago a freedom movement was born in Soweto which is being celebrated to this day. A visit to Soweto will immerse the visitor in the culture and history of the country.

Why not hop on a bike?

BikeToursSoweto_960_472_80auto_s_c1_center_topA visit to Soweto, the famous South African township, is best experienced on the ground, rather than cruising through it in an air-conditioned bus with sealed windows.

You might get a little dusty and a little sweaty, but from the saddle of a bike you will hear kwaito music and people shouting greetings and be surrounded by children running alongside you. You will be immersed in the day-to-day life of this bustling township.

Soweto Bicycle tours offer two hour, four hour and full day tours and depending on which you choose, you will see an old apartheid workers’ hostel (now transformed), the place where the 1976 Soweto student uprisings started, the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

Most tours will visit the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Vilakazi Street – the only street in the world that has been home to two Nobel laureates!

Eat (and drink) Like a Local

Wandies_Place_interior_460_307_80_sWandie’s Place, a Soweto institution is popular with locals and tourists alike

A stop at a shebeen (tavern) is a must when visiting a township.

Shebeen’s historically were ‘speakeasies’ but fast forward to after South Africa’s 1994 elections, and shebeens, which are now legal, are increasingly sophisticated, and cater to a younger, trendier generation of black and white patrons and tourists.

The laid-back, attitude-free atmosphere of modern township shebeens is so popular among locals and visitors that many urban restaurateurs are copying their customer-friendly formulae, and setting up shebeen-style nightclubs and eateries in the poshest places.

Kota2_380_251_80_sA popular lunch option is to grab a kota an iconic township sandwich – but be warned you will need to bring an appetite for this one.

The name Kota is derived from ‘quarter’ because each sandwich is made with a quarter loaf of bread into which is stuffed various types of sausage, fried chips and topped off with atchar, a South African mango chutney.

 

Soweto From the Ground Up

Soweto (an abbreviation of South-Western Townships) has played a huge role in South Africa’s history. 20 years ago a freedom movement was born in Soweto which is being celebrated to this day. A visit to Soweto will immerse the visitor in the culture and history of the country.

Why not hop on a bike?

BikeToursSoweto_960_472_80auto_s_c1_center_topA visit to Soweto, the famous South African township, is best experienced on the ground, rather than cruising through it in an air-conditioned bus with sealed windows.

You might get a little dusty and a little sweaty, but from the saddle of a bike you will hear kwaito music and people shouting greetings and be surrounded by children running alongside you. You will be immersed in the day-to-day life of this bustling township.

Soweto Bicycle tours offer two hour, four hour and full day tours and depending on which you choose, you will see an old apartheid workers’ hostel (now transformed), the place where the 1976 Soweto student uprisings started, the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

Most tours will visit the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Vilakazi Street – the only street in the world that has been home to two Nobel laureates!

Eat (and drink) Like a Local

Wandies_Place_interior_460_307_80_sWandie’s Place, a Soweto institution is popular with locals and tourists alike

A stop at a shebeen (tavern) is a must when visiting a township.

Shebeen’s historically were ‘speakeasies’ but fast forward to after South Africa’s 1994 elections, and shebeens, which are now legal, are increasingly sophisticated, and cater to a younger, trendier generation of black and white patrons and tourists.

The laid-back, attitude-free atmosphere of modern township shebeens is so popular among locals and visitors that many urban restaurateurs are copying their customer-friendly formulae, and setting up shebeen-style nightclubs and eateries in the poshest places.

Kota2_380_251_80_sA popular lunch option is to grab a kota an iconic township sandwich – but be warned you will need to bring an appetite for this one.

The name Kota is derived from ‘quarter’ because each sandwich is made with a quarter loaf of bread into which is stuffed various types of sausage, fried chips and topped off with atchar, a South African mango chutney.