Where to Stay

Knysna – sheer magnificence!

If you travel 73km from the George Airport along South Africa’s Garden Route, you’ll find Knysna, one of the Western Cape’s most popular coastal attractions. Historically known for its gold mining and wild elephants roaming the forest in the 1800s, it continues to be an area of extreme beauty and versatility today. Arguably, the most famous of its landmarks are the Knysna Heads, two awesome cliff faces that seem to be guarding the mouth of the Knsyna Lagoon.

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

There are many attractions that centre around the Lagoon including the bustling waterfront precinct where you can sit and watch the drawbridge rise to allow the yachts to moor as you nosh on a delectable meal with matched wines at 34 South. You can also opt to stay on the lagoon in a houseboat which can be equally romantic and adventurous and, either way, create a holiday to remember! And a particularly fun pastime at Knysna Lagoon known mainly to the locals, is to go wading knee-deep in the water at the changing of the tide to look for pansy shells. They’re such a warm bunch, just ask them where to go and what to do and they’ll share their secrets.

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Knysna is also filled with outdoorsy things to do if you’re the adventurous type. Think bungee jumping, abseiling, quad biking, paragliding, scuba diving, power boating, kloofing (also known as canyoning), mountain biking, canoeing and hiking. There are heaps of non-adventurous outdoorsy things to do too like checking out the castles on Noetzi Beach. This is one of the reasons why Knysna is such popular destination: you can live it up, go wild or just chill. It’s a sublime mix of adventure and relaxation.

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

One thing you can definitely expect however, is to indulge in all things foodie. You can’t go past the annual Oyster Festival in July that attracts thousands of people from all over the country as well as overseas. There are other more low-key places to visit like Mitchell’s Brewery where you can sample their natural craft beers and cider, or the quirky and quaint Spookasem Tea Gardens in Rheenendal where you can sip on a cup of traditional roobios tea.

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

The wonderful thing is that, as rich as Knysna is in things to do and see, your accommodation doesn’t have to break the bank. Yes, you can book in to one of the Milkwood Collection of Resorts, but you can also choose to stay at wonderful guesthouses like Be My Guest, or a backpackers like Knysna Backpackers in a magnificent heritage house. All of them show you a slightly different side of this bustling town.

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

And if you’re someone who likes giving back to the community, join Experience Knysna! through Love Knysna Projects and help unite kids from all local communities through field trips promoting social unity and a sense of belonging.

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

So, if you’re after a stunning holiday destination that offers you a whole range of things to do, or not to do (as the case may be), put Knysna at the top of your list. Join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page for more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday.

Knysna – sheer magnificence!

If you travel 73km from the George Airport along South Africa’s Garden Route, you’ll find Knysna, one of the Western Cape’s most popular coastal attractions. Historically known for its gold mining and wild elephants roaming the forest in the 1800s, it continues to be an area of extreme beauty and versatility today. Arguably, the most famous of its landmarks are the Knysna Heads, two awesome cliff faces that seem to be guarding the mouth of the Knsyna Lagoon.

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

There are many attractions that centre around the Lagoon including the bustling waterfront precinct where you can sit and watch the drawbridge rise to allow the yachts to moor as you nosh on a delectable meal with matched wines at 34 South. You can also opt to stay on the lagoon in a houseboat which can be equally romantic and adventurous and, either way, create a holiday to remember! And a particularly fun pastime at Knysna Lagoon known mainly to the locals, is to go wading knee-deep in the water at the changing of the tide to look for pansy shells. They’re such a warm bunch, just ask them where to go and what to do and they’ll share their secrets.

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Knysna is also filled with outdoorsy things to do if you’re the adventurous type. Think bungee jumping, abseiling, quad biking, paragliding, scuba diving, power boating, kloofing (also known as canyoning), mountain biking, canoeing and hiking. There are heaps of non-adventurous outdoorsy things to do too like checking out the castles on Noetzi Beach. This is one of the reasons why Knysna is such popular destination: you can live it up, go wild or just chill. It’s a sublime mix of adventure and relaxation.

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

One thing you can definitely expect however, is to indulge in all things foodie. You can’t go past the annual Oyster Festival in July that attracts thousands of people from all over the country as well as overseas. There are other more low-key places to visit like Mitchell’s Brewery where you can sample their natural craft beers and cider, or the quirky and quaint Spookasem Tea Gardens in Rheenendal where you can sip on a cup of traditional roobios tea.

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

The wonderful thing is that, as rich as Knysna is in things to do and see, your accommodation doesn’t have to break the bank. Yes, you can book in to one of the Milkwood Collection of Resorts, but you can also choose to stay at wonderful guesthouses like Be My Guest, or a backpackers like Knysna Backpackers in a magnificent heritage house. All of them show you a slightly different side of this bustling town.

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

And if you’re someone who likes giving back to the community, join Experience Knysna! through Love Knysna Projects and help unite kids from all local communities through field trips promoting social unity and a sense of belonging.

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

So, if you’re after a stunning holiday destination that offers you a whole range of things to do, or not to do (as the case may be), put Knysna at the top of your list. Join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page for more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday.

Coastal accommodation in South Africa

The coastlines of South Africa are some of the most beautiful in the world. This week we’ve narrowed down the best South African coastal hotels where the beach is in reach!

You’ll find all types of accommodation along to the coast ranging from five-star luxury hotels and resorts to more humble seaside B&Bs which offer hearty breakfasts, personalised service and a warm family atmosphere.

Morgan’s Bay located in the Eastern Cape is a popular spot amongst locals and tourists. Morgan’s Bay is known for its sea cliffs, lagoon and long white beach. When visiting, The Morgan Bay Hotel, established in 1946 is a great place to stay. Located right on the beach and boasting views of the Indian Ocean, this boutique hotel is designed to make you feel at home.

Standard double rooms start from R1310 ($136 AUD) per night.

Morgan's Bay Hotel

Image source: The Morgan Bay Hotel

Morgan's Bay

Image source: The Morgan Bay Hotel

Hout Bay, located just outside of Cape Town is one of the busiest harbours in the Western Cape. A working fishing village, Hout Bay is popular with tourists because of its variety of fine restaurants, picturesque scenery and great shopping. In addition to this, Hout Bay is home to “Dungeons” – one of the sixteen recognised big wave spots around the globe and surfers travel from far and wide to challenge themselves.

The scenery, friendly people and the laid-back ambience will make visitors feel right at home in Hout Bay. The Hout Bay Manor is a 5 star hotel which originally opened in 1871 and which has had a recent 18 month refurbishment, reopening in 2007. There are 16 rooms at the Hout Bay Manor, all beautifully decorated starting from R3905 ($400 AUD) per night. The hotel is also home to Pure Restaurant and Inzolo Spa, so there is no reason to leave!

There are many B&Bs and self-catering accommodation options in the area as well. Makuti Lodge offers 5 charming, self-catering cottages with prices starting from R700 ($72 AUD). The Makuti Lodge offers all the comforts of home including a private garden, patio and fully-equipped kitchens in a cottage setting.

Hout Bay Manor - 2

Image source: Hout Bay Manor

Makuti Lodge

Makuti Lodge

Image source: Makuti Lodge

If you’re looking to splash some serious cash on your summer holiday – you can’t look past the Birkenhead House, which is also located in the Western Cape. Set on a cliff’s edge,with stunning views over the beach, Birkenhead House is a special place to watch the waves and surfers come in. Between June and November, the view includes whales, which swim right in front of the hotel. There are 11 luxury suites in the hotel with double rooms starting from R12,200 ($1,285 AUD) per night with rates including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Birkenhead House - Cliff

Birkenhead House

Image source: Mr & Mrs Smith; Birkenhead House

The Suncoast Towers in Durban is a stone’s throw away from Suncoast beach and is at the start of the Durban golden mile. Suncoast Towers offers exclusive, spacious, beautifully decorated rooms with attractions for every interest and standard rooms start from R1700 ($160 AUD) per night. The Suncoast Towers accommodation aims to provide a tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

SuncoastTowers

Image source: The Suncoast Towers

Cape View Clifton perched high on a cliff above the trendy suburb of Clifton opened its doors in 2012. This is a truly spectacular, ultra-chic hotel located above Clifton’s 4 beaches, with spectacular views of Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles. There are 7 suites in the hotel (2 self-catering). This is an ideal spot for beach lovers and a good base for exploring the region’s national parks. It’s a short hop to the famous Camps Bay and Cape Town central is a 20-minute drive. The Junior Suite (3 bedroom) from Dec-Feb starts from R4620 ($485 AUD) per night. The large, luxurious suites with uninterrupted sea views from private terraces, in our opinion offer priceless views!

Cape View Clifton - Dining

Cape View Clifton

Image source: i-escape; Cape View Clifton

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

Coastal accommodation in South Africa

The coastlines of South Africa are some of the most beautiful in the world. This week we’ve narrowed down the best South African coastal hotels where the beach is in reach!

You’ll find all types of accommodation along to the coast ranging from five-star luxury hotels and resorts to more humble seaside B&Bs which offer hearty breakfasts, personalised service and a warm family atmosphere.

Morgan’s Bay located in the Eastern Cape is a popular spot amongst locals and tourists. Morgan’s Bay is known for its sea cliffs, lagoon and long white beach. When visiting, The Morgan Bay Hotel, established in 1946 is a great place to stay. Located right on the beach and boasting views of the Indian Ocean, this boutique hotel is designed to make you feel at home.

Standard double rooms start from R1310 ($136 AUD) per night.

Morgan's Bay Hotel

Image source: The Morgan Bay Hotel

Morgan's Bay

Image source: The Morgan Bay Hotel

Hout Bay, located just outside of Cape Town is one of the busiest harbours in the Western Cape. A working fishing village, Hout Bay is popular with tourists because of its variety of fine restaurants, picturesque scenery and great shopping. In addition to this, Hout Bay is home to “Dungeons” – one of the sixteen recognised big wave spots around the globe and surfers travel from far and wide to challenge themselves.

The scenery, friendly people and the laid-back ambience will make visitors feel right at home in Hout Bay. The Hout Bay Manor is a 5 star hotel which originally opened in 1871 and which has had a recent 18 month refurbishment, reopening in 2007. There are 16 rooms at the Hout Bay Manor, all beautifully decorated starting from R3905 ($400 AUD) per night. The hotel is also home to Pure Restaurant and Inzolo Spa, so there is no reason to leave!

There are many B&Bs and self-catering accommodation options in the area as well. Makuti Lodge offers 5 charming, self-catering cottages with prices starting from R700 ($72 AUD). The Makuti Lodge offers all the comforts of home including a private garden, patio and fully-equipped kitchens in a cottage setting.

Hout Bay Manor - 2

Image source: Hout Bay Manor

Makuti Lodge

Makuti Lodge

Image source: Makuti Lodge

If you’re looking to splash some serious cash on your summer holiday – you can’t look past the Birkenhead House, which is also located in the Western Cape. Set on a cliff’s edge,with stunning views over the beach, Birkenhead House is a special place to watch the waves and surfers come in. Between June and November, the view includes whales, which swim right in front of the hotel. There are 11 luxury suites in the hotel with double rooms starting from R12,200 ($1,285 AUD) per night with rates including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Birkenhead House - Cliff

Birkenhead House

Image source: Mr & Mrs Smith; Birkenhead House

The Suncoast Towers in Durban is a stone’s throw away from Suncoast beach and is at the start of the Durban golden mile. Suncoast Towers offers exclusive, spacious, beautifully decorated rooms with attractions for every interest and standard rooms start from R1700 ($160 AUD) per night. The Suncoast Towers accommodation aims to provide a tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

SuncoastTowers

Image source: The Suncoast Towers

Cape View Clifton perched high on a cliff above the trendy suburb of Clifton opened its doors in 2012. This is a truly spectacular, ultra-chic hotel located above Clifton’s 4 beaches, with spectacular views of Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles. There are 7 suites in the hotel (2 self-catering). This is an ideal spot for beach lovers and a good base for exploring the region’s national parks. It’s a short hop to the famous Camps Bay and Cape Town central is a 20-minute drive. The Junior Suite (3 bedroom) from Dec-Feb starts from R4620 ($485 AUD) per night. The large, luxurious suites with uninterrupted sea views from private terraces, in our opinion offer priceless views!

Cape View Clifton - Dining

Cape View Clifton

Image source: i-escape; Cape View Clifton

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

The Romance of Rail in South Africa

South Africa offers romantic rail journeys for any budget. Taking the road less travelled always has its advantages and exploring South Africa by rail could open your eyes to some amazing and unique experiences. A journey by rail across the South African countryside provides the traveller with luxurious, elegant surroundings while taking in the scenic beauty just outside the window. Add to this, exceptional dining cars, pampering and the kind of exceptional service normally reserved for royalty and you have a recipe for a truly unforgettable experience!

Each train, and their range of routes, is different. Rovos Rail, for instance, is pure nostalgic elegance harking back to the 1930’s. Royal Suites take up half the carriages, and are named after famous money-men of the British Colonial era. A 3 day safari from Pretoria to Durban will set you back $1,675 – this includes accommodation, meals and excursions as well as all beverages, including alcohol, while on board. Tuck yourself away in your small but comfortable apartment, or sit in the observation car at the back of the train and take high tea or sip a glass of bubbly as lovely scenery unfolds outside the big windows.

Rovos RailImage source: Rovos Rail

The Shongololo Express is marketed as a ‘fully serviced travelling hotel’ and offers Economy and Deluxe Sleeper packages to suit all budgets. The Shongololo Express offers a range of amazing experiences – from battlefield tours to hot-air ballooning and a score of other exotic adventures in between! The Good Hope Tour is  a 13 day journey offering guests a comprehensive view of South Africa and incorporates virtually every internationally regarded ‘must see’ sight and highlight, with prices starting from $4,280 pp.

The Shongololo Express

Image source: The Luxury Train Club

The Premier Classe Trains are another affordable, but luxurious option available to travellers. Premiere Classe offers all the deluxe trimmings offered on luxury trains and is popular with budget-conscious travellers.  The Cape Town and Johannesburg weekly train ride is $295 and includes exclusive use of a cosy private sleeper and all meals and afternoon tea in the elegant restaurant car as you pass the fabulous South African scenery.  The trains also run to other popular South African cities including Durban and Port Elizabeth. A truly unique way to travel and experience South Africa.

The Blue Train is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious trains in the world, and when you meet your personal on-board butler, experience the fine dining and superb service, you’ll know you’ve died and gone to Romantic Holiday Heaven! During peak season the day and a half trip from Cape Town to Pretoria can cost around $1,800!

Blue Train

Blue Train SuiteImage source: The Blue Train

When travelling by rail in South Africa, a must-see is the town of Matjiesfontein a beautifully preserved Victorian village which sits on the fringe of the Great Karoo and which has been preserved as a National Heritage Site. Visitors wander around the museum, visit the historic Lord Milner Hotel and the coffee shops of this quaint little Victorian railway village in the desert. One of the many romantic stops on the rail journeys of South Africa, it’s a must-see.

Have we inspired you to take the road less travelled?

Who to contact?

Rovos Rail

Tel: +27 (0) 12 315 8242
Email: reservations@rovos.co.za
Website: http://www.rovos.com/

The Shongololo Express
Tel: +27 (11) 486 4357
Website: http://www.shongololo.com/

The Premier Classe Trains
Tel: +27 (0) 87 802 6674
Email: mai123@southafricanrailways.co.za
Website: http://southafricanrailways.co.za/premier_classe.html

The Blue Train
Tel: +27 21 449 2672
Email: info@bluetrain.co.za
Website: http://www.bluetrain.co.za/

The Romance of Rail in South Africa

South Africa offers romantic rail journeys for any budget. Taking the road less travelled always has its advantages and exploring South Africa by rail could open your eyes to some amazing and unique experiences. A journey by rail across the South African countryside provides the traveller with luxurious, elegant surroundings while taking in the scenic beauty just outside the window. Add to this, exceptional dining cars, pampering and the kind of exceptional service normally reserved for royalty and you have a recipe for a truly unforgettable experience!

Each train, and their range of routes, is different. Rovos Rail, for instance, is pure nostalgic elegance harking back to the 1930’s. Royal Suites take up half the carriages, and are named after famous money-men of the British Colonial era. A 3 day safari from Pretoria to Durban will set you back $1,675 – this includes accommodation, meals and excursions as well as all beverages, including alcohol, while on board. Tuck yourself away in your small but comfortable apartment, or sit in the observation car at the back of the train and take high tea or sip a glass of bubbly as lovely scenery unfolds outside the big windows.

Rovos RailImage source: Rovos Rail

The Shongololo Express is marketed as a ‘fully serviced travelling hotel’ and offers Economy and Deluxe Sleeper packages to suit all budgets. The Shongololo Express offers a range of amazing experiences – from battlefield tours to hot-air ballooning and a score of other exotic adventures in between! The Good Hope Tour is  a 13 day journey offering guests a comprehensive view of South Africa and incorporates virtually every internationally regarded ‘must see’ sight and highlight, with prices starting from $4,280 pp.

The Shongololo Express

Image source: The Luxury Train Club

The Premier Classe Trains are another affordable, but luxurious option available to travellers. Premiere Classe offers all the deluxe trimmings offered on luxury trains and is popular with budget-conscious travellers.  The Cape Town and Johannesburg weekly train ride is $295 and includes exclusive use of a cosy private sleeper and all meals and afternoon tea in the elegant restaurant car as you pass the fabulous South African scenery.  The trains also run to other popular South African cities including Durban and Port Elizabeth. A truly unique way to travel and experience South Africa.

The Blue Train is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious trains in the world, and when you meet your personal on-board butler, experience the fine dining and superb service, you’ll know you’ve died and gone to Romantic Holiday Heaven! During peak season the day and a half trip from Cape Town to Pretoria can cost around $1,800!

Blue Train

Blue Train SuiteImage source: The Blue Train

When travelling by rail in South Africa, a must-see is the town of Matjiesfontein a beautifully preserved Victorian village which sits on the fringe of the Great Karoo and which has been preserved as a National Heritage Site. Visitors wander around the museum, visit the historic Lord Milner Hotel and the coffee shops of this quaint little Victorian railway village in the desert. One of the many romantic stops on the rail journeys of South Africa, it’s a must-see.

Have we inspired you to take the road less travelled?

Who to contact?

Rovos Rail

Tel: +27 (0) 12 315 8242
Email: reservations@rovos.co.za
Website: http://www.rovos.com/

The Shongololo Express
Tel: +27 (11) 486 4357
Website: http://www.shongololo.com/

The Premier Classe Trains
Tel: +27 (0) 87 802 6674
Email: mai123@southafricanrailways.co.za
Website: http://southafricanrailways.co.za/premier_classe.html

The Blue Train
Tel: +27 21 449 2672
Email: info@bluetrain.co.za
Website: http://www.bluetrain.co.za/

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.

Gone glamping: The best ways to camp in style in South Africa

Sleeping under the stars is one thing. But doing it in a king-size bed with gourmet meals and air conditioning sure beats a sleeping bag. More →

Gone glamping: The best ways to camp in style in South Africa

Sleeping under the stars is one thing. But doing it in a king-size bed with gourmet meals and air conditioning sure beats a sleeping bag. More →

Unusual Places to Stay Cape Town

via capetownmagazine.com
An Airstream trailer for Urban Ursula and a tree house for Rural Ronnie

As a child, you may have imagined yourself as an American Indian, living in a tipi; a wood nymph dusting the windows of her tree house; a cowboy steering his wagon train along the trail; and a fearsome lion lazing on his rocky outcrop. Who says being a grownup means you have to abandon these dreams? Cape Town and surrounds are full of unusual places to rest your head.

Airstream Penthouses at the Grand Daddy Hotel 

Taking the ‘trash’ out of trailer park, seven vintage Airstream trailers have been hauled all the way from the USA, and hoisted onto the roof of an urban hotel.
The most unique thing about this establishment: individually designed trailers by local artists.
What you need to bring: “a trilby hat to watch live bands, who perform every Friday night. Some acts include, Hot Water and Little Kings,” says events and marketing manager, Christina Mac Echern.
The best time of year to stay: March.
Top tip: put on your party boots.
38 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 7247

Healing Holidays: the tipi experience
“One of our tipis has a wooden platform and the other is based on lush grass,” explains owner, Deborah Hillairet. Onsite therapies include crystal healing and holistic massage.
The most unique thing about this establishment: living simply, in a vast open space, by the fire.
What you need to bring: turn up with food, they will provide the rest.
The best time of year to stay: winter.
Top tip: Leave your phone at home and just be.
R318 (12km after Avalon Hot Water Springs) | Montagu | Western Cape | +27 (0)23 614 2901

Aquila Private Game Reserve
Place your twinkle toes in A-list paw prints, at a romantic, Premier Chalet. ‘Wake up in nature’ rooms feature four poster beds, baths set into rock and outside showers. We enjoyed Aquila’s game lodge comfort.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “one of the Premier Chalets has an outdoor Jacuzzi, so you can bathe under the Karoo night sky,” says media manager, Mandi Jarman.
What you need to bring: bring a camera to capture Big Five memories.
The best time of year to stay: all year round: a swimming pool for summer and a fire for winter.
Top Tip: meet their baby rhino.
Touwsrivier | Ceres | +27 (0)21 431 8400

Teniqua Treetops
This tented tree house resort is high in the foothills of the ancient Outeniqua mountain range. Swim in the cola-coloured water of the Karatara River, picnic on its beautiful banks, or relax on a wooden deck by the pool.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “our eight, eco-friendly tree houses are like artworks in the trees,” says owner, Robyn Patz, “They are fully contained and spaced far apart, for privacy.”
What you need to bring: walking boots, a swimming costume, a waterproof jacket and a torch. Don’t forget your camera.
The best time of year to stay: summer.
Top Tip: leave the iPod behind and instead, listen to the birds.
N2 | Garden Route | Western Cape | +27 (0)44 356 2868

Dutch Manor Antique Hotel 1812
Unpacking your coat into a genuine Jonkmanskas, or sleeping on an authentic, 19th century, four-poster Stinkwood bed is like taking a step back in time. South Africa’s only registered antique hotel dates back to 1812 and has been tastefully restored and redecorated.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “It’s a home-away-from-home, where you must feel free to nip down to our kitchen and brew yourself a cuppa,” says chef and assistant manager, Helouise Smit.
What you need to bring: you’ll find everything you need including laundry and concierge services.
The best time of year to stay: winter.
Top tip: order from your own personal chef.
158 Buitengracht | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4767

Cape Town Carriage Company
Guided by a qualified trail boss, drive scenic Napier in a re-created wagon train, used by early settlers. Reach the campsite, cook supper over a communal fire and sleep in your wagon.
The most unique thing about this establishment: drive your own wagon.
What you need to bring: a hat, hiking boots, a warm jacket, waterproofs, insect repellant, sun block, a flash light, a sleeping bag and a camera.
The best time of year to stay: “during summer, we swim in lagoons and in September you’ll see blue cranes foraging among Protea flowers,” says owner, John Foster.
Top tip: Pay a visit to Napier Brewery.
Indicator Lodge | Schaapkraal Road | Ottery | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 575 5669

Langebaan Houseboats
Accommodating a minimum of six guests in three cabins, the Larus houseboat consists of a well-equipped, open plan kitchen with a braai, as well as cabins featuring high quality linen and bath towels.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “Langebaan is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with pristine beaches and turquoise water,” says owner, Tony Drayton.
What you need to bring: food, a torch and a swimming costume.
The best time of year to stay: during summer and flower season (August- September).
Top tip: book early.
70 Alma Road | Rosebank | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 689 9718

Kagga Kamma
Many ancient cave paintings by the Bushmen are visible today. Climb into a bed on a remote and rocky outcrop, in the middle of beautiful and dramatic rock formations.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “guests can sleep under the stars and we also provide picnic baskets with a choice of braai ingredients or cold meat,” says Susan Sykes, from the reservations department.
What you need to bring: an overnight bag.
The best time of year to stay: October-March.
Top tip: sleep in a cave room, discover rock art and San paintings on a cultural tour, or meet the antelope on a quad biking safari.
Kagga Kamma | Ceres | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 872 4343

By Lisa Nevitt

Unusual Places to Stay Cape Town

via capetownmagazine.com
An Airstream trailer for Urban Ursula and a tree house for Rural Ronnie

As a child, you may have imagined yourself as an American Indian, living in a tipi; a wood nymph dusting the windows of her tree house; a cowboy steering his wagon train along the trail; and a fearsome lion lazing on his rocky outcrop. Who says being a grownup means you have to abandon these dreams? Cape Town and surrounds are full of unusual places to rest your head.

Airstream Penthouses at the Grand Daddy Hotel 

Taking the ‘trash’ out of trailer park, seven vintage Airstream trailers have been hauled all the way from the USA, and hoisted onto the roof of an urban hotel.
The most unique thing about this establishment: individually designed trailers by local artists.
What you need to bring: “a trilby hat to watch live bands, who perform every Friday night. Some acts include, Hot Water and Little Kings,” says events and marketing manager, Christina Mac Echern.
The best time of year to stay: March.
Top tip: put on your party boots.
38 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 7247

Healing Holidays: the tipi experience
“One of our tipis has a wooden platform and the other is based on lush grass,” explains owner, Deborah Hillairet. Onsite therapies include crystal healing and holistic massage.
The most unique thing about this establishment: living simply, in a vast open space, by the fire.
What you need to bring: turn up with food, they will provide the rest.
The best time of year to stay: winter.
Top tip: Leave your phone at home and just be.
R318 (12km after Avalon Hot Water Springs) | Montagu | Western Cape | +27 (0)23 614 2901

Aquila Private Game Reserve
Place your twinkle toes in A-list paw prints, at a romantic, Premier Chalet. ‘Wake up in nature’ rooms feature four poster beds, baths set into rock and outside showers. We enjoyed Aquila’s game lodge comfort.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “one of the Premier Chalets has an outdoor Jacuzzi, so you can bathe under the Karoo night sky,” says media manager, Mandi Jarman.
What you need to bring: bring a camera to capture Big Five memories.
The best time of year to stay: all year round: a swimming pool for summer and a fire for winter.
Top Tip: meet their baby rhino.
Touwsrivier | Ceres | +27 (0)21 431 8400

Teniqua Treetops
This tented tree house resort is high in the foothills of the ancient Outeniqua mountain range. Swim in the cola-coloured water of the Karatara River, picnic on its beautiful banks, or relax on a wooden deck by the pool.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “our eight, eco-friendly tree houses are like artworks in the trees,” says owner, Robyn Patz, “They are fully contained and spaced far apart, for privacy.”
What you need to bring: walking boots, a swimming costume, a waterproof jacket and a torch. Don’t forget your camera.
The best time of year to stay: summer.
Top Tip: leave the iPod behind and instead, listen to the birds.
N2 | Garden Route | Western Cape | +27 (0)44 356 2868

Dutch Manor Antique Hotel 1812
Unpacking your coat into a genuine Jonkmanskas, or sleeping on an authentic, 19th century, four-poster Stinkwood bed is like taking a step back in time. South Africa’s only registered antique hotel dates back to 1812 and has been tastefully restored and redecorated.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “It’s a home-away-from-home, where you must feel free to nip down to our kitchen and brew yourself a cuppa,” says chef and assistant manager, Helouise Smit.
What you need to bring: you’ll find everything you need including laundry and concierge services.
The best time of year to stay: winter.
Top tip: order from your own personal chef.
158 Buitengracht | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4767

Cape Town Carriage Company
Guided by a qualified trail boss, drive scenic Napier in a re-created wagon train, used by early settlers. Reach the campsite, cook supper over a communal fire and sleep in your wagon.
The most unique thing about this establishment: drive your own wagon.
What you need to bring: a hat, hiking boots, a warm jacket, waterproofs, insect repellant, sun block, a flash light, a sleeping bag and a camera.
The best time of year to stay: “during summer, we swim in lagoons and in September you’ll see blue cranes foraging among Protea flowers,” says owner, John Foster.
Top tip: Pay a visit to Napier Brewery.
Indicator Lodge | Schaapkraal Road | Ottery | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 575 5669

Langebaan Houseboats
Accommodating a minimum of six guests in three cabins, the Larus houseboat consists of a well-equipped, open plan kitchen with a braai, as well as cabins featuring high quality linen and bath towels.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “Langebaan is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with pristine beaches and turquoise water,” says owner, Tony Drayton.
What you need to bring: food, a torch and a swimming costume.
The best time of year to stay: during summer and flower season (August- September).
Top tip: book early.
70 Alma Road | Rosebank | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 689 9718

Kagga Kamma
Many ancient cave paintings by the Bushmen are visible today. Climb into a bed on a remote and rocky outcrop, in the middle of beautiful and dramatic rock formations.
The most unique thing about this establishment: “guests can sleep under the stars and we also provide picnic baskets with a choice of braai ingredients or cold meat,” says Susan Sykes, from the reservations department.
What you need to bring: an overnight bag.
The best time of year to stay: October-March.
Top tip: sleep in a cave room, discover rock art and San paintings on a cultural tour, or meet the antelope on a quad biking safari.
Kagga Kamma | Ceres | Western Cape | +27 (0)21 872 4343

By Lisa Nevitt

Township B&B’s Cape Town

via capetownmagazine.com

The best way to experience township life

“I was disappointed that tourists only saw Khayelitsha from behind glass, from their cars or from tour buses,” says owner of Kopanong B&B, Thope Lekau. Instead, Cape Town’s township B&B’s invite you into their homes. Experience real township buzz and interact with the community.

Langa (Xhosa for ‘sun’)

Established in 1927, Langa is the oldest township in Cape Town and has produced prominent sports and entertainment figures including the late musician Brenda Fassie and boxer Nika Khumalo.

Ma Neo’s Township B&B
Many of the original features of this family home have been kept intact, with space for four people in two spacious rooms. “We serve a traditional African breakfast of mielie meal, tomato and onion stew and, of course, homemade bread,” says owner, Thandiwe.
Why you should stay here: to be part of a family, sharing supper, breakfast and conversation.
What’s close by: Langa train station, post office, police station, taxi rank and information centre.
What guests are offered: township tours (including a visit to a traditional healer) as well as a visit to the Langa Baptist Church.
Zone 7 No 30 | Langa | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 694 2504

Radebe’s Bed and Breakfast (with Coffee Shack)
Minah Radebe’s guesthouse and coffee shack offers three, themed bedrooms: respectively Equnu, Kwandebele and Kwamashu (names of South African homelands). The guesthouse serves continental or African breakfasts; lunch and dinner are also available.
Why you should stay here: “to come and meet the real people of Langa and walk our streets,” says Minah.
What’s close by: views of the University of Cape Town, Rhode’s Memorial and Lion’s Head.
What guests are offered: “on our walking tours, you can play soccer with local children or a vibrant, Sunday church service,” says Minah.
23 PW Mama Way | Settlers Place | Langa | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 695 0508 / +27 (0)82 393 3117

Gugulethu (Xhosa for ‘our pride’)

Gugulethu was established in the 1960s, due to the overcrowding of Langa. Go see the Amy Biehl memorial, a reminder of the tragic stabbing of the American Fullbright scholar in 1993, also worth a visit is the Gugulethu Seven memorial, which commemorates seven young black activists from the township who lost their lives fighting for freedom in 1986.

Nowdays, you’ll encounter new developments including Mzoli’s restaurant and the Gugulethu Sports Complex. Life is flourishing.

Mbalentle
The modern township home offers four beautiful rooms including Ekuphumleni, meaning ‘a place of resting’ and Entle, meaning ‘beautiful’ in Xhosa.
Why you should stay here: “our ethnic guesthouse, combined with traditional and healthy African food, is a place where African cultures may meet,” says owner, Florence Bhunu.
What’s close by: the Amy Biehl Memorial and the Gugulethu Seven Memorial.
What guests are offered: a choice between B&B and full board, catering and hosting of house and garden parties, as well as township tours (with accredited tour operators).
23 Pallotti Road | Montana | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 934 0040

Lizewe’s Bed and Breakfast
Large groups can rent out a self-catering cottage, with tasteful African décor, and reserve the restaurant for an authentic, South African feast.
Why you should stay there: “the most distinguishing aspect of our stay was the level of customer service. The staff was attentive, responsive and willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everything we needed was available to us,” says guest, Lou Bergholtz, from Boston, America.
What’s close by: Mzoli’s restaurant.
What guests are offered: Walking township tours include visits to Mzolis and a sangoma, as well as a ride in a local taxi.
NY111 – No 121 | Gugulethu | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 633 7406

Khayelitsha (Xhosa for ‘new home’)

Khayelitsha is the largest and the fastest growing township in South Africa. There have been many developments including brick houses, schools and a central business district, but around 70% of residents still live in shacks.

Kopanong Bed & Breakfast
As you enter from the gate, the pathway is clean, the kitchen is hygienic and the beds are comfortable.
Why you should stay there: you can enjoy a nutritious breakfast of fruit, yoghurt and hot porridge on the covered terrace, while discussing Africa’s history and hopes for the future with registered tour guides, Thope and Mpho Lekau.
What’s close by: Lookout Hill offers a bird’s-eye view of Khayelitsha.
What guests are offered: “we want people to understand why we offer township tours,” exclaims Mpho, “Townships aren’t just about poverty – many people have worked hard to improve their lives.”
C329 Velani Crescent | Khayelitsha | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 361 2084

Malebo’s Bed and Breakfast
Not only is Lydia Masoleng fluent in English, Xhosa, Sotho and Afrikaans, but she sure knows how to cook. “It’s a Xhosa tradition to learn to cook before you get married,” she says, “I recommend Umfino – spinach with maize meal and chakalaka – washed down with my homebrewed, ginger beer.” After a filling meal, snooze in one of five guest rooms.
Why you should stay there: a firsthand experience of township culture and Xhosa cooking.
What’s close by: Lookout Hill.
What guests are offered: “we offer walking tours, visiting local shebeens (pubs), and arts and craft centres,” says Lydia.
18 Mississippi Way | Khayelitsha | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 361 2391

By Lisa Nevitt

Township B&B’s Cape Town

via capetownmagazine.com

The best way to experience township life

“I was disappointed that tourists only saw Khayelitsha from behind glass, from their cars or from tour buses,” says owner of Kopanong B&B, Thope Lekau. Instead, Cape Town’s township B&B’s invite you into their homes. Experience real township buzz and interact with the community.

Langa (Xhosa for ‘sun’)

Established in 1927, Langa is the oldest township in Cape Town and has produced prominent sports and entertainment figures including the late musician Brenda Fassie and boxer Nika Khumalo.

Ma Neo’s Township B&B
Many of the original features of this family home have been kept intact, with space for four people in two spacious rooms. “We serve a traditional African breakfast of mielie meal, tomato and onion stew and, of course, homemade bread,” says owner, Thandiwe.
Why you should stay here: to be part of a family, sharing supper, breakfast and conversation.
What’s close by: Langa train station, post office, police station, taxi rank and information centre.
What guests are offered: township tours (including a visit to a traditional healer) as well as a visit to the Langa Baptist Church.
Zone 7 No 30 | Langa | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 694 2504

Radebe’s Bed and Breakfast (with Coffee Shack)
Minah Radebe’s guesthouse and coffee shack offers three, themed bedrooms: respectively Equnu, Kwandebele and Kwamashu (names of South African homelands). The guesthouse serves continental or African breakfasts; lunch and dinner are also available.
Why you should stay here: “to come and meet the real people of Langa and walk our streets,” says Minah.
What’s close by: views of the University of Cape Town, Rhode’s Memorial and Lion’s Head.
What guests are offered: “on our walking tours, you can play soccer with local children or a vibrant, Sunday church service,” says Minah.
23 PW Mama Way | Settlers Place | Langa | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 695 0508 / +27 (0)82 393 3117

Gugulethu (Xhosa for ‘our pride’)

Gugulethu was established in the 1960s, due to the overcrowding of Langa. Go see the Amy Biehl memorial, a reminder of the tragic stabbing of the American Fullbright scholar in 1993, also worth a visit is the Gugulethu Seven memorial, which commemorates seven young black activists from the township who lost their lives fighting for freedom in 1986.

Nowdays, you’ll encounter new developments including Mzoli’s restaurant and the Gugulethu Sports Complex. Life is flourishing.

Mbalentle
The modern township home offers four beautiful rooms including Ekuphumleni, meaning ‘a place of resting’ and Entle, meaning ‘beautiful’ in Xhosa.
Why you should stay here: “our ethnic guesthouse, combined with traditional and healthy African food, is a place where African cultures may meet,” says owner, Florence Bhunu.
What’s close by: the Amy Biehl Memorial and the Gugulethu Seven Memorial.
What guests are offered: a choice between B&B and full board, catering and hosting of house and garden parties, as well as township tours (with accredited tour operators).
23 Pallotti Road | Montana | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 934 0040

Lizewe’s Bed and Breakfast
Large groups can rent out a self-catering cottage, with tasteful African décor, and reserve the restaurant for an authentic, South African feast.
Why you should stay there: “the most distinguishing aspect of our stay was the level of customer service. The staff was attentive, responsive and willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everything we needed was available to us,” says guest, Lou Bergholtz, from Boston, America.
What’s close by: Mzoli’s restaurant.
What guests are offered: Walking township tours include visits to Mzolis and a sangoma, as well as a ride in a local taxi.
NY111 – No 121 | Gugulethu | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 633 7406

Khayelitsha (Xhosa for ‘new home’)

Khayelitsha is the largest and the fastest growing township in South Africa. There have been many developments including brick houses, schools and a central business district, but around 70% of residents still live in shacks.

Kopanong Bed & Breakfast
As you enter from the gate, the pathway is clean, the kitchen is hygienic and the beds are comfortable.
Why you should stay there: you can enjoy a nutritious breakfast of fruit, yoghurt and hot porridge on the covered terrace, while discussing Africa’s history and hopes for the future with registered tour guides, Thope and Mpho Lekau.
What’s close by: Lookout Hill offers a bird’s-eye view of Khayelitsha.
What guests are offered: “we want people to understand why we offer township tours,” exclaims Mpho, “Townships aren’t just about poverty – many people have worked hard to improve their lives.”
C329 Velani Crescent | Khayelitsha | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 361 2084

Malebo’s Bed and Breakfast
Not only is Lydia Masoleng fluent in English, Xhosa, Sotho and Afrikaans, but she sure knows how to cook. “It’s a Xhosa tradition to learn to cook before you get married,” she says, “I recommend Umfino – spinach with maize meal and chakalaka – washed down with my homebrewed, ginger beer.” After a filling meal, snooze in one of five guest rooms.
Why you should stay there: a firsthand experience of township culture and Xhosa cooking.
What’s close by: Lookout Hill.
What guests are offered: “we offer walking tours, visiting local shebeens (pubs), and arts and craft centres,” says Lydia.
18 Mississippi Way | Khayelitsha | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 361 2391

By Lisa Nevitt

SABI SABI Earth Lodge

On a recent trip to the Sabi Sands game reserve in  Mpumalanga I enjoyed the luxury of SABI SABI Earth Lodge. Earth Lodge has been described as the ‘the most environmentally sensitive lodge in Africa’ and it blends in so well with the bushveld that you wouldn’t know it was there. Sabi Sands game reserve is home to the Big 5 – Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo – as well Cheetah, Wild Dog plus hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, insects and plants.

A great thing you can do while at SABI SABI is learn wildlife photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web Site: http://www.sabisabi.com

For rates and packages to SABI SABI contact Bench International http://www.benchinternational.com.au or 1800 221 451

SABI SABI Earth Lodge

On a recent trip to the Sabi Sands game reserve in  Mpumalanga I enjoyed the luxury of SABI SABI Earth Lodge. Earth Lodge has been described as the ‘the most environmentally sensitive lodge in Africa’ and it blends in so well with the bushveld that you wouldn’t know it was there. Sabi Sands game reserve is home to the Big 5 – Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo – as well Cheetah, Wild Dog plus hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, insects and plants.

A great thing you can do while at SABI SABI is learn wildlife photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web Site: http://www.sabisabi.com

For rates and packages to SABI SABI contact Bench International http://www.benchinternational.com.au or 1800 221 451