Cape Town

Whale watching season in South Africa

Whale watching is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Hermanus is a popular seaside holiday town in Walker Bay in the Western Cape, a 90-minute drive from Cape Town and is one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of these amazing animals. Each spring, from as early as July through to October, southern right whales visit this area in large numbers to mate and calve.

Whale watching

Image source: Southern Right Charters

You can see southern right whales from the cliff path in Hermanus or hop on a boat and let the whales come to you. southern right whales got their name because they were considered the ‘right’ whales to hunt as they are slow moving and surface often to breathe. Ever since hunting was banned in South African waters in 1979 their population has grown around 7% a year.

Whale-close-up

Image source: Southern Right Charters

One way to identify a southern right whale is by checking its spout (the way in which it blows water out of its blow hole). Because a southern right has two blow holes, the spray of water it expels is V-shaped. By contrast, a humpback whale has a single spout that rises 4m into the air.

You can experience whale behaviour first hand. Look on in fascination as they breach (jump out of the water), ‘spyhop’ (stick their heads out of the water as if to see what is going on) and tail-lob (slap their tails on the water). Scientists speculate that these are forms of non-vocal communication.

Humpback-whale-breach-2

Image source: Southern Right Charters

Another marine spectacle is the sardine run, which normally takes place from around May to July, along the east coast. This is when shoals of sardine (a kind of pilchard) migrate northwards. The fish gather in shoals for protection and are herded into giant ‘bait balls’ by marine predators like dolphins, sharks and birds, as well as Bryde’s whales, which prefer temperate waters.

Sardines_-_鰯(いわし)

Image source: Southern Right Charters

Humpbacked whales are commonly sighted off the warmer KwaZulu-Natal shores. Although they have not been observed feeding on sardines, they also migrate up the coast during the winter months.

1.-SR-Whale-and-boat-feature-21-e1402402129387

Image source: Southern Right Charters

Come to South Africa and experience some wonderful whale watching from a number of different locations along the coast. It provides for wonderful photographs, fantastic experiences and fun for the whole family.
To book a whale watching tour with Southern Right Charters, phone +27(0)82 353 0550 or send an email to info@southernrightcharters.co.za.

Whale watching season in South Africa

Whale watching is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Hermanus is a popular seaside holiday town in Walker Bay in the Western Cape, a 90-minute drive from Cape Town and is one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of these amazing animals. Each spring, from as early as July through to October, southern right whales visit this area in large numbers to mate and calve.

Whale watching

Image source: Southern Right Charters

You can see southern right whales from the cliff path in Hermanus or hop on a boat and let the whales come to you. southern right whales got their name because they were considered the ‘right’ whales to hunt as they are slow moving and surface often to breathe. Ever since hunting was banned in South African waters in 1979 their population has grown around 7% a year.

Whale-close-up

Image source: Southern Right Charters

One way to identify a southern right whale is by checking its spout (the way in which it blows water out of its blow hole). Because a southern right has two blow holes, the spray of water it expels is V-shaped. By contrast, a humpback whale has a single spout that rises 4m into the air.

You can experience whale behaviour first hand. Look on in fascination as they breach (jump out of the water), ‘spyhop’ (stick their heads out of the water as if to see what is going on) and tail-lob (slap their tails on the water). Scientists speculate that these are forms of non-vocal communication.

Humpback-whale-breach-2

Image source: Southern Right Charters

Another marine spectacle is the sardine run, which normally takes place from around May to July, along the east coast. This is when shoals of sardine (a kind of pilchard) migrate northwards. The fish gather in shoals for protection and are herded into giant ‘bait balls’ by marine predators like dolphins, sharks and birds, as well as Bryde’s whales, which prefer temperate waters.

Sardines_-_鰯(いわし)

Image source: Southern Right Charters

Humpbacked whales are commonly sighted off the warmer KwaZulu-Natal shores. Although they have not been observed feeding on sardines, they also migrate up the coast during the winter months.

1.-SR-Whale-and-boat-feature-21-e1402402129387

Image source: Southern Right Charters

Come to South Africa and experience some wonderful whale watching from a number of different locations along the coast. It provides for wonderful photographs, fantastic experiences and fun for the whole family.
To book a whale watching tour with Southern Right Charters, phone +27(0)82 353 0550 or send an email to info@southernrightcharters.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/

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/

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.

Surfs up in South Africa: Best surf spots

South Africa’s coastline has points and bays which provide surfers from all around the world with quality waves. We’ve narrowed down the best surf spots in South Africa to catch that perfect wave!

Jeffrey’s Bay is the surf capital of South Africa, and a top 10 rated surf spot worldwide. Located in the Eastern Cape, an hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth. Commonly referred to as J-bay, it’s known in the local and international surfing community as having the perfect right-hand wave. What makes J-Bay special is that the wave runs for up to 800m, giving surfers an unbeatable ride. Its main beach, Dolphin Beach, is made for chilling, tanning, surfing and shell collecting.

Jeffrey's Bay

Jeffrey’s Bay

Durban Waves

If you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave in Durban, don’t look past Addlington Beach for small, consistent waves guaranteed to ignite your passion for surfing!

Bay of Plenty is a consistent surf spot frequented by local and international guests. The surf is fairly consistent however, winter is the optimum time of the year for surfing this spot.

Cave Rock in Durban churns out epic waves which pick up large swells! This spot has a reef bottom; therefore only experienced surfers should apply.

Durban

Durban

Cape Town Waves

If you’re looking to catch your first wave, The Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg is a popular learning spot. It’s a 30-minute drive from the Cape Town city centre and there are plenty of coffee shops nearby to warm up post-surf.

The Cape Peninsula which is at the northern end of Cape Town gives surfers waves all year round. This surf spot is the perfect combination of swell size and direction of the wind, making this a favourite with locals and international surfers.

Long Beach in Cape Town, located on the Atlantic side of the Southern Cape Peninsula in Kommetjie boasts the best consistent shore breaks in the Cape, after Durban. The swell is small to medium on the south east side. If you’re a strong surfer and you’re looking to ride a westerly swell, the Outer Kom will be sure to thrill!

Cape Town Surfers

Cape Town Surfers

Secret Spots

Located in-between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, Victoria Bay or Vic Bay as it’s known to the young local surfers is a local surf spot. The shape of the bay ensures consistent waves throughout the year and is great for surfers of all levels.

If you’re an experienced surfer, Glen Beach is located five minutes away from the city centre churning out powerful, hollow waves. It’s nestled between Clifton and Camps Bay Beach and is a local favourite. This is a picturesque location with the Twelve Apostles visible from the surf.

Western Cape

Western Cape

Who to contact for surf lessons

Learn2Surf
Visit the Learn2Surf website here.
SMS hotline: +27 (0)83 414 0567
Email: info@learn2surf.co.za

Surf Emporium
Visit the Surf Emporium website here.
Muizenberg, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 788 8687
Mobile: +27 (0)82 562 8687/(0)725860905

Surfs up in South Africa: Best surf spots

South Africa’s coastline has points and bays which provide surfers from all around the world with quality waves. We’ve narrowed down the best surf spots in South Africa to catch that perfect wave!

Jeffrey’s Bay is the surf capital of South Africa, and a top 10 rated surf spot worldwide. Located in the Eastern Cape, an hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth. Commonly referred to as J-bay, it’s known in the local and international surfing community as having the perfect right-hand wave. What makes J-Bay special is that the wave runs for up to 800m, giving surfers an unbeatable ride. Its main beach, Dolphin Beach, is made for chilling, tanning, surfing and shell collecting.

Jeffrey's Bay

Jeffrey’s Bay

Durban Waves

If you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave in Durban, don’t look past Addlington Beach for small, consistent waves guaranteed to ignite your passion for surfing!

Bay of Plenty is a consistent surf spot frequented by local and international guests. The surf is fairly consistent however, winter is the optimum time of the year for surfing this spot.

Cave Rock in Durban churns out epic waves which pick up large swells! This spot has a reef bottom; therefore only experienced surfers should apply.

Durban

Durban

Cape Town Waves

If you’re looking to catch your first wave, The Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg is a popular learning spot. It’s a 30-minute drive from the Cape Town city centre and there are plenty of coffee shops nearby to warm up post-surf.

The Cape Peninsula which is at the northern end of Cape Town gives surfers waves all year round. This surf spot is the perfect combination of swell size and direction of the wind, making this a favourite with locals and international surfers.

Long Beach in Cape Town, located on the Atlantic side of the Southern Cape Peninsula in Kommetjie boasts the best consistent shore breaks in the Cape, after Durban. The swell is small to medium on the south east side. If you’re a strong surfer and you’re looking to ride a westerly swell, the Outer Kom will be sure to thrill!

Cape Town Surfers

Cape Town Surfers

Secret Spots

Located in-between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, Victoria Bay or Vic Bay as it’s known to the young local surfers is a local surf spot. The shape of the bay ensures consistent waves throughout the year and is great for surfers of all levels.

If you’re an experienced surfer, Glen Beach is located five minutes away from the city centre churning out powerful, hollow waves. It’s nestled between Clifton and Camps Bay Beach and is a local favourite. This is a picturesque location with the Twelve Apostles visible from the surf.

Western Cape

Western Cape

Who to contact for surf lessons

Learn2Surf
Visit the Learn2Surf website here.
SMS hotline: +27 (0)83 414 0567
Email: info@learn2surf.co.za

Surf Emporium
Visit the Surf Emporium website here.
Muizenberg, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 788 8687
Mobile: +27 (0)82 562 8687/(0)725860905

Experience the Cape Winelands
South Africa boasts a number internationally acclaimed wines, and a visit to the Cape Winelands is a treat for wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Enjoy a delicious glass of wine at one of South Africa’s many wine estates. Image courtesy of jose romeu de abreu, aka Jose Romeu, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

A tour of the Winelands can easily be incorporated into a holiday to Cape Town – or visiting wine estates can be the main focus of the holiday.

Here is a selection of some wine-tasting venues…

Spier wine estate (pictured below) is situated in the Stellenbosch region. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options (one of which is a children’s grape-juice tasting), view contemporary art, enjoy a Segway tour through the vineyards, learn about agricultural practices, enjoy a meal at Eight restaurant, and more. Delicious food platters to pair with your wine tasting are also available. Besides producing award-winning wines and being one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa (its history can be traced as far back as the late 17th century), Spier is concerned with sustainable tourism practices – evident in the fact that it is recognised by a number of fair trade and sustainable tourism organisations, including Fair Trade Tourism South Africa.

If you’re looking for award-winning South African sparkling wine, then look no further thanThe House of JC Le Roux in the Devon Valley near Stellenbosch. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options, one of which is a tasting in which sparkling wines are paired with nougat and turkish delights. Another option is pairing of sparkling wines with a variety of marshmallow and meringues. Le Venue, the restaurant at The House of JC Le Roux, serves breakfast and lunches.

In the Robertson Wine Valley you will find the Graham Beck Robertson estate (there is also a vineyard in Stellenbosch and offices in Franschhoek, but tastings are only available at the Robertson estate). Here you can enjoy a wide selection of award-winning Graham Beck wines, including its world-class Cap Classique. Cellar tours are also available by appointment, so remember to book ahead of your wine tasting.

The Nederberg wine estate in Paarl is also a popular wine-tasting venue. Choose from a variety of wines to enjoy in beautiful and lush surroundings (pictured below). You can enjoy one of its cellar tours, which outline the history of Nederberg wines, the wine estate and more. Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday. From July 2014 the estate will be open on Sundays too. The estate also offers food and wine pairings, and the Red Table restaurant, located in the Cape Dutch-style Manor House, offers Bistro-style dining. It is best to pre-book for tours and to make reservations for the Red Table to avoid being disappointed.

The well-known region of Franschhoek offers a number of great vineyards, restaurants and accompanying views. A visit to Franschhoek, even a short trip, will quickly make it clear why this region is so loved. The views in Franschhoek are magnificent, the wines are delicious, and the food exquisite. Try the  Boschendal Wine Estate – here you can indulge in some delicious wine and chocolate pairings, as well as cellar tours. Between November and March you can also enjoy vineyard tours. Booking for the vineyard tours is essential.

Image courtesy of Patrick Meier, aka herr meier aus frankfurt, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

Why not try some of these, and other, estates in the  Cape Winelands. You’ll be glad you did.

Image taken in Franschhoek. Image courtesy of Jon Reid, aka Nomadic Vision Photography

Experience the Cape Winelands

South Africa boasts a number internationally acclaimed wines, and a visit to the Cape Winelands is a treat for wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Enjoy a delicious glass of wine at one of South Africa’s many wine estates. Image courtesy of jose romeu de abreu, aka Jose Romeu, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

A tour of the Winelands can easily be incorporated into a holiday to Cape Town – or visiting wine estates can be the main focus of the holiday.

Here is a selection of some wine-tasting venues…

Spier wine estate (pictured below) is situated in the Stellenbosch region. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options (one of which is a children’s grape-juice tasting), view contemporary art, enjoy a Segway tour through the vineyards, learn about agricultural practices, enjoy a meal at Eight restaurant, and more. Delicious food platters to pair with your wine tasting are also available. Besides producing award-winning wines and being one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa (its history can be traced as far back as the late 17th century), Spier is concerned with sustainable tourism practices – evident in the fact that it is recognised by a number of fair trade and sustainable tourism organisations, including Fair Trade Tourism South Africa.

If you’re looking for award-winning South African sparkling wine, then look no further thanThe House of JC Le Roux in the Devon Valley near Stellenbosch. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options, one of which is a tasting in which sparkling wines are paired with nougat and turkish delights. Another option is pairing of sparkling wines with a variety of marshmallow and meringues. Le Venue, the restaurant at The House of JC Le Roux, serves breakfast and lunches.

In the Robertson Wine Valley you will find the Graham Beck Robertson estate (there is also a vineyard in Stellenbosch and offices in Franschhoek, but tastings are only available at the Robertson estate). Here you can enjoy a wide selection of award-winning Graham Beck wines, including its world-class Cap Classique. Cellar tours are also available by appointment, so remember to book ahead of your wine tasting.

The Nederberg wine estate in Paarl is also a popular wine-tasting venue. Choose from a variety of wines to enjoy in beautiful and lush surroundings (pictured below). You can enjoy one of its cellar tours, which outline the history of Nederberg wines, the wine estate and more. Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday. From July 2014 the estate will be open on Sundays too. The estate also offers food and wine pairings, and the Red Table restaurant, located in the Cape Dutch-style Manor House, offers Bistro-style dining. It is best to pre-book for tours and to make reservations for the Red Table to avoid being disappointed.

The well-known region of Franschhoek offers a number of great vineyards, restaurants and accompanying views. A visit to Franschhoek, even a short trip, will quickly make it clear why this region is so loved. The views in Franschhoek are magnificent, the wines are delicious, and the food exquisite. Try the  Boschendal Wine Estate – here you can indulge in some delicious wine and chocolate pairings, as well as cellar tours. Between November and March you can also enjoy vineyard tours. Booking for the vineyard tours is essential.

Image courtesy of Patrick Meier, aka herr meier aus frankfurt, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

Why not try some of these, and other, estates in the  Cape Winelands. You’ll be glad you did.

Image taken in Franschhoek. Image courtesy of Jon Reid, aka Nomadic Vision Photography
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