Durban

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.

Golfing in South Africa for all budgets

South Africa offers a wide variety of golf courses – whatever your budget.

Even if you feel you’re unable to afford to play at South Africa’s top golf establishments such as Sun City, Fancourt and Zimbali, there are numerous more affordable courses to try out around the country. You don’t have to be a member to play at most country clubs and you’ll likely find the green fees at these establishments very reasonable by general international standards.

Fancourts_Links

Fancourt

Most establishments offer the option of only paying for nine holes if you don’t wish to pay for 18. If you don’t want to bring your clubs to South Africa, you will be able to hire a set at most courses. Multiple driving ranges are available in all of South Africa’s major cities and mini-golf establishments in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are easily accessible and very cheap.

While Gauteng is generally considered expensive by South African standards, you can still play nine holes of golf for about R120 (AUD $12). The Linksfield Golf Club, OR Tambo International Airport, offers this sort of rate and has three different courses to choose from. Visitors are always welcome here. If you are staying in Pretoria, you’ll get good value by visiting Akasia Country Club.

Linksfield Golf Club

Linksfield Golf Club

The Metropolitan Golf Club, situated next to the Cape Town Stadium, offers 18 holes in a combination of urban and natural surroundings, at very reasonable rates. You can also hire clubs here. If you’re travelling along the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay Country Club is one of the more affordable courses.

If you can’t afford the Durban Country Club, then consider the Kloof Country Club for a much cheaper round. Bosch Hoek Country Club, a 90-minute drive from Durban, is a nine-hole course with very forgiving fairways so you’re likely to save money on balls as well as green fees if you’re a hacker.

Travel Tips & Planing Information

Linksfield Golf Club
Tel: +27 (0)11 6405762
Email: info@linksfield.co.za

 Metropolitan Golf Club
Tel: +27 (0)21 430 6011
Email: met@mweb.co.za

Kloof Country Club
Tel: +27 (0)31 764 0555
Email: pam@kloofcc.co.za

Plettenberg Bay Country Club
Tel: +27 (0)44 533 2132
Email: pbcc@global.co.za

Akasia Country Club
Tel: +27 (0)12 542 1309

Golfing in South Africa for all budgets

South Africa offers a wide variety of golf courses – whatever your budget.

Even if you feel you’re unable to afford to play at South Africa’s top golf establishments such as Sun City, Fancourt and Zimbali, there are numerous more affordable courses to try out around the country. You don’t have to be a member to play at most country clubs and you’ll likely find the green fees at these establishments very reasonable by general international standards.

Fancourts_Links

Fancourt

Most establishments offer the option of only paying for nine holes if you don’t wish to pay for 18. If you don’t want to bring your clubs to South Africa, you will be able to hire a set at most courses. Multiple driving ranges are available in all of South Africa’s major cities and mini-golf establishments in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are easily accessible and very cheap.

While Gauteng is generally considered expensive by South African standards, you can still play nine holes of golf for about R120 (AUD $12). The Linksfield Golf Club, OR Tambo International Airport, offers this sort of rate and has three different courses to choose from. Visitors are always welcome here. If you are staying in Pretoria, you’ll get good value by visiting Akasia Country Club.

Linksfield Golf Club

Linksfield Golf Club

The Metropolitan Golf Club, situated next to the Cape Town Stadium, offers 18 holes in a combination of urban and natural surroundings, at very reasonable rates. You can also hire clubs here. If you’re travelling along the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay Country Club is one of the more affordable courses.

If you can’t afford the Durban Country Club, then consider the Kloof Country Club for a much cheaper round. Bosch Hoek Country Club, a 90-minute drive from Durban, is a nine-hole course with very forgiving fairways so you’re likely to save money on balls as well as green fees if you’re a hacker.

Travel Tips & Planing Information

Linksfield Golf Club
Tel: +27 (0)11 6405762
Email: info@linksfield.co.za

 Metropolitan Golf Club
Tel: +27 (0)21 430 6011
Email: met@mweb.co.za

Kloof Country Club
Tel: +27 (0)31 764 0555
Email: pam@kloofcc.co.za

Plettenberg Bay Country Club
Tel: +27 (0)44 533 2132
Email: pbcc@global.co.za

Akasia Country Club
Tel: +27 (0)12 542 1309

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

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

Five cool things to do in Durban
Durban is famous for its balmy weather, lush, subtropical feel and its links to the Orient. Here are five cool ways to experience South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.
Trainee life guards at Durban’s North Beach

Never been to Durban before? Here are a few must-dos when you’re there…

1. Dip your toes in the Indian Ocean

Durban’s claim to fame is the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean that make year-round swimming and surfing a pleasure, and it’s not unusual to see Durbanites nipping down to the water’s edge for a quick surf between business engagements. Take a stroll along the beachfront and spot the incredible sand sculptures that are a permanent fixture here, or chat to the lifeguards whose job it is to keep an eye on anyone who ventures into the water.

Sand sculptures are a fixture on the beachfront

2. Go on a city walking tour

The sprawl of Durban can be confusing and a bit overwhelming for the first-timer, so one of the best ways to acclimatise yourself to the heady cultural mix of the city is to go on a walking tour. If you’re interested in Durban’s links with the Orient, or want to see some of the historical landmarks on foot, then book a tour with Durban Tourism. It costs only R100 for an adult and will keep you occupied for several hours. The Oriental Walkabout will take you past landmarks like the Juma Musjid Mosque and the Victoria Street Market, while the Historical Walkabout will see you visiting landmark buildings like the current City Hall.

Bookings: Call Durban Tourism on +27 (0)31 3224173 to arrange a tour so that they can line up a guide for you. Tours start at 9.30am or 1.30pm, but must be arranged in advance.

An organised walking tour is a good way to orientate yourself
Durban’s City Hall

3. Buy some masala for the folks back home

Thanks to Durban’s Indian population, this city is famous for its curries and so it is virtually mandatory to eat a spicy meal when you’re here. If you want to take that nice, warm feeling back home with you, then buy some masala (mixed, ground spices). Some traders make up frighteningly hot mixes with names like ‘Arson Fire: Mother-in-Law Exterminator’. If you’re not up for the hottest of hot curries, then request a milder version to be made up especially for you. A sachet should cost around R20.

Masala piled high at a trading store in the Victoria Street Market
Stall inside Victoria Street Market

4. Visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Based in Umhlanga, north of central Durban, is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, whose job it is to protect bathers along the coastline of this province, where the warm waters attract some 14 species of shark inshore (only three of which are dangerous to bathers). Here there is an interesting display with more information about the sea life to be found in these waters and a curio shop. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also attend an audio-visual presentation and watch a shark dissection. Sharks have been known to scavenge all manner of things (like Wellington boots and even human body parts), so you never quite know what might be inside that stomach!

Where? Follow the signs on Umhlanga Rocks Drive past the Umhlanga Hospital
Contact: +27 (0)31 566 0400

A dissection at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board
This surfboard is on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head offices in Umhlanga

5. Have sundowners at a beachfront hotel

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a great Panorama Bar and Pool Deck on the second floor, with a commanding view over the beachfront where you can watch the surfers dropping into the water off a pier, or simply enjoy the balmy air and view of the glistening water. Remember that the sun rises in the East, so you won’t see it sink into the sea but it’s a still a great place for cocktails or to enjoy one of their trademark ice creams. Another popular spot is Joe Cool’s on the beachfront.

Durban beachfront as seen from the sea

 

Five cool things to do in Durban

Durban is famous for its balmy weather, lush, subtropical feel and its links to the Orient. Here are five cool ways to experience South Africa’s most popular holiday destination.
Trainee life guards at Durban’s North Beach

Never been to Durban before? Here are a few must-dos when you’re there…

1. Dip your toes in the Indian Ocean

Durban’s claim to fame is the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean that make year-round swimming and surfing a pleasure, and it’s not unusual to see Durbanites nipping down to the water’s edge for a quick surf between business engagements. Take a stroll along the beachfront and spot the incredible sand sculptures that are a permanent fixture here, or chat to the lifeguards whose job it is to keep an eye on anyone who ventures into the water.

Sand sculptures are a fixture on the beachfront

2. Go on a city walking tour

The sprawl of Durban can be confusing and a bit overwhelming for the first-timer, so one of the best ways to acclimatise yourself to the heady cultural mix of the city is to go on a walking tour. If you’re interested in Durban’s links with the Orient, or want to see some of the historical landmarks on foot, then book a tour with Durban Tourism. It costs only R100 for an adult and will keep you occupied for several hours. The Oriental Walkabout will take you past landmarks like the Juma Musjid Mosque and the Victoria Street Market, while the Historical Walkabout will see you visiting landmark buildings like the current City Hall.

Bookings: Call Durban Tourism on +27 (0)31 3224173 to arrange a tour so that they can line up a guide for you. Tours start at 9.30am or 1.30pm, but must be arranged in advance.

An organised walking tour is a good way to orientate yourself
Durban’s City Hall

3. Buy some masala for the folks back home

Thanks to Durban’s Indian population, this city is famous for its curries and so it is virtually mandatory to eat a spicy meal when you’re here. If you want to take that nice, warm feeling back home with you, then buy some masala (mixed, ground spices). Some traders make up frighteningly hot mixes with names like ‘Arson Fire: Mother-in-Law Exterminator’. If you’re not up for the hottest of hot curries, then request a milder version to be made up especially for you. A sachet should cost around R20.

Masala piled high at a trading store in the Victoria Street Market
Stall inside Victoria Street Market

4. Visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board

Based in Umhlanga, north of central Durban, is the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, whose job it is to protect bathers along the coastline of this province, where the warm waters attract some 14 species of shark inshore (only three of which are dangerous to bathers). Here there is an interesting display with more information about the sea life to be found in these waters and a curio shop. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can also attend an audio-visual presentation and watch a shark dissection. Sharks have been known to scavenge all manner of things (like Wellington boots and even human body parts), so you never quite know what might be inside that stomach!

Where? Follow the signs on Umhlanga Rocks Drive past the Umhlanga Hospital
Contact: +27 (0)31 566 0400

A dissection at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board
This surfboard is on display at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head offices in Umhlanga

5. Have sundowners at a beachfront hotel

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has a great Panorama Bar and Pool Deck on the second floor, with a commanding view over the beachfront where you can watch the surfers dropping into the water off a pier, or simply enjoy the balmy air and view of the glistening water. Remember that the sun rises in the East, so you won’t see it sink into the sea but it’s a still a great place for cocktails or to enjoy one of their trademark ice creams. Another popular spot is Joe Cool’s on the beachfront.

Durban beachfront as seen from the sea

 

Discover the unique spice trails of Durban

Buzzing, vibrant and exotic, Durban offers a South African experience that is uniquely its own. The coastal city in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is the third largest in the country and brings together the best of city, sea and culture. More →

Discover the unique spice trails of Durban

Buzzing, vibrant and exotic, Durban offers a South African experience that is uniquely its own. The coastal city in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal is the third largest in the country and brings together the best of city, sea and culture. More →

South Africa Travel – Definitely More Than Just Cape Town

Canyon_south_africa_-_viewing_

Hi there, my name is Anthony and I’m from TheTravelTart.com. I’d like to write about a recent travel experience I had to South Africa based on a press trip to the KwaZulu Natal Region in October 2010.

The coastal city of Durban is the gateway to this incredible area of diversity. This was my fourth time to South Africa, and my second visit to the KwaZulu Natal region. However, I had never experienced a truckload of things KwaZulu Natal had to offer until this trip. More →