Garden Route

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.

South Africa’s most romantic hidden gems

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

Text: Desiree Haakonsen

1. Paternoster, West Coast

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

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious 'chill' appeal.

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious ‘chill’ appeal.

Credit: www.whatsonincapetown.com

2. Hartbeespoort, Magaliesberg

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

It's difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

It’s difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

Credit: www.functionvenues.co.za

3. Clarens, Eastern Free State Highlands

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

One of Clarens' enexpected treasures.

One of Clarens’ unexpected treasures.

Credit: www.theclarens.co.za

4. Parys, Northern Free State

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

Stroll along the Vall River in Parys.

Stroll along the Vaal River in Parys.

Credit: www.getaway.co.za

5. Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

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

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

Credit: www.tripadvisor.co.za

6. Knysna, Garden Route

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

Knysna lagoon.

Knysna lagoon.

Credit: www.africanbreezeguesthouse.co.za

7. Bela-Bela, Waterberg

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

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Credit: www.roomsforafrica.com

8. Hermanus, Overberg

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

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

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

Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

9. Langebaan, West Coast

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

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Credit: www.high-five.co.za

10. Margate, Hibiscus Coast

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

Margate Beach.

Margate Beach.

Credit: www.booktravel.travel

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

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

Credit: www.planyourholiday.co.za

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

South Africa’s most romantic hidden gems

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

Text: Desiree Haakonsen

1. Paternoster, West Coast

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

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious 'chill' appeal.

Traditional fishing village Paternoster has serious ‘chill’ appeal.

Credit: www.whatsonincapetown.com

2. Hartbeespoort, Magaliesberg

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

It's difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

It’s difficult to beat a Hartebeespoort Dam sunset!

Credit: www.functionvenues.co.za

3. Clarens, Eastern Free State Highlands

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

One of Clarens' enexpected treasures.

One of Clarens’ unexpected treasures.

Credit: www.theclarens.co.za

4. Parys, Northern Free State

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

Stroll along the Vall River in Parys.

Stroll along the Vaal River in Parys.

Credit: www.getaway.co.za

5. Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

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

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

The Critchley Hackle Hotel in Dullstroom.

Credit: www.tripadvisor.co.za

6. Knysna, Garden Route

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

Knysna lagoon.

Knysna lagoon.

Credit: www.africanbreezeguesthouse.co.za

7. Bela-Bela, Waterberg

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

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Bliss out in the warm baths at Bela Bela.

Credit: www.roomsforafrica.com

8. Hermanus, Overberg

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

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

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

Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

9. Langebaan, West Coast

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

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Kitesurfing spot at Langebaan.

Credit: www.high-five.co.za

10. Margate, Hibiscus Coast

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

Margate Beach.

Margate Beach.

Credit: www.booktravel.travel

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

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

moyo uShaka Pier, Durban.

Credit: www.planyourholiday.co.za

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

Add these experiences to your bucket list

Is your New Year’s resolution to finally tick a South African safari off your bucket list in 2015? But did you know, there’s so much more South Africa has to offer? Here’s our selection of ten hidden gems we think are bucket list worthy!

One – The Garden Route

If you enjoy coastal drives and wine, you will not want to miss the Garden Route, a popular driving route and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Bramon Wine Estate is the only Wine Estate located in the middle of The Garden Route. The restaurant is set in the vineyards and overlooks the Tsitsikamma Mountains and The Elephant Sanctuary. The wine menu compliments the menu of tapas, local cheeses, oysters, meat and freshly baked homemade bread. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long lunch after driving along the Garden Route – the atmosphere at Bramon Wine Estate is sure to help you unwind.

Bramon Wine Estate

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Two – Matjiesfontein

Do you consider yourself a history buff and nostalgic for years gone by? Matjiesfontein is a tiny Victorian town in the Little Karoo that has been designated a national monument. Take a stroll through the main street and admire the white-washed houses or head to the Lord Milner Hotel for a drink. Rumour has it that the hotel is haunted! The town of Matjiesfontein offers travellers a unique experience and is a well-kept secret, but we predict for not much longer.

Lord_Milner_Hotel_at_Matjiesfontein (1)

Three – Balloon Safari

When you think of Safari, you think of South Africa. But, what if you could experience the magic of safari above the treetops? Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris has been in operation for over 30 years and gives visitors a unique vantage point where they can spot the big five while gliding over Cradle of Humankind and Magaliesberg Mountain range. After the safari, there is an English breakfast in the clubhouse for guests to share stories. The safari is a 45 minute drive from Johannesburg and well worth the journey.

Web-Top-Pic3-080126-088
Image source: Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris

Four – The Otter Trail

South African landscape is truly breathtaking. The Otter Trail in the Garden Route is a must see for anyone who loves hiking or adventure activities. This is a 5 day adventure, spanning 42km of trails on cliff tops along the shorelines; the diverse scenery along the way makes the journey somewhat more bearable. Tip: Take a camera and capture the beauty for your holiday album!

Otter_Trail01

Five – Nature’s Valley

Nature’s Valley in the Western Cape is at the end of the famous five-day Otter Trail, but hikers first have to cross the mouth of the lagoon, which is the dominant feature of this secluded coastal village, before they can call it a day. The town is aptly named as it is completely surrounded by indigenous forest and the Garden Route National Park. A great outing is the coastal walk to the nearby Salt River mouth, where you can enjoy complete privacy and seclusion.

Nature's_Valley_(S._Africa)_2

Six – The Big Five Marathon

The Big Five Marathon is a must if your New Year’s resolution is to get fit and travel more. Highlighted by Forbes Magazine as one the Top 10 marathons worth travelling for, there will be nothing separating you from running alongside the African wildlife. The next Big Five Marathon will take place on 20 June 2015. The 42Km marathon starts and finishes at Lakeside Lodge located on the Garden Route.

SouthAfrica_BigFiveMarathon_RunnersDownHill_039

Seven – Sardine Run

Around June each year, word gets out along the KwaZulu-Natal coast that the sardines have arrived. They’ve swum for more than 30 days from their spawning ground in the Cape to reach South Africa’s east coast. The annual sardine run sees massive shoals of the little silver fish journey from the cold waters of the Cape to the warmer tides of KwaZulu-Natal. The fish attract the attention of whales, dolphins, sharks and sea birds, leading to well-documented feeding frenzies.

Sardines_-_鰯(いわし) (1)

Eight – Zip lining in Drakensberg

Have you ever wanted to experience what it feels like to get a bird’s eye view of the greenest forest? The Drakensberg Canopy Tours runs zip line tours rain, hail or shine in the Blue Grotto Forest. The location is home to over 150 species of birds including the rare Bush Blackcap.

48bf697f444dc7a22c1461431c072268

Image source: Drakensberg Canopy Tours

Nine – The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen in Woodstock, Cape Town has taken out first place for the prestigious Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant awards held in November 2014. It is also featured on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants

This dining hot spot is a hit amongst local and international travellers. The menu is South African inspired with a sprinkling of Asian flair. Dishes range from grilled scallop with miso and shiitake to seared springbok in turnip milk and fermented red cabbage. The Test Kitchen has taken out the Eat Out award for the third year in a row. Needless to say, if you want to book a table at this award winning restaurant, be sure to allow for a month’s waiting list.

large31

Ten – Soweto Township

The township of Soweto in Johannesburg was a key point during the struggle against apartheid. Former president Nelson Mandela and Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu both lived in Vilakazi Street in Orlando, making it the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Peace laureates. The Mandela home is a now museum open to the public. Visitors to Soweto can also go to the Hector Pieterson Museum, a memorial erected to pay homage to students who died during the struggle.

orlando__620_400_80_s
For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

Add these experiences to your bucket list

Is your New Year’s resolution to finally tick a South African safari off your bucket list in 2015? But did you know, there’s so much more South Africa has to offer? Here’s our selection of ten hidden gems we think are bucket list worthy!

One – The Garden Route

If you enjoy coastal drives and wine, you will not want to miss the Garden Route, a popular driving route and one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Bramon Wine Estate is the only Wine Estate located in the middle of The Garden Route. The restaurant is set in the vineyards and overlooks the Tsitsikamma Mountains and The Elephant Sanctuary. The wine menu compliments the menu of tapas, local cheeses, oysters, meat and freshly baked homemade bread. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long lunch after driving along the Garden Route – the atmosphere at Bramon Wine Estate is sure to help you unwind.

Bramon Wine Estate

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Two – Matjiesfontein

Do you consider yourself a history buff and nostalgic for years gone by? Matjiesfontein is a tiny Victorian town in the Little Karoo that has been designated a national monument. Take a stroll through the main street and admire the white-washed houses or head to the Lord Milner Hotel for a drink. Rumour has it that the hotel is haunted! The town of Matjiesfontein offers travellers a unique experience and is a well-kept secret, but we predict for not much longer.

Lord_Milner_Hotel_at_Matjiesfontein (1)

Three – Balloon Safari

When you think of Safari, you think of South Africa. But, what if you could experience the magic of safari above the treetops? Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris has been in operation for over 30 years and gives visitors a unique vantage point where they can spot the big five while gliding over Cradle of Humankind and Magaliesberg Mountain range. After the safari, there is an English breakfast in the clubhouse for guests to share stories. The safari is a 45 minute drive from Johannesburg and well worth the journey.

Web-Top-Pic3-080126-088
Image source: Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris

Four – The Otter Trail

South African landscape is truly breathtaking. The Otter Trail in the Garden Route is a must see for anyone who loves hiking or adventure activities. This is a 5 day adventure, spanning 42km of trails on cliff tops along the shorelines; the diverse scenery along the way makes the journey somewhat more bearable. Tip: Take a camera and capture the beauty for your holiday album!

Otter_Trail01

Five – Nature’s Valley

Nature’s Valley in the Western Cape is at the end of the famous five-day Otter Trail, but hikers first have to cross the mouth of the lagoon, which is the dominant feature of this secluded coastal village, before they can call it a day. The town is aptly named as it is completely surrounded by indigenous forest and the Garden Route National Park. A great outing is the coastal walk to the nearby Salt River mouth, where you can enjoy complete privacy and seclusion.

Nature's_Valley_(S._Africa)_2

Six – The Big Five Marathon

The Big Five Marathon is a must if your New Year’s resolution is to get fit and travel more. Highlighted by Forbes Magazine as one the Top 10 marathons worth travelling for, there will be nothing separating you from running alongside the African wildlife. The next Big Five Marathon will take place on 20 June 2015. The 42Km marathon starts and finishes at Lakeside Lodge located on the Garden Route.

SouthAfrica_BigFiveMarathon_RunnersDownHill_039

Seven – Sardine Run

Around June each year, word gets out along the KwaZulu-Natal coast that the sardines have arrived. They’ve swum for more than 30 days from their spawning ground in the Cape to reach South Africa’s east coast. The annual sardine run sees massive shoals of the little silver fish journey from the cold waters of the Cape to the warmer tides of KwaZulu-Natal. The fish attract the attention of whales, dolphins, sharks and sea birds, leading to well-documented feeding frenzies.

Sardines_-_鰯(いわし) (1)

Eight – Zip lining in Drakensberg

Have you ever wanted to experience what it feels like to get a bird’s eye view of the greenest forest? The Drakensberg Canopy Tours runs zip line tours rain, hail or shine in the Blue Grotto Forest. The location is home to over 150 species of birds including the rare Bush Blackcap.

48bf697f444dc7a22c1461431c072268

Image source: Drakensberg Canopy Tours

Nine – The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen in Woodstock, Cape Town has taken out first place for the prestigious Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant awards held in November 2014. It is also featured on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants

This dining hot spot is a hit amongst local and international travellers. The menu is South African inspired with a sprinkling of Asian flair. Dishes range from grilled scallop with miso and shiitake to seared springbok in turnip milk and fermented red cabbage. The Test Kitchen has taken out the Eat Out award for the third year in a row. Needless to say, if you want to book a table at this award winning restaurant, be sure to allow for a month’s waiting list.

large31

Ten – Soweto Township

The township of Soweto in Johannesburg was a key point during the struggle against apartheid. Former president Nelson Mandela and Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu both lived in Vilakazi Street in Orlando, making it the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Peace laureates. The Mandela home is a now museum open to the public. Visitors to Soweto can also go to the Hector Pieterson Museum, a memorial erected to pay homage to students who died during the struggle.

orlando__620_400_80_s
For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

Summer Dining – Alfresco Style

Australia, New Zealand and South Africa share a summer because we are all in the Southern Hemisphere. It is at this time of year that the weather warms up and our thoughts turn to outdoor activities, eating alfresco and three fantastic months of getting out and enjoying the summer months.

The warmer months draw a lot of tourists to South Africa where they can participate in adventure activities, go on safari and indulge in the world class food and wine of South Africa has to offer.

No matter where your South African summer adventure takes you, be sure to bring your appetite because you are going to want to take part in everyone’s favourite activity whilst on holiday; eating and drinking.

The Garden Route is a popular driving route and is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. There are plenty of towns to stop at on your drive where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch and marvel at the view.

Serendipity restaurant located in Wilderness has a gourmet South African inspired menu which uses fresh, locally sourced and seasonal produce. Serendipity believes that South Africa has a wealth of culinary gems – mostly unknown to the world and they are passionate about showcasing them in a unique and innovative way. Serendipity currently holds the number one spot on Trip Advisor as the Best Garden Route restaurant. You can check out some reviews here.

Serendipity

Image source: Serendipity

If you’re after a more casual dining experience, East Head Café is just outside of Knysna and overlooks the sea – with a breathtaking view through Knysna Heads. The café supports local suppliers who source responsibly and describes their menu as “simple well-made food with an accent on flavour and freshness”. They have indoor and outdoor seating options, but no matter which you choose your meal will be accompanied by the most spectacular ocean views!

East Head Cafe

Image source: East Head Cafe

Bramon Wine Estate is the only Wine Estate located in the middle of The Garden Route. The restaurant is set in the vineyards and overlooks the Tsitsikamma Mountains and The Elephant Sanctuary. The wine menu compliments the menu of tapas, local cheeses, oysters, meat and freshly baked homemade bread. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long lunch after driving along the Garden Route – the atmosphere at Bramon Wine Estate is sure to help you unwind. While there, be sure to visit the cellar and sample their range of Vukani Empowerment wines. Vintner Peter Thorpe established this line in 2004 and named it after the Xhosa word for ‘wake up’. A percentage of all these wine sales enable local projects, especially the training and development of local farmers.

Bramon Wine Estate Food

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Bramon Wine Estate

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Did you know that Western Cape restaurants frequently feature in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s Top 50 Restaurant list? A visit to this region is a must for any foodie visiting South Africa.

The food of the Western Cape is heaven for adventurous eaters. The province is blessed with an abundant agricultural bounty, from both the land and the sea. Whether you feast on multi-course tasting menus in Franschhoek at the popular Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais or wolf down mouthfuls of umngqusho (a traditional Xhosa bean stew which was reportedly Nelson Mandela’s favourite dish) in Gugulethu, there is something to suit every mood, palate, and wallet.

Desert 2

Image source: The Tasting Room

The West Coast also offers up the traditional cuisine of the Sandveld (sand bush) at eateries such as Bosduifklip where delicious meals are served straight from the coals and Geelbek which is named after the Cape salmon. Eat just-caught seafood and spit-roasted lamb at the Musiboskerm and Strandloper restaurants near Lambert’s Bay. If you still have room, Paternoster’s quirky clutch of delicious delis and restaurants are not to be missed and can offer up a number of great snacks for the car!

Image source: Strandloper

Image source: Strandloper

Summer lunches mean one thing to South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians – fresh seafood! Seafood is prepared in many ways in South Africa – braaied (barbecued) on an open fire; battered and fried; drenched in Cape Malay pickles and curries; cooked Cajun-style; grilled and sauced with lemon butter; and, more recently, prepared Asian-style. You’ll find excellent seafood restaurants both on the coast and inland to suit any taste and budget from haute cuisine to the freshest of no-frills fish and chips

Inland, Johannesburg’s Fishmonger in Illovo is packed on a nightly basis, while Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant, Sushi and Oyster Bar on Nelson Mandela Square does brisk business. Portuguese, Mozambican and Brazilian restaurants in general are renowned for excellent shellfish.

Have we got your mouth watering?

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.

Summer Dining – Alfresco Style

Australia, New Zealand and South Africa share a summer because we are all in the Southern Hemisphere. It is at this time of year that the weather warms up and our thoughts turn to outdoor activities, eating alfresco and three fantastic months of getting out and enjoying the summer months.

The warmer months draw a lot of tourists to South Africa where they can participate in adventure activities, go on safari and indulge in the world class food and wine of South Africa has to offer.

No matter where your South African summer adventure takes you, be sure to bring your appetite because you are going to want to take part in everyone’s favourite activity whilst on holiday; eating and drinking.

The Garden Route is a popular driving route and is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. There are plenty of towns to stop at on your drive where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch and marvel at the view.

Serendipity restaurant located in Wilderness has a gourmet South African inspired menu which uses fresh, locally sourced and seasonal produce. Serendipity believes that South Africa has a wealth of culinary gems – mostly unknown to the world and they are passionate about showcasing them in a unique and innovative way. Serendipity currently holds the number one spot on Trip Advisor as the Best Garden Route restaurant. You can check out some reviews here.

Serendipity

Image source: Serendipity

If you’re after a more casual dining experience, East Head Café is just outside of Knysna and overlooks the sea – with a breathtaking view through Knysna Heads. The café supports local suppliers who source responsibly and describes their menu as “simple well-made food with an accent on flavour and freshness”. They have indoor and outdoor seating options, but no matter which you choose your meal will be accompanied by the most spectacular ocean views!

East Head Cafe

Image source: East Head Cafe

Bramon Wine Estate is the only Wine Estate located in the middle of The Garden Route. The restaurant is set in the vineyards and overlooks the Tsitsikamma Mountains and The Elephant Sanctuary. The wine menu compliments the menu of tapas, local cheeses, oysters, meat and freshly baked homemade bread. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long lunch after driving along the Garden Route – the atmosphere at Bramon Wine Estate is sure to help you unwind. While there, be sure to visit the cellar and sample their range of Vukani Empowerment wines. Vintner Peter Thorpe established this line in 2004 and named it after the Xhosa word for ‘wake up’. A percentage of all these wine sales enable local projects, especially the training and development of local farmers.

Bramon Wine Estate Food

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Bramon Wine Estate

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Did you know that Western Cape restaurants frequently feature in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s Top 50 Restaurant list? A visit to this region is a must for any foodie visiting South Africa.

The food of the Western Cape is heaven for adventurous eaters. The province is blessed with an abundant agricultural bounty, from both the land and the sea. Whether you feast on multi-course tasting menus in Franschhoek at the popular Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais or wolf down mouthfuls of umngqusho (a traditional Xhosa bean stew which was reportedly Nelson Mandela’s favourite dish) in Gugulethu, there is something to suit every mood, palate, and wallet.

Desert 2

Image source: The Tasting Room

The West Coast also offers up the traditional cuisine of the Sandveld (sand bush) at eateries such as Bosduifklip where delicious meals are served straight from the coals and Geelbek which is named after the Cape salmon. Eat just-caught seafood and spit-roasted lamb at the Musiboskerm and Strandloper restaurants near Lambert’s Bay. If you still have room, Paternoster’s quirky clutch of delicious delis and restaurants are not to be missed and can offer up a number of great snacks for the car!

Image source: Strandloper

Image source: Strandloper

Summer lunches mean one thing to South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians – fresh seafood! Seafood is prepared in many ways in South Africa – braaied (barbecued) on an open fire; battered and fried; drenched in Cape Malay pickles and curries; cooked Cajun-style; grilled and sauced with lemon butter; and, more recently, prepared Asian-style. You’ll find excellent seafood restaurants both on the coast and inland to suit any taste and budget from haute cuisine to the freshest of no-frills fish and chips

Inland, Johannesburg’s Fishmonger in Illovo is packed on a nightly basis, while Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant, Sushi and Oyster Bar on Nelson Mandela Square does brisk business. Portuguese, Mozambican and Brazilian restaurants in general are renowned for excellent shellfish.

Have we got your mouth watering?

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.

Romantic South Africa

Whether you and your significant other enjoy sipping wine together at sunset or adventure activities, we’ve compiled a list of romantic experiences to suit all couples.

Hot air ballooning through the Pilanesberg National Park, is the most scenic and relaxing method of experiencing the game reserve which is home to the Big Five.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris is the only Hot Air Balloon Company which launches from within a national park, offering a truly unique experience. Tours depart early morning and offer a 4-5 hour experience including hotel pick-up, 45-minute ride, a sparkling wine celebration on landing and full English breakfast.

The Bachelor Australia embarked on this breathtaking journey over the National Park, drifting over the lush terrain with one lucky lady during his time in South Africa.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safari’s

Image source: Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris

A helicopter trip with your partner in South Africa is guaranteed to be a spectacular experience, the only difficulty is choosing a region! The Bachelor Australia treated one lucky lady to this 5-star experience at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town which offers a luxurious package including private helicopter ride, lunch and wine tasting at an award winning restaurant.

Helicopter Ride - 12 Apostles

Image source: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

If you and your partner are into adventure activities, South Africa is one the few countries in the world which allow cage-free diving tours with Tiger sharks in Protea Banks. Participants will need to have completed a diving course before the dive. This is a unique experience, which will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

SharkExplorers in Cape Town offer a range of cage diving experiences as seen on The Bachelor Australia. The White Shark adventures which take place in False Bay, which is a 30-minute drive from Cape Town is a Great White Shark hotspot. The tour starts out before dawn and you’ll be able to experience the strength of the Great White Sharks launching out of the water to catch its seal prey safely from the boat.

Tiger Shark Diving

Cape Winelands which are located in the Western Cape gives you and your partner the opportunity to sit back and relax with a wine in hand and watch the sun set in this picturesque region of South Africa.

Whether you’re in a couple or travelling with friends and family, the Cape has 18 official wine routes and 2 brandy routes which offer the 3 S’s; Scenery, Serenity and Splendid wines.

Wine tasting, wine making tours, excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively create an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.

Cape Winelands

This region was featured on The Bachelor Australia when Blake romanced one of the final three lucky ladies taking her to the stunning Delaire Graff Estate.

If you’re overcome with the beauty of the Cape and find yourself on one knee proposing to the love of your life, you’ll be glad to know the Cape is a popular location to celebrate your nuptials. Cape Winelands offer breathtaking backdrops, world class food & wine, accommodation, all in a romantic and historical setting.

After a big day of activities, whether it be hot air ballooning, diving with sharks or enjoying a glass of red while the sun sets over the Cape Winelands, there are plenty of luxurious hotels for you to lay your head down…in style!

Pilanesberg National Park is a fascinating location, born out of a crater of a long extinct volcano. The Ivory Tree Game Lodge as featured on The Bachelor Australia is located in the heart of Pilanesberg and offers excellent service, range of amenities and stylish interiors for a night of rest and relaxation. The lodge has a range of activities for you to take advantage of during the day including archery, quad biking and of course, safari.

Ivory Tree Lodge

Image source: Ivory Tree Game Lodge

The Tsala Treetop Lodge is a unique Garden Route boutique resort which can be found in the treetops, as the name suggests. This five-star luxury resort offers unique lodges in the remote wilderness, wrap around decking and private infinity pools which offer birds eye views of the forest.

Tsala Treetop Lodge

Image source: Tsala Treetop Lodge

If you’re looking for a luxury safari lodge, Singita Ebony located in the Kruger National Park has incredible views of the river where wildlife bathe and drink with all the features of a five star lodge. Each room at Singita Ebony has a private pool, open fireplace, indoor/outdoor shower and game-viewing deck.

Singita Ebony

Image source: Singita Ebony

Follow the links below to book your romantic experience in South Africa.

Hot Air Ballooning

Mankwe GAMETRACKERS
Tel: +27 14 552 5020
Email: suncity@mankwegametrackers.co.za

Helicopter Ride

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 437 9000
Email: horst@12apostles.co.za

Shark Diving

SHARKEXPLORERS
Telephone: +27 82 564 1904
Email: info@sharkexplorers.com

African Dive Adventures (include Tiger Shark Diving adventures)
Tel: +27 (0)39 317 1483
Email: afridive@venturenet.co.za

 Accommodation

Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Tel: +27 11 781 1661
Email: res3@anthology.co.za

The Tsala Treetop Lodge
T : +27 (0) 44 501 1111
F : +27 (0) 44 501 1100
res@hunterhotels.com
www.hunterhotels.com

Singita Ebony
Tel: +27 (0)21 683 3424
Fax: +27 (0)21 671 6776
Email: enquiries@singita.com
http://singita.com/

Romantic South Africa

Whether you and your significant other enjoy sipping wine together at sunset or adventure activities, we’ve compiled a list of romantic experiences to suit all couples.

Hot air ballooning through the Pilanesberg National Park, is the most scenic and relaxing method of experiencing the game reserve which is home to the Big Five.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris is the only Hot Air Balloon Company which launches from within a national park, offering a truly unique experience. Tours depart early morning and offer a 4-5 hour experience including hotel pick-up, 45-minute ride, a sparkling wine celebration on landing and full English breakfast.

The Bachelor Australia embarked on this breathtaking journey over the National Park, drifting over the lush terrain with one lucky lady during his time in South Africa.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safari’s

Image source: Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris

A helicopter trip with your partner in South Africa is guaranteed to be a spectacular experience, the only difficulty is choosing a region! The Bachelor Australia treated one lucky lady to this 5-star experience at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town which offers a luxurious package including private helicopter ride, lunch and wine tasting at an award winning restaurant.

Helicopter Ride - 12 Apostles

Image source: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

If you and your partner are into adventure activities, South Africa is one the few countries in the world which allow cage-free diving tours with Tiger sharks in Protea Banks. Participants will need to have completed a diving course before the dive. This is a unique experience, which will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

SharkExplorers in Cape Town offer a range of cage diving experiences as seen on The Bachelor Australia. The White Shark adventures which take place in False Bay, which is a 30-minute drive from Cape Town is a Great White Shark hotspot. The tour starts out before dawn and you’ll be able to experience the strength of the Great White Sharks launching out of the water to catch its seal prey safely from the boat.

Tiger Shark Diving

Cape Winelands which are located in the Western Cape gives you and your partner the opportunity to sit back and relax with a wine in hand and watch the sun set in this picturesque region of South Africa.

Whether you’re in a couple or travelling with friends and family, the Cape has 18 official wine routes and 2 brandy routes which offer the 3 S’s; Scenery, Serenity and Splendid wines.

Wine tasting, wine making tours, excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively create an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.

Cape Winelands

This region was featured on The Bachelor Australia when Blake romanced one of the final three lucky ladies taking her to the stunning Delaire Graff Estate.

If you’re overcome with the beauty of the Cape and find yourself on one knee proposing to the love of your life, you’ll be glad to know the Cape is a popular location to celebrate your nuptials. Cape Winelands offer breathtaking backdrops, world class food & wine, accommodation, all in a romantic and historical setting.

After a big day of activities, whether it be hot air ballooning, diving with sharks or enjoying a glass of red while the sun sets over the Cape Winelands, there are plenty of luxurious hotels for you to lay your head down…in style!

Pilanesberg National Park is a fascinating location, born out of a crater of a long extinct volcano. The Ivory Tree Game Lodge as featured on The Bachelor Australia is located in the heart of Pilanesberg and offers excellent service, range of amenities and stylish interiors for a night of rest and relaxation. The lodge has a range of activities for you to take advantage of during the day including archery, quad biking and of course, safari.

Ivory Tree Lodge

Image source: Ivory Tree Game Lodge

The Tsala Treetop Lodge is a unique Garden Route boutique resort which can be found in the treetops, as the name suggests. This five-star luxury resort offers unique lodges in the remote wilderness, wrap around decking and private infinity pools which offer birds eye views of the forest.

Tsala Treetop Lodge

Image source: Tsala Treetop Lodge

If you’re looking for a luxury safari lodge, Singita Ebony located in the Kruger National Park has incredible views of the river where wildlife bathe and drink with all the features of a five star lodge. Each room at Singita Ebony has a private pool, open fireplace, indoor/outdoor shower and game-viewing deck.

Singita Ebony

Image source: Singita Ebony

Follow the links below to book your romantic experience in South Africa.

Hot Air Ballooning

Mankwe GAMETRACKERS
Tel: +27 14 552 5020
Email: suncity@mankwegametrackers.co.za

Helicopter Ride

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 437 9000
Email: horst@12apostles.co.za

Shark Diving

SHARKEXPLORERS
Telephone: +27 82 564 1904
Email: info@sharkexplorers.com

African Dive Adventures (include Tiger Shark Diving adventures)
Tel: +27 (0)39 317 1483
Email: afridive@venturenet.co.za

 Accommodation

Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Tel: +27 11 781 1661
Email: res3@anthology.co.za

The Tsala Treetop Lodge
T : +27 (0) 44 501 1111
F : +27 (0) 44 501 1100
res@hunterhotels.com
www.hunterhotels.com

Singita Ebony
Tel: +27 (0)21 683 3424
Fax: +27 (0)21 671 6776
Email: enquiries@singita.com
http://singita.com/

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.

Four Friends, Ten Days and Twenty Unforgettable Experiences – Part 3

The final installment of our lucky traveler’s trip starts in Cape Town and finishes with what South Africa is most famous for, going on safari. More →

Four Friends, Ten Days and Twenty Unforgettable Experiences – Part 3

The final installment of our lucky traveler’s trip starts in Cape Town and finishes with what South Africa is most famous for, going on safari. More →

Baby Elephant rescue

Female elephants resuce a baby elephant from drowning in a waterhole. For Africa tour details visit www.gardenroutetrail.co.za.

World’s best underwater experiences

Lonely Planet has named diving with Great Whites in Gansbaai, South Africa one of the world’s best underwater experiences.

Everyone knows how the Jaws theme music goes. Diving with great white sharks is up there with base-jumping in the adrenaline top 10, and Gansbaai in the Southern Cape is the ideal place to swim with the big fish. Fortunately, there’s an aluminium cage – or for the brave, a clear plastic tube – between you and the ocean’s greatest killing machines.

Numerous companies offer dives in Gansbaai’s ‘Shark Alley’, but look for operators who invest their profits back into shark conservation.

Shark Lady: http://www.sharklady.co.za/

Shark cage diving is also great in Mossel Bay on the Garden Route.

White Shark Africa: http://www.whitesharkafrica.com/home.html

Source: news.com.au

World’s best underwater experiences

Lonely Planet has named diving with Great Whites in Gansbaai, South Africa one of the world’s best underwater experiences.

Everyone knows how the Jaws theme music goes. Diving with great white sharks is up there with base-jumping in the adrenaline top 10, and Gansbaai in the Southern Cape is the ideal place to swim with the big fish. Fortunately, there’s an aluminium cage – or for the brave, a clear plastic tube – between you and the ocean’s greatest killing machines.

Numerous companies offer dives in Gansbaai’s ‘Shark Alley’, but look for operators who invest their profits back into shark conservation.

Shark Lady: http://www.sharklady.co.za/

Shark cage diving is also great in Mossel Bay on the Garden Route.

White Shark Africa: http://www.whitesharkafrica.com/home.html

Source: news.com.au

Resort: Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa
On the May 2010 trip we stayed at the luxurious Pezula Resort Hotel which sits atop 1,000 hectares of the Knysna headlands along the Garden Route.

where were greeted with a wonderfully relaxing spa treatment

 

 

 

 

That evening we dined at Zachary’s restaurant (named after a labrador) on some exquisite food, all locally grown. The few remnants that we didn’t devour, were to be fed to the local pigs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was so much to this property that we’ll be following up with additional posts.

Web: Pezula Resort Hotel
Style: Luxury
Region: Western Cape (Garden Route)

Resort: Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa

On the May 2010 trip we stayed at the luxurious Pezula Resort Hotel which sits atop 1,000 hectares of the Knysna headlands along the Garden Route.

where were greeted with a wonderfully relaxing spa treatment

 

 

 

 

That evening we dined at Zachary’s restaurant (named after a labrador) on some exquisite food, all locally grown. The few remnants that we didn’t devour, were to be fed to the local pigs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was so much to this property that we’ll be following up with additional posts.

Web: Pezula Resort Hotel
Style: Luxury
Region: Western Cape (Garden Route)