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The alternative Garden Route

The alternative Garden Route

Instead of driving South Africa's coastal Garden Route, try the alternative Route 62, which takes you through immense stretches of Karoo farmland interspersed by delightful country towns and roadside stores. Here, as Cindy-Lou Dale finds on a stopover in Cradock, you will get a feel for the pulse of the country's rural heart. When I tell my petrol pump attendant that I am heading to Cradock, he smiles broadly. “Cradock, she is my home town, madam.” He then proceeds to...

Oh, Darling!

Oh, Darling!

Looking for a quiet weekend out of Cape Town, Janine Avery found herself drawn to a little rural town encouragingly called Darling. And if your curiosity has also been piqued, here are her top tips to help you make the most of it. Detour 15km off the popular West Coast Road that runs from Cape Town to Langebaan and you will find the tiny town of Darling. Renowned for its daisies and the home of Pieter-Dirk Uys’ character Evita...

A whirlwind weekend in South Africa: is it feasible?

A whirlwind weekend in South Africa: is it feasible?

Let’s face it, Africa is not often considered for a short-break by most winter-weary Europeans, who traditionally seek some sun within a three-or four-hour flight. Yet, with a new generation of aircraft now servicing many African destinations, and barely any time difference to worry about, we reckon there’s little reason why you shouldn’t head on safari for a long weekend. To test our theory, we sent London-based Lauren Jarvis as far south as we could muster. Here’s her account...

Beyond Table Mountain

Beyond Table Mountain

Cape Town-based Heather Richardson reveals a few ideas of what to do within a two-hour drive of the Mother City. Images by Heather Richardson. Watch whales breaching from Hermanus For land-based whale watching, the little town of Hermanus is the place to be. At peak whale season, between June and November, you can spot dozens of southern right whales chilling out or showing off, sometimes just a few metres from the shore. It’s here that they mate and care...

South Africa unwrapped

South Africa unwrapped

An insider’s overview from the experts at Steppes Travel. Why visit? Few places offer as much diversity as South Africa. Reborn as ‘the Rainbow Nation’, this enthralling country offers culture, wildlife, landscapes and history – all as varied as the country itself. Vibrant Cape Town and the magnificent Kruger National Park attract most attention, but South Africa is dotted with private reserves, boutique properties and activities for all ages. Highlights Cape Town and Winelands Diverse and steeped in history,...

Top 10 beds in Cape Town

Top 10 beds in Cape Town

The best places to catch a few zzzz's Cape Town is the city of everything. Vibrant, diverse and colourful, there’s a blockbuster of adventurous activities on the cards as well endless ways to sightsee. And what could be better at the end of a long day exploring than to sink in to a sumptuous bed, preferably with a glass of wine in hand and a glorious view to boot? Visitors to the Mother City are spoilt for choice when...

Wild in the Waterberg

Wild in the Waterberg

The town of Bela Bela in South Africa’s Waterberg Biosphere offers a range of activities from its warmbaths to an adrenaline-raising zip-line tour and, of course, excellent game sightings, says Janine Avery South Africa's Waterberg Biosphere stretches from just north of Pretoria all the way to the border of Botswana, covering 14,500 square kilometres and a rich variety of environments, including undulating mountain ranges, deep valleys with gushing rivers, dams and lakes, pristine woodland and bushveld, home to a...

The wild horses of the Overberg

The wild horses of the Overberg

In an area that boasts vegetation found nowhere else in the world runs an elusive group of wild steeds. Roanne Konkol provides evidence of the wonder behind their legend. All images copyright Bruce Boyd. The Overberg, popularly referred to as the breadbasket of the Cape for its prosperous grain farming, is a mere two-hour drive to the east of Cape Town, South Africa. It lies along the south-western coast of the Cape Peninsula, with the famous Garden Route to the...

Keeping track of cheetah

Keeping track of cheetah

Nick Dall sets out in South Africa’s Mountain Zebra National Park to search for the world’s fastest feline, and learn about its behaviour and interaction with its cousin the lion. Image copyright Mike Dexter. I’m breathless and starting to sweat, despite the Karoo morning chill. Two Austrian tourists and I have spent the last hour clambering up and down the steep, scrabbly slopes of Saltpeterskop in South Africa’s Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP) in search of a collared cheetah....

Is this the world’s best art museum?

Is this the world’s best art museum?

Steve and Ann Toon are impressed by Cape Town’s magical new masterpiece. Geometric windows bulge like big bubble-wrap, fat gemstones, or a regiment of goggle-eyed chameleons. They pop with the changing colours of the Cape Town sky – cerulean, silver, grey, bright white, sapphire and indigo. Glinting high above the busy waterfront, this angular Moroccan lantern sits above a stark and solemn row of colossal, concrete cylinders, bullying its neighbours and demanding the attention of the passers-by it dwarfs...

The magic of Mapungubwe

The magic of Mapungubwe

Lesley Thomson describes the natural beauty, ecology and ancient cultural history of Mapungubwe National Park on South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe In the silence, the cliffs sing to you.  What tales of years gone by the wind-sculptured balancing rocks could tell? Who trod the paths through the long grasses elephant now use?  How many thousands of years have the baobabs reached up to the sky? Mapungubwe National Park has a brooding atmosphere. It is as if the hills want...

KZN – 9 of the Best Activities in Kwa-Zulu Natal

KZN – 9 of the Best Activities in Kwa-Zulu Natal

You are never short of something to do in Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife territory. Here’s a few easy-to-access ideas Drive to see the Big Five Whether you drive yourself or join a guided game drive, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park ranks as one of the top places in Africa to see the so-called Big Five – lion leopard, black rhino, elephant and buffalo – and several other reserves including Ithala, Tembe, Phongolo and uMkhuze include most or all of the members of this...

KZN – The inside track on where to stay

KZN – The inside track on where to stay

So now you’ve arrived, where do you stay? Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife provides a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets; while most areas are easily accessible for self-drivers, walkers or those wanting a guided safari All the larger and most smaller conservation areas under the custodianship of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife are serviced by clean, good-value accommodation. Full details of individual resorts, lodges and camps are available on the website www.kznwildlife.com, breaking down into one or more of the following...

KZN – Our heritage

KZN – Our heritage

The key parks and reserves of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife… Tembe Elephant Park This remote reserve inland of Kosi Bay is managed in conjunction with the local community and harbours all the Big Five. It is renowned above all for its population of 250 elephants, which include some of the largest tuskers ever recorded in South Africa. Ndumo Game Reserve Cited as South Africa’s single most exciting birdwatching site, Ndumo protects the lush Phongolo and Usuthu floodplains together with a...

KZN- A world in one place

KZN- A world in one place

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife looks after a staggering 120-plus protected areas in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, providing conservation management and ecotourism to help preserve this unique area and its wildlife for generations to come. From the waterways of iSimangaliso Wetland Park to the mountains of Maloti-Drakensberg Park, with a host of game reserves in-between, there is truly something for everyone. KwaZulu-Natal is the most ecologically diverse of South Africa’s nine provinces. It is bounded to the east by...

On foot in Kruger

On foot in Kruger

Hlengiwe Magagula set off on the four-day Olifants River Back Pack Trail offered by SANParks When I arrived at the N’wamanzi Lookout Point at sundown, I had an extra reason to enjoy the view down to the Olifants River: the next day I would be down there on the sand, carrying my tent and four days of supplies. The Olifants River Back Pack Trail is one of three eco-friendly, “no trace camping” walks in the north of Kruger National...

The wild west coast

The wild west coast

If you are looking for quirky locals and unexpected treasures and pleasures, head up South Africa’s west coast for a dose of the Wild West SA style, says Carrie Hampton. Here are the best places to visit... (All images by Carrie Hampton) West Coast National Park Head for the lagoon where 20,000-year-old Eve’s footprints were found. Dr Dave Roberts thought, “I’ve found ancient animal footprints here, why not human?” And by jove he did! I love to lie on...

Secret South Africa

Secret South Africa

There’s a lot more to this diverse country than Kruger National Park. Philip Briggs unveils the country’s top 10 hidden highlights for the wildlife lover It’s not exactly breaking news that South Africa’s vast Kruger National Park is one of the world’s most alluring safari destinations. Less well known, however, is that Kruger serves as the flagship for a network of protected areas, including 18 other national parks, more than 100 provincially managed reserves and countless municipal and private...

Tracking lions in Tswalu

Tracking lions in Tswalu

One of the best places to see Kalahari lions is in Tswalu, South Africa’s biggest private wildlife reserve. Brian Jackman went to look for them It's early morning in Tswalu, the Korannaberg summits sharp-etched against the sky, and a set of fresh paw prints in the soft red sand. Each one is as big as my outstretched hand – the unmistakable signature of a male Kalahari lion. Tswalu began life in the 1970s as a hunting preserve owned by...

Gondwana with kids

Gondwana with kids

Going on safari with children can seem daunting, but not if you choose the right location. Jasreen Mayal Khanna tells us why Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa, will be an experience of a lifetime for both you and your children. While planning my holiday to Cape Town with my best friend and her son Momo, we considered going on a safari at Kruger National Park. But the idea of putting little the little boy through two more flights was...

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