Visiting Robben Island, privately

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town is Robben Island, where political prisoners were held during apartheid. Tickets are sought after and if you don’t book well in advance you could be out of luck. For many people, the visit is an emotional and eye-opening experience. Four centuries ago this infamous island…

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Spring flowers

It’s been a cold and wet winter in Cape Town, but we’ve already started planning for the spring flowers. After winter rains comes sunshine, turning the veld from semi-arid, almost dull brown, to a carpet of colour dazzling the eyes until the horizon. Botanists and other plant enthusiasts will venture far into the northern cape…

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Nelson Mandela statues and memorials

There are many statues and monuments, throughout the world, honouring Nelson Mandela. Here are five South African Nelson Mandela memorials. VOTING LINE, PORT ELIZABETH A series of metal figures representing all the communities who share South Africa and who voted peacefully on 27 April 1994, South Africa’s first free democratic elections, are the subject of…

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Table Mountain hiking safety

The Table Mountain Cableway will be closing for annual maintenance from 8 July to 18 August. This means many people will want to ascend on foot, but many will not take note of some basic hiking safety. Table Mountain is one of the world’s most well-known mountains and it’s understandable that visitors to Cape Town…

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Franschhoek Motor Museum

I’m no petrol-head but you don’t have to be a car enthusiast to appreciate the Franschhoek Motor Museum.  Owned by the Rupert family and housed at one of their wine estates in Franschhoek, this collection is impressive and probably the best in South Africa if you want to see the evolution of the motor car.…

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Matjiesfontein

My recent Karoo roadtrip included a night at the Lord Milner Hotel in the historic village of Matjiesfontein. To explain Matjiesfontein one must put it into the context of South African history as well as some geography to understand the region known as the Karoo. By the late 19th century the Cape Colony was in…

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Sutherland

I recently treated myself to a break from city crowds and traffic woes –the Karoo was an obvious choice. First stop Sutherland – mission accomplished in terms of traffic and crowds.  After a few hours on the national road I veered off on a lonely but well-tarred road for over 110 kms. This was pure…

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Dylan Lewis

I was recently invited to visit the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Stellenbosch. What a wonderful treat this was. Located high up the area known as Paradyskloof, against the Hottentots Holland mountains, where leopards still roam, this seven-hectare property is home to more than 60 of Dylan Lewis’s wonderful sculptures. These are scattered along several…

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Lamberts Bay

And then to Lamberts Bay If you live in Cape Town and enjoy road trips it sometimes happens that you haven’t seen the ocean for a few days and you start to miss it. Especially in summer. This happens to me often and it happened recently during a trip to the Cedarberg. Temperatures were soaring…

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ROOIBOS

  I recently spent a few days in the majestic Cedarberg region. It’s well-known for many things – amazing rock formations, ancient rock art, authentic veldskoene, and South Africa’s favourite natural health drink – rooibos. This treasured caffeine-free ‘tea’ is fast gaining popularity throughout the world as a refreshing, healthy, hot or cold drink. Did you…

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Famous shipwrecks of the Cape

Famous shipwrecks of the cape It is said that the first name given by the European sailors to what we now refer to as Cape Town or the Cape Peninsula, was ‘The Cape of Storms’.  With good reason, as the winter storms are more accurately ‘tempests’. It was also described, by Sir Francis Drake as…

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Beat the Cape Town summer queues

  Cape Town is very popular all year but even more so in summer, peaking from mid-December to the first week of January. We host visitors from abroad as well as elsewhere in South Africa, and many locals are on annual vacation. This results in long queues at certain attractions. Here are 3 important but…

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