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26.08.2014
The Cape Flower Route is a fixture on most traveller’s bucket lists around the world, but for those of you who love a little nature (while reveling at the same time), we’ve come up with a few ideas for you this spring. We share our favourite experiences along the flower route, in locations such as Darling, Napier, Citrusdal, the West Coast and Clanwilliam, which will speak to everyone’s inner hippie. What started out as festival only attended by a few hundred people, out in the middle of nowhere during the final crisp throws of winter (trust me, I was there), has evolved into one of South Africa’s biggest music festivals. This year, international bands MGMT, Rudimental, Cystal Fighters and The Presets are confirmed to play, from 2 – 5 October, at Cloof Wine Estate in Darling – no wonder it’s been dubbed Rocktober here in Cape Town.
Tickets sell out faster than you can say ‘Love me, love me not”, so remember to grab a few as they go on sale. We can’t think of a much better way to celebrate the flowers than by feeling them in between your toes while dancing, so if you’re into that, Alien Safari ‘Sprung’ is for you.
This year, festival-goers will be treated to Dutch duo Riktam and Bansi, who will perform individually and together under their collaborative project Growling Mad Scientists (better known as GMS), as well as a host of local and international DJ’s, ready to get your dancing amongst the daisies. The Baths in Citrusdal are one of our favourite natural springs in the Cape, made even more spring-fabulous by it’s location in one of the most beautiful flower regions of the country. The Baths are equipped with everything the whole family could desire, with the addition of an excellent restaurant on site, a pool table and a shop selling goodies for self-catering guests. The West Coast is prolific for flower-hunting – and what better way to fuel your expedition than with fresh, rustic West Coast cuisine straight from the sea at The Strand Kombuis in Yzerfontein and The Strandloper in Langebaan. You’ll be in for the long haul at both these venues, so dedicate an entire day to it (not only because you won’t be able to move afterwards!) but because it’s is more of an experience than simply a lunch.
Everyone should experience these two incredible open-air restaurants when visiting Cape Town, especially during flower season, when nature and the soulful beauty of the West Coast meet to put on one of the most vivid shows on earth.
Enjo is a soul place that is close to our hearts, largely due its exquisite location in the midst of rolling fields of daisies during flower season. Spring-fed pools and a river offer kids hours worth of fun, while hiking and star-gazing will enthrall all members of the family. The canola fields of the Overberg spring into bloom from mid-July for a few weeks until approximately early September. The most abundant areas for viewing this natural spectacle are between Stanford, towards Caledon and Napier; small towns which offer a wealth of accommodation to suit all pockets.
The post Spring Flowers Can Be A Little Rock ‘n Roll appeared first on South Africa Travel News. Johannesburg - dynamic, edgy; as electric as the storms that brew on hot summer’s evenings.
Jozi, Jo’burg, Egoli, Joni, Joziburg, Joeys or even just plain JHB – that we love South Africa’s largest city is more than apparent in the number of nicknames we give it. You have to have something very special going for you not to have a river, lake or coastline to enable your significance as a city. They’re legendary; the 210 stairs that cut a vertical trail up the hillside in amongst some of the city’s hottest property. The morning and evening rush hour is nothing short of an abusive adrenaline rush – deserving of at least fifteen minutes’ rant at the dinner table. The iconic bridge across the divide; the 284 metre construction that is a symbol of the man who bridged the gap of apartheid. The skyscrapers, the Vodacom Tower, Ponte and the red of a setting sun at dusk…it makes you go all gooey inside.
A feel-good story about a white guy who, instead of doing community service for his misdemeanour, proposed that he work with a children’s shelter to train them in photography. Brooding drama as intense slate grey builds, followed by a deluge just short of a typhoon; winds and broiling clouds. The annual challenge that sees 30 000 people ride 94.7 km of urban landscape in aid of charity.
R68 million later and the beautiful heritage building that sits across the road from Luthuli House has had a work over, returning as a learning, meeting and performance space with an IT hub, coffee shop and skylight.
Who says they belong to Pretoria (we have more of them, even if we can’t plant any more of them!) In October over 70 000 jacarandas are in bloom – we look like something out of Barney’s play land; a sea of purple blossoms. Our inner city answer to the West End, our city’s western sector is filled with theatres, art galleries, trendy coffee shops, restaurants, clubs, street market and museums… we love its embrace of cultural diversity. Johannesburg’s twin cooling towers in Soweto dominate the skyline in this part of the city.
Kwelera’s 164 hectares form a narrow strip of coast that runs parallel to the Indian Ocean for about five kilometres, between the beachside town of Gonubie and where the Kwelera River meets the sea just north-east of East London. Kwelera, or Kwelegha (the ‘r’ is pronoucned as a ‘gh’ as in loch), comes from the Khoi language and means place of aloes (the Eastern Cape’s emblem). It is a series of sand dunes and coastal forests, dominated by white and red milkwood and silver oak trees, protected from the continuous development along this part of the Sunshine Coast. Though it has some way to go before it catches up with its plans to acquire further land, plant a formal garden and design a walk that links the garden to the coastal dune forests, the reserve is nonetheless worth a visit for its beauty and wildness.
Between its heavily wooded sand dunes is a rich bird life and the odd Vervet monkey, little bushbuck and blue duiker. Visit the nature reserve before it becomes a frequently visited garden and see the plant, bird and animal life for yourself. A rare butterfly found in one of its most southerly locations in the Kwelera nature reserve.
The Jikeleza tourism route links the Sunshine Coast to the Wild Coast, a cluster of 50 or so attractions that include one of South Africa’s best rated backpackers. The biggest of these, Sunrise-on-sea, is guilty of the odd insensitively designed double-storey and the illegal clearing of dune vegetation in front of houses, but Kwelera Mouth and Rainbow Valley are both still small enough not to threaten the nature reserve’s protection status, or the quiet of the wilderness. As a National Botanical Garden, Kwelera will have extra protection, and more funds will mean better management of the environment. The next step is to find adjacent land to landscape a formal garden, and to build an education centre and offices. The post 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Kwelera – South Africa’s 10th National Botanical Garden appeared first on South Africa Travel News.
I am so looking forward to this weekend; we are meandering our way to the village of Hilton and will be attending not one, not two but three productions at the Hilton Arts Festival!
There are a large number of different events happening over the four days of the festival and they range in genre from drama, comedy, physical theatre, music, cabaret, mindscape, performing arts, children’s theatre, music revival, children’s workshops, adults workshops and supper theatre. Supper Theatre is the largest of the categories with a total of 25 performances taking place in the SPAR Drama Centre, the Memorial Hall, the Art Block, Chapel or Grindrod Bank Theatre.
Theatre for the Young at Heart involves a selection of eight different productions which have been divided into three, age appropriate, categories.
Music is divided into both Music and Music Revival with the likes of Memphis 55 and Helena Hettema fitting into the Music section with their rock n roll and Piaf renditions respectively. Mindscapes is a section that my husband has an interest in and as a result we have booked tickets for two of Rob Caskie’s hour long talks.
There are also loads in the way of free music and events with both the DHS Band and Hilton College Jazz Band, among others performing for the crowds!
The Midlands Meander is well represented with a handful of their exhibitors present at the Festival.
Tickets for shows are available via the online booking site and I would definitely book in advance to avoid disappointment. A number of food and drink vendors will be at Hilton College so make your way there and spend a day at least exploring the grounds of this magnificent school and supporting the fantastic lineup of shows and exhibitors on offer. It’s that time of the year again; the time when the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra strut their stuff in their Spring Season series of concerts.


There are three remaining concerts, all of which take place on a Thursday evening at the magnificent Durban City Hall. The concert we are going to is the penultimate in the series and includes two international stars. The 2014 season ends with a bang … with well know German maestro, Justus Franz returning to Durban to conduct the final concert which honours the work and dedication to classical music of Bongani Tembe, the Chief Executive and Artistic Director for the KZN Philharmonic. The Cederberg is the place of rooibos and buchu tea, blue and cloudless skies, intensely hot summers, little towns and fertile valleys that summon holiday makers all year round. For Capetonians, it is a playground and long weekend hiking paradise, whilst hikers, rock-climbers, cyclists and nature lovers treat it as a refuge. Dominated by burnt orange mountains and jagged sandstone rock formations, like the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross, and ancient !Xam rock art, it is a 70 000 hectare mountainous wilderness ripe for outdoor adventure. It gets its name from the Clanwilliam Cedar, an endemic and protected tree in this undeveloped, and largely isolated part of the Western Cape. Tip: Just off the N7 between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, find the ‘Kom Proe’ Farm Stall (it isn’t actually called that, but look out for the brightly painted walls and constant hum of activity), where you can stock up on the juiciest citrus fruit in season. No journey to the Cederberg is complete without a glimpse of the incredible rock art of the area. The Khoisan Kitchen is on the banks of the Brandewyn River, and is described as ‘well run and unpretentious’. To end your day drop into Velskoendraai, at the entrance to one of the citrus farms in the area. After a day’s hike you want little other than a good restaurant at which to eat, followed by a good night’s sleep.
This 26 km trail is suitable for all riders, but holds enough challenge for the more experienced rider. A local community goods market runs out of the Sandveldhuisie Museum in Citrusdal, find organic vegetables, home-bakes, preserves, fresh proteas, sausages, cheese, real lemonade, ginger beer and homemade yoghurt. This hike starts and ends at the Kliphuis campsite, and follows one of the routes on the new Peter Slingsby Hike the Cederberg map (northern section). The Rooibos factory in Clanwilliam may have started as a cottage industry, but it has grown to supply rooibos tea globally. This wine route runs from Citrusdal along the Olifants River all the way to the town of Lutzville, with some of the country’s most westerly vineyards. The post 4 jam-packed day trips to the Cederberg appeared first on South Africa Travel News. The Magaliesberg is on the back stoeps of both Pretoria and Johannesburg.  The mountain range, once known as the Kashan Mountains, is said to be 100 times older even than Everest. A weekend’s break in the Magaliesberg takes little more than a phone call and a bag on the back seat. The whoosh of gas as it keeps the air balloon aloft, the crisp morning air, mist over the Magaliesberg, the hint of sunrise (if you start early), and the excitement of spotting wildlife from above make this a heady experience. Not far from the Rhino and Lion Park, where the hot air balloon takes off, is Wonder Cave – in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site at Kromdraai Conservancy. Head to Muldersdrift, just 15 km away en route home, and make a stop at Gilroy’s Brewery where natural hand-crafted beer is the topic of conversation. Meet at offices in Hekpoort and wind your way up the foothills of the Magaliesberg, through woodland and montane scrub, up a short pass to the top of the Magaliesberg.
Goblin’s Cove, on the R96 in Hekpoort, is a treat, and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Leave enough time for a visit to Equi-Talk – an experience of the power of horses and their effect on human communication and well-being. Now known as the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre Renowned, this haven for wildlife has a very successful king cheetah breeding programme. Having gained support from the likes of Todd Terje, Tensnake and Luciano, Kenton Slash Demon's sounds have found their way onto a slew of disparate dancefloors across the world. Princess Beatrice has been dating her boyfriend, American-born Dave Clark, for more than seven years – and rumors have long swirled that not everyone in the royal family approves.
The buzz picked up again after the birth of her royal cousin Princess Charlotte, whose arrival pushed Beatrice’s spot in line to the British throne down to No. Clark, who left Virgin Galactic to work at car service Uber, lives in New York City – where Beatrice is expected to soon join him. She is still on schedule to start a new role at a private equity firm in the city following the short finance course that she took on the West Coast earlier this year, a source close to her confirms to PEOPLE. It was thought that she would start in Manhattan at some point in the summer, but the timing has yet to be firmed up, the source adds. The elder daughter of Fergie and Prince Andrew hasn’t worked since leaving her job at Sony Europe last December. Last weekend she attended the glamorous wedding of London friends Joseph Getty and Sabine Ghanem in Rome, where she looked pretty in pale pink. She and her sister Princess Eugenie, 25, live a jet-set life, mixing with international billionaires, vacationing in St. When she settles in Manhattan, Beatrice will be alongside her younger sister, who has worked there for online auction house Paddle8 for about two years.
But why do we go grey — and is it happening to many women of Catherine Duchess of Cambridge’s age, or even younger?
Duchess of Cambridge is worried about Prince William and Prince George via a spy who is feeding info to the media from within the Palace Gates?
Festival organisers have endeavoured to showcase the best local and international indie folk, rock and alternative music talent on their stages set amongst a sumptuous spread of spring blossoms. Daisies trekkers are treated to a festival of flowers on the drive up towards Darling, which is flower country. You can choose from VIP tents, normal camping, fixed accommodation at Cloof Wine Estate or in the neighbouring village of Darling. An institution in Cape Town, Alien Safari promises trance party lovers a weekend to remember, with their Spring celebration between 6 to 7 September in the Napier area of the Overberg. Pack your tents and your camping gear or book accommodation in Napier if you need a break from the beats. The Baths are usually booked up months in advance, so remember to enquire about accommodation long before flower season approaches, were lodgings include camping, self-catering, apartments with private spa baths and dormitory style accommodation.
These two tasty treasures are both based on a dune above a long stretch of beach and serve around 6 courses of fresh seafood prepared in a traditional West Coast manner. Expect crayfish bisque, hot bread baked in outdoor beach ovens, succulent fish pulled straight from the sea that morning and barbequed crayfish. Rustic homesteads and cottages ranging in size pepper the hills and riverbanks of this special venue, making it not only a gorgeous romantic escape, but a visual feast for nature-lovers and families too. Vast yellow landscapes make for stunning photograph opportunities – but why not take the chance to get to know the smaller villages around them while you wrestle with the flower power? Or perhaps it is merely symbolic of the many cultures, colours and creeds that call one of the 50 largest urban agglomerations in the world, home. Made from rock by the labours of a group of unemployed miners in 1922 they are Jozi’s answer to Everest. The Orlando towers were once part of a coal-fired power station but today are the site of the world’s first bungee jump between two cooling towers, and the highest SCAD free fall. In the process, mining endeavours are moving the waste out of the city to remote landfills. In places it is little more than 200 metres wide, its coastline a string of sandy bays and inlets.


Thicket provides cover for the nocturnal porcupine and the seldom-sighted caracal, as well as the Knysna turaco and emerald-spotted wood dove. The next step in becoming a national botanical garden is the design of a sensitive trail to link the formal garden (not yet in existence) with the coastal dune forest of Kwelera Nature Reserve (which will remain as it is, forming the ‘natural’ part of the garden).
Also known as the deceptive eggfly, it belongs to a group of brush-footed ‘butterflies’ that breed on nettle.
The route follows the T1 Road starting just outside Beacon Bay in East London and ending on the N2 some 30 km away.
ECPTA will act in partnership with SANBI; the first garden managed jointly by two agencies. Now in its 22nd year, the Festival, which takes place from September 18th to 21st at the very beautiful Hilton College, is the largest theatrical event of its kind in KwaZulu Natal. We have booked tickets for a production called ‘The Last Moustache’; a one man show starring Tim Plewman who, as his character Hiener Schmidt, has the unfortunate position of being the last remaining Hitler lookalike! The Once Upon a Time series is for little people, Tales of Terror aims to entertain those between the ages of 11 and 15 while the Workshops are all age specific. David Salleras, Two Guitars and London based Irish violinist Darragh Morgan are just some of the acts who make up the Music Revival category. The first of the talks is on Sunday at 10h00 and covers the topic of ‘The Anglo Zulu War’ while the second, at 13h30 gives an insight into the journey to the South Pole with Scott and Shackleton. There is a wide range of topics, from foam mask making to paper puppets, pottery workshops for adults, mosaics for all ages and camera workshops by the New York Film Academy. I must admit, I’ve been half asleep and have already missed a number of the series of concerts but have made amends by booking tickets for the concert on October 9th. Concert 6 takes listeners on a journey through time in one of the world’s most musical cities; Vienna.
Soloists who perform in the season finale are Beverley Chiat, Nicholas Nicholaidis and Njabulo Madlala and choirs taking part are Sounds of Joy, Clermont Community Choir and the Durban Symphonic Choir.
This self-guided tour includes nine different rock art sites, starting on Traveller’s Rest Farm, 36 km outside of Clanwilliam. They’re famous for their freshly baked farm bread and stock a range of products such as rooibos, rusks, jams, preserves, fruit and oranges (in season).
The hike is challenging and takes about 7 hours to complete, if you are fit, otherwise you could do it as an overnight hike. Potbelly is on Voortrekker Street in Citrusdal, a bit of a drive, but if your accommodation is in Citrusdal, not out of your way. It heads along the Ceres Mountain pass and onto a single track via fynbos, up steep hills, and through the Boschkloof homestead, crossing a river before heading back on tar. The Sandveldhuisie is a country shop and deli, a charming space in which to enjoy tea, light lunches, and home-baked treats. It boasts a 16 inch Meade Newtonian telescope housed in a dome, a 300 mm Meade Schmidt Cassegrain in a slide-off roof observatory, and a 12 inch Cassegrain. The Aspalathus linearis plant produces needle-like leaves that, when harvested, bruised and fermented, make not only a tasty tea, but one very high in antioxidant properties, recommended for all sorts of ailments. Not only is the route beautiful to drive, but there are 11 estates, many of which offer tasting and restaurants (not all). It extends from Rustenburg in the west, to the Bronkhorstspruit Dam just east of Pretoria – a montage of deep gullies, impressive kloofs, clear mountain streams, pools and waterfalls, well wooded slopes, rocky outcrops and a series of sheer quartzite cliffs.
But we’ve made it easier for you by designing 4 day trips in the Magaliesberg that include a little of this and a little of that (something for everyone, in other words).
Take flight above the Cradle of Humankind or the Magaliesberg, whilst sipping on champagne and drifting tree top height above the world; the African landscape below. Visit this 10 million year old wonder and follow 87 steps down to an eccentric elevator, abseil into a hollow rock cavity to explore further, or study the stalactites and stalagmites of sleeping stone. Enjoy a humorous take on the myths, legends and secrets of beer, and the chance to taste Gilroy lager, light ale, ruby ale and strong ale in the process. Explore quartzite formations, old battle fortifications and the beauty of the Magaliesberg. Set on the banks of a small lake in a natural forest, this fantasy world does more than delight, it also provides a selection of meals that cater for both meat eaters and vegetarians. In the herd, horses have a social hierarchy very similar to humans and are specialists in the field of non-verbal communication. It lies in the foothills of the Magaliesberg on the side closest to Hartebeespoort Dam and Pretoria north. Following on from the success  of 'The Schwarzschild Solution' trilogy, the duo have released 'Ore' for free.
FREE Daily personalized gold plated necklace + more prizes for ALL participantsCheck Out NOW our new promotion ! The festival has grown so big that it now boasts 6 stages, a theatre, countless food stalls, shops, bars, accommodation and more surprises every year.
Jozi’s vibrancy is attributable to a gold and diamond trade, earning its place as the economic powerhouse of Africa without the obligatory river. Accompanying the walk will be a list of unique plant, bird, mammal, reptile, butterfly and fauna and flora.
Also known as a Novice Friar, or an Outannie in Afrikaans, they adopt a similar look to a butterfly to protect themselves. The Strandloper Trail runs from Kei Mouth to Gonubie, via the Kwelera National Botanical Garden, along unspoilt beach; a 57 km trail over four days.
Those with an interest in both fine art and fabric would probably enjoy browsing the hand painted fabrics from Caversham Textiles that will be on display in the Raymond Slater Library Reading Room. Dragonfire Beads and Groundcover Leather Company are two others I must make the time to see. Kenneth Slowick, an acclaimed conductor, cellist and keyboardist from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC conducts this concert and during the second half of the performance the KZN Philharmonic welcomes Joanna Frankel, its own concertmaster to the stage to perform Johannes Brahms’s violin concerto in D major.
It is 4 km, takes roughly 3 hours, and you can pick up a guide booklet at the farm or from the tourist information office in Clanwilliam. The restaurant specialises in traditional, wholesome, West coast-influenced fare like stews and bredies made from waterblommetjies, mutton and lamb. In the final stretch of the hike is a plunge pool quite close to the path (depending on rainfall); a good place to cool off. They are social by nature and their place in the herd is based on earned trust and respect, much like us. According to succession rules, only the first six in line must ask permission from Queen Elizabeth to marry.
It is black and brown with white markings, usually with a wingspan of between 55cm and 65cm. Other music during the show includes Haydn Symphony No 88 and Brahms Violin Concerto Op 77 in D major.
Also featuring in this concerto is the principal clarinetist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Olivier Patey, who will perform Copland’s Clarinet Concerto.
The hike follows one of two routes to the base of the rocky cliffs of the Wolfberg crack, after which it continues to the arch.



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