Earlier in October the World Travel Awards-Africa took place, where South Africa’s three
Town, Durban and Johannesburg shone.
Hailed as "The Oscars of the travel industry" the World Travel Awards celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is
acknowledged globally as the ultimate travel accolade, rewarding world-leading
Voting for the competition is online and encourages travel
and tourism executives and business and leisure tourists to vote for their
favourite destinations, resorts and game reserves, among others.
The World Travel – Africa Awards turns the global spotlight
on the continent’s leading leisure and commercial destinations, and sees some
African nominees, like South
Africa, breaking into international
South Africaranked high in international category
nominations, but stood out in the Africa heats, winning 32 awards out of 57
categories, including leading African airport, beach destination, family
resort, city hotel, conference venue, safari lodge and spa resort.
The awards also saw East African state Kenya score
Wildlife photographer Hannes Lochner spent 750 days in the
harsh surroundings of the Kalahari Desert to
chronicle the life of a female leopard and in doing so delved into a dark and
fascinating nocturnal world of big cats and other predators.
Through his incredible project, Mr Lochner, 41, documented
the struggle of Luna the leopard to raise cubs in one of the most punishing
environments on earth, where big predators become more active at night, and
when the photographer's visibility is severely diminished.
He also captured some stunning and often comical pictures of
other creatures, bug and small, including colourful lizards and a pair of
He travelled a colossal 100,000km during his time at the Kgalagadi TransfrontierPark in South Africa. The images, collected
in his new book 'The Dark Side of the Kalahari', capture the awe-inspiring
beauty and breathtaking diversity of life in the region.
Shooting mostly at night, the Cape Town-born photographer
had to brave: night-time temperatures of -13 in the winter, while trying to
catch up on his sleep in sweltering 40C heat in the day.
There was a female leopard, named Luna, which had to protect
her cubs from the park's lions, cheetah, spotted hyenas, brown hyenas and
jackals, all of whom will kill cubs on sight.
The leopardess had three litters during the two years and
three months she was trailed by Lochner. Her middle two cubs were killed by a
brown hyena, but she later gave birth to another two which survived.
Also, unusually for leopards, she was regularly joined by
'family man' Oscar, the father of all three litters.
The Sea Point swimming pool, which is built on the beachfront overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, was named among world’s top ten swimming pools by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.
The description on The Guardian’s website reads: ‘The Pavilion swimming pools in Cape Town are a local institution. You swim your lengths while watching super tankers moored alongside twirl on their anchors. Sometimes surf from the cold Atlantic Benguela current washes over the deck.’
“This is a great accolade for Cape Town and reaffirms our commitment to providing top quality public facilities where people can enjoy time with friends and family outdoors. The Sea Point swimming pool is one of our prize facilities and is an extremely popular destination for both tourists and locals,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Alderman Belinda Walker.
During the peak summer season (October to February) the swimming pool attracts up to 60000 visitors over the period and more than 20000 visitors per month in December and January. The swimming pool can accommodate up to 1300 people at a time.
The facility is open throughout the year, and a handful of Capetonians persevere with their training throughout winter, even when water temperatures drop to about 12 degrees Celsius.
The Hermanus Whale Festival is celebrating the returning of the southern right whales to the bay of Hermanus for its 22nd year from Friday, 20 September to Tuesday, 24 September. Some events are also held on the following weekend on Saturday, 28 September.
As home to the best land-based whale watching in the world, Hermanus is just the right place to pay homage to the magnificent Southern Rights, and there’s no better time to recognize their miraculous survival than during September, which is peak whale-watching season in the coastal village.
The marine giants will definitely remain the star of the Hermanus Whale Festival, but on land, visitors to the small seaside town can expect to be equally dazzled by great entertainment and activities, gut-busting eats, quality crafts and kiddies fun.
Plus, the fit and sporty can participate in one of four Hermanus Adventure Week activities such as the Hermanus Open Water Swim, the Hermanus Whale Festival Night Run, the Hermanus Whale Festival Mountain Bike Classic or the festival trail run.
When the Kirstenbosch Chelsea Flower Show Exhibition was launched at the V&A Waterfront on Friday 30 August, 2013, the overall sentiment of the visitors was: “It”s blooming beautiful!”.
The inspirational exhibition, which runs daily from 09h00 to 18h00 at the Mother City’s premier seaside shopping destination V&A Waterfront until Tuesday 24 September 2013, is free to the public and features the gold medal winning exhibition within the Clock Tower precinct.
A 33 time Chelsea gold winner, this year’s spectacular exhibit is themed 'Come into the Garden', and the achievement has particular poignant meaning as both Kirstenbosch and the Chelsea Flower Show celebrates their centenaries in 2013.
The exhibition is a snapshot of South Africa’s distinctive botanical heritage. Come and experience the beauty and tranquillity of being surrounded by the Dell and Cycad Amphitheatre on one side and the Protea Garden and mountain skyline on the other of the circular exhibition.
Other highlights include South Africa’s indigenous fynbos such as the protea and Mandela’s gold strelitizia, as well as the oldest plants in the garden.
September is World Tourism Month and the City of Cape Town is doing a lot in order to celebrate it the right way. On World Tourism Day, 27 September 2013, the celebration culminates, when Cape Town’s Big Six attractions will sign a Responsible Tourism Charter.
By signing the Charter, the chief executives of the Big Six – the Table Mountain Cableway, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, Groot Constantia, Cape Point and the Robben Island Museum – will commit to a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry in Cape Town, in line with the 2013 World Tourism Day theme “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”.
In Cape Town, September traditionally has a strong focus on citizen tourism. Residents, Cape Town’s best ambassadors, are encouraged to become tourists in their own city by making use of affordable and exciting experiences right on their doorstep.
“Tourism is a key economic driver for Cape Town and the largest contributing sector to the Western Cape economy. The City has lined up programmes aimed at growing local tourism this month and will be encouraging residents to discover the hidden gems within our beautiful destination,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.
Cape Town was awarded the accolade of the ‘World's Top City in Africa and the Middle East’ in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2013 as well as being ranked fourth overall in the Top 10 Cities in the World list.
Other accolades include being named:
The ‘16th Top Destination in the World’ and ‘Top Destination in Africa’ by TripAdvisor’s travel community in 2013;
The ‘Favourite City Worldwide’ by 17 000 Telegraph readers at The Telegraph Travel Awards in 2012;
The ‘Number Two City in the World’ and the ‘Top City in Africa’ in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2012;
The ‘Best Beach Destination in Africa’ at the World Travel Awards 2012;
Eighth in the ‘Top 10 Truly Unique Beaches in the World’ by Tripadvisor 2012;
‘One of the World’s Ten Most Loved Cities 2012’ by CNNgo.
Welcome to Finding Africa's Blog. This site aims to give both local and international travelers advice, suggestions and inspiration on hidden getaway gems, events and festivals, places of interest or just general news about traveling in Southern Africa.