Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Bamboo Guest House - Hermanus

This weeks accommodation feature is the recently opened Bamboo Guest House, located in the seaside town of Hermanus, one of the top land based whale-watching destinations in the world.

The Guest house is perfectly situated, close to the town centre, beaches, the 27 hole golf course and a stones through form the beautiful cliff paths. This also makes it the perfect base to go shark cage diving at Gaansbaai, an hours drive away.

The entire guest house has been furnished in hand crafted Bamboo furniture which has been custom designed and purpose made by Bamboo Living. Floors are Bamboo and towels are 50% Bamboo/Cotton mixed fibre.
A beautifully landscaped garden and pool area with a custom built bar will reward you with hours of entertainment and relaxation in the Overberg sun.

All rooms at The Bamboo Guest House are spacious with either sea or mountain views. Each en-suite room is furnished with hand crafted Bamboo furniture and equipped with flatscreen LCD televisions, bar fridges, hospitality trays and executive desks. Bathrooms are spacious with luxuriously appointed showers and baths.

The Bamboo Guest House offers great value for money, with affordable rates of between R 450 and R 550 per person per nigh sharing.

For bookings and more information.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adventure Hikes in the Cape Peninsula

Adventure Hikes in the Cape Peninsula has been written for the adventurous hiker or mountaineer, from keen beginners to rock climbers wanting a day off from their ropes and 'friends'. Whatever your background, following a route description is an adventure.

Here are more than 30 tried and tested hikes, with detailed descriptions illustrated with more than 450 colour pictures to help you find you way. The routes are classified into three sections: easy, moderate and difficult. The guide includes additional information about the flora and history, as well as and safety and conservation tips.

Adventure Hikes in the Cape Peninsula is the ideal guide to carry in a rucksack, whether a beginner, moderately fit or experienced hiker, or just curious.

This is Karen Watkins second book; the first was Adventure Walks & Scrambles in the Cape Peninsula, published by Double Storey in September 2003. She has been leading day hikes and trails, including to wilderness areas for people of all ages, for more than 18 years. She is involved with many hiking organisations and has been a volunteer for the Table Mountain National Park for ten years.

At present the book is available at R130 (pre book launch price) from the author at karen.watkins@inl.co.za or call 076 543 7266. It will also be available at R150 at independent bookshops such as The Book Lounge in Roeland Street, Bay Bookshop in Hout Bay, Book Shoppe in the Pick 'n Pay Centre in Tokai, Folio Books in Main Road Rondebosch, Kalk Bay Bookshop, Kirstenbosch book shops and others.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dewani arrested in Britain

British millionaire Shrien Dewani was arrested in London on Tuesday night for suspected involvement in his wife Anni's murder, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

He was arrested at 11pm London time at the request of South African authorities on suspicion of conspiring to kill her, Scotland Yard told the broadcaster.

Speaking to reporters on the court steps afterwards, an emotional Vinod Hindocha, Anni's father, expressed his gratitude to South Africans.

"I'd like to say thank you to the South African people for their support and thank you for the whole world for the condolence messages to our family," said Hindocha, who had flown out from Sweden for the hearing.

"And I hope... no, I have nothing more to say. Thank you all. Thank you."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Namibia in Top 10 Best Value Destinations for 2011

Lonely Planet has announced its top 10 list of Best Value Destinations for 2011. Here at Finding Africa it comes as no surprise that Namibia is ranked at number 5.

Namibia is a land of unique and contrasting landscapes offering the wild rugged skeleton coast, the solitude of the mighty dunes in the Namib Desert, great game-viewing in the Etosha National Park and of course the colonial German architecture from a bygone era. Namibia is well geared towards backpackers and tours aimed at budget travellers, but if you go up a price bracket you can eat and sleep well in excellent midrange value-for-money options. Namibia has become a photographer’s and outdoor adventure enthusiast’s paradise. View this amazing video of a flight over the Namib Desert.

Bangladesh topped the Lonely Planet list at number one.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day: A fighting chance

This battle is being won. With global co-operation, we can give hope back to the helpless, writes Elton John.

This World Aids Day marks the beginning of a fourth decade living with a global killer. I understand that many of you have just picked up your morning paper and may not want to think about disease, death, and devastation. I understand that you may think Aids is too complicated and too persistent for us to solve. I understand that you likely have a dozen other issues clamouring for your attention – global warming, poverty, world peace, just to name a few – and the day has only just begun.

I am compelled not by despair but by hope. I'm heartened by the recent statistics from UNAIDS that tell a promising story – 5 million people on treatment and a 25 per cent drop in new infections across the worst-affected countries since 2001. I'm motivated by the progress that Aids has quite unintentionally moved forward, rather than the destruction it has left in its wake.

For the rest of the article on World Aids Day

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amazing Wildlife Photographs

These dramatic pictures show a clash of the titans as a protective elephant mum and a ferocious crocodile get in an epic tug of war in Zambia. The female elephant and her baby were drinking from the Luangwa River in the South Luangwa National Park when they were attacked. Leaping out of the murky waters a vicious crocodile bit down on the female's trunk.

Water gushes from the mum's trunk as she finally shakes the croc, with her baby momentarily tripping over the predator before the pair made off safely. They were seen feeding from the river later in the day.

South Luangwa National Park is well-known for its mighty elephant herds of up to 70 individuals. Measuring 9000 square kilometers, the park has 60 animal species including baboons, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, leopards, lions and hippopotamus.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hippo Help

This might be the first ever recorded rescue of a baby zebra and wildebeest by the same hippo on the Mara River.

Both were rescued within space of 10 minutes as they crossed over from the Lamai side. The photos and videos were captured by Michael Yule and other guests as they were watching a major wildebeest crossing at the time.

The hippo was watching as the wildebeest herd swam past. As soon as the calf jumped in, the hippo swam up to it and pushed it along all the way across until it had reached safety on the other side.It then went back and did the same for a zebra foal just minutes later.

The wildebeest and zebra are now moving down in large numbers from the Masai Mara across the Lamai plains and crossing the Mara River. Guests of Lemala Camp are witnessing crossings every day.Some of the herds have arrived north of Lobo.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Table Mountain Cable Car Half Price Special!

Table Mountain Cableway’s famously popular Sunset Special starts on Monday November 1 this year and runs until the end of February 2011. Adults pay R90 per person return while children under 18 years pay R45 per person return after 6pm. Tickets can only be purchased at the Cableway’s Ticket Office from 6pm. Click for more info.

The Cableway operates weather permitting. For information call (021) 424 8181 or visit http://www.tablemountain.net/

“A world in one country”

South Africa has been billed as 'a world in one country', offering a taste of the African experience with the chance to visit traditional tribal villages, game reserves and sprawling townships. At the same time it also offers all the pleasures of a first world holiday experience, with luxury hotels, sophisticated shopping, exciting theme parks and clean beaches.

It is not only cultural diversity that makes South Africa magical. The country has a wealth of animal and plant life scattered across its varied climactic zones from desert to snow-covered mountains, forests to grasslands and mangrove swamps.

Click for the full article on South Africa.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some great wildlife photo's

Vist http://www.findingafrica.com/ for safari holidays in Southern Africa and taylor made photographic trips to Namibia.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Win a 10 days holiday in South Africa for 2!

For more information on this prize click HERE.

Shelly Point - West Coast

Shelley Point is located on a private peninsula and fringed by three bays – Stompneus, Shelley and Britannia - with beaches, world-class surf and clear water in one of the calmest bays on the West Coast. There is a golf course and spa at the four-star Shelley Point Hotel, Spa & Country Club.

Next door is Britannia Bay, named after the British ship Britannia that struck a reef in October 1826. The bay is fringed with 4km of sandy beach. Also nearby is SAS Saldanha where there is a choice of four nature trails from 4km to 14.5km. Each one is colour-coded and clearly marked however finding them is the difficult part.

Bird-watching: the best place to observe the waders is at low tide from the bird hides at Geelbek located in the West Coast National Park. From Geelbek’s bird hide it is possible to spot long-legged godwits, whimbrels and curlews, knot, sanderling, little stint, ruff, marsh, terek, curlew sandpiper and many others. There is also the chance of seeing osprey and chestnut banded plovers. Geelbek was home to the Khoi people who lived here thousands of years ago. This Cape Dutch building was renovated three times since it was first built in 1744.
For the rest of this article please click on Finding Africa.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spring into the Flower Season

The explosion of spring flowers has fast become one of South Africa’s most popular natural events, drawing visitors from across the country and the world to marvel at the carpets of colour that bloom in the Western and Northern Cape each year.

You’ll see magnificent spring flowers as far south as the Western Cape wine lands town of Darling, but if you have a little more time on your hands the Northern Cape is the place to visit. Heading north on the N7 freeway, you’ll pass the turnoff to Clanwilliam, but keep driving past the vineyards and rooibos tea plantations until you reach Vanrhynsdorp; the ‘gateway to Namaqualand’.

It’s here that you’ll need to choose between left and right; the high road or the low road. Left takes you north along the N7 to the famous Namaqualand, while right will lead you over the winding Vanrhyn’s Pass to the Bokkeveld Plateau and Nieuwoudtville.

If you stick to the N7 – the main drag north which runs right up to Namibia – you’re on your way to perhaps the most famous flower gardens on earth; Namaqualand. Dry and barren in summer, winter rains transform the dusty landscape almost overnight as the famous Namaqualand daisies, gazanias and succulent vygies turn the desert into a riot of colour.

For the full article on the Flower Season.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amazing Air Traffic

What you will see, is a video showing air traffic around the world for 24 hours, taken from a satellite.The yellow dots are airplanes in the sky during a 24 hour period.

Stay with the picture.. You will see the light of the day moving from the east to the west, as the Earth spins onit's axis. Also you will see the aircraft flow of traffic leaving the North American continent and travelingat night to arrive in the UK in the morning.

Then you will see the flow changing, leaving the UK in the morning and flying to the American continent in daylight. It is a 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to about 2 minutes..From space we look like a bee hive of activity. You could tell it was summer time in the north by the sun's foot print over the planet. You could see that it didn't quite set in the extreme north and it didn't quite rise in the extreme south.

We are taught about the earth's tilt and how it causes summer and winter and have had toimagine just what is going on.

With this 24 hour observation of aircraft travel on the earth's surface we get to see the daylight pattern move as well.

Remember watch the day to night..... Day is over in Australia when it starts.

Friday, August 6, 2010

BA passengers pick Cape Town as favourite destination

British Airways has announced that its passengers worldwide have identified Cape Town as their favourite destination. As of November this year, British Airways will offer a second daily flight between Heathrow and Cape Town ahead of the 2010 summer season due to increased popularity. The additional flight will see the introduction of BA’s new Boeing 777 for the Cape Town route.

British Airways Commercial Manager in South Africa, Sue Botes, says demand for flights to Cape Town was on the rise even before the FIFA World Cup, and the airline is accommodating the increasing demand by offering an additional daily flight.

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariette du-Toit Helmbold says, “An additional daily British Airways flight is very good news for Cape Town’s tourism industry. Cape Town’s popularity has been rising steadily over the past few years and with all of the positive 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage and word-of-mouth recommendations, the city’s popularity has sky-rocketed.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Swimming in the sky

If you fancy a dip in this pool, you'll need a head for heights - it's 55 storeys up.

But swimming to the edge won't be quite as risky as it looks. While the water in the infinity pool seems to end in a sheer drop, it actually spills into a catchment area where it is pumped back into the main pool.

At three times the length of an Olympic pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the world at that height.

It features in the impressive, boat-shaped 'SkyPark' perched atop the three towers that make up the world's most expensive hotel, the £4billion Marina Bay Sands development in Singapore .

Friday, July 16, 2010

What to do with your Vuvuzela - Post 2010


Cape Times
Babalo Ndenze
2 July 2010
An overwhelming majority of World Cup visitors from 13 countries have given the city and the province almost full marks, with more than half indicating their desire to return with their families after the tournament, a snap shot exit poll by the provincial government has found.

The poll of 50 visitors from 13countries,all here for the World cup, was conducted on 30 June in the international departure lounge of the Cape Town International Air Port. They were from the United States, England, Dubai, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Mexico, Scotland, China, Montenegro, Cayman Islands, Singapore, Switzerland and Germany.

Among the visitors surveyed, 38% perceived the destination as safe, 36 % felt really safe and 16% felt very safe. The remainder (10%) felt either unsafe or very unsafe.

The top attractions in the Western Cape are Table Mountain (84% visited) and Cape Point (68% visited).

Those surveyed had listed these icons as their top three non football experiences, “but in a substantial twist, the third most popular positive experience of World Cup tourists, were the people of the Western Cape, whom they said were friendly, fantastic, helpful, polite and hospitable”.

For the fill story, click here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Top marks for South Africa

South Africa scored nine out of 10 for its organisation of the 2010 World Cup. "Nobody in the world is perfect, but the organisation of this first World Cup in Africa and in South Africa was pretty close," FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a 2010 World Cup wrap-up press conference in Johannesburg on Monday.

"I was more than satisfied and happy with the smooth running of the tournament. It was a huge success for both South Africa and the continent of Africa. "It is down to the people of South Africa for the way they opened their arms to this event."

For the full article on iafrica.com, click here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Robben Islands football heritage

It is a little-known story outside of South Africa that has come into focus with the country hosting the continent's first World Cup.

Robben Island, best known for being home to political prisoners jailed by the old apartheid government, most famously former leader Nelson Mandela and current president Jacob Zuma. But what few realise is the role football played in shaping resistance at the prison. Many of the inmates were passionate about the game and used it to help find relief from their grim existence.

Zuma was a referee, but Mandela, later to become South Africa's first black leader, was kept in isolation with other high-risk prisoners and was not allowed to play. Warders wouldn't allow inmates a football at first so they tied rags together and played "matches" in their cells, but these were quickly broken up.

Several prisoners started writing letters of complaint, knowing it was within their rights to be allowed to exercise, but it took three long years before authorities finally caved in and let them have a ball.

They soon created a league, the Makana Football Association in 1967, named after a prophet banished to the island in 1819. They put in place the same structures that would apply to any league, based on FIFA frameworks, publishing tables, fixture lists and detailed minutes of meetings. There were even authorised transfers, often written on tiny scraps of paper.
For the full article on iafrica.com, click here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

YouTube, now with instant vuvuzela sound

Want to hear what your favorite pop star or politician sounds like accompanied by the most memorable sound of the soccer World Cup in South Africa -- the droning vuvuzela trumpet?

Try YouTube. The popular video-sharing website has added a vuvuzela button -- in the form of a soccer ball -- on its latest video player, allowing the sound of the vuvuzela to play alongside the video being watched.

The results can be hilarious, try watching a speech by any major global politician drowned out by the relentless blasting of the plastic trumpet, which has caused controversy at the World Cup.

For the full article on moneyweb.co.za, click here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Something for SA to be proud of

The Huffington Post
Shari Cohen
International development worker in the public health sector
Posted: June 15, 2010 11:35 AM

South Africa Rolls Out the Ubuntu in Abundance I went on a rant the other day regarding the cost of the 2010 World Cup versus all the critical needs South Africa is facing and whether or not the most vulnerable of this country would gain anything from having the World Cup hosted in their country. At that time, I also had some very positive things to say about our hosts for the 2010 World Cup and I wanted to share that side of the coin as well, because it is equally important.

To say that I have been blown away at the hospitality South Africa has shown the rest of the world would be an understatement. I think back on recent Olympics and struggle to remember much reporting in the USA of athletes from other countries. I remember when a Togolese guy won a bronze medal in kayaking and NBC reported it and I thought to myself, "Where are all the other fascinating stories like this one...like the Jamaican bobsledding team." In today's America, sadly, we have drifted so far towards being so US-centric that we only seem to root for the Americans.

Not so here in South Africa. I've been here since early May and each week I have become more and more impressed with the global embrace that South Africans have offered up to the world. On the way to the airport a couple of weeks ago, I heard a radio program that said each day they would focus on one country that would be coming to South Africa for the World Cup, and they would explore not only that sport's history in soccer, but also their politics, religion, and socio-cultural practices. On the television, I've seen numerous programs that focus on a particular country and its history of soccer and how the history of that country is intertwined with their soccer history. I've seen programs on India, exploring why India enjoys soccer but hasn't really excelled at the global level... yet. And I've seen shows on soccer in Muslim countries. Maybe it's planned, maybe it's unplanned, maybe it's by chance, but it is happening. It's not just about South Africans showing off their varied and multifaceted culture to their global guests; it's also about using this opportunity to educate South Africa on the rest of Planet Earth's inhabitants.

As I moved through my work here in the provinces over the last six weeks, I had a pivotal meeting with the Board members of a rural NGO. They were explaining their guiding program philosophy of Ubuntu. No, not the Linux program. I'm talking about the traditional African philosophy of Ubuntu that essentially says, "No man is an island."
I found a better explanation from Wikipedia:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu further explained Ubuntu in 2008:
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu - the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality -- Ubuntu -- you are known for your generosity.

We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

To me, Ubuntu is the acceptance of others as parts of the sum total of each of us. And that is exactly what I have experienced during the lead up to, and the initial days of this World Cup. There is nary a South African citizen that I've met on the street, or in shops or restaurants or hotels, that hasn't gone out of their way to greet me and make me feel like I am home. And I don't mean that in the trivial, "Oh, aren't they nice, homey people here... “Sort of way. I mean real, genuine interest and questions. People seriously want to know where I come from. What it's like where I live. How does it compare to where I am now. What do I think of South Africa? Oh yes, and what do I think of Bafana Bafana... The questions and conversations are in earnest. They are honest. And they are had with enthusiasm and a thirst to know more. South Africans are drinking deeply from the cup of humanity that has been brought to their doorstep. I would never imagine that an American World Cup or Olympics would ever be this welcoming to the rest of the world. And that saddens me for the state of my home country, but it also makes me feel the pride of the South African people.

I have been truly humbled on this trip. And while I have my gripes regarding development here, I cannot say one negative thing about how South Africa has handled its duties as host and hostess to the world. If I could say one thing to sum up being here during this once-in-a-lifetime experience, it would be that I've learned the value of Ubuntu, and that when found and offered in abundance, the world is indeed a better place to live in.

So, if South Africa accomplishes nothing more on the playing field, it will still have won as a host country. I am a cynic, no doubt about that. And yet I have to admit, I'm a little teary just writing this because I leave for home next weekend and I will be leaving a little piece of myself here in South Africa. I just hope I have learned enough to bring back a little piece of Ubuntu to my homeland, where perhaps with a little caring and a little water, it will take root as naturally as it does here, in the cradle of civilization. It's funny; many people in America still ask me, "Are the people in Africa very primitive?" Yes, I know, amazing someone could ask that but they do. And when they do, I usually explain that living in a mud hut does not make one primitive, however, allowing kids to sell drugs to other kids and engage in drive-by killings -- isn't that primitive behavior? I think it is. When I think of Ubuntu and my recent experiences here, I think America has much to learn from Africa in general, in terms of living as a larger village; and as human beings who are all interconnected with each other, each of us having an affect on our brothers and sisters.

As the 2010 Cup slogan goes, "Feel it. It is here." Well, I have felt it, because I am here. Thank you South Africa, for giving me this unexpected gift. I am humbled.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 12 Matches

The qualification equation will be resolved once and for all in groups A and B on Tuesday when, to ensure fairness between the teams in contention, the two games in each section will kick off at the same time. Uruguay and Mexico currently lead the way in Group A with four points apiece and a draw between them in Rustenburg would send both through to the last 16. In Group B, Argentina stand on the verge of the knockout phase, even if they could still conceivably be eliminated on goal difference if they lose to Greece and three teams finish on six points.

France vs South Africa, Bloemfontein (16.00 local time)
Mexico vs Uruguay, Rustenburg (16.00 local time)
Greece vs Argentina, Polokwane (20.30 local time)
Nigeria vs Korea Republic, Durban (20.30 local time)

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 11 Matches

Although European champions Spain were widely backed to take Group H by storm, it is Chile and Switzerland who will battle for top spot in the section after the less-fancied duo both recorded wins in their initial outings. Having been humbled by the Swiss, Spain now need to get their tournament up and running against a Honduras side that put in a valiant effort before losing 1-0 to Chile.

Portugal vs Korea DPR, Group G, Cape Town, 13.30 (local time).
Chile vs Switzerland, Group H, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, 16.00 (local time).
Spain vs Honduras, Group H, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), 20.30 (local time).

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vuvuzelas go global

The vuvuzela may have had a lot of bad press overseas, but English football fans seem to be so smitten with them that a British supermarket can’t keep up with demand for the infamous South African plastic horn.

Sainsbury's, the country’s third-largest supermarket chain, said on Wednesday it expected to sell out of vuvuzelas within 48 hours as British fans snap up English-themed versions of the horn. According to AP, the retailer has sold more than 40 000 vuvuzelas, which are priced at £2 each.

"Overall we originally had anticipated selling 75,000 by the end of the tournament we could possibly reach this target by the time England kick off again on Friday as the vuvuzelas have been so popular,” said a spokesman for the supermarket. England play Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.

For the full article on iafrica.com click here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 5 Matches

The only country to have won the FIFA World Cup™ outside their own continent, five-time champions Brazil take their opening bow at South Africa 2010 against Group G outsiders Korea DPR.

The Matches
New Zealand-Slovakia, Group F, Rustenburg, 13.30Côte d’Ivoire-Portugal, Group G, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, 16.00Brazil-Korea DPR, Group G, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), 20.30

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 4 Matches

A cosmopolitan cast is preparing to light up the fourth matchday at the 2010 World Cup South Africa™. Following an all-European affair between the Netherlands and Denmark, Italy take on Paraguay in a Europe-South American showdown before Asian hopefuls Japan meet four-time African champions Cameroon.

The matchesThe Netherlands - Denmark, Group E, Johannesburg (Soccer City), 13:30Japan - Cameroon, Group E, Mangaung/Bloemfontein, 16:00Italy - Paraguay, Group F, Cape Town, 20:30

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

SA is more than ready!

Just days before South Africa meets Mexico in the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Soccer City, Johannesburg, the host country’s President Jacob Zuma took the opportunity to welcome the world to South Africa.

South Africa has resembled a construction site for the last six years as world-class stadiums have been built and roads, rail, airports and communication systems upgraded in record time to meet the demands of the tournament and the country’s developmental needs for years to come.

For the full article on Fifa.com, click here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A West Coast Wander

The thing about the West Coast is what you see, is what you get: the open spaces that hide nothing, the rustic wind-swept fisherman’s cottages and the smell of bokkoms: a local delicacy of sundried fish that permeates the air. It’s a place that allows you to take a minute to breathe in the fresh sea air as carpets of sand sting your knees.

And what better place to do so than along an untouched Elands Bay coastline? Approximately an hour’s drive from Langebaan and two from Cape Town, Elands Bay is a surfing hotspot that attracts many a beach bum in search of the perfect wave. Beaches are deserted, wild, unblemished. Seas are lively. And the skyline stretches on forever....

For the full article, click here.