Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2014 - top 10 cities

1. Paris, France

2. Trinidad, Cuba

3. Cape Town, South Africa

4. Riga, Latvia

5. Zuerich Schwitzerland

6. Shanghai, China

7. Vancouver, Canada

8.Chicago, Illinois, USA

9. Adelaide, Australien

10. Auckland, New Zealand

To see the article click here. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

1.2m foreign arrivals in SA for July

StatsSA reported on Monday that more than 1.2 million travelers from other countries came to South Africa in July 2013. Compared to last year, this is an increase of 12%. 

"A majority [90.1%]... were in South Africa for holidays, compared to only 6.5%, 1.8% and 1.6% of tourists who were in South Africa in transit, for business, and for study purposes respectively."

Of the tourists who visited the country this year, 204 120 were from overseas, and 564 460 were from Southern African Development Community countries.

The data indicated that a total of 3 285 691 travellers - arrivals and departures - passed through all South African ports of entry in July 2013. This was about 200 000 more than last year.

To see full article see here 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

World Travel Awards

Earlier in October the World Travel Awards-Africa took place, where South Africa’s three major cities- Cape 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 hospitality brands.

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 categories.

South Africa ranked 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 honours.
To see full article see here

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

750 days in the Kalahari Desert

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 quizzical-looking owls.

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.

See the full article here and to see more pictures, visit our facebook page.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eight Cape Town beaches were awarded Blue Flag status

If beaches have Blue Flag status, that means they are clean, safe and secure, and adhere to international safety and tourism standards.

"Having Blue Flag beaches and marinas is a significant tourism draw-card, because international visitors know what to expect when visiting a Blue Flag beach or marina."

The city said Cape Town had the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the country.

The Blue Flag is awarded annually to over 3650 beaches and marinas in 44 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, and the Caribbean.

The eight beaches granted Blue Flag status are as follows:

Camps Bay
Clifton 4th

The two marinas that got Blue Flag status are Granger Bay Water Club and the False Bay Marina.

To see full article see here. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sea Point pool praised as on of the best in the world

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. 

To see the full article see here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The most spectacular wildlife photos

To see the most spectacular wildlife photos from the National Geographic Photo Contest, see here

Hermanus Whale Festival

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.

See the full article see here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kirstenbosch Chelsea Flower Show at the V&A Waterfront

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.

See the full article see

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Celebration of World Tourism Month in Cape Town

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.

See the full article see here.

Free entrance to Cape Point

Free access to Cape Point Nature Reserve will be given to all South Africans from 9 to 14 September. Cape Point is offering visitors the chance to get a free ticket for the Flying Dutchman funicular. 

Cape Point’s two-for-the-price-of-one-adult ticket offer, means a trip to the reserve and a ride on the funicular will cost very little. For every return adult ticket purchased for R49, another adult or child may travel for free.

Fresh sea air is known to work up an appetite, so once visitors have descended on the funicular they can head off to the Two Ocean’s Restaurant where kids eat free during SANParks week. 

As part of SANParks Week free guided walks are also on offer in the Park, and Metrorail are offering daily trips on their Tourism Train from Cape Town to Simons Town stations Monday to Saturday. A HGTS Tour bus transfers visitors from Simons Town station to Cape Point. The cost of this package is R120 per adult (12 years and older) and R60 per child, student and seniors (students and seniors need to show proof).

The Cape Point Nature Reserve is open seven days a week (7am to 5pm April to September, 6am to 6pm October to March), with the Flying Dutchman funicular, Two Oceans restaurant and the Curio Stores open from 9am to 5pm.

For more information visit or call the Information Centre on (021) 780 9010/11.

See the full article see here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Easy Weekends

Find accommodation in South Africa.
A wedding invitation arrived in the post last week. It looked very pretty, but why do we still send wedding invites by snail mail? We schedule the rest of our lives electronically with Outlook meeting requests, iPhone calendars and Facebook events? I know some may say it’s tradition, but so is eating goat’s testicles in some countries. Or am I just being “unromantic”? Either way, I have totally digressed from the topic.

The wedding is in Robertson (where they hold the Whacky Wine Festival each year in June), at a beautiful little boutique winery called Wolfkloof. Now the drive from Cape Town is by no means far, but I thought traveling back to Cape Town at 1am with my tie around my head and reminiscing about the awesome air guitar I performed on the dance floor earlier, is probably not the best idea. So making a weekend of it and staying two nights in the Breede Wine Valley sounded like a sensible decision. 

From previous experiences, I’ve learned that the more affordable weekend accommodation gets snapped up as soon as the wedding invitations arrive. I also wanted to find the closest possible guest house or self-catering unit to the wedding venue.  

Most accommodation booking websites aren’t particularly helpful when you want to search for weekend getaways in South Africa, with an exact location in mind. Easy Weekends allows you to do exactly that using Google Maps. It can also filter the accommodation according to how much you want to spend.  So if you click on the R 201 – R 500 button, it only shows you accommodation in that price bracket, on the map. I like. 
On the flip side, if you have no idea where you want to go for a weekend getaway, use the map on, and discover that little farm cottage, mountain lodge or beach house that you never knew existed. It’s also a great office time waster… Good times!  


Friday, May 17, 2013

SA the world's top destination

                                            Picture: Iafrica

South Africa has been voted the top destination by members of the world's largest travel and lifestyle social network, Where Are You Now? (WAYN), in the site's recent "dream destination competition".

The country beat Brazil, India, Dubai, Fiji, Turkey and Indonesia with 15 300 votes from members around the world.

A total 78,000 votes were counted for all seven of the destinations. The nominated countries and cities were selected through market research and tracking user engagement on WAYN. "All seven countries and cities nominated were extremely worthy contenders and dream destinations in their own right," WAYN co-founder and chief risk officer, Jeremy Touze, said in a statement last week.

"The immense popularity of South Africa as a tourist destination has been reinforced by this competition, and interestingly the activity we are seeing correlates with the recent announcement by President Jacob Zuma that the amount of foreign visitors to South Africa has grown by 300% to 13.5-million visitors, 9.2-million of which were tourists."

Touze said South Africa's strongest following comes from Asia, in particular India. "Out of the 408 000 fans of South Africa on WAYN, there are now over 108 000 fans from India alone," he said. "We are privileged to live in an incredible country, a land of spectacular wildlife, awe-inspiring adventure and unique heritage and culture," said chief executive officer of South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima. "It is home to warm, welcoming people, eager to share it with travellers from around the world.

"We are already touched by the hundreds of thousands of friends our destination has made on the platform and we are delighted with this accolade, which we hope will make more people's dreams of visiting South Africa a reality," Nzima said.

To see the full article on ,click here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Germans deeply in love with SA

                                         Picture: iafrica

Tourist arrivals to South Africa increased 10.4% between January and October last year compared with the same period in 2011, helped by a growing number of German visitors, according to the Department of Tourism.
Germany was one of the key traditional overseas markets for travel to South Africa, with the US and the UK at the top of the pile, the department said.

Over the 10-month period, 7.5m tourists arrived compared with 6.8m for the same period in 2011. The number of German tourists increased 12.2% to 204,247.

To see the full article on, click here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Franschoek Wine Tram

The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the Franschhoek Valley. No more searching for designated drivers!

Passengers on board the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates. A combination of tram and tram-bus transports passengers around a loop of stops allowing them to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and when they are ready, hop-on to continue the tour.

The six stops include the wine estates of Grande Provence, Rickety Bridge, Dieu Donne, Haute Cabrière, and Chamonix (all of which boast world-class restaurants), as well as the Huguenot Museum.

The tram seats 32 passengers on eight comfortable benches. Six of the eight benches have flip-over, tram-style seat-backs that allow passengers to enjoy the view in both directions.

Tickets details

• Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Franschhoek Wine Tram ticket office at Bijoux Square, 60 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek.

• Ticket prices are R150 for adults, R75 for children 5 – 17 years of age, and free of charge for children aged 4 and under.

• Adult tickets include complimentary wine tastings.

• Early booking is advised as only a limited number of tickets are available each day.

• Tickets are valid for departure any time between 10am and 2:40pm. Tours depart every 40 minutes from the ticket office.

For more information visit