fbpx
Contact Us +27 (0) 21 706 8039

Blog

/Blog
Blog2020-07-13T08:12:11+02:00

Theatres

The Baxter Theatre (+27 21 685 7888; www.baxter.co.za) is situated in Rondebosch and provides a forum for dance, music and live theatre. The Artscape theatre complex (+27 21 410 9838; www.artscape.co.za) in the City Centre, is an all-round arts venue. On Broadway (+27 21 424 1194; www.onbroadway.co.za), in Shortmarket Street in the city centre, is a cameo theatre committed to Cape Town’s cabaret scene. Pieter Toerien’s Theatre on the Bay (021 438 3300; www.theatreonthebay.co.za) is located in Camps Bay. This theatre stages contemporary plays, farces, musical tributes and reviews. In the suburb of Wynberg, you’ll find Maynardville, the open air Shakespeare theatres.

 

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

World of Birds

The largest bird park in Africa, Hout Bay’s World of Birds fits neatly into a valley that provides a perfect sanctuary. More than 3 000 birds are housed in spacious, landscaped walk-through aviaries that afford visitors unrivalled face-to-face interaction with some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. The Monkey Jungle, with its cute squirrel monkeys, is always a hit with children and the young at heart, while photographers revel in the many photographic opportunities that abound. The World of Birds is a premier tourist attraction – visited by 100 000 people every year – that should be on your “top-five” list. Entrance costs R65 for adults, R39 for children, and R50 for pensioners and students (with card). For group/school bookings contact the booking office on +27 (0)21 790 2730 or email bookings@worldofbirds.org.za. World of Birds is open daily from 09h00-17h00.

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Swimming

The beaches which I frequent permanently in summer are: Clifton, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Hout Bay, and Noordhoek. The protected Clifton beaches offer the best option for sheltered sunbathing when Cape Town’s southwesterly wind is howling. On the Indian Ocean side or eastern coast you’ll find flat, wide beaches that are ideal for family outings, swimming and surfing. Most beaches here are preferred by the locals and are manned by lifeguards, which makes them relatively safe. Muizenberg, St James tidal pool and beach, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town’s Long Beach, and Boulders Beach.

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Surfing

Cape Town is the ideal place to learn surfing. The city offers the most highly concentrated number of surf spots in South Africa. There are about 50 spots within an hour’s drive of the city. Beginners are advised to visit Muizenberg and Big Bay, where conditions are optimal for learning to surf. The pro’s surf at: Llandudno, the Hoek, Hout Bay, Glen Beach, Dunes, Long Beach, Crayfish Factory, and Kalk Bay Reef, among others. If you would like to learn how to surf, then Gary’s Surf School is your best bet. Gary’s Surf School is located on Beach Road in Muizenberg.

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

South African Jewish Museum

Officially opened by Nelson Mandela in December 2000, the SA Jewish Museum is situated along “Museum Mile” in central Cape Town, the museum welcomes visitors with its bold architectural design, interactive multimedia displays and detailed accounts of South African Jewish history.

One section of the museum borders the National Gallery and Company Gardens, an environment steeped in history, culture and religion, where white-washed buildings, fountains, ponds, statues and ancient oak trees hark back to the early days of the Cape colony. The museum is interactive and hi-tech, and uses different media to present highlights of South African Jewish history.

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

St. George’s Cathedral

St George’s Cathedral in Wale Street, near Green Market Square, represents the Anglican mother church in Cape Town. It earned its nickname “The People’s Church” when it welcomed all races during the apartheid era, despite segregation laws. The cathedral showcases Victorian-era design, complete with stained glass windows and a crypt. Apart from visiting the impressive cathedral, you can take a meditative walk through the St George’s Cathedral’s labyrinth.

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Simon’s Town

Simon’s Town is a great destination for day trips from the Mother City. It is famous for it’s boulder’s beach, with its colony of 3000 penguins. This exquisite beach contains huge, rounded rocks (hence the name “Boulders”), and there are numerous coves and rock pools that beg to be explored.  Just off St George’s Street, you’ll find Jubilee Square, where friendly cafés and quirky shops abound. Here, you can photograph the famous statue of the aforementioned dog Just Nuisance. Close by, the Quayside Mall overlooks the harbour and boats depart regularly for trips to Seal Island and False Bay. When you are here you have to try the fresh seafood at Seaforth Restaurant! (www.seaforthrestaurant.co.za)

By |November 23rd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Silvermine

Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Silvermine takes its name from the Silvermine River, which starts in the reserve and runs to Clovelly. Just 20 minutes away from the city centre, the reserve is an important conservation area for indigenous fynbos plants. Apart from walking and hiking, it’s also a popular spot for bird-watching, picnicking, and mountain biking, Silvermine Nature Reserve also has a number of sandstone cave systems and rock climbing routes to Muizenberg. One of the easier walks circles around a large reservoir. A boardwalk accessible to wheelchairs and prams is in place for much of this walk. There are also several picnic and braai areas in the park, including some along this picturesque walk. The reserve is one of the locations for the Hoerikwaggo Trail camps. Contact sanparks@capetown.travel to book the camp for one night or as part of the longer trail. The entry point to the reserve is at the top of Ou Kaapse Weg and a small fee is charged. (R15 for adults and R5 for children from 1 to 11, babies free). The reserve is open daily from 07h00 to 19h00, and plenty of parking is available.

By |November 22nd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Signal Hill

Signal Hill is a prominent landmark from which the historic noon gun is fired, and forms the “lion’s body” for the adjacent Lion’s Head mountain.
You can go to watch the daily firing of the gun, or simply enjoy a cold drink or picnic (bring your own, though) from the parking lot at the end of the road, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards you could head down into the Bo-Kaap for a meal at the Noon Gun Tea Room (+27 21 424 0529) in Longmarket Street. Reaching the viewpoint is as easy as driving up Kloof Nek Road from the city and then taking a right at the top of the hill. From Signal Hill you can also go on and walk up Lion’s Head, a popular mountain walk that is particularly beautiful to do when there is a full moon.

By |November 22nd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Skydiving

A 20-minute drive north along the R27, or West Coast road as it’s more commonly known, is all that it takes for you to be whisked from the Cape Town city centre to a drop zone that boasts one of the best views in the world from altitude. Less than an hour after landing from your Skydive, you could be gazing out at Robben Island from the top of Table Mountain, relaxing on a wine farm in Stellenbosch, or eating seafood in one of the many fine restaurants at the V&A Waterfront. If you would like to experience a Tandem Skydive, or would like to learn to Skydive, email info@capediversitytours.com

By |November 22nd, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Kenya – Infant Wildebeest rescued…by a Hippo!

The herds of thousands of migrating wildebeest in the Mara have started moving back into Tanzania and our guests have been treated to some large river crossings. Recent rains in the Mara have made it more difficult for the animals and the crossings are often quite dramatic.

One unforgettable incident was where a mother wildebeest and her calf struggled across the river. With the strong current the mother got separated from her calf and watched helplessly as her baby was swept away. A female hippo was watching nearby, and to everyone’s amazement, she came to the calf’s rescue and pushed it gently to the river bank. The young gnu was reunited with its mother, who was waiting anxiously at the bank. Maternal love can be so strong it even surpasses species boundaries!

By |November 19th, 2010|Blog, Kenya|

Shark cage diving

Shark cage diving is growing in popularity to adventure seekers, and you don’t have to be a qualified diver, operators actually recommend snorkelling as the bubbles from scuba gear can keep sharks at bay. Cape Town Tourism has a list of accredited and well established operators. Most offer full-day packages, including diving gear and meals, for roughly R1200. I’ve done this trip twice with White Shark Eco Ventures (www.white-shark-diving.com) but remember to take your sea sick tablets if you are prone to sea sickness!

Cape Town offers excellent shore and boat based whale watching. Southern Right whales abound during breeding season from June to November. Take a drive to Boyes Drive, the road that runs from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay, and enjoy amazing views of False Bay and beyond. Scan the water for southern right and humpback whales, sharks and dolphins that are often spotted in the bay. South African fur seals have made their homes on both Seal Island and Duiker Island. Head for Hout Bay Harbour, from which you can take a short trip around Duiker Island to see the large colony of South African fur seals.

By |November 11th, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Sea Point

The “New York” of Cape Town, Sea Point offers visitors a variety of pubs, music clubs, coffee shops and restaurants. The Sea Point Promenade runs the length of the Sea Point beach front, from Bantry Bay to Mouille Point, and is a great spot for a quiet stroll or an energetic jog. Early morning and evening are particularly nice times. Check out the Mouille Point lighthouse which is the oldest active lighthouse in South Africa having operated since 1824, as well as the Sea Point swimming Pool.

By |November 11th, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayak Tours (www.kayakcapetown.co.za) offers a variety of trips, from the sedate to the adventurous. The most popular is the visit to the penguins at Boulders Beach. Along the way you’re likely to see penguins, cormorants, gulls, oystercatchers, and fish swimming under your kayak. Seals are inquisitive and will often gambol around the kayaks, but your chances of coming across a shark are slim.

If you’re reasonably fit and could manage a two-hour walk, then you should cope with a kayaking trip. Almost all kayakers have never been in a kayak before, yet they go on to thoroughly enjoy the experience. You should preferably weigh less than 110kg and children must be 10 years of age or older. Younger children may accompany their parents.

The kayaks are two-person boats and, as they are very stable, you’re unlikely to fall out – but if you do, it’s easy to climb back in. Sea Kayak Tours offers professionally guided sea kayak paddles daily, weather permitting, throughout the year. The kayaks are designed for maximum stability in all conditions and age and inexperience are not a problem. Trips of two to two-and-a-half hours leave every day at 09h30, and afternoon trips are available for groups of four or more.

By |November 11th, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|

Lions returned to the Karoo

Great news for the Karoo National Park! Lions were released into their natural habitat, last Wednesday near Beaufort West. This brings lions back into the area for the first time in 170 years. The last wild lion was shot in 1842. 8 lions were released (2 males, 2 lionesses and 4 cubs) becoming the first wild, free-ranging lions in the Great Karoo.

Visitors will now be able to experience both the unique atmosphere and tranquility of the Karoo as well as the thrill of spotting lions in the wild. The Karoo National Park has traditionally always been used by visitors as a one-night stopover between Cape Town and the interior, but with the introduction of lions as well as the new developments such as 4×4 trails, it will transform this Park and the surrounding area into a two or three night destination.

Visitors will still be able to experience the Park on foot as hiking trails such as the Pointer and Bossie Trails will be run as guided hikes, at no extra cost, departing at various times of the day. Predator-proof fencing has been completed around the 176-kilometre perimeter of the almost 90 000 hectare-Karoo National Park to minimise the risk of lions exiting the Park onto neighbouring properties.

SANParks will initially monitor the lions closely with the aid of tracking collars fitted before the release to check what habitats the lions use, what prey species they target as well as to record their movements. Visit www.sanparks.org/parks/karoo for more info.

By |November 11th, 2010|Blog, South Africa Blog|
HOT TUBS & HEARTHS
Experience the first Glamping location in the Cape Winelands in Wellington. Located beneath the historic Bainskloof Pass at the foothills of the Groenberg Mountain Range, AfriCamps Doolhof is set within the award-winning Doolhof Wine Estate, a short drive from the picturesque town of Wellington, only 50 minutes from Cape Town. 6 AfriCamps luxury glamping tents are surrounded by vineyards, the Kromme River that runs through the farm and glorious mountain views – best enjoyed while soaking in your outdoor wood-fired hot tub.
Cost: R670.00 per person sharing per night! This Special is valid through Love Africa so contact us for more details https://www.ilove-africa.com/contact-us
The Wines: On Doolhof, two white varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and a substantial number of reds are grown. They include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, Pinotage and Shiraz. The white varietals are planted on the eastern slopes of the Groenberg, which allow the grapes cooler days and less direct sunlight. A visit to the estate’s tasting room is a must.
Activities on the Estate include a 5km vineyard hike, the river walk that leads you all along the Kromme River, mountain bike trails that start on the property, a kids mountain bike trail, the gorgeous wine tasting room where you can try some of the estate’s award-winning wines along with a platter or lunch and, of course, the outdoor wood-fired hot tub next to your tent. You can also enjoy a selection of spa treatments from the comfort and privacy of your own tent. Off the property, explore the surrounding area’s popular mountain bike trails, hiking trails and fly-fishing in the Limietberg Nature Reserve, horse riding, touring between various Wellington wine farms and distilleries and world-class golf courses.
ACTIVITIES ON THE FARM
Wine Tasting
Doolhof’s wine tasting room is situated in an original wagon house built in the late 19th century. A large terrace and a garden adjoins the Tasting Room, making it ideal for enjoying the tastings, platters and lunches on offer. You can taste five Doolhof Wines for R50 or try your luck in the weekly mystery tasting.
Wood-fired Hot Tubs
All six tents offer the exclusive use of their own outdoor wood-fired hot tub. A wood-fired hot tub is the purest form of relaxation. Soak up your beautiful Winelands surroundings while listening to the calming crackle of the fire. Or take a dip to cool off during the hot Wellington summers.
Picnic
Delicious picnic lunches including vegetarian are available. Reservations should be made 24 hours in advance with a 50% deposit, and by 12 noon on Fridays for a weekend picnic basket. Doolhof wines of your choice are available at an additional cost. You can enjoy the picnic during a the river walk, vineyard hike or on a grassy spot on the farm.
Spa Treatments
The following treatments are available from the comfort of your tent. Bookings can be made at Doolhof and should be confirmed 24 hours in advance. Prices are subject to change and will be confirmed by Doolhof on booking.
Massage therapy
Aromatherapy massage
Swedish massage
Deep tissue massage
Back & Neck massage 45min
Manicure 45min
Pedicure 50min
Foot massage 30min
Facial 60min
Hiking
Visitors can enjoy a 5km walk through the vineyards or the shorter river walk. Doolhof, which is known for its mysterious hills and valleys, is also home to many small mammals, including buck, porcupine, baboons and even leopard. Ask your host about Viking Adventures @ Doolhof. Join our guide, Jaco for a ride halfway up Groenberg Mountain and hike to the top.
Mountain Biking
The area is very well known for spectacular mountain bike trails and you can start the trails right from Doolhof. The kids can explore the farm during the 3.5km Vineyard Ride. You can rent mountain bikes from the tasting room at R150 per day (subject to availability) or bring your own. Find the Wild Boar trail map in your tent and pick your route!
The Labyrinth
As a tribute to the estate’s history and typographic Labyrinthine characteristics, a small labyrinth was constructed close to the entrance of the farm. This is a fun spot for the kids to play and make their way through the labyrinth.
Viking Adventures @ Doolhof
Viking Adventures offers a range of family friendly tours and activities starting on Doolhof.
Groenberg 4X4: Drive with a military Unimog around the Groenberg Mountain to see a few of our neighbouring farms – 4X4 style. This tour takes 2.5 hours
Ghost House Rock Pool Trip: Drive with an old military Unimog to the old ghost house in the mountains and take a swim in the mountain pools.
Groenberg Hike: A guided drive halfway up the Groenberg Mountain from where guests can hike to the top.
Other Activities in the area
Wine Farms and distilleries
AfriCamps at Doolhof is nestled at the end of the Bovlei Valley and offers an authentic Winelands experience. Taste delicious wines on award-winning wine estates such as Doolhof, Dunstone, Val du Charron, Welvanpas or Bosman, many of which offer country style lunches and snacks. Some of the Estates are in walking distance of Doolhof, but you can also enjoy a bike ride between wine farms. Try world class organic Brandy, Grappa, Port and Cabernet Sauvignon from Upland Organic Wine & Brandy Estate or take a distillery tour at James Sedgwick Distillery where grain and malt whiskies are distilled.
Wellington Wine Walk & Horse Riding
Enjoy a horse ride with well-informed guides, who will introduce you to the local personalities and products of the area by guiding you along private property and quaint routes. They promise to unlock many of the well-kept secrets of Wellington and trust that your walk will be a rewarding experience. Horse riding trails vary from a half-day to a three-day ride.
Mountain Biking Trails
Wellington has amazing mountain bike trails, for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders. A detailed map of trails is available in the tents.
Bainskloof Pass
In the mid-nineteenth century a good connection route from the region around Wellington to the inland of South Africa was needed. In 1846 Andrew Geddes Bain explored the mountain and in 1849 began with the construction of a road through the gorge. Today the 26km Bainskloof Pass is recognized as a national monument and makes for a beautiful drive with stunning views over the Boland.
Hiking
The Limietberg Nature Reserve offers various hiking trails through fynbos rich areas dotted with clear rock pools giving hikers the opportunity to cool off. The reserve is only 10 minutes’ drive from Doolhof. Here are a few of our suggestions.
Wellington Museum
The museum features not only the cultures, artefacts, traditional tools, musical instruments and jewellery of various African ethnic groups but also prides itself in having ties with countries as far afield as America, England, Scotland, France and the Netherlands. It exhibits Stone-Age artefacts, a major collection of Egyptian artefacts and tells the stories of various pioneers who made their mark on the history of South Africa. Visit the Museum and discover the age-old mysteries of Africa.