Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Solid and satisfying

Visiting Ardmore Guest Farm in a Honda BR-V leaves James Siddall feeling rather like one of Jay Gatsby’s boats … beating on against the current, borne ceaselessly back into the past

Sharing Abelana

Conveniently located between Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa, adjacent to the Greater Kruger's Balule Nature Reserve and neighbouring Selati Private Game Reserve, Abelana Game Reserve includes a 10km stretch of the semi-perennial Selati River.

Take a hike

With its flora and fauna, beautiful mountain and ocean vistas coupled with an intriguing animal population, South Africa is the ideal place to explore on foot. A trek allows you to experience all the sights, smells, sounds and sensations of the landscapeFor experienced trekkers, the Garden Route is one of the most rewarding areas to hike.

Pit Stops for Padkos

Forget tepid tea and stale sarmies, buy your basics from one of South Africa’s ubiquitous roadside farm stalls en route to your destination and enjoy your food al fresco. It’s an integral part of every road trip

Café Society

The little Renault Kwid provided perfect Parisian-style transport for James Siddall visiting Bellevue Café in Kloof, Durban

Gone Fishing!

After exhausting our tactics, we set course for the shore, utterly outwitted and defeated. I docked the boat and proceeded with more frivolous things, like making a fire and finding answers in the bottom of a wine bottle. That’s fishing for you. There’s always next time …

Wriggle Room!

In the 1970s Monty Python featured a skit about an invented rude and wildly inaccurate Hungarian/English phrase book. This included a wacky scene with John Cleese as a Hungarian, trying to buy cigarettes at a tobacconist and consulting his phrase book.“My hovercraft is full of eels”, was one he came up with to procure matches.

Saved by the bean!

That skinny kid who used to ride that big Honda XL 500 in matric. That’s how Savior Café founder Max Pienaar first reintroduced himself to me by email – taking me back to 1987, a life that seems unutterably distant yet just like yesterday.

Ship shape in McGregor

Easy for Dayz, an innovative hybrid container home for hire in the upper part of quaint McGregor village in the Cape was built as a tribute to the owner’s late brother

Surf into Ubuntu

While the Corona Open JBay runs, Jeffrey’s Bay is a buzz of activity with people from all walks of life descending on the town to feast their eyes on the great waves and the brave men who ride them

Range Topper

Over the decades I must have sat here a dozen times with peaks including the prominent Rhino Horn rearing up as a backdrop.The winter sun is gentle. Those Berg views – so inviting of bromides ranging from “awe-inspiring” to “majestic,” largely because they are so timeless and unshakeable.

Rock Up To Boulders

While Tintswalo Atlantic continue with their rebuild after the fire in February, their sister lodge, Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa  is offering a free night’s accommodation for every three nights booked.

Tzaneen’s dreamiest retreat

The best thing about wandering around the mountains is getting back to Kings Walden. The large bedrooms, with huge en-suite bathrooms (bath and shower), and king size double bed are the perfect place for nodding off with a book.

The road less travelled

Hit the tar road and into Mthatha and suddenly all of this changes for the worse. Potentially the ugliest, dirtiest hellhole of a town in South Africa, it epitomises everything that is wrong with humanity.

Zululand Zeitgeist

Bolted to cliffs, banks, and boughs, cables stretch like giant spider webs across the valley and you glide eagle-like through the forest canopy – home to more than 150 bird species. Dangling above it all like a pantomime fairy, I waited for the dreaded vertigo to strike, but it never did.

What the Carbon Tax means for travellers

Yet again, a government tax is being introduced with no actual explanation of where, and how, the collected funds will be used or if, indeed, they will be put towards even more environmental safeguards – or just simply disappear into that Treasury vacuum.

Petal Power

Guests can now view the camellias in three areas: the Barlow camellias at the bottom of the Great Lawn; near the Camphors signature restaurant; and near the banks of the Lourens River, the only South African river that is officially a Protected Natural Environment.

Lethabo Life

Lying in a hot tub sipping a glass of wine, your eyes drawn across the fragrant veld to the changing light on the Rhenosterkop Mountain beyond, is one good way to sink into the laid-back Lethabo experience

Hey, Hey, Coffee Bay!

The town is part of the Tshezi Xhosa community from the once independent homeland, the Transkei, and the people here still struggle with the lack of development, basic service delivery, few schools and little education, all of which perpetuate this cycle of poverty

From Joburg to Salt Rock

Their shabby accoutrements belie the secrets and history they treasure. It’ll take time to find the intricate intimacies of their quiet gravel-road souls. The old trees, they’re singing something, I swear.

A town of two halves

Wilderness is a town of “two halves” bisected by the N2. Inland is the lagoon or “old” Wilderness, while foreign investors and the Johnny-come-latelies have gravitated to the dunes that abut the main beach.