Living the Karoo Life

Often referred to as the outback of South Africa, The Karoo is a semi – arid region in the country. It is characterized by vast open spaces with desert flora and fauna thriving across the plains.  A bunch of small sheep farming and laidback towns, rocky layers, low rainfall, clear blue skies and either extreme heat or cold constitutes this charmingly arid land. Divided into the Klein Karoo and the Groot Karoo, this expanse spreads across 4 of the country’s 9 provinces and takes up to 40% of the country’s land. The Karoo is that large that you have to explore it slowly, town or area at a time. Otherwise you know what they say “Once you go Karoo, you ever go back.
The Karoo is a hiker's paradise

With a description so general and so vague, you are almost not enticed to want to visit the Karoo. It all sounds like it is such an uneventful area but that is the actual Karoo life you ought to see. It is the experience that counts, the real rustic country experience of a loving and friendly community  and the togetherness of the locals. The Karoo life is such that everyone knows each other, you know your butcher, your storekeeper, your nurse or handyman who fixes anything from you  toaster to your tractor. It makes a perfect alternative lifestyle. For those looking to detach from your ever busy life that is profoundly affected by just about anything, the Karoo is your ideal escape. Living  the Karoo life is actually liberating.

A Chance to Re-invent Yourself

Stockbrokers become rose growers. Company mavens become cheese-heads. Former coal miners now make forest fairies for a living. Old journos become wine-makers. OK, that’s not much reinvention but it’s something.                   http://bit.ly/2rFMqrv 

Another thing you will enjoy living in the Karoo is its timelessness. The old Cape Dutch and Edwardian buildings will just take your breath. Strolling along  the streets of  Graaff- Reinet or Nieu – Bethesda is the best thing you can do to relax and take you back in time. Riding ostriches in Oudtshoorn is also great if you need to shake it up a bit. Although change is taking place slowly, the old charm is resistant and is still very prominent in many Karoo towns. The annual gatherings such as the Vleisfees in Calvinia every August continue to hold the sense of community together.

Stay tuned for more exciting blog about the ins and outs of South Africa.

Why visit South Africa in winter?

We often find ourselves asking the question whether or not we need a getaway during winter. There are mixed feelings about this question! The we go on and ask “Why visit South Africa in winter?” Now, we have an answer to that question.

Whale WatchingPlettenberg Bay Accommodation_ Redbourne Country Lodge_ Whale Watching

Whale watching is one of the most popular thing to do during the South African winter.  Between June and November a host of whales migrate to the Cape Coasts and the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and up to 37 whale and dolphin species can be found in the waters of South Africa. Hermanus, Plettenberg Bay and St Lucia are the best whale watching spots where you can even partake in an ocean and marine life safari and encounter these marine beasts up close and other marine creatures altogether.

Kruger National Park

Image credit- Dren Pozhegu
It is a fact that wild animals tend to roam freely in winter and this is when you get the best chances of spotting some of the rarest of them. In South Africa, Kruger National Park, Africa’s largest game reserve, is the ideal destination for a winter safari. Not only will you enjoy the sightings of the wild, but the beauty of  the atmosphere, biodiversity and natural and historical sites are overwhelming in winter. You won’ want to leave.

Wine tasting 

Franschhoek Accommodation

A real winter warmer that one! An excellent glass of red wine paired with fondue or a thick juicy steak in winter keep the cold away. With a host of  wine farms and cellars, some still emerging in the country, wine tasting makes a perfect winter activity, enjoyable either in the afternoon or in the evening. Wine cellar tours are also enjoyable. Make a trip to the Cape Winelands, where you can experience authentic winery excursions, and weather you are in Route62 or in the actual Cape winelands, the experience is the same and overwhelmingly incredible.

Matroosberg

matroosberg_ things to do_venues4africa_blog

Known to be the tallest mountain in the Boland region, the Matroosberg mountain is a popular winter attraction as it is one of the few places that experiences snow in winter in South Africa. Abounding activities for families as well as bigger groups include 4×4 drives, quad biking, fishing, ice climbing, abseiling, cherry picking and farm tours in the area. Treat yourself and your family to an unforgettable and eventful winter vacation.

The Clarens Route

maluti mountains_clarens route_ things to do_ venues4africa_blog

A 3 hour drive from Johannesburg and tucked in the Maluti Mountains sits the quaint “The Jewel of the Free State”,  Clarens. The little village overlooks fertile and stunning landscapes and Lesotho is visible in a distance from here. The famous Golden Gate Highlands National Park  is just outside the village and is renowned for its rare sandstone cliffs which turn golden in the rays of the setting sun. For those seeking an alternative lifestyle, Clarens quiet and serene, picturesque while offering various outdoor ventures, such as birding, hiking trails, horse riding, 4×4 trails, trout and bass fishing, golf, to name a few.  The Clarens Route makes a perfect escape for or the log cabin, crackling fire and woolly-blanket-lover.

Stay in the loop with all the happenings in South Africa with Venues4Africa.

5 Travel Rules

If you are looking to take a break and really want to unplug and detach from your daily life,  there are 5  travel rules you need to abide by to get the most of your experience.

1. Travel with someone you love

There is no point in sharing a special moment with someone that does not add value to your life, or at least someone that doesn’t’ share your passion or have the same dreams as you. If you do, you will regret this time wasted. activities_ travel_ blog_ venues4africa

2. Collect moments not things

Things wear out, they get lost, they lose importance and value with time, at some point you will even forget you ever collected something. But moments will always stay attached to your mind and the memories are unforgettable. Take loads of pictures, loads of selfies, capture every moment.

3. Indulge

Be adventurous and try something you’ve never done before. Try skydiving, bungee jumping, shark cage diving, whatever it is you choose to do, be sure it gets your blood rushing. Eat a lot and drink a lot- otherwise there no point of travelling in the first place. And don’t hesitate to try the weird food too!things to do_travel-blog_venues4africa

4. Don’t regret anything

If you spend too much money and go over your budget – don’t regret it, because it’s money well-spent. Remember travelling is not about money, it’s about courage. Do and see everything you possibly can and make sure you do not regret not having done something – that will just be a total waste of time and energy.

5. Share the experience

Be sure to always have your smartphone or tablet with you. Take pictures of the food, the drinks, the places that you get to see and post them on social media. Check in at every place you visit – believe it or not, people want to see those pictures and want to know where you’ve been. things to do_ travel_ selfies_ venues4africa

Stay in the loop with our blog and get the most exciting information about travelling in Southern Africa.

Cape Winelands! Top must see places

Vineyard in South African Western Cape

 

A world of unique destinations, each with its own beauty and charm is what you can expect from spending a few days in the Cape Winelands.  This  world-renowned ruote offers any keen visitor a chance to explore a mix of old colonial charm and modernity, while also getting a good enough taste of nature.  The Cape Winelands Route ,  known for its serenity and tranquility, also boasts a wealth of picturesque vineyards lying against rugged mountains and enjoying a beautiful country feel. Here are some of the best towns not to miss during your winelands route vacation.

Stellenbosch

This lovely and quaint town boasts a glorious and quiet location 50 Km outside of Cape Town while lying on the banks of the Eerste River. Stellenbosch makes a perfect weekend getaway destination for Capetonians.  Like any other winelands town, Stellenbosch is known for unrivalled viticulture where an endless list of award winning wines are produced. If you are not going to Stellenbosch for the wine experience, then you are definitely looking to enjoy some sightseeing and  exciting events that always set the town abuzz.

Franschhoek

Amidst a majestic range of mountains, 75 km from Cape Town is Franschhoek, a small town we like to identify as  a” dynamite in a small package.” For any town in the Cape Winelands, Franschhoek is praised for it’s quaint old charm  of Cape Dutch architecture – most of which still retain its original form. Although some houses have been meticulously restored, there is no doubt that this little town’s most enjoyed activity is sightseeing, beside the wine culture of course! The town also offers aplenty restaurants and places to dine that will just make a perfect getaway.

Wellington

Not too far from from Paarl, is Wellington, a small town the oozes  an abundance of wine and brandy, altogether with deciduous fruit. Wellington boasts an incredible position at the centre on of the Cape Winelands and at the base of the Bain’s Kloof Pass, the oldest mountain pass in the country. Surely, you ought to know that a visit to the winelands is not complete until you have wandered through the streets of the town and absorbing the simplicity of a lifestyle the town offers.

Hermanus

With its own little wine route coming along and showing potential, Hermanus also falls under the glorious Cape Wineland and offers a fantastic range of wineries worth a visit. This coastal town not only boasts locally produced wines, it s also notorious for the presence of the Southern Right Whale in winter and spring. In September, there is an annual Whale Festival, so taking some time to celebrate the beginning of their mating season is time well spent in the town.

Robertson

Situated in the  heart of the rustic and scenic Route62, Robertson is just a perfect retreat for romance. The  wine industry  in Robertson has grown significantly with up to 50 wine cellars now registered and for wine tasting venues, you are spoilt for choice. With the town’s tourism growing too, you are sure to enjoy romantic star- gazing under the African night sky, hiking and skydiving.

Stay in the loop to keep up to date with our newest members of our growing family. This week, we are are proud to announce: 75 Cascades, a luxury self-catering holiday apartment Umdloti Beach, KwaZulu Natal’s Dolphin Coast.

Meander through the Midlands

Sometimes, a vacation is all about doing things you never thought you’d never do, visiting the places you never thought you’d see and ultimately being away from the the city buzz. Away from all the things that make up your daily life and just to choose to live the alternative. It is about letting go of all the things you can’t live without for a moment and experience the natural and unpolished beauty of life. The KwaZulu Natal Midlands is just the exact place where you will experience such a vacation – detached from what is nowadays the way of life.Venues4Afrca_Blog_ Natal Midlands

Set in a tranquil countryside, the Midlands boasts picturesque rugged mountains and the Drakensberg just takes the crown.  The sublime nature of the areas is what is most striking as you drive along the narrow country roads. The rivers, the lakes , the waterfalls and the thick and lush evergreen forest, the list is endless, you will have to see it with your own eyes than to hear about it a thousand times. Meander through the Midlands from Nottingham Road to Curry’s Post and Howick making your way to Pietermaritzburg the taking a detour to the inlands of Durban, this trip will only take you a few days to complete.Blog _ Venues4Afrc _ Natal Midlands

At each point in the journey make sure you take some time to hike, walk the nature trails, go fishing or explore the lifestyle of the locals on their cheese and trout farms.  Why not grab a picnic basket and find your perfect spot in the country and be amused by prolific birdlife. Be enchanted by exquisite creativity in form of pottery, woven items and paintings as you meander through the quaint towns.Venues4Africa_Natal Midlands_Blog

When it finally feels like it is time for that getaway, that escape into the where life actually began, a Natal Midlands vacation  will be all you just need to revitalise and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Stay in the loop to keep up to date with our newest members of our growing family. This week, we are are proud to announce: Aleandrii Farm Stay,  that offers you the most comfortable and affordable accommodation in the Little Karoo.

Family-friendly Durban, enjoy one last summer vacation

Before summeruShaka Marine World_Durban ends, one  must take some time to visit  a city in KwaZulu Natal, the glorious Durban. This family-friendly city makes the perfect getaway destination because offers so many things to see and do before the winter weather starts to kick in. Make the uShaka Marine world the number one spot to visit. Your children will especially love it and you, yourself will absolutely love the invigorating  experience that takes you back to your youthful years and release your inner childishness.

The Durban Botanical Gardens make a perfect spot to be on a hot summer’s day. Filled with tranquility and an ever green charm, an opportunity to experience the beautiful nature in plants is all you get, nothing less nothing more. The  beautiful golden beaches are to die for in the family-friendly Durban. Sunbathing, swimming and a host of other watersports can be enjoyed  while you children splash into tidal pools abound.  Durban Promenade, image Shaen Adey 0852For quality time with the little ones, spending some time at the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World is time well-spent with lots of games and activities to enjoy as a family. Durban is also home to a number or museums that are worth visiting  and taking the time for sightseeing is surely not regrettable here. Durban is also home to an endless list of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines and atmosphere. Ranging from beachfront and al fresco to inland and fine dining, whatever your preference is,  you are sure to find a perfect fit for a bite for you and your family. If you know you need to take this last break, make it a point to visit the family-friendly Durban, enjoy one last summer vacation.

Stay in the loop to keep up to date with our newest members of our growing family. This week, we are are proud to announce : 87 Marine Drive, Struisbaai, a beautiful lower level beach house less than a 100m from the ocean.

Safari in South Africa

Making the decision to go on a safari in South Africa? Wise choice! There are so many reasons why a South African safari is always the best. Besides being home to the world famous Kruger National Park, you are spoiled for choice, no matter which province you choose to go. Here is a snippet of what to expect.

Safari -in_ South_Africa_Kruger-National-Park_ Venues4AfricaThe Eastern Cape is always a good place to start. The Amakhala Game Reserve is one of the best. Known for its abundant wildlife and birdlife, you are sure to enjoy a true African Safari here. Game drives, boat cruises, short guided hikes,  archery are all exciting activities available, and if you prefer to relax,  rejuvenating spas are available.

Safari -in - South -Africa-Amakhala- River- Cruise-Venues4Africa

Of course, you can never go wrong with the notorious Madikwe Game Reserve. Nestled in the North West province, against the border with Botswana, it is the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa. It is situated in a malaria free area and boasts an abounding 300 species of birds, the Big Five and lots of conservation programmes.

Endless possibilities await you! Start planning your Safari in South Africa and find your destination with Venues4Africa.

Stay tuned to see our newest members of  our growing Venues4Africa family.

New Year’s Eve in Cape Town

Out with the old, in with the new.
New Year’s Eve is around the corner and if you haven’t yet made any plans for the big night, we’ve got some ideas that might help you celebrate the end of 2016 in the Cape Town.

New Year's Eve in Cape Town
New Year’s Eve in Cape Town
New Year's eve in Cape Town
Where to go on New Year’s Eve in Cape Town


Explore South African Safari

Safari

South Africa is blessed with amazing wildlife and luxurious safari accommodation to match.

Book your South African safari getaway with us today and enjoy the sights of the big 5 and picturesque beauty of the African planes. 

Hlosi Game Lodge

Karongwe River Lodge

ONGUMA TREE TOP CAMP

garanga safari lodge

Makweti Safari Lodge Sibani Lodge